Wednesday, December 16, 2015
With news and articles out of the way, our annual Dentalcompare year in review now turns its attention to our site’s biggest focus—dental products and dental product categories.
The majority of what you and other Dentalcompare visitors look at on this site is dental product information, and our annual look back shows a lot about where the industry’s interests are focused and what types of products saw the most innovation in the past year.
This look at the most popular dental product categories of 2015 incorporates both views of the categories on the site and total views of products within each category during 2015.* The list is a great overview of what types of products dentists and dental technicians need and want for their practices and labs.
With that in mind, here are the top 10 dental product categories of 2015:
10. Dental Laboratory 3D Scanning Systems – CAD/CAM dentistry isn’t a technology for the future, it’s the state of the art today. While chairside CAD/CAM is only available in a small percentage of practices, digital workflows are now the norm in most dental labs. Those workflows almost all start with a 3D scan of a model or impression, and that’s why it’s not surprising to see effort being made to find the best scanner system for each individual lab.
9. Digital Panoramic X-ray Systems – New technologies and a number of exciting new product launches propelled this to become one of the many digital imaging categories on this list. Digital panoramic systems can increase practice efficiency by reducing the number of images needed per patient. With lower radiation exposure levels, increased image clarity and a host of software enhancements available with many of these systems, digital pans (and the accompanying digital cephalometric imaging systems) are a great fit for a large number of dental practices.
8. Dental LED Curing Lights – There are other curing light technologies available to dental professionals, but LEDs have become the standard bearer for the category. Fast, efficient and capable of curing a wide range of modern restorative materials, these lights are a workhorse in a restorative practice. Finding the right light is important because you’ll likely use it many times every day.
7. Dental Sterilizers – Dental sterilizers and autoclaves are not the most exciting pieces of equipment found in a dental practice, but they’re certainly among the most necessary. Properly sterilizing dental equipment, and then documenting these steps, is critical for every practice, and finding the system that will accomplish this most efficiently is important for everyone.
6. Dental Cone Beam Imaging – 3D imaging has changed dentistry as much as any other innovation to hit the market in recent times. Clinicians using these systems have access to better anatomical data and are able to diagnose with greater accuracy, plan treatments with greater precision and verify outcomes with greater confidence. Whether it’s implants, endodontics, orthodontics or a range of other clinical areas, there is little doubt cone beam imaging is changing dentistry.
5. Dental Loupes – Just as cone beam imaging allows clinicians to capture more information about a patient, dental loupes are important because they allow clinicians to see more detail when evaluating and treating patients. But magnification provides greater benefits than just improved clinical vision; loupes also help practitioners work with better ergonomics. Finding the right set of loupes can improve your health and the care you provide your patients.
4. Digital Impression Systems – While mass adoption of chairside milling seems far off, the story seems to be quite different for digital impressions. The ability to capture a prep with an intraoral 3D scanning system benefits the practice by adding efficiencies while also providing a more comfortable patient experience. With a little practice, scans are faster than physical impressions, and the quality of the information captured is far superior. It’s not surprising so many people are looking at these systems.
3. Diode Lasers – There’s been more innovation on the hard tissue laser side of this technology in the past year, but many new diodes have also hit the market. These soft tissue systems provide dentists with an easier entry into the world of laser dentistry. This is always one of the most popular product categories on Dentalcompare, and clinicians continue to evaluate their options to find the soft tissue system that is the best fit for their practice.
2. Dental Intraoral X-ray Sensors – Digital x-rays are pretty much standard of care at this point. With higher image quality and lower radiation than film, digital x-rays provide the best results for both patients and doctors. It makes sense that this is always one of the top categories on Dentalcompare. Early adopters are likely looking at their next upgrade, while more and more practices yet to go digital continue to make the transition.
1. Intraoral Cameras – The most popular dental product category in 2015 is one of the best, most accessible technologies to help build your practice. An intraoral camera makes it easy to view inside a patient’s mouth and then to show him or her exactly what you see. These cameras help with diagnostics, documentation, case acceptance and insurance claims. Even better, lower cost options continue to hit the market. Some economical systems make it possible for practices to have a camera in every operatory.
*The 2015 Top 10 lists are based on Dentalcompare traffic measured during the 13 month period from November 1, 2014 – November 30 2015.