Oral Health Group

The Rules of the Game: Why the Best of Class Award Winners Should Be on Your Short List

September 13, 2021
by Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, CEO and Founder of Cellerant Consulting

It’s hard to believe that a 13-year-old vision to make a difference has come so far. From an idea fleshed out over a breakfast meeting at Chicago Midwinter, to today, where the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards are covered by every journal in North America. The American Dental Association has partnered with Cellerant to provide the largest exhibit space at its annual meeting, with the Best of Class Alley providing ADA attendees a singular location to visit all the winners. Every company in dentistry waits in anticipation to see if they will receive the seven-pound piece of art glass that has come to represent the most prestigious and coveted award in the industry.

The Process
The selection process is rigorous, unbiased, nonprofit, and transparent. The Best of Class Panel exhaustively searches for technologies that truly differentiate themselves from their competitors or define a new category. Companies may also nominate themselves at cellerantconsulting.com.


The final selection process occurs at the Chicago MidWinter Meeting at the Fairmont Hotel, as it has for the past 12 years. The Cellerant team and BOC Panel take over the top floor of the hotel, where last-minute presentations are provided on the request of the panel, and private conversations occur between panelists. Everyone convenes, the hotel door shuts, and the meeting goes into the wee hours of the night.

Though the panel reviews every category, the winners are not chosen by category. That allows a category to be skipped if there is no true leader. The number of winners is the number, be it 14 or 22.

“Emerging” is the only category that exists outside of a “standard win,” and to be honest, that a category like this can exist and be celebrated is one of the reasons why I started Best of Class years ago. It’s exciting to find new technologies that could stand side by side with the billion-dollar company winners as equals.
When the voting starts it can get very contentious. The panel fully recognizes the importance and seriousness of their decision. And finally, well into Saturday morning, the winners are selected.

The Panel
The Panel consists of the most prominent technology leaders in dentistry:

Dr. John Flucke
Technology Editor and Chief Dental Editor for Dental Products Report

Dr. Paul Feuerstein
Editor in Chief for Dentistry Today

Dr. Marty Jablow
Americas’s Dental Technology Coach

Dr. Chris Salierno
Chief Clinical Officer for Tend

Dr. Pam Maragliano-Muniz
– Editor in Chief Dental Economics

Dr. Lou Shuman
Founder and Creator of the Best of Class
Technology Awards. National columns on
Technology in DPR, Dental Economics and Canada’s Oral Health Journals

As founder and creator of the award, I want to assure you that the integrity of the process has remained true since its inception. The vision of providing the dental community the few products that stand out over thousands and to inform the dental manufacturing community what its technology experts consider the leading products in their space has been the goal from the beginning.
I hope you will spend time to familiarize yourself with this year’s winners when they are announced. I want to congratulate the companies honoured as Best of Class on their commitment to move our whole industry forward.

About the Author

Lou Shuman is the CEO of Cellerant Consulting Group, dentistry’s leading corporate incubator and accelerator. He is a venturer in-residence at Harvard’s i-Lab, chairman of the technology advisory board at WEO Media, a member of the Oral Healthadvisory board, and founder of the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards.

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