Pride Institute “Best of Class” Technology Award, 2014

With a focus on credibility and meaningful innovation, the Pride Institute’s “Best of Class” Technology Award —now in its sixth year —continues to recognize products that demonstrate excellence in their category. In 2014, iOptima from Bien Air is one of those lauded as “Best of Class.”

“BienAir is honoured to have been selected for its iOPTIMA electric motor system.With the iOptima, any practitioner can transform their existing dental unit into a modern system equipped with a brushless and sensorless micromotor and an iPod® interface. The iOptima is perfect for all restorative and endodontic procedures,” says Arthur Mateen, General Manager of BienAir USA.

A panel, comprised of leading voices in dental technology, comes together each year to discuss, debate and decide what products merit recognition. All technology categories are considered, but if there is no clear differentiator that sets a product apart in its category, then no winner is selected. Each product honored as “Best of Class” features unique characteristics that differentiate it from the competition in a compelling way, and more importantly, creates value for the general dentist.

Organized by Dr. Lou Shuman, President of Pride Institute, the panel is committed to a selection method that is unbiased and rigorous. Throughout the course of the year, members of the panel review new and existing technologies in preparation for the vote. Panelists who receive compensation from dental companies are preventedfrom voting in that company’s category. Over the years, the panel has developed arapport that makes space for important conversations about value of different innovations and how evolving categories become more or less valuable to the general dentist. The spirited debate that follows results in a variety of products —obscure and wellknown, basic and aspirational —being honored.

The “Best of Class” founder, Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, stated that “The foundation for our success is, and has always been, our formula: technology leadership in dentistry, unbiased, and not for profit. The commitment of the distinguished panel and our partners at the American Dental Association help us maintain the integrity that creates true value.”

The panel consists of five dentists with significant knowledge of and experience in dental technology, including Dr. Shuman; John Flucke, DDS, writer, speaker and Chief Dental Editor for Dental Products Report; Paul Feuerstein, DMD, writer, speaker and Technology Editor for Dentistry Today; Marty Jablow, DMD, technology writer and consultant for Dr. BiCuspid; and Parag Kachalia, DDS, ViceChair of Preclinical Education, Research and Technology, University of Pacific School of Dentistry.

“Everyone on the panel is not only recognized as being an outstanding speaker and leader in the industry, but they are also actively seeing patients. When they say a product is worthwhile, it is because they see the value for the patient outcome and realworld impact,” said Dr. Shuman. “They are able to recognize the innovation that dentists need as well as push the envelope in what dentists should embrace as our profession progresses.”

The Pride Institute Best of Class Technology awards were launched in 2009 as a new concept to provide an unbiased, nonprofit assessment of available technologies in the dental space. Through print and digital media coverage, the “Best of Class” message reaches the community of 150,000 dentists through multiple touch points—n print and online—ducating them about the products.

Honoree participation in the “Tech Expo” at the American Dental Association’s Annual Meeting offers facetoface interaction with the companies as well as technologycentered education provided by members of the panel as well as the esteemed consultants of Pride Institute. Courses at last year’s 2013 meeting sold out. This year’s event will be held October 911 in San Antonio.

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