September 2010, Volume 31, Issue 7
Published by AEGIS Communications
Sterngold Dental Focuses on Smaller-Diameter Implants
In some ways, “this is the golden age of dentistry,” says James Ellison, CDT, Director of Technical and Educational Services. “The baby boomers have more disposable income that they are willing to spend for their health and comfort. Even though prevention of dental caries has improved, periodontal disease is still quite prevalent. Therefore, we’re going to see the need for dental implants increase as the baby boomers get older.”
Sterngold Dental’s primary interest is in implant-supported overdentures, concentrating on smaller-diameter implants, which allow dentists to restore overdentures at a much more reasonable cost. “I think it has the potential for becoming the major way implants are used in dentistry—not only in this country, but worldwide,” Ellison says. “In other words, there could be more overdentures—implant-supported overdentures—than all of the fixed types we see in use today.
“That’s one of the reasons our work in smaller-diameter implants to support overdentures has been important,” Ellison continues. “With the smaller diameter, we’re often able to offer this type of treatment at a more affordable cost to a patient. Therefore, we’re going to serve a lot more patients.”
While Sterngold does provide a range of traditional implants, its unique offering is the ERA® system with a small-diameter implant, available in different sizes. “Putting an ERA attachment on top of a smaller-diameter implant is unique and offers some special features that other types of systems don’t have,” Ellison says. Although Sterngold invented and manufactures this system, it has an exclusive worldwide marketing agreement with Zimmer Dental for the ERA mini-implant system.
Sterngold also partners with Zimmer Dental to offer additional educational programs. “I think with anything that’s fairly technical in nature, you need to provide education for dentists and dental technicians,” Ellison says. “We sell basically through education. Implantology is not taught to a great extent in dental school, so clinicians have to learn it through graduate courses or continuing education. Zimmer offers a number of very good educational programs and has done a great job.”
Another side of this arrangement is extensive technical support. “We train their sales people so that when they walk into an office, they can help the customer decide the best way to go. To back up the sales force, we have the technical staff to provide more detailed help over the phone, or in some cases, in person.”
Sterngold’s R&D will continue to focus on its core products. “We’ll continue to work in the area of small-diameter implants,” Ellison says. “That’s been our primary niche in the newer developments that we have been working on in the implant field. There are lots of very large companies working in the traditional-size implants. For us, it’s better to work in an area where we have a technical advantage and a certain expertise on the attachment side. There are always new tweaks we are looking to make on our products and new ways to use them. For example, along with other advances, we’re working on an orthodontic version for these small-diameter implants.
“At Sterngold, we prefer to work more in the niche areas of dentistry,” Ellison says. “That’s where our experience and expertise can give us the best results—products that are unique to dentistry, a little more special than other companies can develop.”
Sterngold Dental, LLC
23 Frank Mossberg Drive, Attleboro, MA 02703-0967
1900 Aston Avenue, Calsbad, CA 92008