Oral Health Group

Speculating on trends in the implant industry for 2012


December 18, 2011
by ken

Several months back, Dentsply International purchased Astra Tech Dental from Astra Zeneca to the tune of almost 2 billion Euro. Not much has been heard, ne’er a discouraging word since.  In putting this forum to bed for the year, I was searching for Dental Trends in 2012. Part of this was inspired by watching the movie Gainsborough on iTunes last night, part of it was in looking at the future of the Foundational Cypher or the Endo/Perio/Implant Algorithm which is continuing to gain credibility in the programming schedules of many companies. Unfortunately, Melissa and Catherine do not provide me a budget for purchasing Millennium Research style informatics………however, you can do some quick and dirty and prognosticate. Until such time as stem cell research brings tooth regrowth into the marketplace as a cost-effective, predictable treatment, the explosive growth of single tooth replacement with dental implants will continue……….

Dental Products & Materials to 2012 – Market Research, Market Share, Market Size, Sales, Demand Forecast, Market Leaders, Company Profiles, Industry Trends

 US demand for dental products will rise 4.5 percent annually through 2012, aided by favorable population trends and continued interest in cosmetic dentistry. More concern about overall good health will provide added opportunities for mouthwash/dental rinses, sealants, fluoride treatments and other products.

This study analyzes the $8.8 billion US dental product and material industry, with forecasts for 2012 and 2017 by product (e.g., crowns and bridges, dentures, implants, fillings, orthodontic appliances, veneers, whitening products, adhesives and cements, sealants, fluoride treatments, toothpaste, mouthwash/dental rinse, floss); and raw material.

The study also considers market environment factors, details industry structure, evaluates company market share and profiles 44 leading industry competitors, including Proctor & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive, DENTSPLY International, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, 3M, and Nobel Biocare.

Nobel if one looks at their standing is the RIM of implants. Straumann is stolid, but solid. The impact of Dentsply’s purchase remains an unknown, but my best guess is that their transition team has been working assiduously for months and something is imminent, as after all, 2 billion US is not chump change even in the corporate world…..

My assumption on an impending announcement based on the mix of Friadent and Astra Tech is as follows;

1. A new blended company will be formed mixing the logos for sustained product identification and combining all the brands and lab components and ensuring that they are differentiated distinctly. Dentsply has done this with Maillefer, VDW and Tulsa Dental for endo, there is no reason to assume the model won’t be continued with implants and customizable abutments especially since Compartis in the US is under the Dentsply brand and was not put under the Tulsa Dental umbrella.

2. Based on the track record in the US, continuing education – furthering [fill in the blanks] will continue to be the modus operandi. Putting names on buildings was never Dentsply’s “thang”, they were much more into lavish soirees and boites to augment their solution provision based on funding studies to demonstrate clinical evidence. It may on some level be perceived as eminence based evidence, it may have literally been outlawed in the medical arena in the US, but until they are mandated to back off to Cleveland, look for it in spades.

3. In North America, they were always a direct company in endo and implants with a massive sales force…….had they led the Iraq war, it would have been over in 9 months not 9 years. My guess is that rather than focusing on funky websites, social media or networking, online education, they will look to hire massive numbers of new sales representatives which they did with ANKYLOS and XIVE when Tulsa took it over.

As a business strategy example, this is brilliant. 3M is putting digital impression taking into the dental schools throughout the US, most companies have academic reps, it’s the way of the business world. One of the reasons for the harping about a Canadian style discussion forum using an offshoot of iTrans is that the profession needs a CONSUMER REPORT style facility. The ADA has one, the CDA – nope. When an associations/institution/society is dependent on largesse to underwrite it’s alumni CE and research, they don’t look to bite the hand that feeds them.

There will always be product coming to market, think of Lehman Bros. and subprime mortgages; doesn’t mean they will serve ALL ends, most likely only the ends of the seller cuz “it’s business, not personal.” Well, when newbees have massive student loans, the cost of setting up a new treatment and equipping it is running six figures, someone has to pay the piper. Far too often as is in evidence with the exponential spiralling of complaints to regulatory bodies, it’s the client base, the patient who should be protected.

Privacy, encryption are all valid concerns; ethics and standards should be too. It’s not a far leap from mergers and acquisitions to consumer protectionism. Someone has to validate the restructuring and keep the bottom line on point for the shareholders. The key to all this is simple; it’s a profession, not a business and since the end user is the consumer, the patient, if encryption in our industry versus lawyers for example is based upon a different standard, then so should the provision of education in all areas inclusive of management, education and treatment planning and outcomes. In fact, in this author’s opinion, they are more important than encrypting an email on the removal of a tooth in cyberspace communication. That is not the sole concern the encryption aficianados will say, we want to protect files on servers anon……passwords and firewalls work well, getting the entire profession connected is a better start.

Odd isn’t it, when people are well educated, have access to technology and communication, they seem, based on the events of this past year, to take down authoritarian regimes and demand greater personal freedom.  Time to let Canadian dentists talk amongst themselves along the lines of Mike Meyers and Coffee Talk, to let them poll, to let them access endless online educational content that is vetted by ancillary discussion forums, to let the specialty societies in this country open their websites, Wiki’s and blogs to the body of dentists and aid in treatment planning and treatment execution.

If there was one trend that would make the greatest difference of all in 2012, it would be expanded MENTORING IN THE DENTAL COMMUNITY OF CANADA, not yet another legislative onslaught at a time when the economy to a greater or lesser degree has been burdensome for many both within and without the profession. Mentoring – see the previous posting by John Perry Barlow – the Grateful Dead used to perform one of Bob Dylan’s majestic songs in the 80’s – When I Paint my Masterpiece – read the words and see how this all relates, because if you paint slightly outside the lines, everything chchchchanges:

h, the streets of Rome are filled with rubble,
Ancient footprints are everywhere.
You can almost think that you’re seein’ double
On a cold dark night on the Spanish Stairs.

Got to hurry on back to my hotel room,
Where I’ve got me a date with a Botticelli’s niece.
She promised she’d be right there with me
When I paint my masterpiece.

Oh, the hours I’ve spent inside the Coliseum,
Dodging lions and wastin’ time.
Oh, those mighty kings of the jungle,
I could hardly stand to see ’em,
Yes, it sure has been a long hard climb.

Train wheels runnin’ thru the back of my memory,
When I ran on the hilltop following a pack of wild geese.
Someday, life’s gonna be smooth like a rhapsody,
When I paint my masterpiece.

Sailin’ ’round the world in a dirty gondola,
Oh, to be back in the land of Coca-Cola!

I left Rome and landed in Brussels,
On a plane ride so bumpy that I almost cried.
Clergymen in uniform and young girls pullin’ hustles,
Everyone was there to greet me when I stepped inside.

Newspapermen eating candy
Had to be held down by big police.
Someday, everything is gonna be diff’rent
When I paint my masterpiece.


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