By: Dr. Daniel Butterman
I started practicing dentistry in 1994, and for nearly two decades I felt there was something missing from my professional life. I had a beautiful office, a great team, and a full schedule. But, I longed for something more. I was a solo practitioner. What I desperately wanted was to be a part of a bigger dental community, to connect with like-minded peers, compare stories, and talk shop. So, after 18 years of independent practice, I felt disconnected. Then, in 2012, I made the best decision of my career: I bought a CEREC® Omnicam scanner and MC XL mill. My equipment rep assured me that not only would I master the technology, but my lab bill would shrink, and my patients would appreciate the one-stop-shop. She was right about all those things. What she neglected to mention, was that I would fall in love with the CEREC community comprised of dental professionals whose goals are to learn, teach, and have fun.
The fun part takes place at events such as the annual Dentsply Sirona World symposium, which I have attended since purchasing my first CEREC (I’ve since purchased the Primescan scanner, CEREC SpeedFire, and the Orthophos® XG 3D imaging system and in-lab MC XL). Every year I connect with old friends and meet new ones. This year’s meeting sold out with over 7,500 of my peers in attendance. And every year, I learn something. This year’s meeting offered a variety of clinical, business, and marketing courses taught by world-class speakers who are passionate about their fields. Each year, I am thoroughly entertained by chart-topping bands and comedians as part of the entertainment component of the symposium. This year, Jerry Seinfeld and Zac Brown Band headlined the first two nights of the event and did not disappoint! But to be completely honest, my favorite part of Dentsply Sirona World is the trade show. Walking the aisles, I am like a kid in a candy store – in awe of the advances in technology since the previous year’s show and knowing I cannot wait to implement a lot of it in my practice.
With respect to software, there were numerous announcements. Connect software 5.1 offers faster imaging, better auto-margination, improved artifact removal, and much improved initial proposals requiring little design intervention. CEREC Ortho SW 2.0 software offers faster full-arch scanning and a powerful tooth movement simulation, enabling dentists to instantly demonstrate how to move patient’s teeth for better aesthetics and function, thereby improving case acceptance. And the new OraCheck 5.0 allows the practitioner to compare scans from multiple time-frames in an open STL format to monitor tooth wear, gingival changes, and tooth movement or drift. Finally, the SICAT 2.0 software, which can be used with any CBCT machine, allows for quick endo and airway analysis as well as surgical guide fabrication and implant planning.
Speaking of implants (my personal passion), Dentsply Sirona Implants launched an updated Astra Tech Implant System EV with improved apical threads for greater primary stability. Ivoclar Vivadent AG showed off its new three-second Bluephase curing light matched to its composite, as well as faster Emax crystallization times in the Speedfire oven. Kuraray Noritake Dental announced the release of the KatanaTM bridge block, allowing us to finally make bridges using an esthetic translucent zirconia, with just an 18-minute sinter time in the CEREC Speedfire oven. Additionally, regarding 3D printing (my other passion), the Formlabs Form 3 SLA 3D Printer was displayed, showing off improvements in speed and print quality. The Form 3 can be used to print models, night guards, surgical guides and more.
Having invested in much of this technology myself, I know it does not come cheap. The new Dentsply Sirona OneDS Rewards program, along with the upgrade path for CEREC Omnicam or Bluecam owners to CEREC Primescan, may help to curb some of the costs. Personally, I need to keep investing in technology because the alternative is worse. As Jerry Seinfeld astutely pointed out, “Once you start doing only what you’ve already proven you can do, you’re on the road to death.”
I wholeheartedly believe that this statement applies to dentistry. So as far as I’m concerned, I agree with the Zac Brown Band in that you should “Jump Right In.” There’s a whole new world to be discovered at Dentsply Sirona World: The greatest [dental] show on earth. I’m already looking forward to Dentsply Sirona World 2020 at Caesar’s Palace!