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Corporate Profiles: Q&A with Glidewell Labs

Dental Products ReportDental Products Report-2011-08-01
Issue 8

How does Glidewell view the current dental implant market in the United States?

How does Glidewell view the current dental implant market in the United States?
Prices seem to be coming down to patients and we think this is fueling a return to growth for the market overall. Dentists have certainly become more cost conscious and we see more value implant brands coming through the lab. As a result, we are experiencing explosive growth with our own value-based brands such as Inclusive® CAD/CAM custom abutments. Another interesting trend is that more general dentists seem to be placing implants for the first time, and, considering the number of patients who stand to benefit from these services, we see this as a positive trend.

How does Glidewell grow in an otherwise low-growth dental implant market?
Our Inclusive brand has been the key. Implant case invoices can sometimes be perplexing, and it can be difficult for a dentist to know if they will be profitable until the last add-on fee has been figured. Inclusive is a good value because there is a preset package price that includes everything except shipping. There are no hidden fees or add-ons. This allows dentists to confidently discuss case fees with patients, knowing that there will be no surprises.

How does Glidewell approach partnership?
Our corporate goal is to introduce innovative products and services that have the potential to reduce costs and make quality dentistry more widely available to a larger number of patients, regardless of their economic status. To that end, we employ a highly diverse team of research engineers, materials scientists, master dental technicians, and machine tool builders, who all have decades of industry experience in areas such as implants, zirconia, dental ceramics, digital technologies, and more. The efforts of this team can be seen in the success of products like our Inclusive family of implant solutions, and BruxZir® solid zirconia. Instead of keeping these products to ourselves, we realize many dentists want to work with their local laboratories, so we partnered with leading laboratories nationwide to provide BruxZir and Inclusive implant solutions. These partnerships have grown as a result of national marketing campaigns for both Authorized BruxZir Labs, and Certified Inclusive Labs. We plan to strongly market the BruxZir and Inclusive product brands so that it will help partner labs and their dentist customers return to the growth that we all enjoyed just a few years ago.

Glidewell has always been known for its online and DVD-based continuing education. Do you plan to expand this to implants?
We will certainly expand our video library to include more implant-related techniques. We also recently celebrated the grand opening of our Glidewell International Technology Center. This will be our first foray into the traditional “brick and mortar” training and education approach. As successful as our videos are, we realize that sometimes, particularly with implants,  there is no substitute for a good hands-on experience.

What other implant solutions can we expect?
Earlier this year, we launched the Inclusive Mini Implant System with the goal of reducing costs, thereby making it available to even more patients. Our mini implant system is compatible with most of the systems on the market today, virtually eliminating the learning curve for existing users. By manufacturing everything here in our Southern California facility, we are able to keep the costs extremely low and provide exceptional value with our bundled services. We are always looking for ways to provide more value through our Inclusive brand. We are taking a close look at conventional dental implants and digital treatment planning. Both are areas in which Glidewell has a strong presence, and we look forward to building upon this.

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