March 2007, Volume 3, Issue 3
Published by AEGIS Communications
Dentatus USA, LTD
New York, New York
President of Dentatus AB Sweden and Dentatus USA, Ltd
Question No. 1
Inside Dentistry (ID): The dental industry and the oral healthcare arena have been changing rapidly within the past 5 to 10 years. What do you see as the most significant of those changes?
Bernard Weissman (BW): The most encouraging development is the introduction of the wide range of sophisticated devices, such as CAD/CAM laser technologies, advanced radiography, and photography, including the diagnostic tools for creating better dental treatment for patients. The scope of these costly developments attests to the professional and financial community’s confidence that dentistry is alive and well, with prospects of growth and prosperity.
The world’s dentistry, following historic American trends, will expand the marketability of our techniques and, using modern devices, will further fuel the expansion of the dental economy. Additionally, the expansion of implantology that will ultimately include a broader section of the population in itself will make a huge contribution in the growth of the dental field.
A significant cautionary change is the vast array of new products and clinical procedures that are introduced on the basis of narrow findings and individual preferences. The anecdotal findings and claims of safety and longevity clearly seem to be in contradiction to the double-digit, next-generation, same-but-improved products, with no end in sight for more of the same. Likewise, the opinions transmitted in chat room discussions give everyone without distinction an opportunity to make claims that create considerable doubt and confusion with far reaching consequences. Under these circumstances, it is indeed difficult for manufacturers of specialty products to keep up with the market’s diverse, fast-changing needs.
Question No. 2
ID: In what ways—both internally and in dealing with the broader oral healthcare marketplace—has your company responded to these changes?
BW: At Dentatus we have made a major investment to meet broader healthcare needs by introducing, among other products, Luminex, the first of transilluminating plastic posts to polymerize composites in deep root canals. This makes it possible to repair damaged roots while creating a precise, predetermined space for titanium or fiberglass anchor foundations for restoration. Another product is the Profin handpiece. It was developed by Dentatus in cooperation with noted periodontist Professor Per Axelson of Sweden. A se-ries of Lamineer diamond-plated tips used with Profin to access hard-to-reach spaces can also be used for correcting tooth form and removing excess polymerized composite and luting material without injury to hard and soft tissues.
We have also made substantial investments in automated, smart product packaging that fits the modern dental environ-ment. Among the investments is the Dentatus One-Stop Post Dispenser. It contains the entire range of endodontic anchor posts with built-in gauges for easy safety checks of diameters and lengths. For the efficient practice, this means saving time, space, and cost, because the palm-size dispenser can be refilled and used in multiple operatories.
Question No. 3
ID: What do you see as your biggest responsibility to the marketplace, and why does your choice rank as your #1 priority?
BW: Our biggest responsibility is to maintain our commitment to provide safe systems and products for a wide range of dental needs. In fact, our major goal is to continue to develop systems and products for the delivery of more effective, economical dental healthcare services to patients.
Question No. 4
ID: What product categories—whether preventive, restorative, operative, auxiliary, diagnostic, etc—do you feel are most in need of innovation based on what’s currently available?
BW: Our recent priorities have been devoted to the development and expansion of our thin-bodied implants that we first introduced in 1993. While our first implant system, MTI Slim Implants, was only approved for transitional use initially, dentists were able—for the first time—to provide patients with immediate, fixed, and functional teeth that were used during the lengthy healing intervals of definitive implants.
Proving the safety of MTI Slim Implants with successful results among thousands of treated patients, we have introduced the Anew and Atlas implants. Unlike most of the brand-name definitive implants that require large bone and space, our implants can be used in substantially narrower spaces and thinner bone sections. The prosthetic components are used for the instant replacement of a patient’s restoration at the initiation of the restorative treatment. Restorative dentists can construct interim immediate restorations and subsequently change them to laboratory-customized prostheses. The patient, however, is never inconvenienced because the interim restoration is instantly replaced and firmly attached with the Anew external resin screw cap.
Because our thin-bodied patented implant systems are not intended to replace larger implant fixtures, our marketing strategies are geared to serve the reported 25% to 30% of patients with insufficient bone or space and limited financial means.
For edentulous patients, our Atlas implants are used to convert the patient’s denture to a retentive, comfortable, silicone-cushioned prosthesis in a 1-hour procedure.
All Dentatus implants are widely tested in controlled university environments, showing a level of performance comparable to the definitive implants. Submitting the cumulative data, our titanium-alloy implants are FDA approved "for long-term use and for any length of time, as decided by the health care provider."
The other products that I consider important are tools and instruments for creating in situ anatomical shapes of direct composite restorations. As the very fine forms and delineations cannot be made with rotary instrumentation, we are in the process of expanding the series of Lamineer tips for Profin that will allow dentists to make teeth with highlights and fine spaces for hygiene access and maximum esthetics.
Question No. 5
ID: There are many challenges facing dentistry and oral healthcare today. How is your company helping to resolve them?
BW: To effectively change the present status and improve the future it will require organized dentistry, the academic community, and the professional and dental business sectors to solve the problem of universal dental health. We must try to find a solution for the great number of people who can’t afford oral healthcare and, working together, we should be able to develop systems, tools, and materials for replacing teeth in a manner that can be affordably sustained.