Embarking on the digital journey and beyond

From its headquarters in the US and France and an R&D division in South Korea, 3Disc sets its sight to pioneer the digital dentistry landscape of tomorrow. Czarmaine Masigla finds out more from Marie-Laure Pochon, CEO and president of 3Disc, on the state of today’s digital dentistry landscape and how the company supports dental practitioners to keep up with advancements in the digital domain.

The digital revolution in the dental industry is unyielding. Not only has it accelerated equipment innovation, but embracing new technologies has also helped streamline dental procedures, thus enhancing how dentistry is performed today.

Suggesting digital adoption as the driving force in the dental market, Marie-Laure Pochon, CEO and president of 3Disc, explained that embracing digital dentistry allows dentists to offer a wider range and more predictable treatments to their patients. She told Dental Asia: “The dentists’ practice relies on very delicate manual processes with high technology devices and reliability. This blend is unique in healthcare and at each point in time, the question is, therefore, how to maximise the quality and reliability of the clinical processes and the time spent.

“Technology should improve both the quality of care and the efficiency of the dentists. This fine balance is a daily challenge and that is why the relationship between dentists and their distributor is so important.”

In Pochon’s perspective, the invention of the intraoral scanner (IOS) is central in this transition to a digital dental landscape as it streamlines dental practitioners’ workflows. Describing IOS as the starting point of many treatments, she explained that IOS are the first step of the digitalisation of the dental practices as it brings more accuracy in the prothesis, better comfort for the patients and allows a shorter turnaround time for the patients’ treatment.

“It is interesting to notice that when a dentist starts to use an IOS, they would never consider going back and realise that it has brought more changes and advantages than they initially expected,” she added. “Today, only a minority of general or family dentists are equipped and we see that the new generation of IOS, which is more user-friendly and intuitive, will help speed up the adoption. This shift is happening and doctors no longer have questions about precision and return-on-investment but focus on how to apply it to all areas of their daily practice.”

3Disc Heron IOS

In an attempt to bring simplicity into dental practitioners’ workflows, 3Disc developed the Heron IOS, an ergonomic and compact digital 3D imaging solution. Weighing just 150g, the Heron IOS can be operated with all CAD/CAM systems available for clinicians and laboratories.

And when paired with the HeronClinic software, dental practitioners can navigate the intuitive interface to meet their restorative, orthodontic and implant needs. From case creation, scanning or case integration, the Heron IOS with a cloud sharing platform enables dental practitioners to create and browse patient cases, scan and share with labs.

The mission of 3Disc has always been focused on the creation of an IOS for all dental offices through a philosophy of being easy and intuitive, thereby allowing general dentists to use it daily, Pochon emphasised. This vision, she recalled, was driven by a realisation that the first generation of IOS devices was complex, hence usage was restricted among hyper-specialists and digital-friendly dentists.

“Our vision is supported by the fact we are offering an alternative in the marketplace and continuously developing new features and open systems that are capable of driving customised integration with other systems employed in the dental clinics,” she added.

The future is digital

A study by iData Research revealed that the Asia-Pacific digital dentistry market is expected to reach US$1.1 billion by 2027. This is fuelled by the emergence of 3D printers, IOS and CAD/CAM technologies which will lead to an increase in digital dentistry procedures moving forward.

Commenting on the Asia-Pacific dentistry market, Pochon described this region as an “exciting market” because of the high professionalism of the dentists combined with their technology-driven mentality and a strong will to be more efficient will accelerate the region’s entry into the digital world. Furthermore, dental labs have led the transition to digital over the years and are now supporting and driving the adoption of new technologies in dental clinics to offer new types of prosthetics.

She concluded: “We think that the digitalisation will improve immensely the way patients are followed by their dentists in the long run with treatments and prostheses which will be more accurate and last longer. The second benefit will rely on the improved efficiency of the dentists which will more than probably allow more patients to have access to dental care, while today we know it is less than 40% of the population who is regularly treated.”  

Published in Dental Asia July/August 2022 issue.