National Dentex Corporation (“NDX”) announces the acquisition of nSequence Center for Advanced Dentistry (“nSequence”) based in Reno, NV. nSequence (www.nsequence.com) is a state...See more of the art full service digital and conventional dental laboratory that specializes in CT guided surgery and guided prosthetics. nSequence was founded and operated by Daniel Llop, CDT. “We are excited to have nSequence join NDX. nSequence uses technology to take into account treatment techniques, implant systems, physiology of the patient, and aesthetics when planning a case. Innovation at nSequence has been driven by Daniel Llop, CDT who understands the goals of the surgical and restorative team, as well as the capabilities of an experienced dental technician, and the awesome potential of technology in virtual case planning,” commented Steven Casper, NDX Chief Executive Officer. nSequence brings to the market broad surgical and prosthetic guidance capability. While they can accept treatment plans for all guided surgery systems and software on the market today, they have also developed their own FDA 510k cleared proprietary system called Maven Pro. Maven Pro is a comprehensive implant and prosthetic planning software that can display surgical and restorative options and allows for live web collaboration between the physician, the dental technician, and in some circumstances the patient, before gaining case acceptance and determining the case plan. “In the exciting field of pre-operative virtual guided surgery and prosthetic planning I realized an opportunity to increase insight and understanding of a patient’s anatomy, surgical and prosthetic options and approaches before a scalpel or drill was used. The creation of the virtual patient has taken the dental professional to a new level of communication with their peers and patients. With fewer office visits, chair time, increased accuracy and lower costs associated with the treatment, the patient has clearly been the main benefactor. I am so pleased that NDX shares our vision of the future of CT guided surgery and the expanding role of the dental lab and the technician,” commented Daniel Llop. Daniel Llop will continue to run day to day operations at nSequence and joins the NDX leadership team as the Director of CT Guided Implant Technology.
Straumann reported stable net revenues of CHF 519 million (-1% in local currencies) in the first nine-months of 2012. North America was the key driver throughout accompanied by strong growth in China and...See more Latin America. However, these solid performances were not enough to compensate for sluggish sales elsewhere - particularly in Europe, where the tooth replacement market has suffered from further deterioration in the economic environment. In the third quarter, sales in local currencies were generally slower with the exception of the 'Rest of the World' region. As a result, Group net revenue for the quarter was 2% off the prior year level. In Swiss francs, however, the top line grew 4%, lifted by positive currency effects. In addition to the business results, the Group announced further initiatives in its strategy for digital dentistry. Straumann plans to strengthen its collaboration with Dental Wings by transferring its software development teams and increasing its stake in Dental Wings by the end of 2012. The Group also announced resizing targets as it adapts to the current economic environment. These will lead to a reduction of approximately 150 positions worldwide by early 2013, of which about 90 will be redundancies. Straumann's President & CEO, Beat Spalinger commented: "With our margins reaching unacceptable levels in the first half of the year, we scrutinized our cost structure and determined substantial, balanced resizing measures that will not compromise our growth prospects. The initiatives we are announcing today will help restore decent margins, even if the market remains sluggish. Unfortunately, we won't be able to achieve the necessary reductions without redundancies, which the Group pledges to carry out with full regard to its social responsibilities and obligations. We are also announcing important initiatives that usher in the next phase of our digital strategy. In view of the integration of our CARES software into the DWOS open platform, we have agreed with Dental Wings to combine our software development teams to support and drive leading-edge software solutions. To underpin this strengthened partnership, Straumann will increase its stake in Dental Wings to around 45%." BUSINESS AND REGIONAL PERFORMANCES Straumann's core implant business posted the same level of sales over the nine-month period, year on year. Difficult market conditions in Europe (owing to the poor economy) and in Japan (due to negative media publicity) prevented a return to growth. The Group's CADCAM/digital business was expectedly slower than in the comparative period of 2011, which benefited from new scanner roll-outs. Straumann's smallest unit, Regeneratives, again posted double-digit growth, driven by bone augmentation products and the launch of Emdogain 015. Patience needed for turnaround in Europe The European tooth-replacement market relies on patients' ability to finance non-reimbursed procedures and thus continues to suffer from the weak economic environment. With austerity measures deepening the dents in consumer confidence, the regional market dipped further, pushing Straumann's revenues down 5% (l.c.) both in Q3 and over the nine-month period. Net revenue in the respective periods reached CHF 82 million and CHF 284 million, corresponding to 55% of the Group. The weakness of the Euro against the Swiss franc resulted in a negative currency impact of almost 2 percentage points over nine months. However, thanks to the Swiss National Bank's implementation of a minimum exchange rate for the Euro since September 2011, the currency effect on Straumann's European revenue turned positive in Q3 2012, for the first time in many quarters. The region was weighed down in Q3 by Iberia, the Netherlands and Sweden. Germany was also unable to repeat the prior year's performance in contrast to France and the UK, which both continued to perform well. Solid growth in North America Straumann's second largest region, North America, achieved strong growth of 9% (l.c.) over the first nine months. Sales continued to grow in the third quarter, albeit at a slower rate. The reason why momentum has eased over the past two quarters of this year is twofold: first the market was softer in general, and second, the Group benefitted from the introduction of new scanners in 2011. This means that the solid third quarter growth (+5% l.c.) this year was driven by strong performances in Implants and Regeneratives. The appreciation of the US dollar against the Swiss franc lifted nine-month sales growth by 6 percentage points to 15% in Swiss francs. As a result, North America achieved revenue of CHF 131 million (CHF 42 million in Q3) corresponding to a quarter of Group net revenue. Revenues maintained in Asia/Pacific The Asia/Pacific region remained stable over nine months and contracted 2% (l.c.) in Q3, with respective revenues reaching CHF 80 million and CHF 26 million, corresponding to approximately 15% of Group sales. The region's largest market, Japan, was constrained by the contracting economy and was tainted by negative media reports. As noted previously, dynamic growth in China was the region's key performance driver in Q3, complemented by a pick-up in Australia. Strong growth in parts of the Rest of the World In the 'Rest of the World', net revenue in the first nine months declined 1% in l.c. or 5% in Swiss francs. Strong expansion in Latin America was not able to offset the uncertainty in the Middle East. With net revenue reaching CHF 24 million over the nine-month period and CHF 7 million in Q3, the region contributed 5% to the Group total. STRATEGIC AND OPERATIONAL PROGRESS Straumann's digital dentistry strategy enters next phase Insights from Straumann's Vision 2020 project indicate that implant surgery and prosthetic planning will converge into one software solution in the future. For the past two years, Straumann has been working together with Dental Wings on the integration of its CARES® prosthetic planning software onto the open Dental Wings platform (DWOS). This integration will be concluded with the release of the new CARES 8.0 software early in 2013. In order to drive development to the next level, the two companies have announced their plans to combine their resources further. Straumann's guided surgery business, including its development and operations units in Chemnitz, Germany, is to be transferred to Dental Wings effective as of 1 January 2013. So too will Straumann's prosthetic software development team based in Berlin. Over time, Straumann's guided surgery software and treatment planning shall be integrated in Dental Wings' software core. The transfer will considerably strengthen Dental Wings as a software power-house in digital dentistry and will add critical mass to the development of treatment planning solutions. While Dental Wings will provide the core technology, Straumann will concentrate on the digital workflow and solutions that add value for customers - both in terms of products and services. The Group will continue to promote guided surgery software and to provide first-level customer support. It will also continue to develop, sell and support proprietary implant-borne and tooth-borne restoration work-flows. Increased participation in Dental Wings As a further confirmation of its commitment to digital dentistry and the DWOS open standard software platform, Straumann announced its intention to increase its participation in Dental Wings from 30% to around 45% by year-end for an undisclosed sum. The two companies will continue to collaborate with 3M ESPE to establish DWOS as the standard software of choice in dentistry. Straumann's increased stake in Dental Wings is not intended to make the partnership exclusive. On the contrary, the partners welcome additional participants to join the open software standardization initiative. Distribution of intraoral scanning hardware discontinued As announced on 18 October, Straumann has decided to step back from distributing the iTero intra-oral scanner globally. While the company firmly believes iTero is one of the best scanners available and that intra-oral scanning will have an increasingly central position in daily dental practice, it does not consider the business case for operating as a hardware distributor to be viable in the present economic environment. Having built a digital prosthetics platform that is open to multiple scanners, Straumann's ambition is to attract business from users of other scanners, in addition to iTero. Focusing on essentials and resizing Based on insights from Straumann's Vision 2020, and to adapt to market developments, the Group has reviewed its entire cost structure to question what is essential. Apart from discontinuing the distribution of iTero scanners, the company has identified various measures to optimize costs, including streamlining and focusing its development portfolio, adapting its sales organization in markets that are heavily affected by the economic slowdown, and by optimizing its service functions. The primary goal is to restore acceptable margin levels - even if the markets remain sluggish - without compromising the Group's ability to capture market potential, to achieve sustainable growth, and to attain its Vision 2020 targets. The combination of all the above initiatives (including the discontinuation of intra-oral scanner distribution and the transfer of personnel to Dental Wings) will lead to a reduction of approximately 150 positions worldwide by early 2013, corresponding to approximately 6% of the Group's global workforce, which stood at 2 575 on 30 September. This will be achieved as far as possible through transfers or natural fluctuation, although a substantial portion will be through redundancies. Straumann is fully aware of its social responsibilities in this respect and will offer affected staff the appropriate redundancy package and outplacement support. These initiatives are expected to result in an annualized EBIT improvement of CHF 35-40 million by 2014 and an exceptional charge of CHF 15-20 million in 2012. OUTLOOK (barring unforeseen circumstances) The Group confirmed its outlook for the full-year 2012. It continues to expect challenging developments - especially in parts of Europe and Asia, while the outlook for North America and emerging markets is more optimistic. Current macroeconomic indicators suggest that the aggregated global market for tooth replacement may remain soft and thus flat, at best, over the full year. For 2012, the Group is confident that it can achieve full-year revenues in line with the 2011 level - excluding currency effects, which Straumann expects to be positive for 2012 as a whole. As the cost savings will only have minor impact in 2012, Straumann still expects the 2012 full-year EBIT margin to be similar to the reported first-half level, excluding exceptional costs in the second half related to the initiatives announced today.
Straumann® CARES® System 7.0 is a leading open standard software platform: a major step for digital dentistry.
STRAUMANN's CARES (Computer Aided Restorative Solutions) Digital Solutions includes state-of-the-art guided surgery, intra-oral scanning and CAD/CAM prosthetics. The complete package comes from a single...See more provider, is designed for seamless connectivity to simplify workflows and links dental professionals for interdisciplinary care. The company's digital portfolio offers additional revenue-generating opportunities through in-lab surgical template fabrication and digital impression file integration with CAD design software and Cadent iTero.
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"Patients don't want implants, they want teeth. Nobel Biocare is deeply committed to patient care and the dental technology profession and making the technician's job as easy as possible," said Richard...See more Laube, Nobel Biocare CEO, during his opening remarks to the 400 technicians at Dental Technician Day, part of the company's Global Symposium 2013 in New York City in June. Moderated by Patrick Rutten, MDT, Dental Technician Day featured lectures emphasizing the partnership approach to implant dentistry by international dentist-technician teams including Dr. Tristan Staas and Michiel Wouters, Dr. Jean-Francois Bedard and Joe Coursey, Dr. Stefan Holst and Patrick Rutten, and Dr. Bernard Touati and Jean-Marc Etienne, MDT. During the other three days of the Symposium, well over 100 world-renowned researchers, scientists, clinicians and academics took the stage at the sold-out event to share their insights and perspectives with more than 2,000 dentist-attendees on how to improve patient care. In addition, the company made several exciting product announcements: Fully Integrated Digital Workflow: "Thanks to the smart fusion function, with a click of a button you can easily integrate CT scans from NobelClinician Software with the scan data of the model obtained from the second-generation NobelProcera 2G Scanner. All of this data can be shared through NobelConnect, a HIPPA-compliant platform," said Hans Geiselhöringer, MDT, Executive Vice President Global Research, Products and Development at Nobel Biocare. This new, fully integrated digital workflow offers numerous benefits in that it offers better representation of intraoral tissues for diagnostics and planning; eliminates the need for radiographic guides, specific markers and scan protocols; enables the decision for guided surgery to be made at any stage; reduces treatment costs; and enables more effective communication between the dental team members. New-Generation Scanner: The NobelProcera 2G Scanner features a smart motorized holder and scan strategies that automatically position each object on the model at the ideal height, tile and rotation to obtain optimal scan data; these automation features free up the technician to do other tasks, increasing productivity. In addition, the enhanced algorithms and expanded range offer more accurate scanning. New Surgical Option: Instead of using a fully guided approach, the dentist can use the new pilot drill guide and free-hand surgery techniques. "This option is ideal for narrow clinical spaces," explained Geiselhöringer. "The surgical template can be visualized in the NobelClinician Software and is printed and delivered to the dentist ready to use." NobelProcera Angulated Screw Channel (ASC) Abutment Concept: This new abutment can be designed with an angulated screw channel that offers the dentist optimal esthetics, easier access and more screw-retained solutions. The new Omnigrip screwdriver has a friction-based pick-up function that easily connects to the screw so that tightening is possible in all situations whether the screwdriver is straight or even at an angle. The ASC concept and Omnigrip will be introduced starting with selected NobelProcera Abutments in 2014. Foundation for Oral Rehabilitation Inaugurated The Symposium marked the official inauguration of the Foundation for Oral Rehabilitation (FOR)--Nobel Biocare's international initiative to promote oral healthcare and humanitarian leadership and its interactive website (www.FOR.org). "FOR provides a multi-dimensional platform to assist professional colleagues from diverse specialties and cultural backgrounds to focus on optimizing treatment outcomes for their patients," said George Zarb, Chairman, FOR. "Those who join FOR become part of a community with a shared desire and dedication to improve the quality of life of patients." The FOR network is centered on three key areas: FOR Science: Helps participants stay at the forefront of innovation and scientific breakthroughs by collaborating with leading experts and researchers from various fields. Through special "FORum" events, experts and participants have the opportunity to showcase their research and share their ideas before an international audience. FOR Education: Provides an interactive learning platform that gives participants the ability to connect with experts and peers and keep up to date on the latest advancements in patient care. Participants have the chance to share and discuss patient treatment plans with a community of experts and peers. FOR Humanity: Support for humanitarian projects and provision of free products for treating patients are integral to FOR's culture. Bertrand Piccard was awarded the Foundation's first FOR Humanity Award in recognition of his Winds of Hope humanitarian foundation that fights against Noma, a gangrenous disease that causes tissue destruction of the face. Some of the information on www.FOR.org is accessible at no charge; there is an annual participant fee for other components. Visitors to the FOR website can view "Video Insights," download the "FOR Safety Checklists" app and see selected "Patient Cases" for free. Registered participants gain all access to existing content, updates, newsletters, discounts, special benefits and future services as well as the opportunity to interact through the website and contribute new content.
Brandon Dickerman never planned to join the family business, Dickerman Dental Prosthetics which was started by his grandfather, Myron Dickerman, CDT, nearly 50 years ago. "Everyone outside my family always...See more assumed that's what I was going to do so, naturally, I decided to go the other way," he recalls with a laugh. But when he graduated from the University of Vermont in 2009 with a degree in geography and didn't like his employment prospects, his grandfather reminded him he always had a place at the laboratory; Brandon took him up on the offer. He started as a trainee in the removable department, learning about tooth morphology and fabricating bite blocks, custom trays and denture waxups. Then, after a year, Brandon got a special project: learning Straumann's new guided surgery software—coDiagonstiX software and gonyX hardware—and implementing a new digital process in the lab. It sounds like a tall order for a new graduate with little laboratory experience, but computer-savvy Brandon jumped in with both feet. "My generation grew up playing with computers and I spent a lot of time studying various software programs in college so I was excited by the project," says Brandon. "My father, Ira, helped train me on implants and then I immersed myself in the software and spent as much time as I could—even on the weekends—playing with it." With Brandon's guidance, the lab was able to implement the new digital process for fabricating surgical guides in the lab within weeks and now many of the lab's implant cases are handled this way. In fact, he became so proficient that, this year, Straumann hired the 25-year-old as a part-time consultant to give lectures and demonstrations to technicians and dentists across the country. Now Brandon can't imagine working anywhere else. "I've always loved working with my hands and fixing things," he says. "Now working in the lab allows me to tie both of those things together in my daily life to actually create something that will help improve a patient's life; I get a lot of satisfaction out of it. I don't know how I got so lucky."
Three-quarters of respondents to LMT's Implant Trends survey say the economy has not affected their implant business; in fact, 68% report it has been "good" or even "booming" over the last two years