Christine Amber McClymont joined exocad, an Align Technology company, in 2020 as the dental software provider’s global head of marketing and communications. McClymont brings to the role extensive knowledge in the dental and medical industries, as well as financial services. Since joining the team, she’s succeeded in substantially expanding exocad’s visibility within the dental software market. McClymont spoke with Dental Asia about why exocad’s open software and open communication style inspire loyalty and commitment within the digital dental community.
You have vast experience in marketing and communications. What piqued your interest to work in the dental industry, particularly at exocad?
McClymont: I was in financial services for a decade, and in the medical industry for a couple of years before working in the dental industry. One of the main reasons why I was excited about the opportunity to join the exocad team was because exocad is a leading company in digital dentistry. And at exocad, everyone is really working together as one team. We have a great team spirit, plus lots of opportunities to advance professionally, to collaborate and grow. I enjoy working with so many highly motivated people who are passionate about making a difference for dental professionals, paving the way in the growing digital dentistry, and, ultimately, creating better patient care. What I like about the dental sector is that it’s very close-knit. In general, dental is a very progressive and dynamic industry. I’ve met many thought leaders, who are very inspirational people, and I appreciate working with them.
What excites you the most in this role?
McClymont: I have enjoyed building out an integrated marketing and communications team. We’re creating global campaigns with regional focus, in collaboration with regional and local partners, and with very broad-level support from within the company. exocad succeeds because the leadership believes in flat hierarchies, trying new and creative approaches, and being brave with new ideas. That’s a very inspiring environment within which to work. I’ve also had the opportunity to develop exocad’s brand from that of a start-up company into an industry leader.
How would you describe your leadership style, and how does it complement the company’s culture?
McClymont: In one word: collaborative. I like to motivate people, cheer them on, and see them grow and advance in their careers. I think it’s important to learn each team member’s strengths and help them grow. I don’t believe in micromanagement. I delegate where appropriate, and there’s a lot of opportunity for team members to take ownership of projects. Above all, I think it’s important maintain a positive vibe.
Despite the promising outlook of digital dentistry, there are still a number of dental professionals (especially in South East Asia) taking a conservative approach to adopting the technology. What do you think causes the bottleneck in the transition to digital technology?
McClymont: The majority of labs in Europe and the United States use digital technology. In the Asian region, we actually see a rising trend of labs adopting digital technologies. That’s largely due to a greater awareness of the benefits of digital dentistry and also because the initial investment costs for hardware are dropping. High-quality scanners and printers are becoming more affordable even for smaller labs. No matter which hardware a lab chooses, we believe many will choose exocad because of our open platform.
Labs are also feeling pressure to keep up with dentists. Although the adoption rate is generally lower in clinics than in labs, more dentists are investing in intraoral scanners and 3D printers. They want to increase their practice offerings and patient satisfaction. They want to offer intraoral scans instead of “messy” impressions and provide patients with previews of their proposed restorations using a 3D smile design program like our Smile Creator. Old analogue approaches will become a thing of the past at some point in time.
What strategies are being implemented to address this issue, and how does the company support dental professionals (both clinicians and technicians) in jumpstarting their digital journey?
McClymont: We launched the Creator Centre last year—a destination on our website where people can watch video tutorials available in Chinese and numerous other languages. We have great online content that includes comprehensive cases and short video clips. Our tutorials are also on new media channels including TikTok and WeChat, following the trends in information consumption within our target groups. And we partner with our resellers who are instrumental in communicating the benefits of exocad to the dental community.
The Galway family of releases was recently launched: DentalCAD for labs, ChairsideCAD for single-visit dentistry, as well as exoplan for implant planning. What is the significance of this milestone?
McClymont: We’ve made single-visit dentistry more achievable and increased our software’s ease of use. There are new time-saving features in the latest DentalCAD and ChairsideCAD versions like Instant Anatomic Morphing, and we now have artificial intelligence-assisted features like for Smile Creator where facial features are automatically detected for faster smile design. exoplan, which is often the link between clinicians and labs, provides easy and intuitive to use tools for implant planning, further increasing the collaboration between labs and practices.
What other developments are being planned to help early adopters of digital technology to scale their workflow and further propel their productivity?
McClymont: exocad continually focuses on increasing productivity. We want to support more volume in the labs by making their workflows faster and the results more accurate and predictable. On the clinical side, we’re focused on using our tools to increase productivity and patient engagement. Like with Smile Creator, visualising restorative treatments using a combination of 2D and 3D images helps make patient outcomes more predictable.
exocad continues to be open and is integrating new materials, implant systems and equipment that are launched in the market. Our software developers design and innovate based on the needs of labs and clinicians. Then the technicians and clinicians can choose the software that best boosts their productivity. This makes exocad an excellent choice for users at all stages of the digital dentistry journey.
How does exocad ensure that practitioners keep up with the advancements?
McClymont: If you want to stay on top of the newest and latest information and products from exocad, register for our News Bites newsletter and discuss your goals with an authorised exocad reseller in your region. We also work with dental thought leaders around the world who educate their peers on how to best use exocad software for their specific needs.
What’s your marketing strategy as it pertains to the APAC region?
McClymont: We have a dedicated and experienced marketing team who oversee the APAC region and local teams in China, South Korea and India who tailor our marketing strategy to the needs of the dental communities there. We are continuing to build out our network of thought leaders and are taking an increasingly regional approach to our campaigns.
What makes exocad distinctive from other brands?
McClymont: The exocad software is open and so is our company culture. We like to have a close and direct dialogue with our community. We solicit feedback directly from users on social media platforms. Our large, devoted user base or “exoFamily” has grown organically and has a strong sense of community. We cultivate that spirit, and many users feel like they are part of something important. exocad is also distinctive because our software continues to broaden and expand the possibilities of digital dentistry. Like we say, all you have to do is “Imagine the CADabilities.”