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Inside Dentistry
April 2017
Volume 13, Issue 4

Continuous Innovation Remains Priority for Imaging Leader

Jeff Kappler is determined to never let DEXIS be satisfied with the status quo

One of the first calls that veteran Danaher Corporation executive Jeff Kappler made upon being named Vice President and General Manager of the company’s DEXIS brand 2 years ago was to Manfred Pfeiffer, the founder of DEXIS. Kappler visited Pfeiffer in Germany, where they spent the day brainstorming product roadmaps and innovations.

“It was important for me to understand the history and culture of the brand,” says Kappler, who has been with the Danaher Corporation for 10 years. “That’s part of who I am—I want to listen and gather my information so I can make informed decisions without any reservations.”

Kappler took over an industry leader in developing high-quality digital solutions for the dental community. DEXIS introduced digital radiography on laptop computers as the first truly portable and affordable digital x-ray solution in 1997, and 4 years later it became the first intraoral digital radiography system to be accepted by the American Dental Association (ADA) into the prestigious ADA Seal Program. The company prides itself on building strong partnerships with dentists and their teams, based on long-term, interactive relationships.

“DEXIS is the image that provides confidence for patients and practitioners,” Kappler says. “The brand has been established as the industry leader in terms of image quality, ease of use, and office workflow.”

The challenge in taking over this business was not just to stay the course, but to continue innovating and improving.

“The core principle of the Danaher Business System is a continuous improvement mindset,” Kappler says. “We have adopted that mindset that we can always be better, we can always innovate, and we can always listen to our customers and deliver innovation that will add value.”

The key question when Kappler took over was, “How do I grow the business through innovation?” He took a fresh look at the innovation pipeline and set out to develop new ways to meet customer needs.

“You need to be willing to ask a lot of questions and listen,” Kappler says. “It’s important to have an open mind and ask a variety of stakeholders what successful innovation looks like. To me, the role of a leader is to listen, help solve problems, and remove obstacles so that the team can function at a higher level.”

That strategy came to fruition with the DEXIS CariVu. A compact, portable caries detection device, the CariVu uses patented transillumination technology to support the identification of occlusal, interproximal, and recurrent carious lesions and cracks. By hugging the tooth and bathing it in safe, near-infrared light, the transillumination technology makes the enamel appear transparent while porous lesions trap and absorb the light. The clinician can see through the tooth as the light exposes its structure and the actual structure of any carious lesions with very high accuracy.

“CariVu offers practitioners a way to treat more patients better,” Kappler says. “It allows for early prevention of caries and cracks with a non-radiographic source. It complements our other products and creates a more complete imaging solution.”

Kappler expects DEXIS to continue developing groundbreaking innovations like the CariVu, thanks in part to his hardworking team being backed by the vast resources of the Danaher Corporation.

“We are fortunate to have the financial support and also the continuous improvement mindset that Danaher has brought to the business,” Kappler says. “We are going to continue to be an industry leader in imaging.”

Through this innovation, DEXIS aims to be the go-to partner for dentists as they strategize for success in the future.

“I don’t think it’s my place to tell practitioners how they can be successful,” Kappler says. “My job is to provide the tools, service, and support that enable their success. I want to help practitioners treat more patients better. I want to be the partner of choice, because we provide the best-in-class imaging solutions and best-in-class support. I want to enable that practitioner to do what he or she wants to do. What success looks like for that individual dentist is really up to them.”

This commitment shines through in the company’s products, from the DEXIS CariVu to the DEXIS Platinum Sensor to the DEXIS Imaging Suite software.

“Dentists choose DEXIS because they want the confidence that they know their system is going to work and that DEXIS will be there to support them if there is a problem,” Kappler says. “Dentists get the whole package of our service, our customer care, our technical support, and our sales associates in the field really welcoming them to the DEXIS family.”

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