This is a teaser. I have spent the first quarter of the year running all over the globe accumulating information for my writings and lectures. Meetings in the United States such as the Yankee Dental and the Chicago Midwinter surely had a lot of new information about current and future products. The pinnacle of meetings, however–the International Dental Show (IDS)–was held last month in Cologne, Germany. The IDS is held every 2 years and serves as the international launch for many products as well as a showplace for existing ones. This is unlike any meeting you have ever attended. First of all, there are no real courses or CE, although there are many professional presentations. IDS is an industry showcase, business to business, as well as a giant press event. Imagine 4 buildings the size of Chicago Midwinter’s McCormick Place, some with 3 exhibit floors.
|Meeting with Francois Duret of Marseilles, France, considered to be the father of CAD/CAM dentistry, at this year’s International Dental Show in Cologne, Germany.|
|More than 138,500 visitors from 151 countries visited the show. For information on the 2017 IDS, visit ids-cologne.de.|
|Live demonstrations were commonplace at this year’s show, some involving complex surgeries.|
This year, according to an IDS press release, there were “a record-breaking 2,201 exhibitors from 56 countries and more than 138,500 visitors from 151 countries.” And at the meeting, there is a different philosophy of visitor/company rep interaction: instead of standing in a booth, you can sit down, relax, and talk to a rep while enjoying a cappuccino, soft drink, sandwich, and in some cases even a beer! Of course, these booths are of mammoth proportions, allowing room for multiple complete operatory setups as well as live demonstrations, including dental procedures (including complex surgery) right in the booths.
The technology side of the meeting focused on both the clinical as well as the laboratory side dentistry. There must have been 80 companies with CAD/CAM lab products ranging from model scanners to giant milling machines for restorations (ceramic, zirconia, and precious and nonprecious metals including titanium, for example). One company, Dental Wings, introduced a milling system that uses lasers instead of burs.
Many new 3-D printers were shown that created models, appliances, temporary restorations, and gold copings, and some even printing 3-D cone-beam scans with true bone and enamel color in actual size. One of the printers was accurate to 16 µm. Also, implants as well as treatment planning software were in abundance. I never knew there were so many international implant designs and manufacturers.
Of course, intraoral impression scanners were being introduced from familiar and unfamiliar companies. Some of the newer systems are very small, light, and inexpensive but at this time are clinically unproven, with limited trials. Several were in the prototype stage being readied for launch “by the end of the year,” but since the next show is in 2017, the companies felt it important to show what is coming. Cone-beam units of all sizes and configurations were introduced, offering the promise of more functions, smaller footprints, lower radiation, and more. Some of these units will not be immediately available in the United States since there are regulatory processes that must be followed. Terms like 510K, FDA approval, and others were brandished freely.
Restorative materials and related products including innovative suction tips, mirrors, lights, endodontic handpiece units, and more were well represented. Several new handpieces, both air-driven and electric, were also shown, with some impressive air turbine designs rivaling the torque of electrics. It should be noted that the Kavo Kerr Group introduced more than 30 new products representing all areas of dentistry.
As I said, this is a teaser. I have volumes of information to sort through, and I will be filling this column with eye-opening reports and reviews throughout the year.
Now I just need some sleep.