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Q&A with James Ingebrand, President and General Manager of 3M ESPE Dental

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Q. Welcome back, how have you been?

A. Thank you very much. I?ve had a great experience in my 3 years away from 3M ESPE at 3M Drug Delivery Systems, but I?m excited to return to dentistry. One of the neat things about being involved with multiple aspects of the healthcare business at 3M is to be able to directly participate in applying 3M?s many technologies in different markets. It?s fascinating to see up close how 3M?s core technologies can be adapted to help make things better for customers regardless of what business the customer happens to be in.

3M True Definition ScannerQ. How has the dental landscape (dental product landscape) changed since your previous position with 3M ESPE?

A. The main trend I would point to is the ongoing push into digital technology. This was happening before I left 3M ESPE, but the acceleration in the past few years has been clearly noticeable. Dentists today have more and more choices to take advantage of digital workflows, and with tools that are becoming ever more easy to use. 

Q. What is your view on the direction the industry is headed (especially with regard to technology).

A. As I mentioned, digital technology is driving a lot of change in the industry right now. In terms of how those technologies are implemented in the dental office and in labs, our view at 3M ESPE is that we should give dental professionals flexibility to determine the materials and partners they want to work with. For example, our 3M True Definition Scanner produces open STL files, so dentists and labs can use them with any system that accepts these files. This is not the case with some other ?closed? systems, but it is the way that we think the industry will move going forward.

Q. Is there any one product or service in the 3M ESPE portfolio that really amazes you or causes you to think 'how did they do that?'

A. It?s been many years since I?ve personally been at the laboratory bench, so honestly most of what we do amazes me, but there are a couple specific things I will point to. First, it?s really hard to pick up the wand for the 3M True Definition Scanner and not be amazed that literally with the wave of a wand you can take a 3D image. I?m still in awe of that.

Another thing that?s been launched since the last time I was here is our 3M ESPE Lava Ultimate Restorative. It is quite literally a new class of material, inventions like that don?t happen every day. That?s an example of a great materials science innovation helping enable a faster process for milling crowns.  

3M ESPE Lava UltimateQ. What do you want to tell dentists/hygienists about 3M ESPE and your new position with the company?

A. I?ll start with what?s not going to change. We will absolutely stay true to our company?s commitment to ethics, integrity, and quality in everything we do.  We?re ultimately a company that loves to solve tough problems, so we?re going to continue to do that. We want to help our customers succeed, that?s really where our focus and our passion is and will continue to be. Helping customers change lives really inspires us. So all of those good things are things I want to keep in place.

Going forward, my focus is on how we can make our customers, the dental professional, even more successful. We think a worthy goal remains making life easier, faster, simpler, and more efficient for our customers. I?ve got a passionate team and we?ve got access to more technology than you can imagine, so we?re going to continue looking for?and delivering?ways to do just that.  

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