While at this year's ADA meeting in New Orleans, I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Ed Shellard, chief marketing officer and Director of business development at Carestream Dental. I spoke with him about the company's philosophy and the launch of its newest product, a portfolio of CAD/CAM restoration solutions.
Dr. Blaes: Your background is in dentistry. How do you use your training when it comes to developing new products for other clinicians in the field?
Dr. Shellard: My No. 1 goal — and this can really be applied to Carestream Dental as a whole — is to work hard to drive new products that will help the way dentists diagnose and treat their patients. Whenever we develop a new product, we always keep three things in mind: workflow integration, diagnostic excellence, and humanized technology. These three traits drive everything we do: our products, our software, and our hardware.
We want everything we develop to be intuitive, straightforward, and give great clinical results. But most importantly, our products are designed to help doctors provide optimal care. Only if we do that, do we feel that we are successful. It's fun to be able to provide new technology to the industry.
Dr. Blaes: Was this philosophy the catalyst for developing your new CAD/CAM restoration line?
Dr. Shellard: Definitely. Because our product line managers are always seeking feedback from customers, we found there was a space for us to develop a CAD/CAM solution so doctors could enjoy the benefits of one-appointment restorations with a streamlined and customizable workflow.
This led to the launch of the CS Solutions suite of products. Doctors can either scan a standard impression with a CBCT machine or create a 3-D model with the CS 3500 intraoral scanner. Next, this information is sent to CS Restore software where the restoration is designed. Then, it's sent finally to our chairside milling unit—the CS 3000. It's a full, end-to-end solution.
Dr. Blaes: Are doctors able to choose to keep some of the work in the practice and send other pieces to the lab?
Dr. Shellard: Yes, CS Solutions is a completely open, STLfile based system. Doctors can say, "I want to scan with my CBCT machine or my scanner. I can take that data and send it to the lab for final fabrication of the restoration."
Dr. Blaes: What would you say to fellow doctors who are considering bringing restorations into their practices?
Dr. Shellard: I would say there a number of benefits that doctors will experience by having the ability to handle the entire restoration process onsite. One-visit restorations eliminate a number of the more time-consuming processes that come with traditional restorations: you don't have to numb the patient again, you don't have to clean the operatory twice, and you don't have to sterilize everything a second time. In this way, it makes everything easier for the doctor and certainly for the patient as well.
One-visit restorations can also have a positive impact on a practice's bottom line. Because everything can be done at one time, patients are more willing to accept their proposed treatment plans. There is always concern that, once a patient leaves the office, he or she will not return for the restoration. CS Solutions eliminates that worry.
To watch a video interview by Dr. Blaes with Dr. Shellard, visit http://bcove.me/ltsjmb6j .
Edward Shellard, DMD, has more than two decades of clinical and executive experience in the dental industry. Since joining Carestream Dental in February 2008, Dr. Shellard has driven global marketing strategy and product development efforts for the latest innovations in dental and practice-management technology.
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