March 15, 2022
by Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, CEO and Founder of Cellerant Consulting
One of the things I’ve always appreciated about Bien-Air Dental is its commitment to quality and integrity. Situated in Bienne, Switzerland – considered the “Watch Valley” – Bien-Air operates on its own timetable to do the job right. The result is Nova – the new contra-angle launched at the 2022 Chicago Dental Society’s Midwinter Meeting – a product that spent more than four years in development, but is now poised to reorient how dentists think about electric handpieces.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Daniel Call, Director of Sales for Bien-Air Dental USA, to learn more about the product and the story behind Nova.
Lou Shuman: Bien-Air electric handpieces already had an industry reputation for quality. What was it that sent the team back to the drawing board to design what became Nova?
Daniel Call: I’ve spent a lot of time talking to dentists about electric handpieces over the years, and I’ve heard a number of arguments as to why they remained cautious about transitioning to electrics. At Bien-Air, we didn’t want to settle until we’d addressed all those concerns, answered all those questions, and delivered an option that any and every dentist could say yes to. From the moment we started designing Nova we had one goal in mind: No compromise.
LS: It seems like size and weight were a significant priority in that process.
DC: Absolutely. Nova features the smallest head size and front bearing with 4-port water spray. We call it the Accu-Spray Quattro Mix system. Our approach had to be strategic because if reducing
the head size means a dentist can’t use a standard-length bur, then we’ve under delivered. Precision is in our DNA, and the engineering team really delivered on the smallest, slimmest, [and] lightest promise while retaining the original features that make Bien-Air great.
LS: I want to talk about those engineers! I remember you telling me they had to work nearly four years to create all new gears for a head that small.
DC: We didn’t invent the Cylcro gears, but we found a way to borrow technology that has been revolutionizing everything from aerospace to automotive to mechanical watches. We’re really proud to introduce Cylcro to dental handpieces. Not only because they meet our size needs, but they are actually designed to reduce friction and protect against wear. This new design makes the Nova ultra-durable. Combined with the stainless steel construction, the handpiece is four times more resistant to shocks and by our lab’s calculations, basically doubles the service life compared to previous generations of handpieces.
LS: You and I like to geek out about all these technical aspects, but what does this really change for the day-to-day experience of the dentist?
DC: Great question. We say all the time that our equipment is second to none, but it isn’t truly excellent until it is in the hands of a dentist. Nova is about getting more dentists to at least consider electrics; we know that once they do, once they experience a demo, use it with even a few patients – they’ll be electric users for life. The difference is that significant. Going electric completely reorients how a dentist thinks about power and its role in clinical procedures. It sounds cliche, but you don’t work harder; you work smarter.
About the Author
Lou Shuman, is the CEO of Cellerant Consulting Group, dentistry’s leading corporate incubator and accelerator. He is a venturer in-residence at Harvard’s i-Lab, chairman of the technology advisory board at WEO Media, a member of the Oral Health advisory board, and founder of the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards.