Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, discusses some new technologies that can make a significant impact in your practice.
I love what I do. Introducing companies to the dental market and helping accelerate the impact of existing ones, I get a front row seat to the innovations that are reshaping critical aspects of our industry, from clinical care to practice management. As founder of the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards, I have the privilege of hearing what our panel of technology experts—including Dr. Paul Feuerstein, technology editor of Dentistry Today—consider cutting-edge. I’ve selected 4 from the many innovations to share with you, because I believe they stand to make a significant impact in your practice this year.
Infinix from Nobio: Eliminate recurrent caries associated with direct composite restorations
Composite restorations still have one big limitation: their susceptibility for recurring decay. Instead of repelling bacteria and preventing plaque buildup at the restoration margins like amalgam, composites actually promote bacterial growth and, therefore, fail twice as much. Composites are also prone to shrink or de-bond, creating gaps at the restoration margin perfect for bacteria to thrive in. Composites with antibacterial protection have been the goal, but none was up to the challenge of lasting for the life of the tooth—until now. Nobio Ltd developed a family of light-cured, tooth-colored composites and a bond, all featuring long-acting, powerful antibacterial protection.
Nobio’s Infinix restoratives contain patented nano-particles called QASi, which are made of antibacterial quaternary ammonium (QA) molecules covalently bound to a silica-dioxide (Si) solid core. The QASi particles are an integral part of the composite, but don’t present any noticeable difference to the dentist, who can use Infinix composite or bond exactly like other available products. The QASi particles will kill bacteria on contact, keeping the restoration margins bacteria-free and resulting in no more bacteria around the restoration producing acids from carbohydrates and causing mineral loss and decay.
LumiCare from GreenMark Biomedical: Detect caries before it moves into dentin
Caries is the world’s most prevalent chronic disease and affects more than 95% of Americans. Current methods for detecting carious lesions—from visual/tactile exams to metal explorers to costly equipment—all present an array of limitations and diagnostic benefits. Designed to disrupt this pattern, GreenMark Biomedical’s LumiCare Caries Diagnostic Rinse—currently 510(k) pending—is a water-based solution containing patented fluorescent starch nanoparticles functionalized to target and adhere to the subsurface of early-stage carious lesions after penetrating through their surface porosities. Carious lesions are illuminated with the use of a blue curing light and can be observed using an orange filter that enhances visualization of the lesions.
Based on the same platform technology, GreenMark is actively developing targeted mineral-loaded starch particles to noninvasively fill early subsurface porosities. The company’s research to date has demonstrated that early white spots fade away in a few weeks after a single application.
ChairFill from MMG Fusion: Use machine learning to locate and activate unperformed dentistry in your records
MMG Fusion’s ChairFill is developed specifically to fill your practice schedule, monitoring available chair time, then analyzing existing patient records to automatically identify and schedule the patients who best fit your pre-set parameters (such as specific procedures, profit margins, time since last visit, etc). Using automation and machine learning, the program is able to fill practice chairs while also improving the scheduling process for the patients.
ChairFill automatically contacts targeted patients with unique messaging designed to increase the probability of scheduling. This advanced automation not only increases the number of patients scheduled and revenues generated but also frees up front desk staff to focus on the patient experience.
Amplify from Simplifeye: Bring in more new patients using artificial intelligence
Simplifeye’s Amplify is a live, HIPAA-compliant web chat service that utilizes real-time human conversation partners and is empowered by an advanced-speech artificial intelligence engine. Nothing beats a conversation with a real person. This is especially important when 75% of patients book with the practice that responds first, and the average response time for an email is 17 hours. Amplify Live Chat responds within 7 seconds—24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Compatible with all dental practice management software, the speech engine has analyzed hundreds of thousands of chats and assists the chat representative on how best to reply to the prospective patient, maximizing conversion into the practice.
Journals like this one are a critical resource for clinicians who understand how important it is to stay abreast of new advances in our profession. I want to acknowledge Dr. Damon Adams for his work in making this leading clinical news magazine a critical part of our professional lives. Behind the scenes, and with little fanfare, Damon has become one of the most significant influencers in our profession by maintaining the highest level of professionalism and integrity in his role as editor-in-chief and as a well-known lecturer. Kudos!
Dr. Shuman is the CEO of Cellerant Consulting Group, dentistry’s leading corporate incubator and accelerator. He is a venturer-in-residence at Harvard’s i-Lab, the chairman of the technology advisory board at WEO Media, a member of the editorial advisory board for a number of publications, and founder of the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards. He can be reached at email@example.com.