Interview: Dental Axess introduces BenderI, the world’s first portable wire bending machine
In Nice, France, Dental Axess presented the BenderI, the first portable wire bending machine, during the 95th European Orthodontic Society (EOS) Congress, which took place from June 17 to 22. Daniel Uebersax, Executive Director of Dental Axess Europe, answered our questions about his company and the newly launched product.
Mr Uebersax, could you tell me a little bit more about Dental Axess?
Dental Axess was founded in 2011 in Sydney, Australia. Back then, dental laboratories were working with closed systems which limited them in what they could do or which materials they could use. Our founders wanted to give dental professionals new possibilities to improve patients’ experiences, so they aimed for an open system for digital workflows. They started to work closely with 3Shape because of its scanner, integrating their system with different milling centers so that customers could have full material flexibility.
Since then, the industry has changed a lot. Owing to the fact that in-house milling has become affordable, dental professionals started to buy milling machines themselves, and milling centers became less and less popular. But the biggest shift came about five years ago, when intraoral scanners started to gain enormous popularity.
Today, Dental Axess is a market leader in CAD/CAM in Australia and New Zealand and has established offices in Europe, North America and South East Asia as well. We try to always be on the edge of technology. We started by offering scanners and 3D printers, later adding milling machines, and now just added the BenderI, which we are presenting here at the EOS Congress. The BenderI is the first machine we have in Europe so far. It will go to a dentist in Switzerland and we will launch it commercially in September all over Europe.
How does the wire bending machine work?
In the first step, the patient is scanned with an intraoral scanner. In the second step, the dental practitioner uploads the scans to the BenderI software, called FixR, and decides what height he or she wants the retainer to sit at. The BenderI then automatically creates a fixed retainer suggestion. At the click of a button, the BenderI will bend the wire in only four minutes. The retainer can then directly be placed in the patient’s mouth. The procedure is easy and quick, allowing dentists to offer their patients same-day treatment.
What other products do you distribute?
We also work with companies that produce 3D printers and intraoral scanners as mentioned before. 3Shape is our main partner for intraoral scanners because we believe in the quality of these scanners and it offers an open solution that fits almost any clinic’s needs.
Dental Axess is also just about to launch a new service called “XPlan Design Service,” which gives dental professionals full flexibility and allows them to outsource time-consuming design steps while retaining control over cost and treatment quality at all times. As for manufacturing, one can choose to do this in-house or outsource to third-party manufacturers as required.
As a distributor, we want to go beyond being a dental depot; we listen to what our customers want to achieve and find a solution for them to reach their goals so that they are confident they will obtain a successful outcome.
How do you build your customer base?
We attend trade shows and offer various seminars for different target groups all over Switzerland. We also host educational events or online webinars. But most of all, we thrive on customer referrals. Dental Axess offers comprehensive support at all levels and supports the customer for the long run. This is what our customers appreciate, since they have one contact person for everything. Our goal is to leave every customer with a smile on his or her face. A happy customer is probably the most important factor for our success.
If an orthodontist were to meet you here, express interest and then buy equipment from you, what could he or she expect?
Most of the time, we will go to the customer’s clinic and start by mapping out his or her practice as it stands at that first meeting, as well as his or her challenges, needs and ambitions, in order to understand the bigger picture.Then we install everything and give full training. We usually come back about two weeks later to guide the customer and help with any problems or questions he or she might have. Working digitally is a big change and the dentist needs to adapt and learn this new way of working. We are always there to help our customers through that process. With offices on four continents, we are able to provide nonstop customer service by telephone as well.
Thank you very much for your time.