Warren White, COO of Sales and Marketing
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Question No. 1
Inside Dentistry (ID): The dental industry and the oral healthcare arena have been changing rapidly within the past 5 to 10 years. What do you see as the most significant of those changes?
Warren White (WW): Our industry has seen more female dentists joining the ranks, and they’re bringing new and fresh ideas to the industry. You are not seeing the same faces teaching and lecturing. Influencers are coming not just from the United States, but from all over the world— Europe, South America, and Asia. They are bringing new cases, techniques, solutions, and ideas for products. For example, Dr. Domenico Massironi of Milan, Italy, helped us design our Sonic Tips for crown finishing. With his assistance, KOMET designed a combination of rotary instruments and Sonic Tips that can produce an exact marginal seal and site preparation. Dentistry also has become a global business. Foreign dental manufacturers are entering the US dental market, and I’m seeing more international manufacturers, which make dentistry a very competitive business. This also gives US dentists and laboratories more options. Also, “baby boomers” are getting older, and they’re driving the cosmetic dentistry push. KOMET USA provides products that make restorative procedures quicker and easier. Not only do these products help the dentists performing the procedures, but they also help the laboratory technicians who are milling and creating veneers and crowns. If we are making their jobs easier, then we also are helping patients who are spending less time in the chair, which makes the dental experience more pleasant.
Question No. 2
ID: In what ways—both internally and in dealing with the broader oral healthcare marketplace—has your company responded to these changes?
WW: One way KOMET USA is responding is by always introducing new and innovative rotary instruments. We never sit back and wait to see where the market is heading. KOMET invests a lot into the Research and Development (R&D) department in their headquarters in Germany. For example, our new ceramic bur (CeraBur K1SM) marks one of the first material changes in the rotary instrument industry in the past 100 years. CeraBur K1SM works excellently on soft, carious dentin with minimized reduction of sound tooth structure. It also stands out better against the brownish shade of the carious dentin than that of a tungsten carbide instrument. It is longer lasting, resists corrosion, and is less likely to be affected by disinfection and the cleaning process.
Question No. 3
ID: What do you see as your biggest responsibility to the marketplace, and why does your choice rank as your No. 1 priority?
WW: Our quality must be consistent because you never want a patient to get any surprises while they are sitting in the chair. We, as a manufacturer, must continually introduce new innovative products. Consistent quality allows for proper handling and techniques. If you make the patients’ experiences pleasant, you make patients less fearful of the dentist. Less fear equals more patients coming back to dentistry. KOMET is also one of the few dental manufacturers that can sell direct and ship product across the Atlantic Ocean, with virtually no back orders, proving that it is truly a global company. In addition to creating its infrastructure and hiring a highly dedicated consultative sales force, KOMET USA has targeted aggressive growth patterns and sales, worked with universities, and teamed up with key clinicians, making them proficient partners in research and training.
Question No. 4
ID: What product categories—whether preventive, restorative, operative, auxiliary, etc—do you feel are most in need of innovation based on what’s currently available?
WW: Because rotary instruments are so intertwined, all of our products fit all the categories above. All of our burs are in the same family—diamonds, carbide, etc—because they all cut tooth structure. We, as a manufacturer, need to continue to make products out of new materials, such as our CeraBur K1SM, that last longer and make the user’s job easier. Before launching any new rotary instruments, all of our products undergo extensive tests and measurements in our R&D laboratories. These highly specialized instruments empower practitioners to solve problems and facilitate new techniques and methods of treatment.
Question No. 5
ID: What do you see as the best approach to the research, development, testing, and ultimate delivery to the market of such needed advancements?
WW: KOMET USA strives to provide the right rotary instruments for the right procedure. That’s why we encourage clinicians to bring their cases, techniques, and solutions to us, which provides feedback directly from the field. We listen to our customers and react to their ideas. Our innovations are not just generated in the laboratory, but from the information we receive from dentistry’s front lines. We always welcome ideas from our customers. If we didn’t ask questions, we’d never get the answers. This vigorous approach to understanding the dental market drives KOMET to produce modern and advanced products that truly solve its needs and improve patient care.
Question No. 6
ID: There are many challenges facing dentistry and oral healthcare today. How is your company helping to resolve them?
WW: We know that we should not always market to just the dentist, but the entire team, including the dental assistants. “Old-World thinkers” would consider dental assistants as people who do nothing more than suction and clean up after the dentist versus someone who is a patient advocate. Dental assistants are people who know procedures and protocols, understand dental materials, and monitor the needs of the patients as well as the dentist and staff. They are sterilization specialists, inventory managers, financial arrangement coordinators, schedule massagers, caregivers, health professionals, and communicators. Assistants are always learning and enhancing the dental profession, and are a representative of the practice and the profession. They are highly educated professionals, politicians, encouragers, and helpers.
About the Author
COO of Sales and Marketing
Rock Hill, South Carolina