Sunday, February 24, 2008

Impressions for the Chicago Midwinter

Greetings from Midway airport as I wait for my return flight for KC.  The Chicago Midwinter is over (for me) and will be ending officially later today.

I was busy a good portion of my time in Chicago this year.  I had 3 lectures to do which didn't leave me a great deal of time to explore the show floor, but I thought I would offer my overall impressions about some things I heard about and some that I had a chance (although brief) to see.

My impressions:

  1. The meeting was very well attended.  Friday especially the show floor was packed.  This is in stark contrast to last year when a major winter storm moved in and lots of people were forced to leave early.
  2. The vendors were happy.  The vendors I had a chance to speak with were overall happy with the attendance and the contact they made with doctors.
  3. 3M's Lava COS (Chairside Oral Scanner) looks ready for prime time.  I had a chance to see it privately at the ADA in San Francisco and it is much improved in its present form.  At the ADA I asked to take a photo and was politely asked not to.  Now I can understand why as the unit is very streamlined and much more polished.  3M was showing demos of the unit in the booth.  The technology looks very promising.  I'd love to get some hands-on time with it to really offer my opinions.  The website for the device is here.
  4. Gendex was purchased a while back by Danaher as was iCat.  At this meeting we saw one of the synergies of these 2 companies as Gendex announced the arrival of the GB-CX500 powered by iCat.  One of my friends privately dubbed it the "gCat" which I like a lot.  The device is a more affordable version and doesn't appear to offer all of the bells and whistles of its big brother the iCat, but it could prove a very useful solution for those looking to acquire a CBCT on a budget.  The website for the device is here.
  5. If you own a company that makes impression materials, you should be concerned.  Digital impression systems are really beginning to appear on the market.  In addition to the 3M Lava COS mentioned above, there is the E4D Dentist, Cadent, the grandaddy of them all Cerec, and others.  I also saw a product from Geomagic that is the software piece of the Kavo Everest product.  The folks at Geomagic walked me through designing an onlay and a crown.  I was amazed at how quick and easy this software was to use.
  6. Paperless and Lasers are still hot topics.  These were the 2 topics that I lectured on this year and I was blown away by the attendance.  Even my Saturday afternoon course was full.  Obviously there is still a need for education on these subjects and people in the profession are eager to learn about them.
  7. Dentrix launched G3 (which is a major upgrade) and will really help with Dentrix users trying to go paperless.  They are also working on an update to their Guru patient education software.
That wraps up the blog report.  If you have questions or comments, please feel free to e-mail or post.

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