GC America Inc
Kent W. Fletcher, President & COO, GC America Inc
John O’Neill, Vice President of Sales, GC America Inc
Mark A. Heiss, Senior Director, Marketing & Professional Relations, GC America Inc
Question No. 1
Inside Dentistry (ID): How is your company different from other companies in the dental marketplace that distribute or manufacture competitive products? Why should dentists think about GC America?
GC America (GC): GC America is part of the global GC group that started in the dental materials sector 85 years ago and continues to be in only the dental materials sector. We pride ourselves on providing not only the highest quality but also the most consistent quality in the dental field. One of our strengths is advancing the art and science of materials to benefit dentistry. GC America accomplishes this through a complete commitment to research. We are a very forward-looking company that looks to see where dentistry will be 5 to 8 years down the road. We start development of products and philosophies well ahead of their time, so that when the dental community is ready to receive these products they are ready for market.
Question No. 2
ID: What trends do you see shaping or guiding the industry?
GC: We are very fortunate to work in a marketplace that is economically stable and rewarding for dentists in all specialties of practice. Dentists and the auxiliary personnel are highly educated and competent, which means they make educated decisions about the products they choose. The markets are highly sophisticated, and companies have to offer well-differentiated products with advantages that make practicing dentistry a little easier. We also see a trend toward “smart materials,” which are products that help maintain or increase health in certain areas. For example, dentists seem to be interested in remineralization technology, which is an area GC America has strong initiatives in.
There also seems to be a discernible shift in the dental profession’s awareness of the need to act more along the lines of a “medical model” of diagnostics and prevention rather than intervening at an irreversible disease stage where mechanical repairs become necessary. We see an increasing interest among dentists and academics in treating patients at the earliest possible stages. There is an emphasis on maintaining oral health in a fashion that results in patients keeping their natural dentition longer and longer. We are very excited by this shift of thinking, and we have initiatives that will come to light as the treatment model continues to change.
Question No. 3
ID: Do you feel you met your objectives for 2005? Are there any areas you plan to change for 2006?
GC: We would like to thank our customers for helping us continue our long-term record of outpacing industry growth in all of our product categories. We expect to continue to grow ahead of the market in the foreseeable future through not only growth in our core categories of impression materials and glass ionomer products but innovative new esthetics/ restorative materials as well.
Question No. 4
ID: With the saturation of competitive options in many product categories, what advice can you give to dentists when selecting products for clinical use?
GC: We encourage customers to continually challenge us and our competitors to demonstrate the benefits of a product and really compare the aspects most important to the dentist as a clinical professional. Look for products that benefit both the dentist and the patient. Base the decision on tangible factors that the dentist personally perceives to be important. Input from colleagues is always helpful, but the dentist should use the product and feel good about making the choice. Remember that no one product can do everything, so look for a combination of products that can be employed to address the issue at hand.
|From left, John O’Neill, Kent Fletcher, and Mark Heiss|
|GC America’s headquarters in Alsip, Illinois|