3D Systems as a forerunner in digital revolution

Now that the dental field is going through fundamental changes — coming from analogue and moving towards digital workflows — Mr Stef Vanneste shares 3D Systems’ role in revolutionising the industry with their wide range of trusted and reliable digital solutions.

In driving new levels of speed, productivity, efficiency, and precision at a lower cost, 3D systems remains a forerunner in the ongoing digital revolution in dentistry. Thus, with the increased demands for digital dental solutions, Mr Stef Vanneste, vice-president and general manager of Dental at 3D Systems, faces exciting times ahead of him.

Passionate about making a meaningful difference in a patient’s life, he believes in building a strong team and strives to inspire his colleagues to be the best version of themselves through open leadership and coaching. Despite his extensive background in the healthcare field, deciding to focus on the dental industry came easy for him since his grandfather was also a dental technician.

He said: “It is rewarding to make people smile — and in the most literal sense. When the opportunity to join 3D Systems crossed my path, I didn’t hesitate. What better way to step into 3D printing in dentistry than with the company that invented and pioneered it?”

Paving the way

Despite the promising outlook of digital dentistry, there are still practitioners who are taking a conservative approach to adopting it. Mr Vanneste recognises this issue but is positive that with the right support and guidance, they will eventually appreciate its true value and jumpstart their journey.

“Traditional lines are blurring making 3D printing more and more embedded within essential parts of providing oral healthcare. As conventional dentistry has a long and proven history, it is not surprising that new technology is approached in a rather conservative manner. Still, I expect that most dental care providers will find intraoral scanner as a more accurate and convenient alternative to analogue impression materials,” he said.

Considering the use of an intraoral scanner as the first step towards digital dentistry, the next question is: what can be done with this digital scan?

And that is where the expertise of 3D Systems come in.

“I believe it is a great opportunity for us to show the many advantages of 3D printing to dental professionals. The foremost being better patient outcomes,” he shared.

Jumpstarting the digital journey is not an easy feat, thus, 3D Systems emphasises on education and provision of training to support dental professionals through 3D Systems Academy and NextDent Academy.

Mr Vanneste, explained: “Our 3D Systems Academy and NextDent Academy were specifically designed to provide such training and guide both clinicians and technicians in their journey towards digital dental workflows. With our experience in the dental field, our global trusted reseller network, and 24/7 support system, we can assist the dental professional in every field.”

With these programmes, dental professionals can explore every possibility of 3D printing and how it can help them optimise their treatment.

Mr Vanneste shared that although 3D printing is widely used as dental model for aligners, he sees the growing adoption of 3D printing for temporary and final prosthetics. Dentures have demonstrated incredible growth in the market since last year too, closely followed by the gain in popularity of splints and night guards.

He commented: “The transformation towards 3D printing is progressing rapidly. Dental 3D Printing will play an important part in the digital future of dentistry as 3D printing materials will become more advanced and the number of applications will grow.”

Continue reading here. Published in Dental Asia September/October 2021 issue.