June 2008, Volume 4, Issue 6
Published by AEGIS Communications
Brooklyn, New York
Dr. Marc Liechtung, CEO and Founder
Question NO. 1
Inside Dentistry (ID): The dental industry and the oral healthcare arena have been changing rapidly within the past 5-10 years. What do you see as the most significant of those changes?
Marc Liechtung (ML): The obvious recent technological changes have been in the doctor’s delivery system and the choices open to both dentist and patient. For example, in the delivery system we see quieter, more efficient handpieces with fiber-optic details; in the anesthetic component, there are improved methods for the patient to receive profound anesthesia with less discomfort. The more acute advances are seen from implant development (ie, lasers) to the laboratory’s ability to obtain incredible precision with the CAD/CAM, thereby achieving superior end results. When I developed and subsequently patented the Snap-On Smile® Multi-Purpose Restorative Appliance, I believed it would be viewed as one of the technological advances benefiting our industry and our patients. I see Snap-On Smile appliances as an established advancement; whether it is from its ability to attract patients that normally would not come to a dental practice, to serving as a fantastic and functional interim appliance for implant temporaries for quadrants and full arches, as well as raising vertical dimension.
Question NO. 2
ID:In what ways—both internally and in dealing with the broader oral healthcare marketplace—has your company responded to those changes?
ML:Although Snap-On Smile is a newly patented product (US Patent NO. 7,357,637), it has already made tremendous strides in advancing the healthcare marketplace.
The guiding vision behind Snap-On Smile is that all people should be able to receive dental care, whether esthetically or restoratively, regardless of their financial capabilities, health status, geographic location, or other challenges. As a large part of the population is not readily seeking dental care, and those that do often decline extensive treatment plans, Snap-On Smile is changing the way consumers view dentistry and expanding the way dental professionals approach dentistry.
The appliance has been proven to transition patients to eventually seek more extensive dental care. In cases where the dentist seeks an initiation for the patient to embark on a more advanced treatment plan, Snap-On Smile offers its ability to truly be a Multi-Purpose Restorative Appliance.
For example, a clinician seeking to raise a patient’s vertical dimension eases the patient into the new height with the Snap-On Smile appliance, or a clinician replacing missing teeth enhances esthetics of abutment teeth with the Snap-On Smile Cosmetic Removable Partial Denture. By offering a non-invasive alternative, dentists retain patients in their practices who often move on to more extensive treatment.
I see in the future that Snap-On Smile should be an absolute must for every dental practice to use to facilitate more treatment, quality dentistry, and predictable care.
Question NO. 3
ID: What do you see as your biggest responsibility to the marketplace, and why does your choice rank as your NO. 1 priority?
ML: My responsibility derives from two avenues, both as a practicing dentist and founder of Snap-On Smile…my goal is to deliver quality dentistry while addressing the needs of those people who do not have easy access to dental care.
As a dentist who treats patients and cares about their oral health, I aim to continuously deliver the best quality dental care that a person can receive. No matter what the procedure, I will continue to demand that we achieve this goal, because that is what our patients deserve and that is our call to action.
As the inventor of Snap-On Smile, I also feel an abiding responsibility and rightful determination to continue to deliver first-rate and innovative appliances to every dentist who places their trust in us. Whether a Cosmetic Removable Partial Denture where the patient will be wearing it long-term, or a Snap-On Smile Implant Temporary appliance which is used for the short term, the product quality continues to be superb. Our entire company, from the phone personnel to the technicians, is dedicated to seeing that we maintain excellence, and the guiding vision behind Snap-On Smile is realized every day. We are committed to developing innovative ways this appliance can be used…so we can help more people.
Question NO. 4
ID: What do you see as the best approach to the research, development, testing, and ultimate delivery to the market of such needed advancements?
ML: As a wet-fingered clinician, daily case and follow-up within my practice has offered an incredible learning experience as I have developed and the advanced the Snap-On Smile appliance.
We cannot exclusively rely on individual or even group practitioners that evaluate and enhance the development of any product, let alone a new concept using an uncommon material. That is why I feel it is important to gain access into the university setting. The majority of dental research is conducted within institutions that should become more involved in product evaluation as they are great resources providing improved dental care and health promotion.
I sincerely believe that new products should be integrated with clinicians of select institutions, thereby allowing residents to work with the appliance, and enabling instructors and researchers to aid in the development of new technology via education and community service.
Their resultant findings should be reported to the industry via professional journals. This process is not intended to be a vehicle to downgrade a product but to assist companies with feedback, experience, and guidance. The profession should embrace innovators and innovations because they are crucial to advance our industry, first innovating locally then acting globally.
Question NO. 5
ID: There are many challenges facing dentistry and oral healthcare today. How is your company helping to resolve them?
ML: I believe the two greatest challenges facing dentistry and the oral healthcare industry are, first, the costs that we as dentists have placed upon procedures and, second, the public’s misconceptions that “dentistry hurts.” Each of these conditions prevents great numbers of potential patients from even entering a dental office and ever seeking elective dental care.
As dental treatment care prices increase, patients are experiencing greater financial limitations. Many practices may “do their part” in offering their financially constrained patients some sort of discount, but that alone is not enough for the individual who cannot actually afford the treatment plan or the practice that cannot ultimately sustain the financial compromise. Snap-On Smile offers a viable alternative for patient and dentist alike.
Snap-On Smile can help restore the negative connotation that dentistry is “painful” by providing patients with a reversible alternative to extensive dental treatment. Whether cosmetic, restorative, or implant dentistry, this Multi-Purpose Restorative Appliance can serve as a wonderful alternative treatment or as an interim appliance until the patient is ready to undertake the more fixed treatment.
From a phobic standpoint, Snap-On Smile is completely non-invasive and thereby attracts many people to become long-term patients, when they might normally only seek emergency care.
The dental profession and the public have benefited from the many advances in the oral healthcare arena, and it is my utmost privilege to share my goal of providing quality care and re-establishing faith in dentistry through Snap-On Smile.