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An Interview with E4D Technologies
INSIDE DENTISTRY (ID): What role is your technology playing in the rapidly changing field of dentistry?
HENLEY Quadling (HQ): For the clinician, our technology provides more efficient and effective diagnosis and treatment. For the technician, it provides compatibility with whatever technology is used in the office and more effective design and fabrication methods. For team members, it provides more involvement and production, and for the patient, a better overall experience. When we launched the company (D4D Technologies) in 2003, restorative care was still largely based on traditional impressions and conventional laboratory fabrication techniques. As we have combined our scanning, designing, and milling technologies with Planmeca and their 2D and 3D capabilities, diagnosis, treatment planning, and treatment beyond crown and bridge based on a digital platform have all become a reality. The future will be combining these technologies for more preventive and diagnostic care and additional treatment modalities.
ID: What are the three most important elements of your success?
Mark Quadling (MQ): Quality, support, and innovation.
We develop every product with the requirements of dental professionals in mind. That is the starting point, from which we draw our inspiration.
Education and support are important components of the PlanScan system’s onboarding process. Customers have access to the best training and customer support. If they are in the middle of a case, our group is there to lend a hand and remotely take over the case, if requested. We also have robust advanced education options—they can come to Planmeca University, visit us at a regional course, or take one of our online courses.
We’ve always believed customers should play a lead role in dentistry and innovation. Their desire for greater mobility, flexibility, and convenience led us to develop the first laptop-based system (PlanScan). Demand for more clinically precise prosthetics inspired us to engineer our patent-pending blue laser, which captures ultra-fine details. The need for easier collaboration between dental professionals and with their labs led us to develop an open system that can “talk” to other systems instead of closed system that limits customer choices.
ID: What inspires the forward motion of your company?
HQ: The customer. We give dental professionals the tools for more effective and efficient treatment without compromise. We focus on the basics with a forward look at what the general practice needs to stay relevant—implants, orthodontics, and endodontic procedures.
Collaboration tools like Planmeca’s Romexis and our digital design software, PlanCAD, allow clinicians and laboratories to perform their best work remotely, efficiently, and effectively.
ID: How is the global economy impacting your operations?
MQ: In a very positive way. Our relationship with Planmeca has helped us extend our products worldwide and we see opportunities for growth by combining our technologies and offering them globally. Use of Internet and cloud-based tools will continue, including remote diagnostics and services, leading to increased capabilities—digital workflow. Planmeca’s Romexis open-imaging software continues to influence and enhance practice capabilities beyond general restorations and more toward those cases requiring treatment planning, such as implants and orthodontics.
ID: Can you share anything you have in the pipeline right now?
HQ: Practical application of any enhancement is our first priority, and how it affects efficiency or efficacy of a product or procedure.
On the horizon we’re looking at a system to integrate CAD/CAM with digital diagnostic technologies such as Optical Coherence Tomography–based scanning with x-ray-free internal volume 3D scanning diagnostics. These technologies will expand and improve prevention and diagnostics for long-term benefit to dental professionals and their patients.