IMTEC, a 3M Company: Customer-Driven Product Development and Education
Since its founder, Ronald A. Bulard, DDS, designed and manufactured its first implant system more than 20 years ago, IMTEC has achieved remarkable success in bringing market-leading implant systems to the world. Currently, IMTEC’s top products are the minimally invasive Sendax MDI dental implant system (now in its 10th year), used mainly for denture stabilization, and the new MDI Hybrid, for use in softer bone.
The key to these innovative implant products is that the entire procedure is minimally invasive, done with small-diameter implants, and provides immediate function for the patient. With MDI’s resilient attachment system, the dentist can customize the amount of retention for each patient. “All of our products are developed around the relationship between the patient and the dentist giving the dentist the ability to meet patient expectations,” explains Tay Gavin Harvey, Global Implant Business Manager.
In the last few years, Harvey notes, implant dentistry has shifted: more general practitioners are becoming comfortable talking about and practicing some level of implantology, and mini implants have helped create this shift. “At IMTEC, we like to say our goal is to reach a day when every patient missing a tooth learns about implants as an option,” she says. “The MDI system is the perfect vehicle to make implantology more tangible for the GP. If GPs offer implants to their patients, public knowledge about dental implants will grow exponentially, increasing specialists’ case volumes as well. Everyone wins.”
IMTEC’s relationship with its customers includes rigorous attention to client feedback. “When we see repeat suggestions, we definitely do some analysis,” explains Harvey. “We work with a group of experts on developing and testing solutions. If these solutions prove to be safe and effective, we work to bring them to market. For example, we’re really excited about the evolution of the ENDURE product line: we have a new implant launching in 2010 that was completely guided by customer feedback. We expect it to be very well-received.” Other upcoming solutions include products that will make crown-and-bridge restorations easier with the new Hybrid implant.
Among their new products, Harvey includes a vital expansion of the company’s educational programs. “We’re committed to providing unprecedented access to training in the next year,” she says. Because of customer demand, the company has expanded their highly rated one-day seminar from 26 locations to 70. In addition, they will be offering innovative advanced levels of training in different venues.
Last year IMTEC was acquired by 3M. “It’s great to have 3M behind us now,” Harvey states. “The 3M philosophy toward research and development is well-known and respected. And we now have the resources to do even more.
“IMTEC is so fortunate to be the company that brought this incredible mini implant technology to the market,” she continues. “It certainly wasn’t easy; it’s a product that breaks many paradigms and challenges the way people think about implantology, but we’ve always known that this product would change the lives of patients and dentists all over the world. It’s incredible to watch that happen.”
IMTEC, a 3M Company
2401 North Commerce, Ardmore, OK 73401
Phone: (800) 879-9799
Fax: (800) 986-9574