Monday, February 25, 2013

Recap from the Chicago MidWinter Meeting

Well I am back… and sort of recovering from the biggest meeting in the MidWest.  Every year, I head off to Chicago for lecturing and/or research on the latest and greatest my profession has to offer.  This year, it certainly didn't disappoint...

 

There are usually two shows where manufacturers tend to do their major product announcements here in the US.  The first is the annual American Dental Association meeting.  The meeting is held in the mid-fall time range and its location rotates throughout the country.

 

The second is Chicago which is always held near the end of February and features an exhibit hall that rivals the ADA meeting.

 

Dental innovation seems to run in a bit of punctuated equilibrium where some years you see lots of innovations announced with other years much less.  Until you make the journey, it's difficult to predict what type of year it will be.  This year was an amazing crop of innovation, some of which was announced here in posts that both preceded the show (See?  It pays to read this blog… I have connections… trust me) and were also announced during the show.

 

Here's a recap of some of the things that were announced here in the last few posts.  I'll be working on getting more posts about other innovations I saw throughout the days ahead.

icat FLX.jpg

 

i-CAT FLX

Imaging Sciences International (ISI) is synonymous with cone beam 3D imaging.  The company has long been known for great hardware & software.  The images are amazing and the company has a serious commitment to innovation.  When ISI puts something new into the market, the market takes notice.  That was certainly the case with the new i-CAT FLX.

 

The idea behind the device is indicated in its name.  The FLX is designed to be flexible in the way it can be used.  It allows for a large number of views so that only the area needed is scanned.  This allows the device to decrease radiation exposure to the patient.  It also features a new software system called SmartScan STUDIO which sports a touchscreen interface.

 

However, the most impressive aspect of the FLX is the fact that it can produce a true 3D image of a patient with a clear resolution that requires less radiation exposure than a traditional 2D digital panoramic.   That's right, for the first time in the history of 3D dental imaging, you can now get a full scan of a patient for less exposure than digital 2D.  Over the years that I've been lecturing on cone beam, one of the most frequent questions I get is regarding when 3D will replace 2D as the "go to" and most common image we take of our new patients.

 

I've always said that I'm sure at some point in the future we will reach that point, but I was never sure when that would be.  Now with the ability to get exponentially more data with less exposure, that time is here.

 

Gendex SRT-GXDP-700 - Before and After.jpeg

Gendex SRT

SRT stands for Scatter Reduction Technology.  The image above is a great example of what this will do.

 

In 3D, one of the battles for image quality has revolved around reflection of rays which cause some bleeding over of the reflection into & onto adjacent surfaces & teeth.  Called "scatter" this is something that can frequently interfere with the diagnostic quality of a scan.

 

Gendex announced an upgrade to their new GXDP-700 panoramic unit that greatly reduces the amount of scatter in an image.  This is a serious breakthrough that is only going to improve. 

 

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