Now in its seventh year, the Pride Institute’s “Best of Class” Technology Award continues unparalleled in its integrity and approach to recognizing excellence in dental innovation. In 2015, the VALO LED curing light, from Ultradent Products, Inc., is one of those lauded as “Best of Class.”
“To be honored as ‘Best of Class’ is a sign that a product has revolutionized, simplified, or advanced its category in a distinctive way,” said Dr. Lou Shuman, "Best of Class" founder. “The manufacturers represented here are driving the conversation for how dental practices will operate today and in the future. The foundation for our success in bringing attention to these products has always been our formula: technology leadership in dentistry, unbiased, and not for profit.”
“Best of Class” honorees are chosen by a panel comprised of leading voices in dental technology, who come 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. Panelists who receive compensation from dental companies are prevented from voting in that company’s category. Over the years, the panel has developed a rapport that makes space for important conversations about the 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 well-known, basic and aspirational—being honored.
“Technology decisions can be expensive and confusing for many doctors. Our job as ‘Best of Class’ panelists is to eat, sleep, live, breathe, and use technology in our general practices in real, everyday dentistry. We also have a chance to show and discuss these products with dental students and colleagues,” said Dr. John Flucke, writer, speaker, and Technology Editor for Dental Products Report. “This allows us to provide recommendations that a doctor and staff can rely on to make informed decisions regarding their technology purchases.”
The panel consists of five dentists with significant knowledge of and experience in dental technology, including: Dr. Shuman; Dr. Flucke; 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, Vice-Chair of Preclinical Education, Research and Technology, University of Pacific School of Dentistry.
Mike Simmons, Ultradent equipment brand manager says, “Ultradent is incredibly pleased and honored to receive this distinguished award for the 4th year in a row by such an esteemed and respected panel. Simply put, VALO delivers. It delivers a broadspectrum light that cures both camphorquinone and specialized proprietary photoinitiators. It delivers a uniformly collimated beam to cure a range of surfaces and working differences. It delivers accessibility, which translates to a more comfortable procedure for the patient. And most importantly, VALO delivers real value to the clinician—which is why it has been ranked #1 for four years in a row.”
The Pride Institute “Best of Class” Technology awards were launched in 2009 as a new concept to provide an unbiased, non-profit 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—in print and online—educating them about the products. Honoree participation in the “Tech Expo” at the American Dental Association’s Annual Meeting offers face-to-face interaction with the companies as well as technology-centered education provided by members of the panel and the esteemed consultants of Pride Institute. Courses at last year’s 2014 meeting sold out. This year’s event will be held November 5–10 in Washington, DC.