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The Tech Giants: Companies Who are Serving the Dental Community with Their Innovation

October 11, 2022
by Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, CEO and Founder, Cellerant Consulting


OpticSurg Inc.

OpticSurg Inc.

At Cellerant, I am privileged to be surrounded by innovative technologies that set a standard of quality over a wide range of categories. Whether I am in conversation about which products will meet Best of Class standards or just meeting with technology manufacturers, I know that innovators will drive the conversation about how dental practices thrive in the future. I can’t mention all of the cutting-edge or bleeding-edge technologies that are preparing to take the dental space by storm. Research and development promises to provide many opportunities for earlier, more precise diagnosis and treatment. But in this article, I am recognizing a few companies who serve the dental community in different ways – through communication, analytics, and novel treatment options.

Simplifeye’s Amplify Live Chat
simplifeye.co/amplify

Patients are online searching for a dentist 24/7. When a patient visits your website, they are looking to get their questions answered and book an appointment. Because dentistry is complex, these questions aren’t easily answered by bots – you need people on the job. Amplify is the first and only 24/7 live, HIPAA-compliant web chat created by a dentist. Patient information is accessed through the cloud, so it’s convenient for nights, weekends, and even holidays. If your patients are non-English speakers – no problem! Amplify supports multiple languages to appeal to a wider patient base. Simplifeye’s Smile Specialists use the customized phrasing that you already use in your office, so your patients can feel familiar and connected. Also, there’s no frustrating wait on hold. Smile Specialists’ average response time is less than 8 seconds and they can directly book appointments real time! Considering the fact that 78% of patients will book with the practice that responds to them first, having a platform like this can be a real practice booster.

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Nobio’s Infinix™
infinix.com/

Of the more than 200 million tooth restorations each year in the U.S., many of them replace existing restorations that have failed due to bacteria between the restoration and the tooth. Recurrent decay eventually leads to tooth loss. Nobio’s Infinix™ Flowable Composite and Bulk Fill Flow Composite dental composite restoratives fill the cavities with material designed to match the patient’s natural tooth shade and strength. These FDA- cleared products incorporate Nobio’s patented QASi particle technology that supports restoration integrity and protects against degradation by bacteria over time. Nobio particles are retained in the filling material following polymerization and are insoluble. This is especially supportive of dental restorations that are intended to remain in the mouth for many years.

LightForce
lf.co

For the orthodontists out there, LightForce gets my vote for orthodontic innovation with their fully custom 3D-printed tooth moving tools. If you use a digital workflow for aligner systems, LightForce can seamlessly integrate into your practice. Brackets, IDB trays, and buccal tubes are all custom-designed to fit your patient’s individual anatomy and bite. With their LightPlan 3D-planning web-based platform, you can create, adjust, and approve treatment plans without having to install software. The attention to detail in the 3D printing is matched by the focus on aesthetics. Their white-colored Cloud bracket is geared towards the “bolder” patients, who want their band colors to “pop,” while the translucent Light Bracket tends to be more popular with those who want a highly aesthetic treatment option. IDB LightTrays are 3D printed to optimize ease, speed, and accuracy and to give you the opportunity to delegate initial bondings to certified members of your clinical team where permitted. LightForce’s fully custom, 3D printed buccal tubes for first and second molars ensure that the straight wire appliance can be achieved for the full arch. 3D printing allows changes to be made quickly, making it easy to implement customer feedback, iterate fast, and update hardware at the pace of software. Early results point to significantly less chair time and much faster accurate finishes.

Lura Health
lurahealth.com/

You’ll be drooling over this one: Did you know that saliva can be used to test over 1,000 health conditions? Lura Health has developed the world’s first salivary diagnostic, wearable sensor. Wireless, intraoral, tooth-mounted sensors are embedded in traditional orthodontic appliances including retainers, bands, and brackets, and are worn in the mouth continually throughout the day. The monitoring results in real-time health data streamed by Bluetooth Low Energy to a smartphone. The oral acid monitor checks oral pH. The dentist can receive alerts when the mouth is overly acidic, and the patient can receive personalized product recommendations to neutralize acid before permanent damage occurs. The value is in improving oral and systemic health while reducing out of pocket dental spending and more analysis is coming.

OraQ
oraq.ai/

The successful dentist has to dig deeper – not with the drill (that comes later!), but with a holistic view of patient data. Calgary’s own OraQ provides a software solution that harnesses the analytical power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, providing advanced patient assessments and detailed risk profiling shifting the current reactive model of care to one of risk reduction and prevention. How does it do that? Founders Dr. Amreesh Khanna and Dr. Mike Parcheweksy have developed software that provides real-time sophisticated diagnostic insight based on data from many patients, whose data is collected and cross-referenced and supported by evidence-backed clinically-validated protocols. These advanced analytics will drive precision patient care in both simple and complex cases. With OraQ, your diagnostic recommendations are supported with quantifiable data and risk analysis gathered through AI and the creation of detailed Patient Risk Profiles in several key areas. The increased analytic opportunities will improve your ability to track progress, measure outcomes, and schedule patient follow-up. As the dentist, you still have 100% control to accept or reject diagnostic recommendations as you build your treatment plan. OraQ is now accepting applications to participate in a product beta test.

Greenmark Biomedical Inc.
greenmark.bio/

With GreenMark, dentists can visualize caries disease better and accurately assess when to treat and make more painless, natural repairs. The water-based LumiCare™ Caries Detection Rinse contains fluorescent sub-micron starch that targets and sticks to the subsurface of early-stage carious lesions after penetrating through surface porosities. The food-grade starch is fully bio-reabsorbed by the time the patient leaves your office. As a part of routine exams, the rinse can illuminate otherwise undetectable early-stage cavities with a standard dental curing light. Lesions are detected well before cavities form, and usually only non-invasive treatment will be needed at this point. Early detection and fluoride or remineralization treatment can prevent the formation of fully developed cavities and help avert or delay need for possible restoration.

Protegera, Inc.
protegera.com

It’s astonishing to me to realize that traditional toothpaste, a product that has been in use for 100 years, does not remove plaque or biofilm effectively. A company called Protegera is revolutionizing toothpaste with an innovative new toothpaste. The differentiating factor between Protegera and all of the others is its platform – microfibrillated cellulose sourced from Norwegian spruce trees and made from a mechanical process without chemicals. It removes up to 90 percent of plaque by generating 10 to 100 times more shear stress and frictional forces than current toothpastes. As the fibrillated cellulose moves over the tooth’s surface and interproximal spaces, plaque and biofilm are dragged away. It cleans interproximal spaces as well. Protegera is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the FDA, sulfate-free, paraben-free, alcohol-free, and silicone free. Protegera brings a revolutionary approach to toothpaste function, plaque and biofilm removal. It’s a true game changer for oral health. Watch this company as it first expands its portfolio of toothpastes and ventures into prophy pastes and mouthwash in the future..

OpticSurg Inc.
OpticSurgInc.com

OpticSurg Inc. is a medtech and software startup that has a promising new vision for telehealth, creating a truly interactive shared experience. The company’s patent-pending proprietary software platform, Vision Beyond, is so much more than telehealth – is an augmented reality telecollaboration solution. The force behind Vision Beyond is augmented reality glasses that allow you to view, communicate, and interact live with the patient anywhere, anytime. Here’s how it works: An on-site surgical team can call your office using the augmented reality glasses. Through the camera in the glasses, consulting clinicians see a real-time first-person view of the onsite provider’s field of vision on their computer or tablet. The unique annotation function of Vision Beyond makes it possible for consulting clinicians to provide real-time visual direction from their devices – they can draw on the image with a stylus to point out a specific area of interest. The on-site surgical team member can remain hands-free and continue to participate in the procedure while receiving audio and visual guidance from the remote clinician. All of this makes collaboration possible without increasing exposure or delay in treatment. Vision Beyond is an unprecedented virtual collaboration that improves diagnosis, workflow efficiency, and outcomes of consultations and treatment. Coming to dentistry soon. Think of all the possibilities.


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, co-founder of LightForce Orthodontics, a member of the Oral Health advisory board and founder of the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards. He was selected in 2021 by Global Summits Institute one of the World’s Top 100 Doctors.


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