The Origins of BruxZir® and Our Drive to Innovate
By Ben Vu
I’ve been at Glidewell Dental since September 2008, which has allowed me to witness the genesis of BruxZir® Solid Zirconia, but also, more importantly, our company’s drive to never stop innovating.
Transforming Our Company and the Industry Around Us
Since 2009, we’ve sold over 14 million BruxZir restorations, thus making it the most successful product in our company’s history. Today, it’s a huge part of Glidewell, and has been an incredible testament to the process of transformation and innovation happening here.
When you develop a material that’s as strong BruxZir, it matters. It really has changed the industry in a gigantic way, especially for the anterior area. In manufacturing crowns and bridges, it makes a considerable difference because we have a material that is so strong that we can mill it as a monolithic restoration. BruxZir has also advanced how crowns are made, in that the high-tech equipment we use ensures the highest level of precision, accuracy and efficiency.
Never Stop Innovating
Despite our success with BruxZir, our CEO, Jim Glidewell, was not satisfied with remaining transfixed on our past achievements. This has led to countless developments in dental technology and materials. Our goal is to never stop innovating. Today, that same drive is pushing how we’re innovating software for our in-office milling systems. Digital dentistry is certainly the way of the future, which reflects in our current endeavors.
When it comes to CAD/CAM software, we’re going above and beyond the ordinary. While CAD/CAM is used for more than just dentistry, there is a big difference involved when it comes to making people’s teeth. The software has to be highly intelligent to design the intricacies of the patient’s tooth. Designing a wheel on a car is easy. It’s going to be the same thing every single time, but a tooth on a unique patient is very different. The software has to be extremely complex to nail great proposals for restorations each and every time. Regardless, the engineers who created our CAD/CAM software, FastDesign, did all of the heavy lifting for practitioners. It’s another great example of our commitment to modernize the way dentistry is done.
If I’ve learned one thing about Glidewell since I’ve worked here, it’s that our company doesn’t settle. It continues to innovate and is always transforming itself to model the future. That’s part of why I love working here.
Eyes on the Future
To me, Glidewell is very much like the Amazon of the dental world. We’re both exploring the boundaries of our industries more than ever. Glidewell has pushed the envelope in the manufacturing of crowns and bridges, but we didn’t stop there when we easily could have. At the time that BruxZir was created, we didn’t have to pour money into R&D for a new material, but we did. Hence, the payoff. Always thinking ahead is what has kept this company going strong for 47 years.
The same can be said today with in-office milling solutions. We’re looking toward the future and bringing products that are developed by scientists and engineers, tested by clinicians, and sent out to customers with the confidence that we’re helping to lead dentistry toward a new era.
I have a ton of respect for the way that my company conducts business. Glidewell is like a family to me and the people who work here truly care about each other and what we’re doing. It’s one of the few companies that I’ve worked for that’s given me this feeling. A lot of that good, positive energy gets passed around and it motivates people to work better as a team. Together, we’re helping each other evolve. Naturally, that reflects in the products that we’re working on and the success that we see today.