Technology, Simple Integration Key Focuses for Dentsply Sirona

Dentsply Sirona Chief Technology Officer Dr. Cord Staehler shares his thoughts with DPR in an interview conducted at DS World 22.

More than 4,500 attendees connected in Las Vegas, Nevada, for Dentsply Sirona World 2022 in September, and this year’s participants experienced the latest innovations in digital dentistry, networked with thousands of peers, earned continuing education credits and enjoyed award-winning headline acts. During the three-day event, Dental Products Report® sat down with clinicians and Dentsply Sirona executives to discuss the company’s annual event, latest technology advances and the dental industry as a whole.

Here, managing editor Stan Goff interviews Dr. Cord Staehler, Dentsply Sirona’s Chief Technology Officer. Dr Staehler shares details on his background and his role with the company, as well as how the many product offerings from Dentsply Sirona integrate to allow clinicians to best care for their patients.

DPR: Tell us a little about yourself and your role with Dentsply Sirona.

CS: I've been the CTO for the company for about 3 years now. So, I’m all about innovation, our technology stack and also overseeing what we call digital platforms and solutions. Our global business was all equipment in the past. Now, we have the software, the services, the customers and the products to move into the digital space successfully.

I think Dentsply Sirona is a great place to be and I am excited about our future impact on the industry. For over 100 years, our innovations have helped make people smile and improve their dental and oral health. It’s an impactful history, and our future is bright to continue this legacy.

The global dentistry industry is massive, and our technologies and our digital products help make it easier for all. If you can translate new products and new services into real-life positive changes, that’s a great thing. It’s why we are so passionate about innovation—we want to continue to find new and improved ways to make dentistry easier and more enjoyable for everyone involved.

DPR: What has Dentsply Sirona done to help simplify some of the workflows and reduce the “overwhelming” amount of technology and software options?

CS:We just introduced our new laptop-based intraoral scanning solution called Primescan Connect. It offers you a fast and efficient intraoral scanning experience that is easy to set up and seamlessly integrate into your practice. Primescan Connect has a specific laptop where clinicians can use the intraoral scanner for restorative, implants, orthodontics and more.

Also, earlier this year, we released Primeprint Solution, a highly automated, end-to-end, medical-grade 3D printing system for dentists and dental technicians.

We also wanted to ensure that these products had the best in connectivity solutions to assist in their impact. That’s why we developed the DS Core digital dentistry platform that integrates the whole workflow of digital dentistry—across all of our devices, services, and technologies.

These products are a signal of a total shift in what we provide and how we help empower dentists to do so much more. Everything is integrated, everything is coming together and allowing for easier and more efficient workflows.

DPR: Explain how this helps with all types of patient care.

CS: When technology makes things easier for the dentists, they can take on things like implants and clear aligners more easily. For example, with our SureSmile® Aligners, you can allow for personalization in even the most challenging cases. Precise processing of the data and thorough quality control ensure outstanding fit and aligners that are so transparent they’re hard to detect.

Our clear aligner software offers the ability to illustrate to the patients how straightening their teeth will make things so much better for them. It’s the best kind of outcome for you as a dentist—you can provide the patient with not only the best outcome, but help drive their confidence and ease throughout.

With Primescan Connect, we believe the process will become a routine from start to finish, and you add more and more services that you can continue to grow. You can scan it here and at the same time watch it and discuss with your lab on the other side of the world. The technology allows global practices and global connections to feel closer and more natural.

DPR: So, I imagine it’s nice to have a large, in-person show again after the issues brought on by the pandemic the last 2 years.

CS: It’s great to see people fired up again. I would say the event is maybe not as crowded this year [than previous years] but I feel like the people who are coming also are more dedicated to it. We’ve gotten used to doing more online, so while there may be less people here, it’s still exciting because those who are attending are so focused and excited. They're here for a reason. They want to meet people, to do something, or see and experience something in person. It's totally changed in a way. This is kind of how that evolves, right? We don't need these events so much for information because there’s the internet. You need these events to get trained, to collaborate, to socialize.

DPR: What does the future look like?

CS: A big thing with Dentsply Sirona is simplicity. With everything we're adding, we want to make it simpler for clinicians to experience the benefits of going digital. This will drive innovation.

As the innovation and usage grows, then with parts that happen repetitively, such as AI (artificial intelligence), can play a bigger role. You’ll have smart devices that will be affordable because all they have to do is shoot data or get data. Then the more you use these devices and the more intelligence is gained, you become more effective.

I don't know what's going to happen in the future but I think this will be such a different industry in 5 years. From products to processes, the dental industry will grow by leaps and bounds in how we work and how we help the patients. I'm excited to live in that world.

DS World Highlights:

This year’s event was a truly global experience, with a live connection between the Dentsply Sirona World attendees in Las Vegas and Madrid, where another DS World event was happening at the same time. This significant moment highlighted the power of digital technology and the company’s commitment to bringing better care and more smiles to all corners of the world.

“Dentsply Sirona World unites dental professionals around the world,” says Simon Campion, President and CEO of Dentsply Sirona. “It is a chance to connect, collaborate, and learn from a large and diverse community of peers to enable better outcomes for patients and create healthy smiles.”

Dentsply Sirona is committed to promoting women in dentistry, supporting their professional development, advocating for parity and helping give them a strong voice in the dental community. In line with this, 50 percent of the main stage speakers at Dentsply Sirona World 2022 were women.

Attendees participated in over 100 clinical education courses, ranging from Implants to Digital Dentistry, Clear Aligners, Practice Management and more. The educational offering also included a dedicated track for staff, dental assistants and hygienists.

At the event, Dentsply Sirona also hosted its first-ever sustainability breakout sessions, which focused on what sustainability means for dentistry and the actions teams can take to become more sustainable businesses.

Attendees at DS World 2022 were offered an exclusive preview of the new Primescan Connect – a highly connective and easy-to-use, laptop-based version of the fast and accurate Primescan intraoral scanner. In his main stage presentation, “A Digital Office for the Future,” Mike Skramstad, DDS, showed how he uses the new device in his practice, with attendees then given the chance to experience it for themselves in the exhibit hall.

Dentsply Sirona’s Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, Erania Brackett, was joined by founder and Executive Chairwoman of SPANX ®, Sara Blakely, on the main stage to talk about growing a business from the ground up. As founder of the famous shapewear company, Blakely went from a door-to-door salesperson to building a billion-dollar business—paving the way for future female founders. Award-winning comedian, television host and writer David Spade wrapped up the first day with a hilarious stand-up comedy show. On Friday evening, Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Journey performed and called on the audience to stand up and sing their legendary hits with them—and no one in the ballroom was too shy to refuse, especially to their big hit “Don’t Stop Believin’.” For Saturday’s final celebration, guests came attired in their “Neon Glam” look and danced the night away at the Omnia Club.

Check out these 2 other DPR interview articles from the event online:

Education Involvement Key for Sustainability in Dentistry

“Everything Starts With Care for the Patient”