Morita: Innovative Solutions for Modern Dentistry

· Trade Fair Impressions from the 35th International Dental Show in Cologne

Dietzenbach, April 2013 - From the 12th to the 16th of March 2013, one of the world’s leading dentistry trade fairs took place once again in the great cathedral city on the Rhine and, as is by now a long tradition, the organizers were able to make, by the time the fair closed its doors, a whole series of satisfying announcements: not just the news that the exhibition space had been larger, and both exhibitors and visitors more numerous, than at the previous IDS of 2011, but also that this year many exciting new ideas for modern dentistry had been generated. The Japanese company Morita, likewise proud of its long traditions, once again marked a small but important presence at the fair, attracting the attention of numerous dealers, importers and above all practicing dentists. The old family enterprise also arranged this year a well-attended press conference on its newest products, as well as a successful dinner event for its regular dealers, culminating in a prize ceremony.

It was perhaps above all with the new “robot patient” SIMROID that Morita succeeded in awakening the interest of trade fair visitors and ensuring that its stand in Hall 10.2 of the Cologne trade fair site remained a hive of activity all through the week. The company mounted a public demonstration of this interactive dentist-training program at its stand up to five times a day, to visitors’ constant fascination. The stand itself was divided into two sections: the “Professional Diagnostic World“, exhibiting the innovative combination device Veraviewepocs 3D R100 along with our tried-and-true high-performance imaging equipment, such as the Accuitomo; and the main stand, where visitors could admire our treatment units, our endodontic systems, our dental instruments, and above all the SIMROID system.

Already at the very start of the IDS Morita gathered the dental-trade media in the Conference Centre of the Cologne trade fair so as to allow the public a glimpse of the force of innovation the company has displayed this year. The main focus of the presentations here too was initially on the patient simulation device, which is set to revolutionize training and further training of dentists. Representatives of the company from Germany and Canada explained the advantages of this interactive training program and showed how it provided lifelike simulations of different situations likely to actually arise in a dental surgery and of the behavior and reactions of real-life patients. The General Manager of J. Morita Europe, Jürgen-Richard Fleer, greeted, in his capacity as host and facilitator, the participants and gave a brief account of the visions and goals of the globally active family company. Addressing SIMROID in particular, he showed how Morita is currently developing, thanks to such products, into an internationally recognized provider of “whole solutions” for the dental profession – with a product portfolio which can accompany, with total competence, the career dentist from his training years right up to his successful practice in some specialist field of dentistry. David Sleeman, a Canadian, but currently Senior IT Manager of the J. Morita Mfg. Corporation Kyoto, then took over and explained in some detail the development history and the technical features of SIMROID. Sleeman clarified for the audience how traditional dentist training, conducted with a “phantom head” or with some other sort of passive model, has always necessarily neglected certain fundamental factors which go to shape and determine any real treatment situation. Such conventional forms of training had served well, indeed, to develop and train the tactile and digital skills of the dental students using them. What was lacking in them, however, was the important element of interaction and the taking into consideration of all that is involved in the concrete workflow of a real treatment session. A very important advantage offered by the “robot patient”, Sleeman explained, is that, with this tool, training can comprise also training in communication with the patient and that – in addition to many other new things that can now be learnt – trainee dental surgeons can henceforth learn and practice the most effective methods of dealing with patients suffering from chronic fear of dentists and other “problem patients”.

In conclusion, Jürgen-Richard Fleer used the example of endodontics and the specific treatment workflows involved in it to explain how the demands and challenges of everyday practice give rise to user-oriented solutions designed to be effectively applied in just such daily-practice situations. He showed, to this end, which specific daily needs of dentist and patient had been taken into account in the development of the Soaric premium treatment unit and how such units could be integrated into the workplace. Fundamental to such successful innovation, emphasized Fleer, is a proper understanding of work processes and an absolute competence in matters of workflow. The General Manager was also able to correct the common misconception that so intelligent a solution couldn’t possibly look good as well by pointing to the many design awards won by the Soaric unit. He also mentioned the many awards and distinctions won by other Morita products, such as the endodontic system Root ZX. Finally, he turned to the numerous other Morita highlights at the IDS. A stand-out item here was the combination system Veraviewepocs 3D R100, which is equipped with a unique Reuleaux-triangle image-capturing format. He also introduced, for the field of X-ray- and CBCT (cone beam computed tomography) technology, the new i-Dixel software, which greatly facilitates data management. Fleer also invited the assembled journalists to visit, in the course of the trade fair, the Morita stand themselves, to form their own impressions of the many solutions offered, and in particular to make the personal acquaintance of SIMROID.

From the press conference the company chiefs then moved on directly to the celebratory dinner organized by Morita for our valued trading partners. As already at the previous IDS fair of 2011, Morita had invited also this year, on the evening of the first day of the event, the dealers and friends with whom the company regularly cooperates to a stylish “thank you” meal in the fair facility’s Kristallsaal. The congenial socialization was further enriched by some public speeches which, with particular focus on the topic of endodontics, brought home to the invited guests the family enterprise’s continuing commitment to its company philosophy of understanding the challenges faced by its customers and of helping these latter, as a provider of “whole solutions”, to deal with these challenges with the aid of innovative new products. After greeting the guests, Jürgen-Richard Fleer gave a short overview over the developments and new products of recent years. He then led the assembled company over to the more specialized part of the evening. An entertaining speech – on the topics of the use of the combination device Veraviewepocs 3D F40 in diagnosis and treatment planning for endodontic interventions and of the ergonomic aspect of endodontics in general – enabled the guests to gain a convincing picture of the Morita family enterprise’s excellent competence in its core fields of activity and development: endodontics and modern imaging techniques. Endodontic specialist Dr. Jörg Schröder explained how endodontics has, above all thanks to technical progress and an integral understanding of teamwork, undergone extremely rapid development in recent years and now offers entirely new possibilities to the dentist. As a solutions provider, Morita places great value on close cooperation, in a spirit of partnership, with dentists, opinion leaders, and specialist dealers and thereby sees itself as part of a team aiming to improve the general quality of life – this much became clear also during the social part of the evening. The guests and the various company representatives were able to use the pleasant, friendly atmosphere of the evening not just for relaxation but also for “networking”. And – as has become almost a tradition in recent years – the evening concluded with the awarding to the most successful among the partner dealers, each in their various categories, of special distinguishing Morita Awards.

Then, from Wednesday up until the close of the IDS on the Saturday, the trade fair visitors were able to inform themselves on their own initiative, at Morita’s own stand and with the help of live presentations, videos and public lectures, about the numerous products and features that form the company’s trade fair highlights. In the pauses, a screen projection showed the new possibilities opened up by the “ErYAG AdvErL Evo“ laser, which has been being used successfully for several years already in Japan for the therapy of peri-implantitis. In the “Professional Diagnostic World“ area of the stand visitors were able to use iPads made available by Morita to convince themselves of the advantages offered by the new i-Dixel software, which is set to make it significantly easier, in future, to access information within a dental surgery. The software makes it possible, by means of a server internal to the individual surgery, to call up digitally-generated images via all the surgery’s various terminal devices offering network access, and also to process and modify these images on these devices. Access is achieved via a browser, which means that the individual user can view and process the data regardless of the specific operating system he may be using. The program, developed in the modern HTML5 Standard format, does not need to be separately installed on the terminal devices in question. Data transfer occurs via a network solution, either with cable or cable-free via a wireless connection. The security of the information in the data is assured thanks to an SSL security protocol. This “cloud solution” for dental surgeries thus makes it possible for an individual user to organize and administer all the surgery’s data in a clear and manageable way, without there being any necessity for an upgrading of the surgery computers or for the acquisition of additional data storage devices.

After this very successful International Dental Show of 2013, many dentists will now be looking forward with excitement to the next such event, set to be held in two years, so as to see what even more highly perfected solutions Morita will be presenting in Cologne in 2015.

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