Ashley Byrne on ‘changing the industry’ with Corus

‘I’ve never been this excited about the future of our profession’: With Corus expanding into the UK market by joining forces with Byrnes Dental Lab, Ashley Byrne discusses what the partnership really means and how he plans to disrupt the dental landscape.

Ashley, your lab has just joined forces with Corus. Can you tell us how this partnership came about?

I was first approached by Corus around three years ago, but I told them I wasn’t interested in selling and preferred to move forward as an independent lab.

There was still so much I wanted to achieve with Byrnes Dental, so I had no intention of stepping away or retiring.

Corus insisted that it was unique, and this wasn’t a sell. This was joining a group of like-minded labs across nine countries, and they fully intend to change the industry for the better.

I initially didn’t believe it, but Corus kept asking and eventually insisted I meet the team in Barcelona to understand the vision. Over two days, I was truly inspired by what Corus entrusted me with and excited about the future of dental technology.

Imagine pooling over 70 of Europe’s leading dental labs together, with a long-term drive to change the industry for the better, and in turn make the dentist and patient experience completely exceptional.

They believe they can change the world and I have to say, I agree. I simply had to be involved and bring it to the UK market.

Ashley Byrne discusses what his lab's new partnership with Corus really means, and how he plans to disrupt the dental landscape.

What does this new partnership mean to you?

It means everything to me. Dentistry is changing rapidly, and we all have our challenges ahead.

Dentists and practices are really limited on time, patients’ expectations are on the rise, and regulatory overhead is going through the roof.

Facing this as an independent is daunting, but with the Corus family I feel that so much more is possible. From software that makes the lab-clinic interface incredibly easy with amazing time saving benefits, to innovations in restorative dentistry that I have never been seen before.

To work alongside some of Europe’s best labs and lab owners is a perfect partnership for both me and my team.

What does it mean for your lab? What’s going to change?

Initially, not a great deal. I’m still here leading the lab forward.

The software will be the most obvious change – Corus Link is without a doubt the best lab management software I’ve ever seen. It has the most intuitive clinical interface to compliment the lab side, and this empowers both clinical and technical teams to access the case and work in harmony.

That will be a pivotal change in how we work  – better, clearer, and freeing up loads of time. This will allow us to focus on our clients, high end technical work, and generally improve the experience of working with Byrnes.

Looking ahead, I have never had access to such a pool of talent across Europe, so I’m keen to learn about innovation, ways to improve our offering, treatment planning etc from these leading lab owners.

Corus thinks much deeper than simply the prosthetic lab work. The collective minds of team Corus have developed new protocols for clinical work that streamline complex dentistry. They offer training direct to the clinician and clinical teams to make dentistry easier and more predictable, as well as unique new products which have not been seen in the UK before.

When we think of labs, we think of lab work. Corus thinks about dentistry and how the relationship of lab-clinic-patient can improve the patient experience as a whole. We are all in this together to improve our offering to patients and make dentistry easier for everyone – that’s a pretty exciting future ahead.

Ashley Byrne discusses what his lab's new partnership with Corus really means, and how he plans to disrupt the dental landscape.

How will you and your lab contribute to Corus? What role will you have?

My role remains the leadership of Byrnes. But I am also tasked with finding like-minded, forward-thinking labs in the UK that could enhance our offering.

Our lab has always been at the forefront of innovation and digital workflow, but we are also known for how we run our lab and lead one of the most talented teams in the UK.

While we have a lot to learn from the group, we will be sharing our culture and innovation, and together become stronger in technical dentistry at all levels of the business.

What sort of impact do you hope this has on the profession?

Our plan is to be disruptive, both technically and clinically, with a clear vision of changing dentistry to improve the patient experience in their restorative dental journey.

This isn’t limited to just how we make false teeth – we want to change how treatment is undertaken, teaching new ways of treating patients, changing old fashioned protocols from analogue days, and bringing dentistry up to the new standard that digital dentistry demands.

Our industry and profession need a shake up, and this group will allow us to do that. Our industry can often be a victim of the phrase ‘well that’s how we have always done it’, and this group intends to ensure we re-think every aspect of dental technology and treatment planning.

While we have seen huge switches to 3D printing, milling, and various other innovative concepts, we’re looking to redefine how we work as dental labs with our clinicians and, most importantly, our patients.

I don’t think I’ve been this excited about the future of our profession as I am right now, with Corus and Byrnes Dental.

Looking to the future, what can we expect from Corus and Byrnes Dental Lab?

Byrnes Dental Lab has always been agile and ready to move as a team, never fearful of change or innovation. Working with Corus labs across Europe will only enhance that for team Byrnes.

We will be raising the bar on how the clinical teams work with labs, bringing a new level of customer service and digitisation, and improving all we do as an industry. We are bringing dental labs to the forefront of dentistry to show how working as a team with future innovations and concepts really can change an industry.

Watch this space, we have some incredible things in the pipeline and can’t wait to share this with the amazing industry that is dental technology.

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