Michelle L. Gray, Senior Product Manager
Michelle started with DENTALEZ just a few years ago, and fit in from the minute she came on board. That’s in part because she’s very much a team player, responsive, helpful and organized. She brought 15 years’ worth of product development experience in the medical device industry, orthopaedics, specifically, and was able to dive right into the product development of Star products.
We asked Michelle to share her answers to our favorite questions about working here at DENTALEZ.
What is your role at DENTALEZ?
Senior Product Manager for our handpiece portfolio of products. In this role, I am on the front line of product development and the commercialization of our products.
What roles had you previously held (whether at DENTALEZ or another company) that helped you learn specific things for your position today?
My 15+ years of diverse experience in the Medical Device Industry; specifically, my experience in product development has absolutely been a tremendous asset in my current role with DENTALEZ.
In past positions I spent a lot of time working closely with surgeon design teams and developing resident training courses. I’ve also been part of the process from start to finish – literally, from creating an idea “on a napkin” through developing a commercially launched product. And while the products seem different, the development process certainly has similarities. I see similarities in the design process, in the importance of validation and verification, and everything involved in commercialization. This all helps me to think outside the box, to be comfortable and able to pivot at a moment’s notice, and to develop products with features and benefits from a clinician’s point of view as well as the patient’s.
What would you say is your biggest takeaway from this experience?
“First and foremost is the voice of the customer. A trained ear is critical. You have to listen to the pain points from a clinical user perspective and THEN focus on translating them into development opportunities.”
What do you like about working in the dental industry?
The perception of maintaining oral health may be intimidating to patients. Clinicians are interested in products to help change this perception, and I think it’s great how DENTALEZ is developing products with both the clinician’s needs and the patient’s – by focusing both on quality of care and things like comfort, we can make the entire experience better, which leads to better oral healthcare overall.
What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
As a product manager, I engage with many different people on a day-to-day basis, and I enjoy the collaboration and relationship-building.
What’s your favorite DENTALEZ product and why?
The Aeras 500 handpiece, because let’s face it, there hasn’t been a tremendous amount of innovation in the dental handpieces market. This handpiece is a game-changer, not only for the clinician but the patient as well!