July/August 2009, Volume 30, Issue 6
Published by AEGIS Communications
Innovation, Practicality, and Support From 3M ESPE
3M Dental Products was established in 1964 and joined forces with ESPE AG, which began in 1947, to become 3M ESPE in 2001. “The common theme between these two companies was a commitment to R&D and innovation,” says Steve Bonfig, Global Communications Manager. “3M has 107 years of history in developing and applying new technology with 40 to 45 core technologies that are assets for everyone in the company to use. Listening to customers around the world and applying these technologies to help solve their problems is at the heart of who we are and what we do.
“It starts and ends with our customers,” Bonfig notes. “We take a collaborative approach, working with them to solve problems, both formally and informally.” 3M ESPE uses meetings with groups of general practitioners and key opinion leaders to obtain feedback, asking them to evaluate their overall experiences and the individual product features.
3M ESPE believes a very robust product pipeline is critical to its long-term success. The company is dedicated to helping dental professionals work faster, better, and more simply, and ultimately, enhance the way they interact with patients. “Innovation is one thing. However, we recognize that a product not only has to work as intended the first time but it needs to work the same way every time,” says Bonfig.
Beyond a track record of practical and reliable products, 3M ESPE is also committed to education and support for the products it introduces to the market. 3M ESPE focuses on educating its customers in a number of ways: by training lecturers who play an important role in teaching clinicians how to use dental materials and sales representatives who conduct “lunch and learns” and seminars and by providing online continuing education courses that dental professionals can access 24/7. “We’re in the process of expanding our educational offerings to include seminars on digital impressions and implantology, as well as other topics in general dentistry, prosthodontics, and prevention,” Bonfig says. “All these seminars are offered under the Espertise™ brand and focus on techniques and best practices, rather than only product features.”
An example of this combination of technology, customer collaboration, and problem solving was the introduction of Filtek™ Supreme Universal Restorative. The result was the first composite that used true nanotechnology and offered a winning combination of esthetics, strength, wear resistance, and easy handling.
3M Center, Building 0275-02-SE-03
St. Paul, MN 55144-1000
(800) 728-0956 [fax]