Thursday, July 29, 2021

Experience with iTero Element 5D Plus


As promised yesterday, here is a fairly long post about my experiences with the newest scanner from iTero.  Hopefully this provides some of you with the insight into the product that you need to make a decision of whether it is right for your practice or not...

I still remember it like it was yesterday, only it was fifteen years ago… fifteen years! I was walking the exhibit floor of the American Dental Association meeting in Las Vegas when I came across a very small booth with a very intriguing device. The company was Cadent and the device was named iTero.

It was a digital impression system, but unlike the other systems at the time, it didn’t also come with a mill.  The unit acquired a digital  impression and then, using WiFi, sent the data to a Cadent milling facility where huge mills turned all of those 1s and 0s into an actual hard plastic model and then sent the model to the doctor’s lab.

As a tech lover I was intrigued.  At long last there was a company for all the doctors that wanted the advantages of digital impressions but didn’t want to buy or use a mill.  I began to do my research and before long, I owned a unit. My staff was thrilled and once we implemented our iTero into our workflow, we never looked back.

A few years later, we upgraded by purchasing the then state of the art iTero Element unit.  The staff and I were thrilled with the improvements to both the hardware and the software of the system. I had originally planned on having the staff use both of my iTero units, but the Element was so much faster and easier, that our first unit quickly began gathering dust as the Element took over.

So after all of this time using their products, I was more than thrilled when the company reached out to Dental Products Report and myself with the idea of letting me do a Test Drive on their latest and greatest unit, the iTero Element 5D Plus.

First Look

I love watching devices evolve and the Element line is no exception.  The unit has taken the advantages of the original Element unit and improved upon them.  The stand is more stable and more aesthetic.  The wheelbase has been expanded a bit and the length of the wheel arms extended slightly which greatly increases stability.  The unit has also been given some light and dark accents that give it much more of a ‘space age’ look.

The unit was shipped to us disassembled and my trusty assistant and ‘fix-it gal’ Nicky had it assembled and ready to roll in less than a lunch break.  When she first turned the unit on we were asked to connect to our secure WiFi and then to input our account information.  Being existing iTero customers, we put in our customer information and within moments all of our previous cases and settings were downloaded from The Cloud and we were ready to roll.  It was easy and impressive.  

In the Clinic

In order to better keep track of how the Element 5D Plus performed, I decided that for the length of our Test Drive we would use ONLY the Element 5D. Plus.  So we took our beloved Element and mothballed it until the Test Drive was over.

Our office is a three doctor practice and all clinical personnel are trained on using our iTero.  So needless to say, there was a bit of jockeying to see who got to use the Element 5D Plus first.  I think that alone says something about the unit.  We already had a unit everyone was familiar with but everyone wanted a turn with the new one.  I’m pretty sure that Nicky pulled the trump card of “Hey, I assembled this unit” because she got the first case.

We were both blown away.  The screen resolution is *stunning*.  Details are easily and clearly identified and the scans are gorgeous.  The processing power is also downright impressive.  We always position the iTero so that the patient can easily see the monitor while the scan is taking place and the speed with which the data appears on the screen is phenomenal.  When I started with digital impressions in the late 90s the operator was actually taking photos with the device by tapping a foot pedal and then when enough still images had been acquired, the system’s software would assemble those still images into a 3D digital representation.

Watching the iTero Elements 5D Plus scan the mouth is akin to watching water flow over an object.  The system takes thousands of images per second and combined with the processing power of the device, the scan appears smoothly and precisely.  Patients are practically hypnotized by the experience.  The color depth allows for easy margin discernment and the resolution allows the user to enlarge the image on the screen with no loss of detail.

One other clinical feature bears mentioning.  I love efficiency and the time savings it brings.  In the past when moving our iTero from operatory to operatory, it was necessary to power the unit down, wheel it in, plug it in, and then go through the boot sequence.  While it wasn’t a tremendous weakness, it did impede clinical progress on many occasions.  Being a three doctor practice there are times when the scanner is in use by another clinical team while the second team waits for the unit.  The power down and power up steps simply added time to the process.  Now that problem is history.  The Elements 5D Plus comes with a built-in battery.  That means when one team is done, the unit can be unplugged and moved to where it is needed next without fussing with the ‘power problem’.  Now the unit is wheeled in, plugged in, and working on the next case in a matter of seconds.  This has saved time and, more importantly, frustration for clinical personnel.


The clinical results have been phenomenal.  The cases we have performed with the help of the Elements 5D Plus have been accurate and the prosthetics require minimal chair time to seat.  One of the best things about iTero scans is the time they save both on the front end and the back end.  The system is fast and accurate on the front end and this leads to incredible accuracy on the back end.  In the old days of analogue impressions when a case went to place with no adjustments it was a high-five moment.  Now when adjustments are necessary we evaluate what happened on the front end to make that happen.  Our expectations are now that cases fit with minimal to NO adjustments.

It’s also a tremendous advantage of the system that our lab receives the case within minutes.  We can discuss the case with the lab if need be almost as soon as it is done.  It also means for cases that are done model-less, the lab can begin to design the case practically before the patient has left our office.

The scans have also been used to create restorations with our Axsys 5x 400 mill.  Obviously having a mill is not a requirement to have the iTero experience in your office, but if you do own a mill or are considering purchasing one, your iTero scanner will provide incredibly accurate data for your design process.

Additional Applications

The Elements 5D Plus is a terrific intraoral scanner, but it does more… much more.  In addition to scanning cases for fixed prosthetics, the device has several other uses.

Intraoral Camera

In addition to scanning, the system can also take beautiful intraoral images.  This is a nice time saver/efficiency booster for documenting things.  Need to have photos of your preparation to send to third party payers?  No need to stop and pick up your operatory intraoral camera.  You can take those photos directly with the iTero.


I think all of us have probably had the experience of saying to a patient something along the lines of, “Your teeth are showing signs of excessive wear.”   Only to be met by the response, ‘No they aren’t.”  Or, “It looks like you are grinding your teeth.” And we hear, “No I’m not.”

My undergrad Psychology degree has always wondered why so many people have a hard time admitting to bruxism, but they sure do.  I tend to think it’s because they don’t realize they are doing it, combined with the fact that they cannot see it either.  These situations are much easier to deal with due to one of the great iTero features, the Occlusogram.  Now rather than *telling* a patient they brux, within a few seconds you can *show* them.  In my office we prefer to scan and discuss what we see before we even mention the problem verbally.  This makes the acceptance of the situation much easier.

Humans are visual creatures.  Over 85% of what we discern about our environment comes through our eyes.  The Occlusogram plays to that advantage.  It shows the teeth with a color ‘weather radar’ appearance that clearly identifies the patients wear patterns.  It is a tremendous educational tool and is a great adjunct to our office philosophy of Focus, Educate, Relationships.


Have you ever monitored a patient for several years and at an exam you really wish you could show them how the condition of their dentition has changed over the last few years?  This magic is now at your fingertips.  iTero’s TimeLapse feature does just that.  If you scan a patient multiple  times over the span of their time in your office, the Elements 5D Plus can combine those scans and create a video that shows the changes that have occurred right before the patient’s eyes.  

This is a powerful tool that can provide, literally, years of data in the span of a few seconds and greatly increases patient understanding.  Because the Elements 5D Plus scans so quickly and is so easy to use, we have incorporated scanning every new patient to the practice.  This is helping us to build a baseline of patient data.  Our goal is to incorporate a digital scan into our normal six month hygiene visits.  This will allow us to easily and efficiently monitor every patient.

Near Infrared Imaging

Another benefit built into the Elements 5D Plus is the implementation of Near Infrared Imaging.  NIR (pronounced NEAR) in science circles, is a tremendous addition to the digital scans acquired by the system.  

The infrared spectrum is outside of the visual spectrum so the energy is invisible to the human eye, but this harmless wavelength easily penetrates tooth structure.  This allows the Elements 5D Plus to also operate as an incredibly accurate and powerful transillumination device.  As the operator moves the wand around the teeth, the NIR energy is passed through the tooth and picked up by the camera.  After completing the scan, the operator can tap an icon on the screen and see the scan through the eyes of NIR imaging.

Viewing the dentition through NIR is one more data gathering tool for the doctor to help render a clinical decision.  Combining things such as NIR with the data acquired through digital radiographs can add accuracy to a clinical situation that might have been difficult to create a diagnosis with a high degree of certainty without these extra data points.  NIR is also non-ionizing meaning that it can be used on pregnant patients and young children without any concern regarding radiation.

Whether used as a diagnostic scan in hygiene or reviewing scans taken for routine prosthetic cases, NIR is a feature that is accurate, always on, and simple to use.  During our Test Drive I encountered several areas of decay that I would otherwise have not identified.


Acceptance of digital scanners is continuing to increase in the profession; now at a bit over 30%.  The current generation of systems are highly accurate and easy to use.  I no longer hear questions about their ability to capture correctly or the fit of prosthetics made from digital scans.  My office is now to the point of taking an analogue impression for fixed prosthetics about twice a year or one every six months.  

A full mouth scan takes approximately 5 minutes.  For a team member that has never used a scanner previously it might take a bit longer at first, but the learning curve is ridiculously short.  Even our study models are now done digitally and the models created using our 3D printer.  Gone are the days where study models were taken in alginate and then poured immediately to minimize distortion.  Cases are stored in The Cloud and can be reprinted easily if the need arises.

Also as I mentioned previously, the seating of cases is tremendously easier than before.  Single unit cases (which are the majority of cases seated in the average general dental practice) are frequently accomplished in 10 minutes.  We normally block 30 minutes for a single unit seat, but it is now a rare occasion when it takes longer than 10 minutes.  

While I’m at it, allow me to let you in on a secret… patients *hate* impressions.  They are fascinated and impressed with the Elements 5D Plus and they talk about it to their friends and relatives.  One of the unseen benefits of the system is that the technology markets itself.  We get referrals based on digital impressions and our overall use of technology to improve patient outcomes.

Wrapping Up

I’ve been an iTero client for well over a decade… for good reasons.  However, I’m not just impressed with the Elements 5D Plus simply because of that fact.  No, I’m impressed because the system does so darn many things!  I also feel that as a long term client I have a better appreciation for how much their systems have improved.

Caries detection, occlusal analysis, time lapse videos, intraoral photography, and digital impressions are all wrapped up in a highly aesthetic and highly mobile high tech package.  I know a lot of you that have not yet made the jump to digital are weighing your options.  The lack of trade shows for over a year hasn’t helped.  However, if you are looking to make a purchase in the not too distant future and you saw an iTero unit a few years ago, you owe it to yourself to take a close look at the Elements 5D. Plus  

Suffice it to say if you haven’t seen iTero haven’t seen iTero.

Oh… one other detail I should tell you.  There is a time limit to my Test Drives and there always comes that point in the process when the product has to be sent back to the company that was gracious enough to allow me to have time to evaluate it.

This time was a bit different.  I was so impressed with the Elements 5D Plus that I called the company and had them start the paperwork so that I could have one of my very own.  In just a couple of months the technology had become indispensable to my team and I.  The Elements 5D Plus is an impressive device.  I’m so impressed that I cannot do without it.  I think you will feel the same way.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

iTero Element 5D Plus Test Drive


The world of digital impressions continues to expand.  Market penetration is getting higher, with well over 18% of offices now embracing the technology. 

We started the process of doing digital impressions in the fall of 2008.  At that time I purchased the original Cadent iTero.  At that point in the curve, there were not too many devices that allowed you to send cases to a lab for fabrication.  Back then it was more of in office CAD/CAM systems.

Times have changed a lot in the last 13 years.  We recently have been working with the latest device from iTero, the Element 5D Plus.  The company reached out in the early spring to see if I would be interested in putting their latest scanner through its paces in my office and, of course, I said yes.

Tomorrow I'll be posting about the experience and what I think of the unit.  This is the fourth iTero device I've worked with in my career.  I started out with the original, then I worked with the company during the beta of generation 2.  I purchased the original iTero Element (which was the first tablet style device) and now the Element 5D Plus.  I feel like having experience with so many models has given me a decent depth of experience to draw from as I check out the changes and improvements. 

I'll give my final report tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Amazing Drone Video of 400m Freestyle Swimming Relay


As a drone enthusiast, I enjoy researching on the subject and I'm always on the hunt for new piece of hardware to add.  One of the websites I check out on a regular basis is DroneDJ.  They do a really nice job reporting on the latest developments in the drone industry as well as sharing incredible videos that they come across.

Today's post is about one of those videos.  I really enjoy watching videos that others have shot with their flying camera systems.  Sometimes it's the landscape and the view while at other times it's about the skill of the operator and a "how did they do that?" moment as I watch.

The video of a 400m Freestyle Swimming Relay, is crazy good.  The pilot is Will Strathmann and he has got some serious piloting skills.  The camera work actually looks like it was shot with a crane.  It is smooth and captures some incredible flybys.  When you watch this be sure to remember that this is ONE person with a flying camera that is capturing this event.

DroneDJ did a great job on the story of Mr. Strathmann as well as discussing the event.  They also have some links to some of Strathmann's other work which is also impressive.  Also, in case I don't have this video formatted correctly for this page, you can see it better at YouTube.  

Monday, July 26, 2021

My Experiences with AMD's New Monet Handheld Curing Laser

Curing is an interesting subject. In some ways, in its history curing has changed a lot… and in some ways it's changed very little. Let me give you an example of what I mean.

In the early days of light curing we used actual light bulbs to produce enough of the proper wavelength of light needed for polymerization.   These were replaced by “high speed curing lights” that used powerful halogen bulbs to create stronger beams with greater curing potential.  However, even though they were more powerful, halogen bulbs still required long curing times.  Back then 40-60 seconds per increment was not unheard of.  That’s because those light bulbs put out all kinds of different wavelengths of light and it took time for enough of them to cause photopolymerization.  It was akin to throwing spaghetti against the wall and hoping enough would stick.  

The industry’s ‘Holy Grail’ became the sub thirty second cure.  Companies tried tips that better focused the energy (called Turbo Tips) and there was even a type of light referred to as a PAC Light which stood for Plasma Arc Curing that could give a fast cure, but they were expensive and bulky.

Then in 2000-2001 the LED curing light took the market by storm.  Suddenly dental curing lights were powerful and small.  Within five years, curing lights using bulbs were practically off the market; replaced by smaller and more reliable LED systems that provided amazing results in adhesive dentistry.

Here’s a little bit of dental trivia that you probably don’t know.  Every time you use a LED curing light, you should thank its inventor, Densen Cao, PhD.  He’s the man who invented this amazing device.  Now why would I mention Dr. Cao in a discussion of a new curing light?  It’s because he is also the inventor of the handheld curing laser.

And who better to stand the world of curing lights on its collective head than the man who has already done it once?  Welcome to another game changing piece of hardware from the fertile mind of Densen Cao.

Over the past twenty years we have seen tremendous strides made in our curing lights.  Intensity has increased and power needs have decreased.  Today lights can cure an increment in 5 seconds and are cordless, going days without needing a charge.  So where do we go from here?

The next generational jump in curing is the Monet curing laser.  There has never before been a curing laser that fits in the palm of your hand.  The Monet takes over with properties only a laser can bring… the most important being collimation.  

With any light other than a laser, photons spread out in all directions as they leave the source.  However with a laser they all move in a tight beam that basically forms a column of photons (hence the term collimation) .  This means that every photon produced strikes the target.  Why is this important?  It gives the laser more power and greater depth of cure.  Simply put, there is very little waste of curing energy from a laser.

There is also a terrific advantage to laser cured restorations.  With “normal” curing lights it is imperative to be as close to the restoration as possible. If an LED light moves even 2 or 3mm away from the restoration, the amount of curing power that the light delivers decreases exponentially.  Lasers, due to their collimation, can properly cure a composite even if it is several millimeters from the target.  This means that you get a properly cured restoration every time.  

I’ve spent a lot of time in dental offices in my career and there is one mistake that I’ve noticed time and again.  An assistant puts the curing light close to the target and then looks away, in an effort to protect their eyes.  However the simple act of looking away often means the light moves away from the target and the LED beam intensity drops.  The material cures on the surface, but doesn’t receive sufficient depth of cure.  The result is what i call “candy composites” which are “crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside”.  This creates all kinds of problems later, as we all know.  That same situation would never happen with the Monet as the beam intensity is sufficient for a properly cured composite even if the device isn’t next to the target.

The collimation also means better depth of cure.  When using a laser, every photon that is produced hits the target.  This creates an incredibly strong restoration because the strength of the beam penetrates deep into the material.  AMD’s in-house measurements have found a depth of cure of up to 8mm.  Think about that for a moment.  Now, for argument's sake let’s say that number is actually 6mm.  Given the stat that over 80% of class 2 restorations are 5mm or less, that means the Monet has just changed 80% of your restorations to bulk fill even if the material is not designed to be bulk fill.  And that means your efficiency just took a really big boost.

It has always been popular for a curing device to have a variety of settings for intensity and time.  The Monet completely changes that concept.  It has one button that produces one three second curing cycle.  That’s all there is because that is all you need. 

The curing head can rotate 360 degrees so the user can position it with ease.  It also comes with 2 interchangeable batteries to insure the Monet is always ready.  The device also comes with laser protective eye glasses which should always be worn when using the device.  Lasers have a strong beam and eye protection is a must when using one.

The Monet provides intensity that makes composites stronger, increases efficiency, and is competitively priced.

If you are in the market for a curing light, you owe it to your patients to check out the Monet.  It will take your curing to a whole new level!

Disclaimer:  I received a very early prototype of the Monet that gave me the opportunity to work with it before it was available for sale.  This spring after the product launch, AMD Lasers asked Dental Products Report if I would do a "Product Test Drive" on the Monet.  This article is part of that project and I was compensated for the work involved with that product evaluation.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

FDA Looking at Early to MidWinter Rollout of COVID-19 Vaccine for Six to Twelve Year Olds


Good news for parents with younger children.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for a Covid-19 vaccine safe to administer to children  under 12 may be available midwinter of 2021-2022.

As you might know, the current recommendations are for children 12 and over.  That leaves younger children reliant on masks for safety and if you are a paren't, you know how easy it is to get a youngster to keep a mask on.

So this is great news for parents with kids in that age group.  Of course, the medication will still be under EUA, which might give some parents pause, but I would rather have my child vaccinated than risk them becoming infected with Covid-19.

Another thing to note, which is a good thing for parents, is that the FDA is going to have 4 to 6 months of follow up data prior to allowing the use on children under 12.  When the testing was being done for the 12 and over group the FDA only required 2 months of data.  While not an extremely long time, that is still two to three times longer than for adults, which I think is wise.

The EUA won't last forever either.  At some point the vaccination will gain full approval.

Here is the press release from the FDA regarding the clearance for 12 to 15 years of age.  I think this info gives a lot of info that shows the caution they are taking with this and this should apply to the next cleared age groups as well.  This was released on May 10th.

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to include adolescents 12 through 15 years of age. The FDA amended the EUA originally issued on Dec. 11, 2020 for administration in individuals 16 years of age and older.

“The FDA’s expansion of the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to include adolescents 12 through 15 years of age is a significant step in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. “Today’s action allows for a younger population to be protected from COVID-19, bringing us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic. Parents and guardians can rest assured that the agency undertook a rigorous and thorough review of all available data, as we have with all of our COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorizations.”

From March 1, 2020 through April 30, 2021, approximately 1.5 million COVID-19 cases in individuals 11 to 17 years of age have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Children and adolescents generally have a milder COVID-19 disease course as compared to adults. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is administered as a series of two doses, three weeks apart, the same dosage and dosing regimen for 16 years of age and older.

The FDA has determined that Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine has met the statutory criteria to amend the EUA, and that the known and potential benefits of this vaccine in individuals 12 years of age and older outweigh the known and potential risks, supporting the vaccine’s use in this population. 

“Having a vaccine authorized for a younger population is a critical step in continuing to lessen the immense public health burden caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “With science guiding our evaluation and decision-making process, the FDA can assure the public and medical community that the available data meet our rigorous standards to support the emergency use of this vaccine in the adolescent population 12 years of age and older.”

The FDA has updated the Fact Sheets for Healthcare Providers Administering the Vaccine (Vaccination Providers) and for Recipients and Caregivers with information to reflect the use of the vaccine in the adolescent population, including the benefits and risks of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.

The EUA amendment for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine was issued to Pfizer Inc. The issuance of an EUA is not an FDA approval (licensure) of a vaccine. The EUA will be effective until the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of the emergency use of drugs and biologics for prevention and treatment of COVID-19 is terminated, and may be revised or revoked if it is determined the EUA no longer meets the statutory criteria for issuance or to protect public health or safety.

FDA Evaluation of Available Safety Data

The available safety data to support the EUA in adolescents down to 12 years of age, include 2,260 participants ages 12 through 15 years old enrolled in an ongoing randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial in the United States. Of these, 1,131 adolescent participants received the vaccine and 1,129 received a saline placebo. More than half of the participants were followed for safety for at least two months following the second dose.

The most commonly reported side effects in the adolescent clinical trial participants, which typically lasted 1-3 days, were pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, chills, muscle pain, fever and joint pain. With the exception of pain at the injection site, more adolescents reported these side effects after the second dose than after the first dose, so it is important for vaccination providers and recipients to expect that there may be some side effects after either dose, but even more so after the second dose. The side effects in adolescents were consistent with those reported in clinical trial participants 16 years of age and older. It is important to note that as a general matter, while some individuals experience side effects following any vaccination, not every individual’s experience will be the same and some people may not experience side effects.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine should not be given to anyone with a known history of a severe allergic reaction, including anaphylaxis—to any component of the vaccine. Since its authorization for emergency use, rare severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, have been reported following administration of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine in some recipients.

FDA Evaluation of Available Effectiveness Data

The effectiveness data to support the EUA in adolescents down to 12 years of age is based on immunogenicity and an analysis of COVID-19 cases. The immune response to the vaccine in 190 participants, 12 through 15 years of age, was compared to the immune response of 170 participants, 16 through 25 years of age. In this analysis, the immune response of adolescents was non-inferior to (at least as good as) the immune response of the older participants. An analysis of cases of COVID-19 occurring among participants, 12 through 15 years of age, seven days after the second dose was also conducted. In this analysis, among participants without evidence of prior infection with SARS-CoV-2, no cases of COVID-19 occurred among 1,005 vaccine recipients and 16 cases of COVID-19 occurred among 978 placebo recipients; the vaccine was 100% effective in preventing COVID-19. At this time, there are limited data to address whether the vaccine can prevent transmission of the virus from person to person. In addition, at this time, data are not available to determine how long the vaccine will provide protection.

Ongoing Safety Monitoring

As part of the original EUA request, Pfizer Inc. submitted a plan to continue monitoring the safety of the vaccine as it is used under EUA. This plan has been updated to include the newly authorized adolescent population, and includes longer-term safety follow-up for participants enrolled in ongoing clinical trials, as well as other activities aimed at monitoring the safety of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and ensuring that any safety concerns are identified and evaluated in a timely manner.

It is mandatory for Pfizer Inc. and vaccination providers to report the following to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine: all vaccine administration errors, serious adverse events, cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome and cases of COVID-19 that result in hospitalization or death.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Cellerant Consulting Announces Best of Class Hygiene Awards



Cellerant Best of Class Hygiene Award Program Launches for 2021

Washington, DC; July 21, 2021 – Cellerant Consulting Group is excited to announce the launch of the inaugural Cellerant Best of Class Hygiene Award Program. “Since 2009, the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards have identified and acknowledged the top technologies in dentistry,” said Melissa Turner, Chief Hygiene Officer at Cellerant. “We will now expand the program to focus on the dental hygiene community as well.”

“We recognize the importance of this critical and respected community,” said Dr. Lou Shuman, CEO of Cellerant and founder of the Best of Class Technology Awards. “Since first adding a hygiene division to Cellerant Consulting two years ago, the interest in dental hygiene products, services and brands has exploded, with much growth anticipated in the future. We’re proud to have brought together an expert selection panel of dental hygienists recognized as industry leaders from across the country.”

About The Cellerant Best of Class Hygiene Award

The Cellerant Best of Class Hygiene Award selection panel consists of 9 renowned thought leaders and educators who, over the course of each year, will seek out and conduct research on potentially practice-changing technologies, with deliberations on nominees and final voting taking place in February. Panelists are precluded from voting in any category where they have consulting relationships. The entire selection process is conducted and managed on a not-for-profit basis. This year’s winners will be announced in December 2021.

The Cellerant Best of Class Hygiene panel members include:

Melissa Turner, BASDH, RDHEP, EFDA- Chief Hygiene Officer, Cellerant Consulting; Editorial Advisory Board, RDH Magazine; Co-founder, National Mobile & Teledentistry Conference; Co-Founder, The Denobi Awards; Founder- I Heart Dentistry Network; Co-host, Dentistry Gone Wild; Co-creator, Oral Health United

Pamela Maragliano-Munez, RDH, DMD, FACP- Chief Development Officer, Cellerant Consulting; Editor In Chief, Dental Economics; Editorial Director, Dental Academy of Continuing Education; Associate clinical professor, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine

Andrew Johnston, RDH, BSBM- Director of Hygiene, Coast Dental; Co-host, A Tale of Two Hygienists

Amanda Hill, RDH, BSDH- Host, Your Dental Top 5; Editorial Advisory Board, RDH Magazine; Industry Educator, Dental Post; Certified Educator, OSAP-DALE Foundation

Brooke Crouch, RDH- Vice President, American Mobile & Teledentistry Alliance; Clinical Advisory Board Chair, Virginia Health Catalyst; Oral Health Action Team Chair, United Way of Roanoke Valley 

Kristin Goodfellow, RDH, BA- Clinical Director, OraCare Oral Rinse; 2013 Recipient, Proctor & Gamble’s Excellence in Patient Communication Award; Featured author, Dental Products Report & RDH Magazine

Michelle Strange, MSDH, RDH- Co-host, A Tale of Two Hygienists; Client Success Manager, MouthWatch; Co-founder, LevelUp Infection Prevention; Editorial Advisory Board, Dental Economics

Nancy Miller, RDH, BA- Founder, UltraConcepts; Clinical Advisor, Jameson Management; Adjunct Faculty & Clinical Instructor, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College;  

Sarah Crow, RDH- President-elect, ADHA Massachusetts; Co-founder MDHA Mentor Liaison Team; Recipient, Massachusetts Dental Society Hygienist of the Year; Recipient, Middlesex Community College Member of the Year; Feature Writer, ADHA Access Magazine

For more information on the Cellerant Best of Class Awards and winners, visit

About Cellerant Consulting Group

Founded and led by CEO Dr. Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, Cellerant is the leading dental incubator and accelerator currently servicing 42 dental companies. Cellerant provides strategic dental market insights, clinical expertise, implementation resources and support to accelerate growth for client dental companies. Cellerant services include new concept incubation, clinical product evaluation, product development, continuing education program development and CE sponsorship, strategic branding and marketing, online marketing, lead generation and dental media relations management. 

Press Contact

Melissa Turner, Chief Hygiene Officer, Cellerant Consulting Group

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Pegasus Malware from NSO Group Used to Target Human Rights Activists


Today we're going to veer off a little from healthcare and the virus...

The world of surveillance is a murky one, as you can well imagine.  In my early days of tech fascination I didn't really have much of an interest in digital security.  Like many people I figured if I wasn't doing anything to be concerned about, why would I worry about someone seeing what I did online or otherwise. The old adage of "I have nothing to hide" was how I looked at it.

However, with HIPAA and then the proliferation of identity theft and the like, my interest was triggered and I began to pay more attention to the security side of things.  It wasn't all consuming, but it for sure was more than a passing fancy.

My concerns increased when I long ago learned that not only could law enforcement do digital monitoring (however a search warrant was needed) but that there were companies out there who would sell incredibly powerful monitoring software to anyone who had the cash to purchase it.

I had always thought that governments employed cyber experts to create software that they could use to find "bad guys" who needed to be caught.  My naïveté didn't consider that there was money to made in that market.  

As it turns out, smaller countries with less money to spend than the United States, didn't have the financial wherewithal to have cyber teams creating software.  Instead they turned to a dark underworld of 'hackers for hire'.  There were 2 in particular that I began to hear about.  Hacking Team was out of Italy and NSO Group was out of Israel.  Both companies created apps that their clients could use to track users phones.

Those users, it turned out, didn't need to be criminals or terrorists.  No, it turned out that these smaller countries were just as concerned about journalists, politicians, activists, and members of non-governmental charities.

If you are interested in a small part of this, take a look at this Google search on Project Raven.  

Now comes a new breaking news story from The Guardian on NSO Group and their mobile device tracking software called Pegasus.  After a cooperative formed between several different research and news organizations, they have managed to put together a pretty incredible story of just part of what NSO Group and their customers have been up to.