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Yankee Dental 2020

Metatooth went to Yankee Dental 2020 and here’s what we found.

3D Printing

Micron Dental was showing their P305 printer. This printer uses LCD technology as the light source. Micron claims less lens distortion issues with this technology over the SLA and DLP types. It is being sold as a bundle only, which includes a wash & cure station.

The P305 lacks the design flair of the Formlabs Form 3B  or SprintRay Pro. The exterior design would not effect performance, but it does limit access to the print plate, with a side door of just 18 inches. Compare this to the “hatch” approach provided by the other two vendors. Does this effect usability? Micron users please comment below!

Formlabs was present as well, showing the Form 3B. No new materials were shown. The hunt is still on for a printable clear aligner tray. Everyone seems happy to be selling model resin! Formlab’s PreForm software is free to download and use, which was news to Metatooth.

Finally, Great Lakes Dental Technologies showed an economy desktop LCD printer the UNIZ Slash Plus.

Dental CAD

Metatooth watched a demonstration of 3Shape‘s Bite Splint and Indirect Bonding modules. 3Shape’s design software is available stand-alone, at prices comparable to other stand-alone software. However, the yearly maintenance fees are required for the software to operate.

Look for 3Shape to support Polygon File Format (*.ply) in the near future. This will enable non-3Shape users of this data to receive the color information collected by TRIOS scanners. This would be a welcome addition to those supporting open standards and protocols in the dental industry.

Practice Management Software

There were a number of companies offering software products that worked with the leaders in practice management software. Hopefully more of these offerings will keep coming. Metatooth recommends software products that integrate using the vendor’s API, not via an understanding of the vendor’s database schema.

This market is quite regional, so for the Northeast, Metatooth considers these the market leaders.

  1. EagleSoft from Patterson Dental
  2. Dentrix from Henry Schein
  3. OpenDental

Relative newcomer carestack might be one to watch.

AI

Artificial Intelligence vendors were centered around perio-charting assistance and some other voice-to-text tasks. BOLA.AI offered the most functionality. This area will continue to grow, especially as practice management systems (see above) move to the cloud and add API support.

D2C

Direct-to-consumer companies looking to add a clinical channel were present. quip was the most well known to Metatooth, but another toothbrush service — BURST — was also on the scene. Colgate, Oral-B, and the like had throngs at their booths. When does quip or BURST become an acquisition target?

There was also an anti-snoring device from Zyppah. This self-molding thermoform device is available directly from the company. A “dentist only” channel was being presented.

Metatooth had a great time at the vendor exhibition of Yankee Dental 2020. What did Metatooth miss? Tell us about it in the comments!

Yankee Dental 2020

 

 

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@ Yankee Dental

I was on the lookout for value-priced intraoral scanners at Yankee Dental, but came up short.  The most attractively priced — that I saw, where was Medit? — is the Aadva(tm) IOS from GC America.  This scanner had the fewest restrictions as far as ongoing fees and data ownership. The resulting mesh is probably OK from a point density standpoint, but did not look great on the big display at the booth. The scanner is best applied to scanning quadrants for single-tooth restoration.  The software is rudimentary, although updates are on the way. The blue light wand is one of the smaller ones I have seen. No tip to replace.

The Carestream C3600 (w/o color) was the next afforable option.  Carestream also takes the attitude that the customer owns the data. No concerns about scan quality here.

3M was present at Yankee Dental, but I didn’t see the True Definition on display.

iTero, 3Shape TRIOS, Planmeca, CEREC.  These are the big four and command the highest price.  They all have monthly fees, some more (iTero) and some less (Planmeca). You get what you pay for and according to your philosophy.  Want total control? Planmeca.  Want to have Align Tech clean up your scanning work? iTero. Want the best looking scanner? 3Shape TRIOS. Want the absolute best in German engineering? CEREC.

All systems have some type of connectivity, where the scans can be sent to participating dental labs. 3Shape and Planmeca have ways of sending that do not require a fee from the dental lab.

While a traditional impression might cost up to $60 (materials and shipment to the lab), I am told the real return-on-investment is seen in patient comfort and reduced chair-time.  The anecdotes are also piling up regarding final fit of the devices designed from digital impression. (The anecdotes are that the fits are great.)