The energy at Panthera Dental, a laboratory and production center offering CAD/CAM-milled implant solutions and printed anti-snoring and sleep apnea devices, is palpable. Upon our arrival, we were warmly greeted by Co-Founders and brothers Bernard and Gabriel Robichaud, Product Specialist and President respectively, as well as their parents Celine and Jean, who founded BioCad Medical Inc. which was sold to Nobel Biocare in 2009; Jean has since started another company outside the dental laboratory field.
Inside the sleek, modern building accented with the company’s trademark purple is a growing company with several innovative products in the mix. Its implant solutions include CAD/CAM-milled metal bars, components and attachments, and copy wax and double-structure bars that offer friction fit to the primary bar. The primary bars are available in titanium, chrome-cobalt and now zirconia. The zirconia bar has a titanium base with tapped attachments into which the dentist can screw attachments such as OT Equator, Ball or Locator.
“Panthera is the first in the world to offer a zirconia bar with screwed attachments. It requires a very complicated milling process because we have to mill the pre-sintered zirconia larger and calculate for the exact fit of the attachments. The titanium base is attached to the zirconia with glue and mechanical retention,” says Bernard. “In addition to preventing breakage, this combination offers biocompatibility, good soft tissue response, and greater strength and esthetics than just titanium. It’s ideal for hybrid overdentures.”
Another exciting development is that Panthera Dental is the first in North America to offer a PEEK double-structure bar made from the JUVORA Dental Disc and the first JUVORA certified partner in North America. Being touted as the “new zirconia,” PEEK is a high-purity polymer that’s long been used in the medical field. “PEEK is biocompatible, lightweight, extremely strong and slightly elastic so it offers a perfect transfer of force over the implant, giving the patient a more natural feel during mastication,” says Bernard.
To use Panthera Dental’s services, the laboratory customer sends a model, Rx and photos if available. Panthera’s team of experienced dental technicians designs the case and also offers consultation services for complex cases. The customer reviews the proposed design via the 3D Viewer on Panthera’s website that shows the fully integrated design and offers the ability to zoom in, rotate or hide portions of the design. The customer can then approve it or ask for modifications; the turnaround time is three to five days after final customer approval.
A ‘Sleeping’ Market
“The average dental office sees 440 patients per year who are in serious need of a sleep apnea device. But many dentists aren’t asking their patients—or more importantly their spouse or partner—basic questions about sleeping patterns or general tiredness; these questions should be part of every new patient profile and annual exam/hygiene visit. This is an untapped, ‘sleeping’ market for both dentists and laboratories,” says Jerry Vogel, Executive Vice-President, USA.
To address this market, Panthera offers anti-snoring/sleep apnea devices printed in Polymer 12, an organic material that’s non-porous, BPA free, FDA approved and hydrophobic. Being marketed to dentists and laboratories, the customer sends a model and the devices, which come with a five-year warranty, are designed with Panthera’s proprietary software. For more information, visit www.pantheradental.com.
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