An Interview with Cetylite Industries
David Kasza, Director of Dental Sales
INSIDE DENTISTRY (ID): What do you see as the most significant changes in the oral healthcare arena over the past 5 to 10 years?
David Kasza (DK): I see two changes really impacting dentistry. The first is the impact of technology and the second is the state of the economy. Technology is changing the way dental professionals think about their business and perform procedures. When you couple this with what has been happening with the economy, we see more dentists trying to keep more business to themselves. An example of this is the increasing number of general practitioners purchasing lasers and performing periodontal procedures they used to refer to a specialist.
In addition, the economy is forcing the dentist to take a look at their cost structure. This will result in searching out products and services that will lower their costs without affecting the quality of care they are providing to their patients.
ID: How, internally and in the broader marketplace, has your company responded to these changes?
DK: We have examined our product line and looked at innovative ways to keep our products relevant with these trends and maintain a focus on being cost-efficient. For example, both our Cetacaine® Topical Anesthetic and our Cetylcide II concentrate hard surface disinfectant have undergone packaging changes in response to what our current and potential customers informed us what was important to them. With Cetacaine Liquid, we engineered a new unique dispenser cap for Luer-lock syringes. This allows the user to use only what they need, minimizing waste and cost. Cetylcide II is a concentrate. The cost efficiency of a concentrate has always been attractive, but many users don’t like to mix. We created a single-unit dose so our customers enjoy both the cost efficiency of a concentrate and the ease of a ready-to-use product. By enhancing the packaging of these products, we were able to intertwine innovation while bringing our customers cost savings.
ID: What do you see as your biggest responsibility to the marketplace, and why does your choice rank as your top priority?
DK: Our biggest responsibility is to continue to strive to create products that support unmet customer needs. It is our #1 priority because that is the only way you are going to grow in any economy. Our customers expect us to deliver high-quality, clinically acceptable products that are cost efficient as well as provide an innovative solution.
ID: What product categories—whether preventive, restorative, operative, auxiliary, diagnostic, etc—do you feel are most in need of innovation based on what’s currently available?
DK: Frankly, I believe there have been significant advancements in all areas of dentistry. For innovation to be truly successful, it needs to be affordable. Until it is affordable, the benefits of the innovation will not be accessible to the masses. Unfortunately, many of these advancements have also increased the cost of care to the patient. With the economic times we are experiencing, it is important that manufacturers develop products and services that are cost-efficient as well as effective.
ID: What do you think is the best approach to research, development, and ultimate delivery of needed advancements?
DK: I believe it starts and ends with the customer. I have seen some fantastic products developed over the years, but they weren’t sellable. They failed because the customer never came into play during the development. The focus was strictly on the technology and did not include the need it fills for the customer. Creating products your customers want versus what you may want to develop and sell. This approach has, is, and always will be the best approach to product development and delivery to the market. Those manufacturers that practice this approach will be the most successful.
ID: How is your company helping to resolve the challenges facing dentistry and oral healthcare today?
DK: The economy will continue to affect the dental industry. Recovery will be slow in dentistry due to the “fee for service” nature of the business. The general public is focused on retaining their jobs and paying their monthly bills versus expending cash for dental procedures that can be delayed. The addition of better coverage for children will improve the hygiene and basic restorative areas of the practice. But, it will not have any impact on the bigger ticket items such as crown and bridge, cosmetics, and implants. These areas will improve as the general economy improves. Those manufacturers and distributors that are dedicated to providing value and reducing costs will be the heroes. Bottom line: Cetylite is committed to this philosophy and will continue to provide the market with relevant products, now and in the future.