Coming Soon: IDS 2015!
If there were a magical crystal ball that could forecast the direction dentistry is moving, the closest we could come would be the International Dental Show (IDS), held every two years in Cologne, Germany. This event, taking place March 10-14, 2015, is without doubt one of the largest, if not the largest, dental trade shows in the world.
The IDS is strictly a product tradeshow. The innovations on display by the 2,000+ exhibiting manufacturers are the culmination of years of research and development by forward-thinking scientists. Many of the new advances are futuristic and will take years if not decades to become mainstream dentistry. However, these exhibits provide insight on where these researchers see the industry heading. Some of these new advances will migrate to the US in short order; others may never make it to our shores.
At an invitation-only dinner held during the American Dental Association annual meeting in October 2014, representatives from Kohln-Messe Europe and VDDI gave invitees a sneak peek into exhibitor and attendee projections, as well as information on new digital mobile services to help visitors navigate the show along with a platform for attendees to directly contact manufacturers of interest. Attendance for the 2015 event is expected to surpass the 2013 record-breaking 125,000+ dental professionals. In order to accommodate the projected overflow of exhibitors from all corners of the globe, Koln-Messe is opening additional exhibit space in Hall 2.1 for a total of 11 contiguous exhibit halls, representing 150,000 square meters or 1.6+ million square feet.
To navigate this labyrinth of exhibits, the IDS has created a free downloadable app for smartphones. Powered by an innovative navigation system, it is designed to guide visitors from hall to hall to the targeted exhibit booth of choice. Another IDS digital service is BusinessMatchmaking 365, a communication and business platform (available January 1) allowing exhibitors and visitors to contact each other directly to request and schedule meetings or make other inquiries.
So what might you expect to see if you attend this year? Certainly, there will be new innovations and launches on the digital intraoral impression-scanning front as well as new chairside milling systems. There should be significant movement on the digital removable side of dentistry with new approaches to produce denture bases through CAM milling or 3D printing, as well as new materials to manufacture a complete denture from a single milling blank or 3D printing platform. Additive manufacturing technology should see new players entering the dental space and new applications for this waste-free fabrication process. Additionally, we expect to see headway into innovative software platforms that allow integration of more digital 3D devices and systems, not to mention perhaps a new millable/printable material or two.
If you are unable to attend, stay tuned to our Twitter account, @InDentalTech, for reports from the exhibit floor as we attempt to uncover the most relevant and exciting innovations. Pam Johnson