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02 May 2021

Carestream Dental and Digital Dentistry, new solutions for dental clinics

Interview with Greg Marko, Chief Marketing Officer

Greg Marko leads global marketing strategy and product promotion across all Carestream Dental’s regions. He has been with Carestream Dental since early 2019 and is based in Atlanta, Ga.

Marko brings to Carestream Dental a robust healthcare/medical device background and a passion for optimizing doctor-patient connections for improved medical outcomes. Most recently, he served as a leader within Johnson & Johnson Vision. Previously, he was the vice president, marketing, for National Vision and served as a marketing director at Transitions Optical, in both Asia-Pacific and North America. 

He has a proven track record when it comes to channel sales, strategic marketing, partnerships, branding, analytics, and product development. In addition to his background in healthcare, Marko has also held roles at Grey Healthcare Group, McCann Erikson, BBDO, and Meridian Group Investments. 

Marko is a graduate of Florida State University and is fluent in both English and Hungarian. 

About Carestream Dental

Carestream Dental is committed to transforming dentistry, simplifying technology, and changing lives. In this pursuit, we focus on providing the latest in high-quality scanning technology, the smartest chairside systems, the most intuitive practice management software, incredibly accurate imaging software, and the data intelligence that helps continually refine patient outcomes. And we offer these solutions for the full range of dental and oral health professionals. 

Let's start with Carestream Dental, tell us more about the company, your product, and services, and how did you evolve and adapt to keep serving your client during the pandemic?
The short answer is that Carestream Dental is a digital dental company that is dedicated to transforming dentistry, simplifying technology, and changing lives. We do this by designing and developing the latest in high-quality scanning technology, the smartest chairside systems, the most intuitive practice management software, incredibly accurate imaging software, and the data intelligence that helps continually refine patient outcomes. These solutions can be combined in any number of ways to create true end-to-end workflows for implants, clear aligners, surgical guides, sleep devices, or restorations. 

When COVID-19 hit in 2020, Carestream Dental introduced the Digital Reboot program to support practices during the shutdowns and into recovery. Practices shared with us the creative ways they had adapted while being closed and, based on their feedback, we offered guidance in four key areas: Filling Schedules, Practicing Safely, Managing Cashflow, and Operating Virtually. Under each pillar of the Digital Reboot program are a variety of solutions to meet the needs practices told us they valued most, like enabling virtual waiting rooms, new PPE offerings, digitizing claims processing, and switching practice management to the cloud to make working from anywhere easier.

Carestream Dental also leaned heavily into virtual learning. Many practices used the shutdowns as a time to brush up on the latest trends and techniques or to learn something new about their systems. That’s why we introduced LaunchPad, an educational portal that consolidates how-to guides, webinars, white papers, and all-things eLearning in one spot. This global resource is available to all oral healthcare professionals, not just Carestream Dental customers.

Compared to a few years ago, today, technology in dentistry is fundamental. Based on your expertise, what are the benefits of introducing Digital Dentistry solutions for a dental clinic? 
Beyond the obvious reasons—faster turnaround from diagnosis to treatment, better accuracy, more comfortable for patients, etc.—the real benefit that digital technology brings to dentistry is data. When doctors think of an intraoral scanner or CBCT system as a data-capture device, that’s when they can take dentistry to the next level. Predictive software algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) interpret each scan and help the doctor make more informed choices. 

For example, a dentist who wants to add in-house clear aligners can rely on the AI built into CS Model+ to rank cases based on difficulty so they can make the decision to either keep the case in the practice or refer it to a specialist. We also offer a Prosthetic-Driven Implant Planning module that merges an impression scan on top of a cone beam CT DICOM file to show the doctor exactly what the final aesthetic result will be so they can plan backwards from there. With data guiding them, more doctors can perform more treatments, no matter what their level of experience. 

Technique versus technology, which is the relationship today? And, how can Carestream Dental help doctors to better use and integrate technologies?
The right technology can help users master techniques. As mentioned before, data and advanced software will help doctors grow their confidence and gain experience as they add new treatment workflows to their practices. Surgical guides are an excellent example. In the US, more general practitioners are placing implants, and that requires a certain amount of training and coursework.

Technology gives newly trained doctors the confidence to apply the techniques they’ve learned. A cone beam CT system can reveal the quality and quantity of bone, while virtual implant planning software can help them plan from the “crown down” to be assured of both the implant placement and the final restoration. Finally, the flexibility of digital lets doctors either design the surgical guide themselves or use a third-party service, so— on the day of surgery—there are no surprises.

You recently published an exciting Survey on Digital Dentistry Education's needs; can you tell us more? And what will be the next revolutions brought by Digital Dentistry?

Carestream Dental conducted a survey of 7,000 global participants in late 2019 asking them about their knowledge of and feelings towards digital dental technology. The results were surprising. We found that people know very little about the huge advancements that have been made in dentistry; in fact, they ranked dentistry third when asked which healthcare profession uses the most advanced technology—behind optical and orthopedics. Yet the survey found that patients can tell that something is different, something is better, about their visit when digital technology is used. When asked, 95% of participants agreed they got better care when advanced digital dental technology was used during their treatment. 

We can see this disconnect between patients’ perception of dentistry today and their understanding that they get better care when advanced digital technology is used. That’s why Carestream Dental introduced the Digital Dentistry Difference campaign to educate patients on why digital dental technology leads to better care for them. The campaign has a two-pronged approach. First, we need doctors to understand why educating their patients on technology used during their treatment is so important. The survey found two out of three patients would consider switching to a dentist who uses more advanced technology, so educating patients helps retain patients. Also, 37% of patients who hadn't been to the dentist in two or more years said they’d be motivated to go with just a little more education on technology, so patient education can help attract new patients as well. 

Carestream Dental has made it easy for doctors and their teams to spark the conversation with patients by providing free educational materials at www.digtaldentistrydifference.org. There, they’ll find flyers, digital infographics, a video to play in their waiting room or website, even pre-drafted social media posts, that lets patients know they’re using the latest digital technology. The second aspect of the campaign happens as more patients become informed on how digital dentistry makes a difference in their lives. When they come to expect an elevated level of care—thanks to digital dentistry—it will drive demand for the technology while raising the overall perception of the profession in the eyes of patients. 

Finally, what would be the new products and services offered by Carestream Dental in 2021?
Carestream Dental continues to transition from being an equipment and software company to being a full-fledged data processing and management company. We’ll achieve this by bringing everything together—equipment, clinical modules, and practice management—into a robust ecosystem that will give doctors full control over their workflow. Look for new solutions and partnerships that will let practices customize true end-to-end workflows to achieve nearly any treatment outcome.

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