Inside Dentistry
March 2008
Volume 4, Issue 3

Industry Insider

Nobel Biocare Gives Back Education with the University Partner Program
Nobel Biocare AB (Gothenburg, Sweden) recognizes that the foundation in esthetics and implant dentistry is best learned at the pre-doctoral level. With its University Partner Program, Nobel Biocare works with the world’s leading dental schools to develop pre-doctoral education and training programs so graduating dentists can offer their patients the latest advances in esthetic and implant dentistry.

Initiated in 2005 with the signing of an agreement with the New York University College of Dentistry, the Nobel Biocare University Partner Program is a peer-to-peer program that provides support to academic institutions worldwide in the implementation of integrated Crown, Bridge, and Implant (C&B&I™) pre-doctoral curricula. As new technologies are introduced into the dentistry industry, practicing dental professionals are aware that continuing education is not only imperative for providing their patients with the best restorative solutions, it is also necessary for staying competitive. Unfortunately, surveys and research (as recent as 2005) have demonstrated that many modern dental institutions continued to fall short in providing the necessary basic training of an integrated C&B&I curriculum.

With the support of the University Partner Program, dental institutions develop C&B&I programs that will give graduates the basic skills and knowledge they need to satisfy the ever-increasing demands of their patients for alternatives in treatment, especially implant and all-ceramic restorations. From these newly developed curricula, graduates obtain basic esthetic dentistry competency for: restoring natural teeth and Nobel Biocare implants using advanced all-ceramic products in lieu of porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) techniques; placing Nobel Biocare implants; and implementing CAD/CAM dentistry techniques.

“Producing pre-doctoral programs, which include the latest scientific implant and CAD/CAM treatment solutions, is not only an important ingredient in a graduate’s future business success,” comments Dr. Robert Gottlander, Nobel Biocare executive vice president, “it is imperative for the ultimate benefit of patients around the world.”

A key program approach introduces undergraduates to clinical procedures in addition to the didactic and simulation portions of their education. The importance of hands-on learning was evident in a survey taken by deans of major dental universities in the United States. The deans saw a direct correlation between recent graduates who had performed implant care on a live patient and the likelihood that they would offer and restore implants in their practice. It was felt that if a student did not perform clinical implant care on a live patient, he or she was less likely to perform that care in practice.

Although partnership agreement specifics differ with each academic institution and their needs, generally Nobel Biocare provides a program structure with scientific treatment expertise, modern educational tools, clinical competency, as well as monetary and product component contributions.

To support University Partner Program Faculty, a dedicated Web site has been developed where they can share their successes and learn from one another in a community forum. On the Web site, there is also an Educators’ Toolbox from which faculty can download didactic material (including films in Apple® iPod® format).

Program implementation is carried out by the dean of the college or university and his or her faculty. Support is provided by Nobel Biocare and members of a special Advisory Group. A University Partner Program Director ensures that established goals are met and in keeping with academic standards for excellence. Additionally, a Curriculum Implementation Expert lends his or her best-practice experience and suggests curriculum implementation tips and strategies.

During the 2007 FDI Annual World Dental Congress in Dubai, UAE, the 20th university signed a partnership agreement with Nobel Biocare. The King Saud University College of Dentistry, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, joined 19 other members of the University Partner Program. Among the other schools are the largest dental schools in the United States, China, and Australia.

Numbers are just beginning to filter in demonstrating the success of the program; being the first Partnership University, NYU reports that 95% of its 2007 graduating class performed a single-unit Procera® restoration on their patients, but the successes continue: “For the first time, pre-doctoral dental students at every stage of their education are taught concepts that help integrate knowledge of implant therapy into overall treatment plans for optimal patient care,” says Dr. Leila Jahangiri, assistant professor and chair of prosthodontics at NYU and University Partner Program Advisory Board member. “Our curriculum change began 2 years ago and has resulted in approximately 70% of our 2007 graduates having restored implants on their patients. Further, 96% of these students requested increased hours in curriculum, which is taken into consideration for future classes.”

Results should dramatically increase as other partner universities begin implementing their new curricula; the projected total number of students graduating from these programs each year (estimated using only 17 participating universities) is 1,650. All undergraduate curricula are a minimum of 4 years, yielding nearly 6,600 actively participating pre-doctoral students in University Partner Program-supported curricula at any given time.

“As training and education initiate, the University Partner Program is a natural alliance between the dental industry and academia,” states Dr. Gottlander, “and we will continue to develop new relationships as academic institutions recognize the benefits of belonging to the partnership.”

Wrigley’s Orbit®, Extra®, and Eclipse®Chewing Gums Earn ADA Seal of Acceptance
The Wm. Wrigley Jr Company (Peoria, IL) announced that its Orbit®, Extra®, and Eclipse® sugar-free chewing gums have earned the universally trusted American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. Orbit, Extra, and Eclipse are the first and only chewing gums in the United States to earn this recognition because they are clinically proven to help fight cavities, strengthen teeth, and reduce harmful plaque acids. The ADA Seal makes clear that chewing Wrigley’s Orbit, Extra, and Eclipse sugar-free gums can help maintain good oral health.

“We’re proud to lead the industry by being awarded this important recognition,” said Bill Wrigley, Jr, executive chairman and chairman of the board. “Wrigley has been championing the oral health benefits of chewing gum for nearly 20 years. Now the ADA Seal of Acceptance makes perfectly clear to dental professionals and consumers that chewing Wrigley’s Orbit, Extra, and Eclipse sugar-free gums is a convenient and portable way to help maintain and improve oral health.”

The ADA’s Seal of Acceptance has been a respected symbol of safety and effectiveness for more than 75 years. The organization awarded its Seal of Acceptance to Wrigley after a thorough analysis of nearly 20 years’ worth of independent scientific research which demonstrated chewing Wrigley sugar-free gums helped to protect dental health. Both clinical and laboratory studies underwent rigorous review by the ADA’s Council on Scientific Affairs, with assistance by staff scientists and some of its more than 100 expert consultants.

Practicon Dental Names 14th Floor Solutions Its Marketing Communications Agency
Practicon Dental (Greenville, NC) has announced that 14th Floor Solutions of Lake Forest, Illinois, will be responsible for its marketing communications.  

“Our company exists to help dental practices improve patient care and professional success by providing hard-to-find and one-of-a-kind products and services,” said Scott Griffin, Practicon’s president. “We are very proud of the feedback we continually receive from our current customers, and we look forward to working with 14th Floor Solutions to make those customers even happier and to persuade additional practices to give our products and services a try.”

Practicon Dental’s catalogs and Web site provide more than 30,000 dental practices with over 2,000 distinctive dental products and services. Founded 25 years ago, family-owned Practicon has earned a unique reputation among its customers for its innovative product offerings and its exceptional customer service. Many of its products have been designed by its in-house product development team or by customers and are distributed exclusively by Practicon. For more information, visit www.practicon.com.

14th Floor Solutions LLC is a strategic marketing consulting agency providing marketing, branding and creative services to dental, business-to-business, and consumer products clients. Founder and president John Pohl has more than 25 years of executive marketing experience For more information, call 847-812-2879 or visit www.14thfloorsolutions.com.

Pankey Hosts New World-Class Esthetics Symposium November 5-8 at Loews Miami Beach Hotel
The Department of Education of The Pankey Institute, chaired by Dr. Steve Ratcliff, has organized a November symposium that will feature some of the world’s best dental educators. At “A Gathering of Eagles: Porcelain and Titanium, a Synthesis for Beauty,” full-day, in-depth sessions will focus on a systematic approach to predictable esthetics when using implants alone and in combination with natural teeth. These sessions will be presented by Gerard J. Chiche, DDS (head of prosthodontics at Louisiana State University and director of the Academy of Esthetic Dentistry); Avishai Sadan, DMD (editor-in-chief of Quintessence International and chair of the Department of Comprehensive Dentistry at Case Western Reserve University); Pascal Magne, PhD, DMD (senior lecturer, Department of Fixed Prosthodontics and Occlusion at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, and chair of the Department of Esthetic Dentistry at the University of Southern California); Michel Magne, CDT (director of dental technology at the University of Southern California); and Urs C. Belser, DMD (head of the Department of Prosthodontics and Occlusion at the University of Geneva, Switzerland).

Additional short programs will focus on the subtle factors that affect esthetic longevity; dentistry in a virtual world; combining esthetic priorities with functional integrity; optimal use of photographic images for diagnosis, treatment planning, and communication; managing mechanical forces for implant and prosthetic longevity; coordinating an interactive, interdisciplinary team; and phased comprehensive treatment.

As many as 500 clinicians are expected to attend. Dentists who register before July 31 may attend all sessions, two luncheons, and the welcome reception for $1,100. Study groups of five or more registering at one time will enjoy additional savings. Full details about the symposium and registration can be found at www.pankeygatheringofeagles.com.

Founded in 1972, The Pankey Institute is a non-profit organization that promotes optimal oral healthcare through advanced continuing education for dentists. It was the first institute of its kind and remains among the most prestigious, attracting dentists from 42 nations to its educational programs. It is estimated that nearly 20,000 dentists and specialists have attended its courses and now serve millions of patients worldwide. For more information, visit www.pankey.org.

Zhermack Inc. Names New US Managing Director
Zhermack Inc (Eatontown, NJ) recently named Todd Lester managing director of the company, responsible for building the Zhermack brand and market share in the United States and Canada. Lester began his career in the dental industry in 1993 with Dentsply/Caulk after graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in advertising. He ultimately earned the title of senior sales representative.

In 2000, he joined Axis Dental Corporation and won the Top Sales Representative Award in his first year with the company. During his tenure at Axis, he held several positions including product manager, regional sales manager, national account manager, marketing manager and director of marketing. Lester received the Axis Founders Award in 2003 for representing the leadership and values of the founders of the organization. He is also an active member of the Dental Trade Association, having served on the exhibits, annual meeting, and nominating committees.

Zhermack is a leading producer of impression materials for dental clinicians and high-tech solutions for dental laboratories. The company’s product range includes vinyl polysiloxane materials, C-silicones, alginates, plastic and metal impression trays, light-curing and self-curing trays, detergents, disinfectants and sterilization products, duplicating materials, dental stones, acrylic resins, and dental laboratory equipment. Zhermack products are distributed through an established dealer network and used by dentists, dental technicians, and universities in over 100 countries worldwide. For more information, call 877-819-6206 or visit www.Zhermack.com.

Dental Trade Alliance Foundation Accepting Grant Proposals
The DTAF is accepting grant proposals that focus on solutions to issues benefiting dentistry, such as enhancing productivity to increase patient care and flow, capacity solutions, improving access to dental care, collaborations to increase impact, and citizenship efforts to better serve dental professionals, patients, and their communities. The deadline for proposal submission is May 1, and accepted proposals will be funded up to $25,000. Learn about the 2007 grant recipients, obtain information about the 2008 RFP grant process, and download grant applications at www.dtafoundation.org.

DLJ Merchant Banking Partners Acquires a Controlling Interest in Den-Mat Holdings, LLC
DLJ Merchant Banking Partners (DLJMB), a private equity investment affiliate of Credit Suisse, announced that it has acquired a controlling interest in Den-Mat Holdings, LLC (Santa Maria, CA), a leading manufacturer and marketer of minimally invasive dental products for cosmetic and professional dentists, with LUMINEERS® as its flagship product. The transaction closed in December 2007.

In connection with the transaction, Den-Mat also announced several additions to the senior management team, naming Nicholas L. Teti, Jr, as chief executive officer. Teti is the former CEO of Isolagen, Inc, and former chairman and CEO of Inamed Corporation. In addition, Adel Michael, former vice chairman and CFO of Mentor Corporation, has been named president and chief operating officer. Dr. Robert Ibsen, Den-Mat’s founder, will remain active in the business as chairman and director of Professional Education and Product Development.

Founded in 1974 in Santa Maria, California, Den-Mat is a leading dental manufacturer that develops and distributes over 200 esthetic products primarily through a direct sales force as well as distributors. The company’s flagship product is LUMINEERS, a revolutionary, ultra-thin porcelain veneer that offers a pain-free alternative to traditional veneers, eliminating the need for any type of anesthetic.

“We are delighted to acquire Den-Mat, a unique platform in one of the fastest-growing segments of the healthcare industry,” said Steven Rattner, global head of DLJ Merchant Banking Partners. “Working closely with Dr. Ibsen and Den-Mat’s management team, we look forward to leveraging the company’s leading-edge products to capitalize on new opportunities and significantly expand the business from its current niche position.”

Dr. Ibsen said, “We are very pleased to be partnering with DLJ Merchant Banking Partners to continue to build on Den-Mat’s success as a leader in cosmetic dentistry offering pain-free, minimally-invasive products. Access to DLJMB’s resources will allow us to accelerate our growth strategy.”

In the coming months, the company will also be forming an advisory board to further strengthen its relationships with key opinion leaders, dental schools, and other dental associations. Mr. Teti said, “I am extremely impressed by Den-Mat’s portfolio of products and services and believe it is well positioned to capture share in the high-potential and fast-growing cosmetic dentistry market. I look forward to working with Den-Mat’s talented employees to expand the product offering and geographic footprint while building out the company’s infrastructure to provide the highest level of service to its customer base.”

Mr. Teti has more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Most recently, he has been president and CEO of Isolagen Inc, a biotechnology company focused on developing and commercializing emergent, novel skin and tissue rejuvenation technologies. From 2001 to 2006, Mr. Teti was chairman and CEO of Inamed Corporation, a leading medical esthetics and obesity intervention company that was sold to Allergan in 2006 for over $3 billion. Before joining Inamed, Mr. Teti was president and CEO of DuPont Pharmaceuticals until 2001 when it was sold to Bristol Myers Squibb.

Mr. Michael has a distinguished 35-year career that has included several senior management positions with global responsibilities in finance, manufacturing, legal, and IT systems, as well as general management.

For more information about Den-Mat, please visit www.denmat.com.

ADA Products Celebrates Five Years
Ada Products Company, Inc (Eatontown, NJ) celebrated its 5th Anniversary in May 2007, having been acquired by partners Tom Figurelli, Dean Porter, and Jon Gurkoff from the Block Drug Company (owned by GlaxoSmithKline) in 2002. At the time of the acquisition, the company’s mainstay products included AdaMount Plastic X-Ray Mounts, Mynol Articulating Paper, and Mynol Endodontic products. All products are distributed from their facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Two of the owners and managing partners, Figurelli and Porter, spent most of their 35+ years in the dental industry working as executives in sales and marketing for notable dental companies. Gurkoff has spent more than 30 years as an executive and entrepreneur in the hotel industry and the nursing home arena.

In 2005, the three were successful in acquiring Direct Dental Service, Inc, which manufactures and distributes TriBite plastic and metal impression trays, IS-2000 super hydrophilic impression material, IS 2000 Bite Registration Material, and the Beyond Temporary Crown and Bridge System, as well as other restorative materials.

The partners are unified in their commitment to their business and customers. “It’s not easy fighting the industry giants, but we believe we have very loyal customers because of our commitment to selling high-quality products at value prices. We know both elements are important to dentists. We also believe that are customers are very important people and strive to provide excellence in customer service,” the partners said jointly. They contemplate the addition of complimentary product lines and look forward to further expansion. For more information on products and services, call 800-471-4411.

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