An Interview with Septodont
Paul Mondock, Vice President, Sales and Marketing for North America
Inside Dentistry(ID): What do you see as the most significant changes in the oral healthcare arena over the past 5 to 10 years?
PAUL MONDOCK (PM): Clearly, the digital technologies in the restorative area have made a tremendous difference in the quality of care given to today’s dental patients. Another more subtle change is the growth in the group practice segment of dentistry. This segment seems to have picked up in recent years, with the emphasis on marketing direct-to-consumer being the key driver in that growth. If I’m not mistaken, this segment of our industry will continue to grow and have a larger impact in the overall way in which we do business tomorrow.
Continuing education has also changed significantly during the last 5 to 10 years. Here we see the generational impact of technology changing how healthcare professionals obtain continuing education for the entire dental team. The emphasis that technology has had on the access as well as the quality of education offered to the dental team has been upgraded through the many new ways in which education is now available—particularly online availability.
ID: How, internally and in the broader marketplace, has your company responded to these changes?
PM: Over the past few years, we have built an infrastructure that addresses a number of these changes. We havestate-of-the-art technology in all of our manufacturing plants, and people with the skills and expertise to continue with the dedication to excellence that we pride ourselves on. We also have updated our R&D expertise and spending at three of our global manufacturing sites, each with a team of scientists who are experts in their field. They are working on new sciences that will enhance the way dental professionals practice dentistry well into the future. New and innovative products have always fueled industry growth and improved patient care.
Group practices continue to be the fastest-growing segment in the industry. Our historical approach has been to regionalize our coverage at the local level. As the group practice trajectory continues to move to the national level, we see an immediate need to address this opportunity with specific resources to manage and develop these customers.
ID: What do you see as your biggest responsibility to the marketplace, and why does your choice rank as your top priority?
PM: I think Septodont’s biggest responsibility is to bring innovative, safe, and effective products to the marketplace. Our products have earned the trust of the dental community through our diligence in manufacturing and marketing. We have earned the distinction of having a product that is the number one-branded product in our industry—Septocaine. We are proud of that distinction, and take the trust of the dentist very much to heart. We are told time and time again that our products have changed the way the dentist practices. We worked long and hard to earn this distinction in the marketplace, and consider it our top priority to maintain the efficacy of our products while maintaining the trust that has been bestowed upon us.
ID: What product categories do you feel are most in need of innovation, based on what’s currently available?
PM: Our charge is to enhance oral health, and to correct, restore, and maintain a healthy smile. As manufacturers, we all have our interests and directives with focus in the different disciplines. Strategically, Septodont has determined which product categories they will participate in, and through extensive R&D, are developing better and faster ways to practice dentistry, with the ultimate outcome of satisfied dentists and happy healthy patients.
ID: What do you think is the best approach to research, development, and the ultimate delivery of needed advancements?
PM: At Septodont, the best approach for R&D is a combination of marketing-based and science-based product development. We are very fortunate to have this expertise globally in the United States and in Europe. From a process management standpoint, the two divisions operate under one corporate R&D governance, but apply local market conditions to deliver the right products with an accurate and clear message. Product development begins with the marketing department [conducting] research before making any recommendations to the R&D team. Spending a day in the life of our customers helps bring us closer to our dental community, while providing great new product insight with the ultimate development of products like BioDentine and N’Durance.
ID: How is your company helping to resolve the challenges facing dentistry and oral healthcare today?
PM: Over the past few years, our executive management team has dedicated itself in an effort to join with others in raising the awareness of the need for good oral care. We have made a commitment to be a part of this important initiative, and have extended our resources in manpower, products, and financial support to help make a difference in how people take care of their oral health, as well as participating with those bringing good dentistry to the less fortunate at home and around the world. The ultimate goal of our efforts is to grow the overall dental industry while providing access to care for all who need it.