More than 1,000 dental professionals attended the third annual Glidewell Symposium in Orlando, Florida, to experience two days of clinical education designed to increase practice success for general dentists. President and CEO, Jim Glidewell, CDT, believes that providing quality education is a service that the world’s largest laboratory has a responsibility to provide its customers. “The technical products that we sell today require new knowledge and understanding. Dentists are hungry for information that is unbiased, so we aim to provide that to them.”
The symposium featured more than 25 distinguished speakers over the course of two days. The first day featured short, 20-minute lectures from the main podium, while the second day featured 38 2-hour breakout sessions. A total of 12 CE credits were available.
The technology on display stood out as well. One of the most talked-about exhibits at the symposium showcased Glidewell’s development of artificial intelligence (AI). The company has been working with the University of California, Berkeley, on AI for dental technology. “The world has changed so much,” Glidewell says. “AI is basically aggregating huge amounts of data to refine our digital techniques. We have millions of scans and designs in the cloud, so when we scan a lower-right first molar, the AI sorts through all the lower-right first molars, picks up an identical one, and uses that to perfect the design.”
Such technology was further showcased with hands-on viewings of the glidewell.io™ In-Office Solution, which uses AI-infused fastdesign.io™ Software to quickly propose natural-looking crown designs that can be forwarded to the lab for fabrication or milled chairside with the fastmill.io™ In-Office Mill. Featuring materials such as fully sintered BruxZir® NOW zirconia that can be produced and delivered in less than an hour, the glidewell.io solution offers dentists unprecedented control, flexibility, and laboratory support in their digital workflows.
The symposium also featured the unveiling of the ZERAMEX® XT Implant, the newest addition to Glidewell’s extensive line of implant products and services. Engineered to help clinicians provide lifelike esthetics for cases in the anterior or with thin tissue biotypes, this state-of-the-art, two-piece ceramic implant continues Glidewell’s tradition of providing its customers with the absolute best in ceramic restorations and implants to maximize patient satisfaction. “Glidewell is the leader in zirconia restorations, and ZERAMEX is the leader in zirconia implants,” says Glidewell COO Greg Minzenmayer. “It is a natural pairing that creates a completely esthetic solution for the demanding esthetic situation.”
Other topics covered at the symposium included the use of provisional restorations to optimize final restorative outcomes, guidelines in the use of monolithic zirconia, options and advantages when milling chairside, preparation design in the esthetic zone, small-diameter implants for denture stabilization, tips and techniques for increasing patient acceptance, bone density considerations for placing dental implants, the pros and cons of cemented or screw-retained implant restorations, guided surgery, monolithic full-arch implant restorations, emergency implant placement, and much more. Representatives of the Misch International Implant Institute were in attendance with information about their renowned surgical and prosthetic implant education programs, as were representatives of the inaugural class of Guiding Leaders, an exciting new professional development program for women in dentistry. Guiding Leaders will host its first-ever Guiding Leaders Summit April 24-25, 2020, in Huntington Beach, California, headlined by keynote speaker Dr. Rella Christensen.
“The industry is changing,” says Glidewell, whose memoir Constant Change is slated for release in 2020 to coincide with the company’s 50th anniversary. “We have some groundbreaking developments on the horizon. Combining digital technology with new materials will allow us to offer dentists better restorations with faster turnaround time. In the end, dentists are more successful, and more patients receive better care. That’s why we’re here.”
When questioned about his own future, Glidewell, 74, says he has no plans to slow down. “This is all I am. And I’m looking forward to the 2020 Glidewell Symposium in Anaheim.”