Putting Down Roots in Central Florida
By Jessica Cabot
Now located in Central Florida, the global leader in endodontic innovation for instruments is growing globally while increasing safety for dental patients.
A root canal, one of people’s most feared procedures, requires a dentist to have precision instruments, sensitive techniques and finely honed skills. It is a complex dental procedure with the potential for numerous complications. The surgical files used in the procedure can separate in a tooth, causing severe damage and producing problems not only in the tooth but for overall oral health. By using the right tools, endodontists and dentists can increase positive outcomes and ensure patient safety.
What many do not realize is the majority of the tools used in root canal procedures are fully licensed, American-made precision tools brought to the industry by one gifted machinist, innovator and entrepreneur Derek Heath.
Heath, the father of ENDOinnovation and an honorary member of the Omicron Kappa Upsilon National Honor Dental Society, has spent his career developing these technological marvels for use in dental procedures. When he first moved to the United States from the United Kingdom in 1970, Heath was introduced to the world of dentistry while selling centerless grinding machines to companies that made dental instruments. Focusing his entrepreneurial spirit and machinist skills, he saw an opportunity to develop dental machines and endodontic instruments.
“A highly trained machinist can take a piece of metal and turn it into almost any imaginable piece of equipment, from an automobile piston to something as intricate as a dental file. I identified with the surgical meticulousness of these skilled endodontists and wanted to utilize my background as a machinist to help develop the next generation of endodontic tools,” Heath shared.
In the early 1980’s, Heath was introduced to John McSpadden, an endodontist living in Johnson City, Tennessee, who was interested in turning his vision into reality for a new instrument. Heath and McSpadden collaborated to introduce the “McSpadden Compactor,” a cutting-edge instrument that created a way to fill root canals. This technology was quickly adopted, gaining popularity across the industry.
Advancing Endodontic Equipment
Heath founded Quality Dental Products and began applying his knowledge of solid machine shop science, including feeds, speeds and tapers to the world of dentistry. In the process, he revolutionized the way endodontic files were made.
“Endodontists and dentists know how to perform root canals, but they need the latest instruments to execute these procedures safely, efficiently and effectively,” said Heath. “I’ve spent my career specializing in the creation of the instruments they need.”
Before his innovations were introduced in 1982, only two endodontic files existed in the market and were made by taking pieces of high carbon wire and twisting them together. Heath developed the first stainless steel and nickel titanium instruments to make the process versatile as well as safe and effective.
He spent 10 years on the sidelines from 1996 to 2006 due to a non-compete after selling his first company. Upon returning, he and his partner, Steve Treadway, noticed there had been no new innovations in the industry. So they formed D&S Dental, a global leader in producing high quality files for the industry.
In the course of his career, Heath has earned 38 patents along the way for his endodontic files and even the machinery and processes to produce the files. This includes his most recent revolutionary Modified Heat Treatment Controlled Memory files, which are used all over the world and now replicated by all companies in order to compete. Heath already has several new patents pending on the next evolution of files that will dramatically revolutionize the industry.
The two men decided in 2016 to offer their exclusive quality products directly to dentists, thereby cutting out the middleman that every other provider of these instruments must use. They brought back Quality Dental Products, QDP, and based it in Melbourne because of the prime location, growth and international distribution potential.
Heath has an international reputation for inventing, designing and producing the latest in endodontic files. These products have and will provide exceptional quality and allow dental practices to deliver superior procedures for patients more than ever before. The whole industry is anticipating QDP’s launch of their new, state-of-the-art products this fall. ◆
Professor File is an animated character created by SCB Marketing to tell the story of Quality Dental Products and the remarkable entrepreneurial journey of Derek Heath
Visit www.QDPendo.com to meet Professor File.