It is truly an honour to introduce this special technology issue of Oral Health. Throughout my life, technology has guided me on a bullet-train journey of opportunity and discovery. It all started when I left my orthodontic practice in Boston to join a dental Internet company in Washington, DC, at a time when 56K was considered “blazing speed.” Reston Virginia along the Dulles Turnpike was then considered the “East Coast Silicon Valley.”
In those early years, we were all just beginning to realize the power of the Internet. Together with visionary clients like Drs. Peter Dawson, Gordon Christensen, Frank Spear, Joe Massad and Vince Kokich, we created the first online educational company, literally creating online software to be able to support this service. It was such an exciting development that we were asked to become the exclusive provider of online education for the ADA and AGD. I began to lecture to my peers about the Internet and the importance of having a website and online presence.
Tenacity and technology changed the future of tooth movement. One of the most revolutionary inventions was Invisalign. Now a giant in the orthodontic space, in its beginning stages, dentists had to be convinced that this technology could actually work. I literally had to fly with the Align team to the AAO in Missouri to convince them that plastic could move teeth.
Fast forward to the present at Cellerant Consulting Group – we have become the source for companies to strategically grow and prosper in the dental space. I have also had the true privilege to support a new generation of visionary leadership, like Drs. Alfred Griffin, Ryan Hungate, Chris “Bones”Jackson and Chris Salierno.
Independently, each year we present the Best of Class technology awards, in which the leading experts in the field select the most important technologies in dentistry. The awards are now in their 14th year and second year in hygiene.
In this issue, I preview practice-changing technologies that are on the horizon or relatively new gamechangers. Sometimes it is difficult to grasp the very complex concepts coming onto the market. For example, the imminent and future uses of artificial intelligence or augmented reality in dentistry can be mind boggling.
As a veteran in the dental world, I still have such dedication to start work every day and communicate with companies who have an insatiable desire to solve problems, make an impact, and help dentists to create the best possible outcome for their practices and patients. These teams turn concepts into creations. It is my privilege to assist them in bringing life to their technologies. Time to get on the bullet train with me and meet some of them on page 16.
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.