MegaGen USA: Affordable Options Spurring More Implant Placements
Like his colleagues in implantology, Steven Pfefer, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at MegaGen USA, sees ease of use, affordability, and education and training—at both the university level and by the manufacturers—to be major forces driving increased implant placements, yet thinks that "implants haven't reached anywhere near the level that they will in the future."
To encourage doctors to offer this treatment option to their patients in greater numbers, he stresses MegaGen's emphasis on one of those factors he considers crucial to growing the field further—affordability. "I think the cost has been a prohibitive factor, and I attribute this to the cost of the implant product and setting up of the product," he says. The advancement of digital radiography, however, is helping change that.
MegaGen's product line features implants that Pfefer says are especially affordable as well as unique—including EZ Plus, the ExFeel System, and the Intermezzo System. However, it was after doctors became comfortable with the company's niche product, the Rescue Implant, that they began converting to other products in the MegaGen line. "The Rescue Implant is a wider diameter implant, and it has shorter lengths ranging all the way to regular lengths. These implants can be used in situations where doctors don't have the proper implant size in their offices," explains Pfefer, who boasts that the product is sometimes called "the Apple of the dental industry"—a reference to the popular computer company—because it fills a need outside the mainstream of implant products.
He considers MegaGen's new AnyRidge System, which is currently pending FDA approval and is due out in the fall, to be "the most advanced implant ever developed," stating that the company tested more than 2,000 implants over a 2-year period. AnyRidge reduces the need for advanced surgery and bone grafting, and, by preserving cortical bone, excellent esthetic results can be obtained. "We've been able to develop a much more stable product where we minimally disturb the crestal bone upon placement of the implant." Intensive efforts to make clinicians aware of this introduction will commence with a 10-city road show in the fall.
Pfefer makes it clear that education of doctors and the general public is an essential part of forwarding the agenda to increase both public and professional acceptance of implants. "Education is a cornerstone of our business," says Pfefer. "We will continue to educate doctors as often as we can and offer hands-on training in which doctors actually get to place implants during surgery under supervision after they've been lectured to on the protocol for implant placement." Such tutelage, he explains, is conducted largely in an on-campus education training center called MINEC, but also in implant training centers around the country and throughout the world.
Pfefer believes doctors would benefit from having better tools when consulting with patients about implants. "There are all types of consultation programs from the implant companies for doctors to use during consultation that are not being used to the full extent. I think the best way to gain patient acceptance with this type of procedure would be to have a model showing two or four implants, with a snap-on locator-type abutment or a bar overdenture abutment."
So what's on the horizon for MegaGen and the larger world of implantology? "We look forward to servicing and providing excellent dental implant products for the dental community," says Pfefer, who notes that MegaGen currently is developing some new palatal products and is also working in the area of ceramic implants. Additionally, he expresses excitement about the company's $10 million grant from the Korean government to develop a bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) implant.