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Nov. 1, 2011
I’m very interested in the “whys” of things. Why does a company decide to make a product without asking the end user about it first?I

Joe Blaes, DDS

For more on this topic, go to and search using the following key words: Discus Dental, beta testing, the “whys” of things, Nuance Syringe, Dr. Joe Blaes.

I’m very interested in the “whys” of things. Why does a company decide to make a product without asking the end user about it first? I think they call that “beta testing.” It seems that my questions always start with “why.” That’s why I was totally blown away when the book “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” by Simon Sinek came out a couple of years ago. It talks about a process that I have been using for years, and I have taught the people who work with me to do the same.

In my practice, this process has led to many innovations in the systems that my team uses to deliver care. Many professional providers of care, be they dentists or physicians, take the attitude that they must dictate how the practice will be managed. They are not interested in the views of their employees. These are practices that experience a great turnover of people and do not understand why!

I have always asked my team members to question everything they do in the practice. My hope is it will carry over into their personal lives as well. I want them to feel like they’re working in the best practice in the area. I want them to feel like they are a part of the practice and contribute on a daily basis to making it the best.

This is why (there’s that word again) we have systems in our practice. A system is simply a process that helps us produce a consistent service or product in the practice. A system is a process that is never ending because it changes as we get better at what we do.

Have you ever wondered why composites were first packaged in syringes? Have you ever wondered who designs them? An engineer probably did. Did the end user (usually a dental assistant) have any input into the design? Don’t get me wrong; I’m not putting down engineers because we need them. I’m only saying that we have problems with composite syringes that have not been solved for years.

We have put up with the difficulties of pushing a composite out of the syringe — either it is very hard to turn the plunger and the composite comes out too fast, or it is too easy to turn and nothing comes out.

How about the screw-on cap for the syringe that rolls off the counter onto the floor and gets lost, so that the syringe gets stored open and the composite is contaminated or polymerized. How much composite gets wasted this way?

The answer could be compules, but they are expensive and you need multiple ones for a large restoration. Does your assistant have to use an instrument to get the last of the composite out of the syringe because the plunger does not push all of it out? More composite is wasted. Did anyone ask WHY?

Someone was listening

Apparently the engineers at Discus Dental asked before they designed the Nuance Syringe. This is a user-friendly syringe that has totally changed composite syringes. A simple and innovative idea, the cap is attached so it is easily opened to dispense, and easily closed to eliminate contamination or polymerization. I bet that was an answer to a why question. My assistants love the ease of use of the attached cap.

The Nuance Composite extrudes easily from the syringe, which has a large orifice, but the amount dispensed is controlled by an audible click for every 0.1 gm dispensed. This is another answer to the engineer’s inquisitive nature and perhaps an interview with some dental assistants. The composite extrudes with less force from the Nuance Syringe because the screw mechanism was redesigned. A plunger redesign causes all of the composite to be extruded from the tip of the syringe.

The user-friendly Nuance Syringe makes your composite restorations faster, better, easier, and saves time, which will increase your production and your bottom line. Wow, a company that asked why, listened, and produced a better product to improve my composite restorative system. Thanks, Discus Dental!

Dr. Joe Blaes is the editor of Dental Economics,® and practices in St. Louis, Mo.

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