First Impressions: March 2012

In First Impressions, George Freedman, DDS, gives readers a brief summary of products that have recently been introduced to dentistry, based on his clinical experience.

Canon T3i Camera

One of the major hassles of taking intraoral photographs has been the electronic flash paraphernalia. The large battery housing was mounted in the shoe on the top of the camera body, effectively blocking direct visibility of the face and/or the mouth; the dentist was forced to peek over or around the camera to see teeth. Digital objective screens have made this task somewhat easier. The cord between the battery housing and the ring or point flash also had a tendency to snag on something as the dentist was fine-tuning the position of the camera for the picture. The new Canon T3i camera from CliniPix has a wireless ring flash that eliminates these 2 problems. There is no bulky battery housing; the energy cells (alkaline or nickel-metal hydride battery) are located in a small well of the ring itself, below the plane of view and well out of the picture. There is also no wiring cord; the T3i camera and the dedicated flash are connected by evaluative through-the-lens circuitry, meaning that the flash fires on an electronic signal when the shutter is opened. There are no complicated settings, and the flash is preprogrammed for the T3i camera. The T3i camera body offers high-resolution (5,284 x 3,456) 18-megapixel stills and 1080 high-definition movies, and a 3-in variable-angled liquid crystal display provides a large and very clear view for the operator. The JPEG and RAW storage modes and a self-cleaning sensor are standard. The 90-mm macro lens has manual and autofocus modes, with visual and numeric dental settings etched right onto the barrel for ease of use and consistent image sizing. CliniPix simplifies high-quality dental digital imaging, and unlimited, toll-free technical support for the Canon T3i camera is offered.

For more information, call (866) 254-6749 or visit the company Web site at

These 2 clinical images are the result of using the 90-mm macro lens on the T3i body and the new wireless ring flash.

Micro LED Headlights
SurgiTel/General Scientific Corp

As dental practitioners have come to increasingly depend on loupe magnification in delivering high-quality treatment, it has become very evident that traditional overhead and chair-mounted dental lights cannot provide enough illumination for acceptable diagnosis or precise operative procedures. Fortunately, there have been tremendous technological advances in headlights as well. Early products were hot, heavy, bulky, and required recharging after one to 2 hours. The recently introduced SurgiTel Micro 3W LED Headlight is a lightweight (about 5 g), ultraportable, LED system with a small lithium-ion quick-charge battery pack that delivers up to 9 hours of illumination. These headlights serve as perfect companions to SurgiTel's MicroLine Loupes, the newest lightweight magnification systems. The headlights use SurgiTel's patent-pending beam forming multilens optics to provide high-quality, uniform beam patterns in neutral/warm or cool/blue. The overillumination of highly reflective surfaces, such as teeth, can cause the structure to appear "blown out," losing the highlights and characterization of surface detail. The analogue light intensity control knobs permit the practitioner to precisely control the brightness of the headlight to the appropriate level where the maximum surface detail can be readily seen. There is no color change over the range of the depth of field of the loupes. For maximum chairside convenience, the battery units can be swapped out while in use; they can also be charged during use. The bright and even illumination throughout the oral cavity makes clinical procedures more precise, more conservative, easier, and faster. Effectively reducing treatment time, this improves patient comfort and significantly reduces practitioner frustration. The SurgiTel Micro 3W LED Headlights are the next generation of portable illumination devices.

For more information, call (800) 959-0153 or visit the company Web site at

Dr. Freedman is a founder and past president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, a co-founder of the Canadian Academy for Esthetic Dentistry, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Aesthetic Dentistry. He is a visiting professor at the Universita di Firenze, Florence, Italy. He is the materials editor for Dentistry Today. He is the author or co-author of 11 textbooks, more than 600 dental articles, and numerous webinars and CDs, and is a team member of REALITY. He lectures internationally on dental aesthetics, adhesion, desensitization, composites, impression materials, and porcelain veneers. A graduate of McGill University in Montreal, Dr. Freedman maintains a private practice limited to aesthetic dentistry in Toronto. He can be reached at (905) 513-9191 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .