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Chicago’s Midwinter Dental Meeting
Opportunities abound for the entire dental team at one of the biggest events of the year
Spread out like a large spider web over the city of Chicago, February’s 2014 Midwinter meeting is a labyrinth of small and large events that stretch from its anchor point at McCormick Place West on the South side of the city, to myriad hotel venues on the North side. The 4-day event was a blur of taxi rides and foot-burning walks through exhibit halls and meeting rooms as clinicians, technologists, and other auxiliary dental team members raced from venue to venue to attend clinical and technical lectures, business presentations, press conferences, and live demonstrations, as well as to get a glimpse of the many new product innovations launched by the hundreds of manufacturers exhibiting at the events.
Kicked off Wednesday morning at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, the Midwinter event began with the Dental Trade Alliance’s Future Trends Forum: Women in Dentistry panel presentation, detailing the dramatic shift in dental profession demographics, and was quickly followed by the DTA 2014 Preview Show, a tabletop event for global manufacturers, suppliers, and buyers seeking to establish new business relationships.
The next 3 days were host to some 20+ separate specialty events, many devoted to or inclusive of the dental technology industry and featuring dental technologist presentations. Following are highlights from some of those events and major new product launches that took place.
Kicking off a hectic few days, on Thursday morning more than 35 female leaders in the dental laboratory industry gathered at Chicago’s Yolk restaurant for the second annual Women in Dental Technology Breakfast. And that was just the beginning.
Dedicated to serving the business needs of its more than 200-member domestic and international laboratories, the Cal-Lab Group held its annual two-day event at the Westin Hotel beginning Thursday morning. Presided over by Board of Directors Chair Billy Drake, CDT, the business meeting opened with a members-only closed forum, followed by an important update on federal and state regulations impacting the dental technology industry by Eric Thorn. Notable presentations during the two days included Mark Maier, MBA, Susan Van Kinsbergern, CDT, and Peter Pizzi, CDT, MDT, who outlined how laboratories could integrate digital solutions for titanium bars and screw-retained structures into their business model; a presentation by Terry Fine on how to manage the growing role of social media; Matt Roberts, CDT, AAACD showing members how he integrates digital technology in solving all-ceramic reconstructive cases; and Dr. Mark Murphy, who provided members with his perspective on the current and future state of the industry. A captivating and reality-based panel discussion led by Jim Gorgol CDT, Don Albensi CDT, Nelson Rego, CDT, and Barbara Wojdan, CDT examined metrics for digital production in each of their different size operations.
Over at the Swiss Hotel on Thursday, the American Prosthodontic Society (APS) was holding their 86th annual 2-day meeting. As one of the few clinical societies welcoming dental technologists as members, the APS offered a robust educational program this year with a line up of such notable speakers as Rella Christensen, RDH, PhD, Dr. Walter Turbyfill, Joe Bly, CDT, and Paul Child, DMD, CDT. The APS honored Robert Kreyer, CDT Thursday afternoon with the Dr. Kenneth D. Award for his significant contributions to the advancement of the dentist/dental technologist team concept.
Friday and Saturday were jam-packed with specialty events, starting with the annual Jensen Days education day held at the Swiss Hotel with presentations and hands-on demonstrations by such notables as Master Dental Technicians Peter Pizzi, Walter Gebbard, Joachim Maier, Thomas Singh, and Jason Kim. Bego held a two-day Mastering Frameworks lecture and table demonstration event at the Sheraton Hotel Friday and Saturday with lectures on balancing analog and digital workflow by Susan van Kinsbergen, CDT, optimizing digital design settings for best results by Al Fillastre, Jr., CDT, overcoming soft tissue deficiencies by Peter Pizzi, CDT, MDT, and a panel discussion led by Dell Dine, CDT on a comparative analysis of open scan systems and software platforms. During the lunch session on Saturday, Bego’s retiring General Manager Bill Oremus, was honored with a special presentation.
Other events taking place included Nobel Biocare’s training and education series on Saturday with programs focused on the team approach for multi-implant restorations by Drs. Andrew Bock, Terry Nedbalski, and Thomas Wade, CDT, zirconia’s fundamental role in esthetic implantology by CDTs Luc and Patrick Rutten, and virtual implant planning collaboration using NobelClinician by Dr. Andrew Bock and Jeff Kestig.
GC and Renfert joined forces on Saturday at the Fountain View Room at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers to present a series of lectures including those by Tom Zaleske, Mike Dominguez, CDT, Luke Kahng, CDT, and Josh Polanksy, BA, MDC. Vident also held a lecture and demo event on both days featuring lectures by Dr. Mark Murphy, Bill Mrazek, CDT, Dennis Purinton, CDT, and Vanik Jinoian, MDT. Whip Mix, Bego, and Preat held a co-op program on Friday titled “Creative Edge Symposium,” with a special presentation by Dr. William Perry and Robert Kreyer, CDT that ended with an interactive and lively discussion on materials and approaches to implant prosthetic cases. Ivoclar Vivadent also offered an all-day event on Saturday with lectures by Matt Roberts, CDT AAACD, Lee Culp, CDT, AAACD, Nelson Rego, CDT, AAACD and a team presentation by Dr. Ken Malamet and Thomas Sing, MDT.
New Product Launches
The Midwinter did not disappoint in terms of bringing new innovations in materials and equipment to the dental industry. Most notable among the new product launches this year was revealed at a 3Shape press conference held at McCormick Place, where the company unveiled the latest addition to the Trios digital impression scanner. The company has integrated a shade measurement system into the scanning technology, which allows analyzation of tooth color in the Vita shade designations. Now the laboratory will not only receive a color scan of a patient’s intraoral situation for production of a model and restoration, but will also be provided with images that outline the surface characteristics of adjacent teeth as well as color measurements for fabricating an exact replica restoration. The company also unveiled a new version of the D900 model scanner. Called the Model 900L, the scanner features a larger interior platform for scanning an articulated model.
3D Systems showcased its newest entry into the 3D printing arena. Small, compact, and economically priced, the micro-SLA ProJet 1200 sports a 1.69x1.06-inch build platform, and is able to print 10 wax units an hour in 30-micron layers at a 585 dpi resolution. Nearby, Stratasys introduced their next-generation 3D printer, the Objet 260V Dental Advantage, which offers a more cost-effective price point for model and surgical guide production. According to Avi Cohen, Director Global Dental Stratasys, the build platform is 20% to 40% percent larger and print time is 33% faster than other dental 3D printers on the market. In addition, the company introduced a new VeroGlaze material available in A2 color for printing diagnostic waxups, models, and try-in veneers. It is the first step seen thus far toward being able to print end-use restorative solutions in Vita shades.
Ivoclar Vivadent also took a notable step with the introduction of the Wieland Select milling unit. The newest unit in this product line offers a sturdy holder the company calls the e.matrix, which can accommodate up to six IPS e.max® blocks. Eight e.matrix holders can be loaded into the system at a time for high-production continuous milling of up to 48 IPS e.max full contour restorations.
EnvisonTec’s 3Dent 3D model printer with 3SP technology now comes with a booster package, offering a high-production solution that reduces printing time to two hours for the full build envelope. Al Siblani, CEO hinted that exciting new material options and applications would be coming later this year.
Exocad announced that 3M/Jensen Lava ST1 and ST2, 3Shape, and Renishaw-made scanners can now be supported by the exoscan module. Users of these scanners can now upgrade to an exocad-based system for only the cost of the software. The company also revealed that the software now would support of the 3M True Definition and open 3Shape TRIOS® digital impression scanners, including the full-color scan import from the Trios.
Dental Wings launched and demonstrated their LiveLink™ implant planning and guided surgery software. LiveLink allows technologists and dentists to work together in real time when planning implant cases, thus assuring all surgical and restorative factors are considered prior to implant placement.
Among other product launches shown at the Midwinter meeting were upgrades to Roland’s DWX-4. An expanded 4-position automatic tool changer has been added to the unit as well as a multi-pin clamp for milling up to four pin-type materials simultaneously. Harvest Dental showcased its ZCAD Temp Esthetic, a millable multi-layered provisional material. Amann Girrbach also introduced a new millable material called Ceramill Zolid, a translucent zirconia for fabricating full contour monolithic restorations that now comes in three pre-shaded blanks. The expanded system also includes a wide range of Ceramill Liquid shading liquids that now include all 16 Vita Classic shades.
The E4D CAD/CAM system has been relabeled by Planmeca after their January 2014 strategic investment in the company, along with Ivoclar Vivadent and distributor Henry Schein. Branding for the system has been changed to the PlanMill milling unit, PlanScan scanner, and PlanCAD Premium software. These products are now distributed through Zahn Dental.
Shofu showcased its new EyeSpecial C-II digital dental camera. Designed exclusively for dentistry, the camera is lightweight with a large LCD touchscreen that allows scrolling through images. Compatible with an Eye-Fi Pro X2 card, images can be instantly transferred and uploaded onto a computer, tablet, or smartphone.