The 2018 innovator profiles

June 26, 2018

How these dental companies are pushing dentistry forward - and helping dentists, dental teams and patients along the way.

Every year, DPR has the distinct privilege of talking to some of the leading voices for innovation throughout the dental industry. And 2018 is no exception. In this special advertising section, you’ll learn about exciting and innovative new products, new technologies, new education opportunities and more.

Trending article: The future of AI in dentistry

This year we were struck by the passion that these companies show for their customers, and also by the sense that their passion is borne out of a real effort to improve patient outcomes. Through a commitment to science, research, customer feedback and a belief in dentistry’s ability to improve patients’ lives, these innovators are making dentistry in 2018 - and beyond - very exciting indeed.

Click through the slides to see the innovators.

 

“...Nobody can touch our abilities, expertise and level of support.”

Q: Why does Axsys Dental Solutions think innovation is important?

A: Innovation is vital because it gives companies an edge in penetrating markets faster and provides a better connection to developing markets, which can lead to bigger opportunities and increased profits.
Organizations who see and act upon the opportunities and possibilities for change through innovation will not only survive - they will successfully compete and even flourish in the face of adverse and fluctuating business and economic conditions.

Q: How do you feel Axsys has pushed the dental industry forward?

A: Mostly in terms of what manufacturing technology is available and what it can mean to dental professionals, in terms of profitability and the quality of restorations that can be reliably produced as well as the enhanced quality of care that can be provided to patients.

Realize we are just moving out of the “bowling alley” of the “early majority” stages of dental CAD/CAM technology adoption - where the pragmatists decide that the technology is ready for them to purchase.
Everett Rogers’s “technology adoption life cycle” model identified a bell curve featuring innovators, early adopters, an early majority, a late majority and laggards. There is a chasm to jump from the early adopters to the early majority, which is when the technology becomes much more widespread. We have not fully reached that point yet. The problem is that in these early stages “adopters” don’t know that what they have acquired is not necessarily the height of the technology.  The earlier adopters simply don’t know that there are much better options than the equipment and solutions they quickly “adopted” and incorporated into their practices.

Based on our extensive experience in “digital manufacturing” and CNC machine technology, the solutions we have developed have brought to light the fact that significantly better software and machine technology is actually available - and at a substantially lower price point than that which is provided by current market leaders. In many instances, we are able to offer double the machining capability at half the price.

Q: What is Axsys’s approach to customer service?

A: Customer service has always been a huge differentiator for us. Our mission is to provide reliable, high-quality, state-of-the-art software and hardware products and experienced technical support and sales professionals committed to our customers’ success.

Our approach is to go over and beyond what is expected and to quickly deliver solutions to our customers’ problems with our own on-staff, highly experienced manufacturing experts - rather than rely on OEM manufacturers that are continents and time zones away to support our customers. This is true for all aspects of our solutions - whether issues are related to machine problems, CAD designs, CAM software, tooling or machining template modifications, or the development/support of new machining templates for new materials or restoration types. In terms of template modifications and creations or supporting our customers’ complex cases, nobody can touch our abilities, expertise and level of support.

Q: Why do you think Axsys has such a good reputation among end users?

A: I believe it is our commitment to customer service, the quality of our products and the extensive experience of our people in CAD/CAM and CNC technology, which is based on our more than four decades of experience in digital manufacturing.

Versamill 5X-200

The fastest 5X mill on the market. An all-in-one, industrial-quality, complete solution for the wet machining of all dental materials. This open source 5-axis mill provides owners with maximum flexibility and versatility.

Versamill 5X-400

Pound for pound and dollar for dollar, the most capable mill in its class. The open-source Versamill 5X-400 can accept input from any dental design program and process virtually any dental milling material.

Versamill 5X-300D

The 5X-300D not only masters conventional crown and bridge work but is also designed for fabricating more complex indications with dry millable materials. It’s designed to perform reliably with high precision for the long term.

For more information, call 855-687-7941 or visit axsysdental.com.

 

 

“Innovation is an intrinsic part of what we do here at BISCO…”

Q: Why does BISCO think innovation is important?

A: Innovation is an intrinsic part of what we do here at BISCO. It allows us to stay competitive and on the cutting edge of adhesive technology. If a company does not innovate, then it is doomed to failure.

Q: How do you feel BISCO has pushed the dental industry forward?

A: Being able to develop products that perform clinically over the last 35 years has helped BISCO to be recognized as a leading brand in bonding and adhesive technology. BISCO also has taken a stand in sharing the knowledge; we want to be able to reach as many people as we can so that we can promote what we believe is our message, which is established by performing sound research and new product development.

Q: What is BISCO’s approach to customer service?

A: Sharing knowledge. Our customers reach out to us not only to solve issues with our products but issues with products from other companies. We also provide support to researchers worldwide. We not only train researchers, but we share our results and help them generate their own data in the most effective manner. This helps us contribute to the scientific world, and this allows us to share our message.

Q: Why do you think BISCO has such a good reputation among end users?

A: The science we generate back to us. It has been this way for the past 35 years. We have been steadily growing as a company, meaning that we make every effort in keeping our loyal customers happy, but we strive to develop new customers as well.

Q: What else should clinicians know about BISCO?

A: We are here to help you bond better. That is our purpose. Every time there is a breakthrough in the lab, every time there is a group of clinicians and researchers that comes to our facility for training, every time I am invited to lecture domestically and abroad, every time we share the knowledge, I feel nothing but pride knowing that in some small way I am contributing to the BISCO experience.

REVEAL HD Bulk

Bisco’s REVEAL HD Bulk is a light-cured bulk fill composite designed to improve the quality and timeliness of restorations. REVEAL HD Bulk is optimized to allow for easier, faster posterior restorations by combining superior levels of handling, placement and depth of cure. The exceptional ease of use allows for simple and convenient placement of the composite in the prep, while the category-leading depth of cure ensures a solid restoration from the top-down, so you can cure with confidence.

For more information, call 800-247-3368 or visit bisco.com.

 

“This friendship, exchange of ideas - you can’t get that sitting at home.”

Q: The ways that people engage with educational offerings continue to change. As you know, there are increasingly more high-quality online opportunities as well as niche events targeted at a specific issue or product category. How does an event like the Chicago Dental Society’s Midwinter Meeting innovate in this type of environment?

A: The Midwinter Meeting is the premier meeting for dentistry. Our continuing education program is the crown jewel for providing educational opportunities for the dental profession. Increasingly, a significant part of that is the hands-on courses we provide; we believe it is essential to give dental professionals the opportunity to try new things. This happens in classroom settings as well as on the exhibit floor, where dentists and their teams can see in real time how innovative, new products work and consider what new things they can bring back to their practices.

Of course, the ability to get CE online is convenient, but at a meeting like ours, the dental professionals who attend can take advantage of camaraderie with colleagues and former classmates - and that brings its own value. I know that when I’m with those people, we talk about our practices and learn from one another, discussing things we can use and take back to our own practices. This friendship, exchange of ideas - you can’t get that sitting at home. Even smaller settings for continuing education can’t offer that. We also know that as the face of dentistry continues to change - more women, people from more ethnic backgrounds, more diverse modes of practice - these face-to-face interactions afford our attendees the opportunity to learn from other cultures and experiences.

The theme for 2019 is Midwinter Meeting Mardi Gras: Camaraderie, Diversity and Innovation. These are all things CDS has been looking toward and highlighting over the last few years. Innovation is critical because the Midwinter Meeting is a place where many exhibitors launch new products, recognizing our value as a premier meeting with a global audience.

Q: There are some trends you can see coming a mile away, usually in terms of growing interest in product categories. Others sneak up on you. For example, there might be a renewed interest in human resources and staff dynamics in a post-#MeToo world. How does the Midwinter Meeting planning committee reflect these trends in the educational line-up, especially considering how far in advance they start planning?

A: We do start looking for speakers years in advance; we like starting early because it gives us the opportunity to run across speakers more than once and see them in different settings speaking about different topics. Whether we are showcasing an experienced speaker or highlighting a new voice, we can be sure that they are at the top of their game. If we need to bring timely topics into the mix - whatever topic you are interested in, we want you to find that here - they can address those topics. Even if we selected the speaker for a specific issue, if there is something more topical or interesting to the audiences, these speakers can address those topics as well; they recognize it is important to be flexible so they can be viable. Education should never be a static situation, so we address topics new and old.

Q: What are some of the “older” issues that continue to be most relevant to your attendees?

A: It doesn’t matter what year it is, you have practitioners who are training staff. We provide courses so that if a dentist has a new staff member or one who has been with their practice for a longer period of time, we have opportunities for everyone to learn, no matter what the topic.

We encourage attendees to make their Midwinter Meeting what they want it to be. Some offices take every class together, others split up to take the courses they or their employers feel they need in order to improve their skills. Some doctors say they enjoy the lectures on conebeam, others are looking at hands-on for digital impressions. Whatever the big question is, attendees can create an educational program with us that will help them get the answers they need.

2019 Midwinter Meeting

Enjoy our world-class city of Chicago while you learn from the leaders in dental education. Choose from more than 200 courses, including valuable hands-on learning activities and live patient demonstrations. Be sure to visit our Exhibit Hall featuring more than 700 exhibiting companies here to show off their latest products and services. After the meeting, make sure you take some time to relax, rejuvenate and recharge. Dine in our fabulous restaurants, shop the Magnificent Mile or take a tour of our amazing architecture. Chicago is our home town and we are happy to welcome you.

For more information, call 312-836-7300 or visit cds.org.

 

“Komet is interested in creating new products that fill in gaps and resolve problems...”

Q: Why does Komet think innovation is important?

A: Like any forward-thinking company seeking to grow in the dental space, Komet realizes that dentistry is changing. Dentists today have  different needs, wants and expectations than they did 20 years ago. Komet is interested in creating new products that fill in gaps and resolve problems that dentists deal with today. Two great examples of  innovations from Komet are the CeraTip™ bur and the design process that went into the Komet bur blocks.

Q: How do you feel Komet has pushed the dental industry forward?

A: Komet has provided a high-quality product (dental burs) for many years. Now, they are reaching out to dentists to find out just what we need in order to create a high-quality experience for our patients.

Q: What is Komet’s approach to customer service?

A: I can only speak from my own experience, but I have found that Komet is very serious about not only the quality of their product but also about how they are perceived as a company in the industry. Their brand is very important to them as well as what it stands for. Customer service is actually part of their mission statement. Their commitment to service is aligned with my own and is one of the reasons I am proud to work with Komet.

Q: What innovations can customers expect from Komet in the coming months and years?

A: In terms of specific products, I cannot divulge this information for reasons of confidentiality; however, Komet is actively working with their dental influencers to differentiate themselves within their product niche. They will continue to bring out new and exciting products that will benefit not only us as dentists but also provide us the tools we need to pass along an efficient, safe and quality experience to our patients.

Q: Why do you think Komet has such a good reputation among end users?

A: Attention to detail, quality and performance.  When I first started working with Komet, I asked the CEO which auto company they would compare themselves to. Porsche was the answer. If you have ever driven a Porsche, you’ll have a better idea of what I mean.

Q: What else should clinicians know about Komet?

A: Komet wants to be more than a traditional bur company. They want to do more than just send a rep into the dentist’s office with a folder full of burs.  They are looking to provide customized solutions for their dentists and find ways to make their users more profitable and efficient, and they stand behind their products.

Deep Purple™ - 8878KXC

Delivering high performance and controlled efficiency to facilitate crown preparation procedures, Komet USA’s innovative Deep Purple™ diamonds are specially designed for fast, effective substance removal.

CeraTip™ - KT

The CeraTip™ instrument is made of a mixed ceramic composed of zircon dioxide partly stabilized by yttrium and aluminum ceramic. The high-performance material gives the CeraTip™ the properties needed to perfectly trim gingival tissue.

For more information, call 888-566-3887 or visit kometusa.com.

 

“Shofu is a true company devoted solely to dentistry...”

Q: Why does Shofu think innovation is important?

A: We’re actually approaching our 100th anniversary. Shofu originally made porcelain dishware, what other things could be made with porcelain to stimulate their growth? Out of innovation, early in 1922, came porcelain denture teeth. So, for the last 100 years, we’ve been focused on innovation and technology, but very specifically always stayed within the dental field. Shofu is a true company devoted solely to dentistry. Where some companies have morphed off and gone in multiple directions, we’ve stayed very true to the heritage of the company and stayed in dentistry.

Q: What innovations are you most proud of in the last few years?

A: On the chemical side of the materials, our Giomer technology. Our Giomer technology is basically a treatment that we do to the filler particles that are part of composite resin materials. We actually have a very innovative process that allows us to have these materials. We’re one of the very early bioactive materials in the market. We have this technology that allows our materials to release fluoride and other beneficial ions, like strontium and aluminum and boron. Those all get released and they actually do a unique thing in that they’re recharged. Most products, when they deposit or leach out fluoride or anything else, when it’s gone, it’s gone. But with the Giomer technology, it actually can recharge itself. ... The Giomer technology, because it’s always this low dose of the fluoride and other ions being released, it actually has an anti-cavity effect.

The other technology we’ve gotten into, which is a more pure technology, is a camera. In Japan, photography is a big thing. Dental photography was something that was very near and dear to a number of the people at the company. They were always kind of frustrated with the adaptations that were done to Nikons and Canons and various different commercial cameras. So, they developed and we’re now selling what’s called the EyeSpecial C-III. It’s an upgrade; we had the C-II that we launched about three years ago. This past fall, we launched the newer version. It’s a camera that has been developed with pre-programmed modes and a sealed housing that can be disinfected. Everything about this camera has been designed to be used in the dental practice and to take the difficulty out of the camera so that the dentist can remain focused on doing the dentistry at the chair and the staff can consistently execute good quality dental photography with ease and convenience.

Q: How do you feel Shofu has pushed the industry forward?

A: Japan works a lot with academics. They certainly value the input of professors and clinicians and researchers who are at the universities in Japan, and on a global basis. When we go into launching a new product, we usually have one of the professors that works with the companies that’s from a university in Japan and they’re usually charged with being the lead investigator. But there are then - usually somewhere in Europe, somewhere else in Asia or somewhere in the U.S. - clinical sites where we do bench research and actual clinical research on patients to make sure that the performance and the efficacy meets the demands of a global market. That I think is something that not everybody does.

One of the things I’m always most proud of with Shofu is when we launch a product, we actually really know that it works and that it’s finished being developed. We’re not still testing it and trying to figure out if it works right. Many clinicians have expressed to me over the years that sometimes they feel like they’re a little bit like a guinea pig or a beta test, and the product isn’t quite ready but they’re still selling it. We don’t ever do that. I always feel very confident that when our product launches, the dentist will have a good experience.

Beautifil II LS

Indicated for all classes of restorations (I-V), Beautifil II LS (Low Shrink) provides practitioners with the means to minimize polymerization shrinkage and shrinkage stress while creating predictable and functional esthetics.

EyeSpecial C-III

Designed exclusively for dentistry, the EyeSpecial C-III is a smart digital camera intended for clinical photography, dental and orthodontic case documentation, lab collaboration, and patient communication and education.

Beautifil Flow Plus

Beautifil Flow Plus is a bioactive restorative material, combining the effortless delivery and adaptation of a flowable restorative with physical properties and functionality that rivals leading hybrids.

For more information, call 800-827-4638 or visit shofu.com.