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Best of Class

The origin of the Best of Class award

From the 2018 ADA Annual Meeting show floor, Matt Petchel from SWYP interviews Dr. Lou Shuman, creator of the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Award, and the four members on the panel who choose the winners each year.
The Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards were created by Dr. Shuman in 2009 to recognize innovative products that set a standard of quality in their respective categories. It has been acknowledged as the most prestigious and coveted award that a dental manufacturer can receive. It is the only one of its kind and is covered by every major dental journal in North America before being presented at the American Dental Association’s Annual Meeting.

Editors and manufacturers agree, the Best of Class Technology Award is "Dentistry's Oscar."

The selection process is rigorous, unbiased, nonprofit, and transparent. The award recipients are selected by a panel of the most prominent technology leaders in dentistry: Paul Feuerstein, DMD, John Flucke, DDS, Marty Jablow, DMD, Pam Maragliano-Muniz, DMD, Chris Salierno, DDS, and Lou Shuman, DMD.

To be designated Best of Class is a sign that a product has revolutionized, simplified, or advanced its category in a distinctive way. The manufacturers represented here are driving the conversation for how dental practices will operate in the future. The foundation of our success in bringing attention to these products has always been consistent: we recognize technology leadership in dentistry without bias or profit.

Time has proven that Dr. Shuman’s vision and commitment to creating an awards process of the highest integrity has been realized. Editors and manufacturers agree, the Best of Class Technology Award is "Dentistry’s Oscar."

The process is unbiased and non-profit, and the designation is awarded after a rigorous and uncompromising selection process.

Photo of Best of Class award


Throughout the course of each year, the panelists exhaustively search for practice-changing technologies that define and differentiate companies from their competitors. There is no “Top 10” or “Top 20” for marketing purposes. As Dr. Shuman says, “The number is the number, be it 6, 12, or 23.” When the panelists deliberate, there are no boxes to check. If a category does not provide a Best of Class designee, it is skipped.

Every February, the board convenes and pours over all the research, debating the characteristics that define what it means for a product to earn the name Best of Class.

To keep the voting fair and impartial, panel members divulge any consulting relationships in which they are involved, as they are not allowed to vote in that specific 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 important to the general dentist. The spirited debate that follows results in a selection of products that range from the obscure to the ubiquitous.

The panelists ensure that the process stays true to the award’s original intent: to provide the dental community awareness of the most innovative products available and to inform the dental manufacturing community of what experts consider to be the leading technologies in their space.


Photo of 2018 Best of Class winnerThe annual Best of Class Awards process culminates at the ADA Annual Session Technology Expo, created and managed by Dr. Shuman. There are exhibit booths of each winner, giving participants an opportunity to visit all of the winners in one location.

The Technology Expo is the largest exhibit at the ADA Annual Session, providing three days of technology-focused presentations by the field's leading experts. We offer around 14 CE courses every year in a 270-seat classroom, making us the largest CE provider at the ADA meeting. In 2013, the ADA was honored nationally as providing the "the highest quality education on an exhibit floor" as a result of the Technology Expo curriculum.

The awards ceremony is conducted during our invitation-only VIP reception. Winners are invited to participate in podcast and video interviews while sampling some of the finest wines and enjoying the company of their peers in the dental industry.

Previous winners: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016
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