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Interview: “3DISC is bringing the best solution to dentists”

Thomas Weldingh presenting the Heron IOS intraoral scanner in Chicago this week. (Photograph: Matthias Diessner, DTI)
Dental Tribune International

Dental Tribune International

Thu. 22. February 2018


CHICAGO, U.S.: At the 2017 Greater New York Dental Meeting, 3DISC launched its Heron IOS intraoral scanner to the world. Three months later, the Denmark-based imaging company returns to the U.S. to present an improved device to attendees of the Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting. In light of the event, Dental Tribune Online spoke with Thomas Weldingh, 3DISC Deputy Group CEO, to discuss the key benefits of the Heron IOS for dental professionals.

What can you tell us about the new scanner, which is currently in its final testing phase, you will be presenting at the Midwinter Meeting this week?
With the Heron IOS, we have aimed to solve three major challenges that we know of from the existing scanners on the market: dimensions, ergonomics and affordability. We have succeeded in bringing a scanner to the market that is extremely easy to use, featuring a small, lightweight hand- and mouthpiece with a rotatable tip for providing the best possible ergonomic grip.

The Heron intraoral scanner is one of the lightest weight color scanners in the market, weighing only 278 g, which is considerably below the average weight of other color scanners. The ability to use scanners comfortably is important for dentists and, with its light weight, combined with the rotatable tip, the Heron provides one of the best ergonomic solutions in the industry. Finally, we seek to cater to the segment of solo and midsize practices with an easy-to-use and affordable solution.

What are the key benefits of the 3DISC intraoral digital impression solution?
Our digital scanning product is a uniquely simple hardware and software solution. The dentist simply connects the Heron to his or her laptop or PC in the clinic, using the accompanying practical base for desktop use. The scanner comes with our QuantorClinic software, built on exocad’s software platform, which is one of the most widely used CAD/CAM software platforms in the dental industry. The Heron IOS was developed and is produced at our facilities in Virginia, U.S.

What is planned in terms of clinical testing of the product?
The Heron IOS is being tested by dentists in the U.S. and Europe during spring this year. We want to ensure that the product works as intended in the clinical environment while looking for improvements we can add to the workflow of the clinic and integration with dental laboratories.

Why did you decide to enter the intraoral scanner market?
The market is dominated by a few larger manufacturers. We believe there is room for an alternative intraoral system in the marketplace, a system that brings immediate value into the dental practice, making impression taking simple, hassle-free and cost-effective. Device and maintenance cost are among the challenges restraining the adoption of current intraoral scanners, as well as demand for an open and license-free software architecture. We believe in the need and opportunity to bring a product to market that meets these challenges.

Why does 3DISC aim to cater for solo to midsize practices, and what are the benefits such practices can expect from your products?
Solo and midsize practices are the segment that is currently hesitant to incorporate digital dentistry. Among the reasons are complexity in the existing solutions and high prices and maintenance costs. We see a gap and a need for a product in this segment with first and foremost a noncomplex and simple price model, and a technology that is easy to adopt and get started with, without compromising on the performance and quality of the final fit.

Dental practices can expect both high-quality intraoral imaging and an affordable price point below $30,000 without any annual licensing fees for the Heron intraoral scanner. For the solo or midsize practice wanting to enter into digital dentistry, we believe that 3DISC is bringing the best solution to dentists with our Heron IOS.

What is so special about the Midwinter Meeting in particular for 3DISC?
We have exhibited our FireCR Dental PSP Reader at the Midwinter Meeting in the past. The show is a good venue for 3DISC, as it brings together the dental industry across the U.S., but also provides an opportunity to catch up with our international partners and customers—particularly from Latin America.

When and where is the launch and when will the product be available?
The 3DISC team is inviting dental professionals to visit our booth (#920) at the Midwinter Meeting. Product shipping will start in the second quarter of 2018 in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

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