© 2023 MJH Life Sciences™ and Dental Products Report. All rights reserved.
Dentsply Sirona Global VP for Implants Tony Susino talks with DPR about the company’s newest dental implants, leadership team members, the importance of education, and more.
In the past year, quite a bit has happened at Dentsply Sirona and in the world of dental implants. Tony Susino, Group Vice President of Global Implant Solutions at Dentsply Sirona, recently sat down with Dental Products Report® Managing Editor Stan Goff to discuss these recent happenings as well as to take a look at the future.
Susino, who works out of Dentsply Sirona’s headquarters in Charlotte, NC, came on board with the company 1 year ago. Previously, he held executive positions with Straumann and Henry Schein, gaining a wealth of experience in dental implants and oral surgeries.
In March, Dentsply Sirona launched its latest implant solution, the DS OmniTaper Implant System®, at the Academy of Osseointegration (AO) Annual Meeting.
In this interview with DPR, Susino talks about the new implant system, the company as a whole, and about Dentsply Sirona’s Implant Solutions World Summit 2023 to take place this summer in Athens, Greece. [link to DPR release on this event]
DPR: Tell us about the company’s implant business strategy for the US, as well as its focus for oral health as a whole.
TS: Regarding oral health as a whole, I can say our vision is to transform dentistry to improve oral health globally. It’s what moves us, what makes us want to do better, and to support dental professionals in delivering their best for every patient they treat. This goal is especially relevant as awareness grows on the impact good oral health has in relation to overall systemic health.
Our aim is to continuously assess the implant portfolio in the pursuit of providing a clinically relevant assortment. OmniTaper EV is an excellent example of this: it combines clinically proven features with modern techniques (drilling protocols, prosthetics) and our investment in long-term science and clinical studies is a key differentiator in the premium market segment.
Implant therapy has become the gold standard of care and more insurance providers are covering it. Ten to 15 years ago, the biggest competition to implant dentistry was crown and bridge dentistry. Now, implant dentistry is increasingly a preferred and accessible option so reasons to delay treatment are lessening.
DPR: What have been some of the challenges and success stories so far?
TS: Well, from a portfolio perspective, it can sometimes be a challenge to integrate various brands and tell a harmonious story. So, a key focus area in the last year has been to ensure that we are creating brand clarity with our product offering and providing value to our customers with the products that we have. The launch of our EV Implant Family has gone a long way in creating that clarity.
We've brought in some top-level talent into the implant organization to lead our various implant businesses. Knowledge of our industry, how our customers behave and how they want to be treated is key. We want to make sure we delight our customers, so we are completely focused on practices and the patients that they serve. The leaders we have brought in are already making a difference. Bill Benjaminsen is VP Product and Brand Marketing, who I've worked with in the past at Straumann and Neodent, and David Josza is VP of Market Development. He was the past president of Biomet3i.
These are people with strong relationships in the industry, highly competent, with track records of success. That has also helped us to build credibility along the way.
Other C-Suite additions like Andreas Frank, EVP and Chief Business Officer, and Simon Campion, our new CEO, bring in a wide industry experience. They're leading the charge in narrowing the focus at an enterprise level to win in a few critical areas and aligning the organization towards success. It has already made a big difference just even in the disposition of our organization.
DPR: Now that the DS OmniTaper Implant System has been introduced, can you talk about the company’s extensive portfolio of implant solutions?
TS: The current Dentsply Sirona implants portfolio is the result of various acquisitions of very strong products and businesses over the years, such as Ankylos, MIS and Astra Tech, all of which have strengthened our positioning in the field and widened the range of options that we can offer dental professionals. When presented in a harmonized way and with a clear story, the possibilities of Dentsply Sirona’s extensive implant solutions, in partnership with our digitally connected solutions, are a key competitive advantage.
We have also complemented our inorganic growth strategy with very successful new product developments. Based on the consultations led by our R&D team with customers and the industry at large, we recognized that there were some opportunities to develop additional implants products, which has led to the launches of, for example, the DS PrimeTaper Implant. Our customers want to feel secure with implants that are primarily stable and PrimeTaper has had excellent results demonstrating primary stability, while also preserving bone. There is a recent study from Dr. Lyndon Cooper that states that DS PrimeTaper has equal primary stability with lower torque values. PrimeTaper EV thread design contributes to a linear increase in insertion torque with increasing bone density and can achieve high primary stability compared to aggressive threaded implant designs known to attain the highest insertion torque. It also shows less compression forces, which is healthier for bone. If you can feel primary stability and reduce the risk of pressure necrosis like PrimeTaper does, it's a favorable result. We're so confident in our DS PrimeTaper Implant that we made an investment in launching the Implant Registry in the United States. There are currently 576 clinics participating in the Registry and documenting their PrimeTaper implant cases. The objective is to continue compiling cases and then publish the results.
DPR: Can you explain how the EV Implant Family covers so many needs for clinicians involved with dental implants?
TS:The EV Implant Family consists of the DS OmniTaper Implant System along with the Astra Tech Implant System and the DS PrimeTaper Implant System. The AstraTech Implant system has had great success for many years and features an elegant drilling sequence that’s clinically proven. All 3 systems deliver biologically driven implant designs for natural esthetics and lasting bone care, they have 1 connection for restorative clarity, and are optimized for a seamless fit with digital dentistry workflows. There have been many published reports indicating that the OsseoSpeed® implant surface stimulates early bone healing and speeds up the healing process, for increased bone formation and stronger bone-to-implant bonding.
So, regardless of whether you pick a parallel implant, a fully tapered implant or a traditional one like the OmniTaper EV, all of them have the OsseoSpeed surface which is clinically proven to have strong bone to implant contact, and they all have the same EV connection. The EV connection is our winning proposition. It provides access to the harmonized and comprehensive EV prosthetic portfolio for restorative flexibility and immediate chairside solutions. Dentsply Sirona really transcends the implant and we're the only company that is aligned along the value chain. Everything you need for an implant placement, from the initial patient consultation and intraoral scanning to the final crown that's placed—Dentsply Sirona is the only company that actually owns and manufactures all those parts and pieces allowing for a seamless workflow experience.
Additionally, with different styles of implants, there are invariably different drilling protocols and there are different clinician preferences. What I like about the OmniTaper EV implant is that the drilling protocol is intuitive. It's straightforward, and clinicians starting to place implants are beginning with straightforward cases. If they want a predictable drilling protocol, this implant and this surgical protocol could be appealing to them. Regardless of which one you choose, based on your preference, based on feeling, based on the bone, the connection is always the same. That means for the restoration you don't need 3 different inventories of abutments.
DPR: Dentsply Sirona is known as the pioneer of CAD/CAM, and also a leader in software and imaging technology. As digital dentistry continues to evolve, tell us how the company is playing a role in digital workflows and in education.
TS: Standardized and digital workflows have the great advantage in that they work intuitively over and over again. It makes a difference if you don't have to rethink procedures every time. The results become more predictable and easier to plan. This also includes prosthetics, which are produced in the dental laboratory.In other words: workflows, driven by digital technology, can result in higher accuracy, repeatability of processes, and time savings. The
EV Implant Family lives into this concept as they can all easily integrate into a digitally driven workflow through the EV connection. This is beneficial for both the experienced implant practitioner, as well as the clinician who is just embarking on their implant path.
Our vision is to strengthen our role as a digital solutions provider, and to enhance our already loyal and solid customer base by providing a unique customer experience, focusing on education, innovation and of course, supporting them in their practice growth.
Talking about education: Peer-to-peer education is a key differentiator in the market, and we are doing many things to drive this forward. On a local level we do this with local study clubs and local luncheons.On a global level, we are very excited about our upcoming Implant Solutions World Summit, which will take place in Athens from June 8-10. It is an event that will combine science and clinical education with networking and entertainment. There are 3 reasons implant dentistry professionals should not miss this event. First, the truly challenging scientific program. In addition to master classes, there will be presentations by renowned speakers who will talk about their own research and experiences. Second, we will be dealing with forward-looking topics and technologies that will help clinicians in their daily work. Third, we will meet face-to-face again and exchange ideas on the best treatment approaches. And on top of all that, the venue is really appealing. We’ll meet at the home of civilization, the place where science began, and have a chance to network and socialize.