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Interview: “It gives them the feel of a new instrument again and again”

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At IDS 2017, Sabine Schwierzke (left) and Diane Bonny spoke about the need for sharpening instruments. (Photograph: Dental Tribune International)
Dental Tribune International

By Dental Tribune International

Mon. 10. April 2017

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Swiss manufacturer Deppeler has stayed true to its mission of producing curettes and scalers that can be resharpened. At the International Dental Show (IDS) in Cologne in Germany this year, the company exhibited more than 500 models of hand instruments in combination with an easy-to-use sharpening device. In an interview at the trade fair, Dental Tribune International discussed the importance of resharpening with Diane Bonny, General Manager of Deppeler, and Sabine Schwierzke, an experienced dental hygienist from Germany.

Dental Tribune International: How has the last year been for Deppeler?
Diane Bonny: We have had a very good year because we have thought a great deal about the company’s future, what we want to improve in the company and our instrument-making process. We have been working closely with dentists who have challenged us to perfect our range and as a result have launched two new instrument kits for restorative dentistry this year. Another thing that we have focused on is educating dental professionals about sharpening instruments correctly. For the last several years, there have been many other manufacturers who have begun to sell non-sharpen instruments, which seemed to be a dream for many customers, as they would not have to spend any more time sharpening. However, this dream has remained a dream, and so we are very happy that we made the decision not to go down that path and to continue to manufacture products that can be resharpened.

For me, the most important thing is to provide dentists with solutions that will allow them to work faster and more reliably. With our Easy-Sharp device, the dentist is able to sharpen his or her instruments to exactly the same point as when these instruments first left Deppeler’s factory. It gives them the feel of a new instrument again and again, and ensures that customers stay with Deppeler.

What are some of the common problems that dentists run into when sharpening instruments, and how does the Easy-Sharp remedy these?
Bonny: We have an instructional video on our website for dentists who want to learn how to sharpen correctly, and we have run courses for the past few years, particularly in Switzerland. Educating a dental professional on how to properly sharpen something like a dental scaler is very easy and takes little time. Some dentists are afraid of sharpening their instruments incorrectly and this means that they do not ever learn how to properly sharpen. If they take just 1 hour to learn how to do so, then they will have a skill that lasts them a lifetime.

The Easy-Sharp’s customisability means that it can cater for specific angular adjustments and motions that are unique to each instrument. In addition, it does not have a motor or battery, and thus cannot break down.

How do you educate your customers?
Bonny: We educate our dealers first and foremost. We invite them to our manufacturing plant in Switzerland so that they can better understand who we are, how we operate and what sets us apart from our competitors. We demonstrate how our products work so that they, in turn, can show potential customers. An exhibition like IDS is, in fact, the perfect occasion to educate people. Though they may come to IDS to focus on the new gadgets instead of the instruments, they soon realise that their choice of instrument is very important to their success and the reason that Deppeler’s products are worth the investment.

Ms Schwierzke, you have had a long career in dental hygiene and have worked as a dental hygienist since 2008. What has been your experience when using different instruments?
Sabine Schwierzke: I used to work with other scaler manufacturers, some of the most well-known companies perhaps. I trained as a dental hygienist after having already spent 30 years in dentistry, so I knew what I needed for good scaling. Most of the competitors’ products also look good, but I had two cases in which the tip broke off. Some of the instruments use a certain kind of steel that feels too hard to work with. If one uses Deppeler, one understands the value of its products. I visited the company’s facility in Switzerland and saw the commitment to quality there. Every time, I feel the quality and love the reliability of Deppeler scalers.

Do you prefer to resharpen your own instruments and why?
Schwierzke: I definitely prefer to sharpen my instruments. I resharpen them myself and I would always decide on resharpening instruments. The Easy-Sharp gives me the confidence necessary to resharpen my scalers easily and comfortably. Even under time pressure, I know that my colleagues will not have any problems using the Easy-Sharp so that the instruments can be used easily again.

Thank you very much for the interview.

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