Innovative, Impactful Product Development
Henry Schein Brand Products uses its global network of resources
The COVID-19-related events of the past 2 years have forced dental professionals to search for innovative solutions to various problems, some of which were new and some of which were simply newly magnified. Fortunately, the Henry Schein Brand Products team prioritizes listening to its customers' needs and utilizing its vast resources to develop innovative solutions.
"We maintain close contact with dentists, the dental industry, and local dental markets to help guide us in developing the next level of products," says Gerard Metselaar, vice president of Henry Schein Brand Products.
Henry Schein Brand Products includes a team of global product category managers overseeing approximately 6,000 products worldwide. When they launch a new product, they start by considering feedback from dentists, manufacturing partners, and local sales representatives from around the world.
"We stay really close with a wealth of information from those three areas," Metselaar says.
Once feedback and data have been gathered, they start narrowing down what to bring to market. The products are then launched after an extensive development cycle, which often includes beta testing by practicing dentists.
"The process is comprehensive from the conceptualization of a product to the point at which it is launched," Metselaar says, "but it results in high-quality products."
Two of Henry Schein Brand Products' most most recent launches, the Maxima Pro 2AR™ handpiece and the Single-Use Aerosol Evacuator, were developed to address concerns about airborne aerosols.
"Personal protective equipment is the last line of defense against airborne aerosols, and even an N95 mask is not 100% effective," says Kent Eggleston, executive director of handpiece and small equipment solutions for Henry Schein. "We decided to address the problem as close to the source as possible."
Early in the pandemic, Eggleston's team built an aerosol test laboratory to evaluate particle size distribution and variables. They found significant variances among different handpieces, and from there, set out to create a design with the lowest emission profile possible. "We were able to change the emission profile in a way that does not change the effectiveness of the cooling and irrigation spray," Eggleston says.
As a result, the Maxima Pro 2AR handpiece reduces the emission of airborne aerosols by an average of > 90% when compared with typical high-speed handpieces.1
Although the Maxima Pro 2AR addresses the dentist's concerns, aerosol generation during hygiene procedures can be further mitigated by using the Single-Use Aerosol Evacuator-a disposable device that attaches to any standard high-volume evacuation (HVE) connection. It was designed with the dental hygienist in mind because most do not have the benefit of a dental assistant to operate an HVE tip.
"This is a hands-free device that is a game-changer for the dental hygienist," Eggleston says. "It sits at the exit of the oral cavity and essentially pulls in all of the aerosols coming off of a power scaler."
According to Metselaar, the Henry Schein Brand Products team plans to continue to use its vast global resources and relationships with the global dental supplier community to keep bringing innovative, impactful products like these to the market. "Remaining closely connected to all of our stakeholders allows us to come together as a dental community to develop the products of the future," he says.
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Henry Schein, Inc
1Average reduction based on tests conducted in an aerosol testing chamber and measured by laser-light scattering photometry.