August 2016
Volume 7, Issue 8

The Most Influential People in Dental Technology

A Note from Jim Glidewell, CDT
President & CEO, Glidewell Laboratories
Voted No. 1 Most Influential

As an industry, we have an obligation not only to “do no harm” but also to advance every aspect of the restorative experience for the dentist and patient. Laboratory owners and decision-makers must leave behind a legacy of inspired improvements in their communities for all those associated with their businesses. This can be done by helping to advance the transformation from analog technology, with its imperfect outcomes, to dependable automated production.

Therein lies the crux of our industry’s challenges: For those who do not master the changes that lie dead ahead, there will be no future. The landscape is evolving too rapidly. Did anyone really foresee zirconia, the accelerated growth of DSOs, or the changing attitudes of our patients?

Who among us is prepared to deal with the purchasing agents of these large DSOs and to sacrifice all hope of profitability? Someone will always take on that challenge because they want to grow big, regardless of the impact on our industry. Those will most likely be the newcomers. After all, they have no commitment to the past, no analog skills to abandon, and no employee commitments to keep. They just have a business plan.

Who among us is ready to cede the 70 percent of crown-and-bridgework that sustains our industry? One well-managed DSO owns more than 500 in-office milling systems. The patients like 1-hour crowns. Don’t patients want to wear a temporary for 2 weeks and go back for the permanent crown that we so lovingly crafted? No. They will sacrifice “quality” for convenience and may pay more for it. As much as we care about the esthetic outcome of a case, patients and their dentists see less need for our services. Yes, these same practices will continue sending removable work, complex implant cases, and other custom appliances to our doorstep, but the big, frothy 70 percent of crown-and-bridgework that sustains us will disappear.

Who among us is ready for the day that our vendor milling centers may not need us? Ten years from now, dentists may simply go direct. They don’t need our cute little delivery cars to pick up that antiquated silicone impression.

Folks, we need to wake up and get real! The future is not what it used to be! Will you be ready to master the changes and challenges that lie ahead?

In this period of transition for the industry, making smart and informed decisions is crucial. Key individuals wield tremendous influence when these decisions are being made. IDT identified the figures whose opinions, advice, and leadership have had a lasting impact by asking readers for nominations and then polling our Editorial Advisory Board. These are the results, along with anonymous comments submitted with their votes.

Gordon Christensen, DDS, MSD, PhD
CEO of Clinicians Report

John Kois, DMD, MSD
Founder and Director of the Kois Center

Bennett Napier, CAE
Executive Director of the NADL

Willi Geller, MDT
Founder of Oral Design International Foundation

Peter Pizzi, MDT, CDT, FNGS
Owner of Pizzi Dental Studio

Robert Ganley
CEO of Ivoclar Vivadent

Tais Clausen
Co-founder and CTO of 3Shape

Lee Culp, CDT
CEO of Sculpture Studios

Sasha Der Avanessian
President and CEO of Harvest Dental Products

Ed McLaren, DDS, MDC
Director of the UCLA Center for Esthetic Dentistry

"John Kois has unparalleled knowledge, passion, and integrity. Many have emulated his teaching model for both technicians and dentists."

"Peter Pizzi provides realistic and practical advice drawn on years of hands-on experiences to which people at all levels of an organization can relate."

"Bennett Napier keeps the industry on top of new trends, regulations, and laws. He is the glue that holds us together."

"Lee Culp has the broad and tested experience to bridge the analog-to-digital changes that are impacting dentistry and the laboratory industry."

"Willi Geller introduced the idea of a customized boutique laboratory with higher fees."

"Both Gordon Christensen and Ed McLaren have set the bar for the rest of us."

"Tais Clausen, Robert Ganley, and Jim Glidewell are three visionaries who have truly transformed the dental technology landscape. Each has innovated disruptive processes, technologies, or products that altered our profession."

"Sasha Der Avanessian has offered materials to enhance our field."

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