Greeted by unseasonably warm spring-like weather, thousands of dental professionals converged in Chicago this February for the 152nd annual Chicago Dental Society’s Midwinter Meeting. Coming from all corners of the country as well as from abroad, dentists, specialists, staff, laboratory owners, and dental technicians ping-ponged between the south and north sides of the city to attend the more than 20 specialty meetings and large tradeshows that surround this major dental event. From uncovering the newly unveiled technologies on display in exhibit halls to learning the latest scientific research on clinical and technical materials, procedures, and manufacturing processes in specialty meetings, the Midwinter show this year was a rich educational blend for all dental team members.
In addition to the general admission and dental association events each year, the Chicago Midwinter is also host to a variety of important meetings, receptions, and member-only events that rarely receive coverage in the dental press. For this wrap-up of the Chicago Midwinter, Inside Dental Technology is providing insight on gatherings that may have flown below the radar of most attendees.
NADL 6th Annual Educators Conference
IDT Director of Professional Relations and Content Development Daniel Alter, MSc, MDT, CDT, and Editorial Advisory Board member Renata Budny, MBA, CDT, MDT, professors at New York City College of Technology, both attended this closed-door meeting. Attendees included educators from accredited dental technology programs across the US, as well as representatives from the National Association of Dental Laboratories (NADL), National Board for Certification (NBC), Foundation for Dental Laboratory Technology (FDLT), American Dental Association (ADA), Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), and American Dental Education Association (ADEA). Each representative reports on the activities and progress made by the organization over the past year as it relates to the dental technology industry.
Highlights noted by Alter include:
• Although slowing down, the decline in the number of dental laboratories operating in the US continues (6,376 with a payroll, 735 without a payroll), while the numbers of technicians employed by these laboratories is on the rise (45,031)
• Four states—WA, OH, NY, and CA—are working with the NADL to adopt certification, credentialing, or CE requirements
• The NADL is working with the ADA to target standards for chairside services performed by dental technicians
• Two of the remaining 16 accredited dental technology educational programs are in the “teaching out” phase, meaning that once their last technician graduates, that program will close
For Alter’s full report with accompanying data charts, go to insidedentaltech.com/idt940.
Cal-Lab Association Annual Meeting
Only 9 years away from celebrating its 100th year as an organization, the Cal-Lab Association hosted its members for a robust day-and-a-half of lectures February 23 and 24 on industry trends and business management topics at the Westin Hotel.
The theme of this year’s meeting was “Diversification: A Plan for Growth,” a business success philosophy shared with attendees by key laboratory owners who increased the value of their laboratories by implementing horizontal and vertical diversification strategies. Other topics tackled this year were increased activity by the FDA and OSHA and the ins and outs of adding sleep apnea devices to your product line. There were also panels of key industry leaders on the current state of the industry as well as its future. For more information about Cal-Lab and becoming a member, go to cal-lab.org.
CNC Group Meeting
The CNC Group, a national alliance of 62 dental laboratories, met on Wednesday evening at the Westin Hotel. The meeting included presentations by Sundeep Rawal, DMD, and Joseph M. DeSimone, PhD. Rawal spoke about the importance of laboratories serving as collaborative resources for dentists, among other topics. DeSimone, CEO and co-founder of Carbon3D, spoke about the company’s new 3D printing technology. For more information about the CNC Group, visit cncgroup.org.
Women in Dental Technology Breakfast
More than 50 women executives representing the laboratory, education, and manufacturing dental technology communities gathered at the Fairmont Hotel on February 23 for the 5th Annual WIDT Breakfast. Hosted by IDT and sponsored this year by Ivoclar Vivadent, the women participated in an inspiring Visions exercise to celebrate the contributions women make to the dental technology community and to society. For those who missed the Chicago WIDT event, there is another opportunity in April—a cocktail reception to be held Friday, April 7, hosted by the Dental Laboratory Association of Texas at their upcoming 2017 Southwest Conference in Grapevine, Texas.
Dentsply Sirona Opens New Production Facility in Japan
Dentsply Sirona’s new facility in Tokyo is an important step in the company’s effort to provide better and faster service and support for customers. It is the first to manufacture their complete digital solutions implants portfolio at the same location. The company sees this new production site as an important part of future development.
“We have really built this production facility for the future,” said Mitsutoshi Onoda, Vice President, Commercial Lead of Implants, Orthodontics, and Prosthetics at Dentsply Sirona Japan. “We have estimated the production capacity to manage a three- or four-fold increase of current sales. This means that initially we will probably also support other markets in Asia and the Pacific.”
From the start, the new facility will contain manufacturing equipment for Simplant guided surgery, Atlantis abutments, and Atlantis suprastructures. Centralized design and production will also shorten the lead times to customers and thus patients.
“Today we have a turn-around-time of about 7 days including design, production, verification, and shipping, as we need to use our facilities in Sweden, the United States, or Belgium. Now we can offer our customers delivery within 48 hours with the same high quality,” added Onoda.
Lars Henrikson, Group Vice President Dentsply Sirona Implants, concurred. “It is very important to us to be able to offer customers our total solutions portfolio, including our implant systems and digital solutions. With this world-class manufacturing facility, we can serve dental professionals and their patients better.”
The opening of the new facility is in conjunction with the World Summit Tour—the scientific congress on implant dentistry. Tokyo is the first stop of the World Summit Tour that will also visit San Diego, Nice, and Shanghai in 2017.