Interview: DryShield is introducing the only autoclavable modern isolation system to Europe

Modern isolation systems are designed to accomplish the tasks of a high-suction evacuator, dry angles, cotton rolls and gauze in one easy-to-use device. DryShield is an exciting and innovative company in this field and just made its second appearance at the International Dental Show (IDS) in Cologne in Germany after recently receiving the CE marking for its eponymous product, allowing its sale in Europe. Dental Tribune International spoke with Matt Muramoto, a regional sales manager at DryShield, at IDS 2019 about the device and the company’s plans for introducing the system to European dentists.

DryShield promises to be an all-in-one system. What features does it offer?
DryShield was designed with the dentist in mind by our founder, Dr Lan Nguyen, a long-time practising paediatric dentist. He was seeking to address a need that he and his colleagues faced, with an all-in-one isolation device that was autoclavable, comfortable and easy to use. DryShield combines isolation, retraction of the soft tissue, protection of the throat from liquids and debris, and aspiration of the oral cavity. It frees up the dental assistant—who, by the way, loves DryShield—to multitask and prep for the next procedure. We’ve had great success with DryShield since launching in May 2014.

Why has DryShield decided to enter the European market?
We have experienced enormous success in the US and Canada, and Europe was the next area of expansion for us. We have had so many dentists contact us from all over Europe requesting an isolation system that was autoclavable. They were looking for something that could fit into the economics of a typical dental office, rather than expensive disposable mouthpieces. Europe represented an attractive market with a high level of demonstrated interest in our product. Now that we have our CE marking, we are selling in Europe and actively building relationships with dealers.

What has the response in Europe been so far?
The response has been fantastic since our participation in IDS 2017. Attendees at the last IDS responded very positively to the DryShield system—it was the first time they had seen an entirely autoclavable system on the market. They were talking about its cost-effectiveness and ease of use with installation in seconds, and of course, they appreciated that DryShield, like other modern isolation systems, can dramatically increase efficiencies: a study of 100 dentists showed a typical reduction in chair time of 20–30 per cent.

How comfortable is this system for patients?
Because Dr Lan works with kids, patient comfort was a top priority. The material is a soft, flexible silicone that doesn’t impinge on the soft tissue, and is great in addressing mandibular tori and other oral issue. DryShield increases comfort for patients: all the liquids are aspirated, the patient’s throat is protected, his or her mouth can rest on the bite block, and the procedure is over more quickly. The bite block is interchangeable, which means it can be selected to fit to an array of different-sized mouths, for both children and adults. We’re starting to see patients ask their dentists if they use DryShield, and also dentists using DryShield to attract new patients.

Given the continually evolving nature of dentistry, companies need to consider education when entering a new market. What is DryShield’s approach to education?
DryShield’s vision is to bring new technology to the dentistry profession—to help the profession grow and to help dental practices evolve. We believe that modern isolation is essential for dentists in serving their patients while gaining flexibility and efficiency. Dentists that already use modern isolation understand the value proposition of DryShield in terms of providing greater safety and patient comfort, reducing chair time and ensuring that schedules run in an efficient manner. It’s the more traditional isolation users that need a little more education on the technology and its value. For instance, we talk to customers about our very simple sterilisation protocol, in which DryShield goes into the normal autoclave workflow with other dental tools. We go above and beyond by offering every customer a Q & A session with an expert, talking through the installation process, patient introduction and so on. We also provide quick-start guides, monthly tips and how-to videos in order to provide help at each stage of the experience.

Thank you very much for the interview.

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