“Clinics cannot survive unless they reinvent themselves”: Dr Didier Stephanus

Dr Didier Stephanus has a clinic in the city of Metz in north-eastern France. He specialises in implantology and periodontology and has experience in performing invisible aligner treatments. The team at Planmeca met with him to chat about dentistry.

“I feel that not only is the dental profession changing, but clinics cannot survive unless they reinvent themselves,” Dr Stephanus said. “That is what we aim to do at our clinic in Metz. All our dentists specialise in different fields, and the idea is to offer our patients a complete treatment path with different points of care, all inside the same clinic.”

Dr Stephanus knows from experience that patients expect more than ever before: “They want faster, less expensive, more aesthetic results. For some, it’s like ordering takeout – they want instant results and don’t want to come in for several sessions. So speed is key.”

To answer to these demands, the clinic is equipped with the latest technology. With 15 years of experience in practicing dentistry, Dr Stephanus finds it fascinating to think how the field has evolved in just the past 10 years.

Patients appreciate the difference

According to Dr Stephanus, especially patients who are in their forties and beyond appreciate new modern treatment technologies, and are impressed by the rapidity of the evolution of the industry.

He said: “They remember having traditional impressions taken and how uncomfortable it used to be. They can really appreciate the difference when we use Planmeca’s intraoral scanner. We actually have two of them, and our plan is to systematically start using them for all treatments. For now, we use them for inlays, onlays, single and multiple prostheses, aligner treatments and implantology. Intraoral scanners fascinated me already 12 years ago and I have been following their digital evolution since.”


For Dr Stephanus, dentistry was not a vocation at first. He started by studying medicine, but slowly realised there was something missing in his studies.

“I was missing the practical side. With French bureaucracy being quite complicated, you sometimes spend more time doing paperwork than treating patients. I have always been a hands-on person, and the dental curriculum struck me as very interesting. I found dentistry quite late in life, but it still became a passion.”

A good supplier is a dentist’s best friend

Dr Stephanus came across Planmeca’s solutions when his clinic supplier, Olivier Leroy from Planmeca’s distributor Comptoir Dentaire Lorrain, introduced him to the brand at the ADF dental fair in Paris. “I am lucky to have a long-term supplier who is very skilled technically. Without him, I would have never embarked on this adventure. You need someone who is not only a good salesperson but also a good technician. It’s really important to find a person you can trust for advice, for installations and for upgrades.”

He was impressed by Planmeca’s solutions: “They struck me as more ergonomic, more logical and more practical than other products.”

He started by working with a 3D imaging system and gradually ended up purchasing dental units, computer-aided design (CAD) / computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) devices and accompanying software solutions from Planmeca as well.

He added: “When I think about Planmeca, the words security, comfort and taking pride in innovation come to mind. I feel secure with their software and hardware, and I find their products to be pleasant and simple to use. It’s a tangible brand, a company that goes to great lengths to constantly keep moving and innovating. I think that might even be the reason that keeps me with Planmeca – if they don’t have something now, I know that they will have it soon.”


What makes Planmeca’s 3D units stand out, according to Dr Stephanus, is the great ergonomics they offer on different levels: “By ergonomics I mean several things. The device is comfortable for the practitioner to use and less anxiety provoking for the patient. Patient positioning happens almost on its own. But by ergonomics I also mean the software: it is easy to understand and to manage. I have used other software solutions that have been so cumbersome that using them almost became counterproductive.”

Impeccable infection control

The clinic is also equipped with the Planmeca Compact i5 dental unit and Planmeca’s patient chair.

Dr Stephanus commented: “Their comfort is exceptional. Everything is well thought out, and you can make so many adjustments. It’s great for us dentists and also for our dental assistants, who have easy access to all the different parts of the unit. Our dental unit is also equipped with a monitor that we find super practical – we can show different things to our patients and keep the patient file open on the same screen.”

Dental unit infection control also receives a perfect score from Dr Stephanus: “You can dismantle everything and sterilise everything. This is an imperative for every practice today, especially with Covid still being a concern. We owe our patients impeccable infection control.”