Mini Dental Implant Pioneer Finds Productive Partnership
Sterngold Dental’s MOR system provides predictable solution
Many years ago, Andy Jakson spent several hours each month traveling from New York to Ardmore, Oklahoma, with the inventor of the mini dental implant, Victor Sendax, DDS. Sendax, who passed away in December 2019, shared hundreds of stories, like the one about the prominent New York City opera singer and Juilliard School teacher who became almost suicidal until Sendax performed a full-mouth rehabilitation that remained in her mouth for the final 25 years of her life.
"His stories were what made me believe in the implant," Jakson says. "When you met Victor, you understood that he was just a really good person trying to help people. That is where the foundation of our laboratory was built."
What is now Evolution Dental Science first opened more than 25 years ago, with the mini dental implants that Sendax developed and Imtec Corporation built as their centerpiece.
"Dr. Sendax treated a mini dental implant as a rescue implant for fixed prosthetics," Jakson says. "He would take the pontic, drill a hole inside of it, and basically save a 3-unit bridge by providing it with a stable cantilever with a mini dental implant in it. He called it ‘heroic dentistry,' and while it was not for everyone, it was the best solution for some of his patients."
At one point approximately 8 years ago, Evolution Dental Science calculated that more than 50% of its revenue was derived from restoring mini dental implants.
"That is a high percentage for one product," says J.J. Siepierski, the laboratory's Vice President. "That number today has decreased as we have diversified, because we support every implant system on the market, but our sales are still increasing for the mini dental implant. The number of general dentists starting to educate themselves and integrating mini dental implants into their practice as a treatment modality is increasing on a monthly basis. It remains upward of 30% of our laboratory's revenue. These implants and this treatment are not going anywhere."
When Imtec was sold and eventually shuttered, however, Evolution needed to identify a new partner for mini dental implants. Fortunately, around that same time, Sterngold made a decision to capitalize and create the MOR Mini Dental Implant, which is equivalent to the Imtec one.
"Sterngold is a company that has been around for more than 120 years," Siepierski says. "They are known for pristine quality and are an incredibly trusted brand, so we were excited to partner with them."
MOR provides small-diameter implants ranging from 2.1 mm to 3.0 mm, designed to help clinicians provide an affordable alternative to wherever smaller implants make the most sense: overdentures, single arch, or crown-and-bridge fixation in tight spaces.
With today's CBCT capabilities, Evolution serves its network of more than 900 dentists nationwide with surgical guides along with the MOR Mini Dental Implants.
"We have utilized the surgical guide technique to really drive the rest of our implant business," Jakson says. "We use exocad exoplan software to deliver CT-driven mini dental implant placement guides as well as manufacture the digital denture right on top of it, which also provides the appropriate relief on the inside of the denture to allow it to be placed with a surgical guide to a certain length with a housing that allows us to do a pickup in a soft-tissue pickup environment. That is one of the differences with minis—that you really do the pickups more on the soft tissue. That is how we have driven the business."
The procedure literally changes patients' lives, which Jakson says is the primary reason for everything he does.
"This 15-minute, minimally invasive procedure for maxillary placement can stabilize the maxillary denture for a patient to live their life much more normally than ever before," he says. "They can chew, talk, and leave their dentures in their mouth. Patients without denture stabilization were really handicapped, and we felt the standard of care should be 100% realized to at least include the less-invasive mini dental implant therapy."
With the MOR Mini Dental Implant system, that patient satisfaction can be maximized with affordability, minimal invasiveness, simplicity, and the ability to immediately load, depending on clinical case evaluation.
"We know mini dental implants," Jakson says, "and Sterngold is, in my opinion, absolutely the top mini dental implant company in the marketplace right now. All dental technicians should have the confidence that if they endorse the MOR implant for their dentist, their dentist will be extremely satisfied with that process."
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