Thursday, January 21, 2021

Imagen Dental Partners Revolutionizes the Group Practice Model Introducing a New Industry-Changing, Technology-Forward Collective Where Doctors, Staff and, Patients Thrive


 


Improving upon the Dental Partnership Organization (DPO) model, Imagen Dental Partners is rapidly growing a collection of high-performing, technology-forward dental practices. Imagen enables independent dentists the ability to focus on delivering superior patient care, fostering growth through education and technology, and creating long-term wealth.

Imagen is a DPO that allows dentists full clinical autonomy, emphasizes technology and mastery of advanced clinical skills, and encourages dentists to practice at the highest standards possible. Imagen DPO is at the forefront of true partnership, born from the desire to support doctors in supporting their patients. 

“Every independent dentist will need a strategy to survive and thrive in a very rapidly consolidating dental industry,” says Michael Augins, Imagen President. “When a dentist partners with Imagen DPO, they can maintain their clinical control while maximizing the wealth creation potential they have as independent practice owners. Imagen is for technology-oriented dentists wanting to grow their practice meaningfully over the remainder of their career.”

Many DSO’s and DPO’s focus on short-term profitability with the intent to sell the practice group in a quick flip. Imagen has a long-term ownership structure with no institutional capital and offers a higher level of alignment with their dentist partners financially and clinically. Imagen DPO maximizes value to their dentist partners, providing them with financial incentives in three ways: getting paid for the dentistry they produce, getting paid for the profitability of their practice, and getting paid a portion of the profitability of Imagen as a whole. Imagen DPO provides partners with access to the dental industry’s most robust offering of education and mentoring opportunities by Spear Education and CDOCS, allowing them to learn from dentistry’s leading educators to expand their skills and elevate their entire team.

Imagen partners with successful practices and utilizes a proprietary suite of growth playbooks to unlock the full growth potential. They provide a full complement of robust business support, enabling partners to focus on delivering excellent patient care.

“I joined Imagen to get rid of the administrative headaches while keeping autonomy and ownership in my practice. I now have a defined exit plan with more wealth opportunities than just owning and selling a solo practice. It’s also more fulfilling to be part of a community of like-minded dentists,” states Rich Rosenblatt, DMD, founding Imagen partner. 

Technology is not an afterthought at Imagen – it is a requirement. All Imagen practice partners must utilize CAD/CAM and cone-beam or be willing to do so upon joining the partnership. “Technology unlocks practice growth and improves patient outcomes and their satisfaction with the treatment they receive,” said Rezwan Manji, Chief Executive Officer at Imagen. “We know from our research that high tech practices outperform and, therefore, see this as an essential part of who we are as an entity.

With current operations in Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin, Imagen is already one of the fastest-growing DPO’s in America. With rapid expansion planned for 2021, Imagen is well on track to achieve its goal of becoming Americas fastest-growing dental partnership organization.   


For more information about Imagen Dental Partners, visit imagendentalpartners.com or email info@imagendentalpartners.com. 


Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Chinese Manufactured Covid-19 Vaccine might Only be 50% Effective...

 



A vaccine that was created in China is now on the market and being administered.

Unfortunately the drug does not seem to be highly effective.  Brazilian researchers are reporting that the vaccine, called CoronaVac, was 50.4% effective.

The 2 vaccines currently being administered in the U.S. from Pfizer and Modern are both said to be over 90% effective.  Unfortunately the statistics show that the CoronaVac is no better than a coin flip, which is unfortunate.

You can read all the details on nature.com

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Nexa3D and Keystone Industries join Forces to Deliver Higher Productivity and Performance 3D printing Solutions for the Dental Industry

 


Gibbstown, NJ and Ventura, CA, January 19, 2021Nexa3D, the maker of ultrafast polymer production 3D printers, and Keystone Industries, a trusted dental manufacturer of biocompatible, cutting-edge, patented photopolymer resins, announced today a collaboration to make all Keystone KeyPrint® 3D printing dental resins available worldwide on Nexa3D’s ultrafast NXE 400 3D printers. Under this agreement, both companies will combine their extensive dental, photopolymer and 3D printing capabilities to deliver the highest productivity, precision and performance 3D printing solutions to the dental market. 


This powerful new combination comes with Keystone’s best-in-class, FDA-cleared night guard resin, KeySplint Soft® and KeyModel Ultra®, the go-to material for next-gen dental and orthodontic models along with the rest of Keystone’s laboratory and medical device printing materials, including KeyTray and KeyGuide. By responding to market needs, focusing on product quality, and rigorously ensuring that all KeyPrint products are safe, effective, and compliant with international standards, Keystone is fast becoming the leading choice for dental labs and clinics everywhere.  All Keystone precision dental resins are manufactured in the USA, and available immediately through Nexa3D’s expanding global channels. 


To learn more about the Keystone and Nexa3D partnership, check out this media kit and watch this video.


“We are thrilled to tailor our entire portfolio of KeyPrint resins for Nexa3D, a company that is fast emerging as an additive polymer market leader,” said Keystone Dental President Ira Rosenau. “During our extensive internal optimization and validation testing, we confirmed that the NXE 400 produces outstanding quality prints at high volumes, making it an ideal additive manufacturing partner for the dental industry. We expect Nexa3D users to have an outstanding experience with our growing line of KeyPrint resins.”


Nexa3D’s ultrafast and high-resolution NXE 400 3D printer features revolutionary patented LSPc technology that combines superior build volume, extreme print uniformity, advanced process algorithms, modular design for onsite automation, and intelligent optimization. Offering an unprecedented 16-liter build volume and up to 20X productivity gains, the NXE 400 is transforming the 3D printing industry in the same way broadband internet opened new possibilities compared to dial-up access. The printer yields orders of magnitude part-throughput gains while offering the lowest cost of ownership in its class on the market. Nexa3D enters the lucrative dental market armed with all of Keystone’s game changing KeyPrint resins, including KeySplint Soft, a material that delivers a unique combination of the strength needed to protect teeth with the added flexibility for improved patient comfort, all with a transparent and aesthetic appearance. To learn more about all KeyPrint materials, check out the Nexa3D materials page or the KeyPrint materials page


“We are excited to partner with a company of the caliber and reputation of Keystone to jointly advance the range of available functional and affordable dental solutions for labs and practitioners,” said Avi Reichental, co-founder, Chairman and CEO, Nexa3D. “At Nexa3D, we are committed to advancing 3D printing performance and productivity through internal innovations and external collaborations. We are particularly pleased to partner with Keystone to bring our combined portfolio of 3D printing dental solutions to market, delivering new levels of speed, productivity and efficiency to the dental industry.”


Every NXE400 3D printer comes with accelerated part-to-print capabilities, including fully integrated build set up and print management software that can prepare part files for printing in half the time of other solutions. The printer is also fully interoperable with all leading digital dental workflows and providers.


Both the NXE400 3D printer and KeyPrint resins are available for purchase now. To find a Nexa3D reseller near you or schedule a live demo via Zoom, please click here.

 

Keystone Industries and Nexa3D are working together to apply circular economy principles into every phase of their material formulation and printing process. Through the implementation of end-to-end validated workflows, both companies are rigorously measuring and improving on what matters: minimizing process waste, reducing energy consumption per part, and working with customers around the world to reduce their overall carbon footprint.


About Keystone Industries

Keystone’s group of dental companies focuses largely on consumable digital, laboratory, operatory, and preventative products.  The company is a global supplier, maintaining a diverse network of more than 800 U.S. and international dental distribution partners in 70+ countries.


Keystone has developed industry-leading products such as its innovative KeyPrint line of 3D printing resins, Diamond D® high-impact denture base, and the Pro-Form® line of thermoplastics, innovative and patent-protected laboratory offerings such as Enamelite ceramic spray glazes, and the award-winning Gelato prophy paste. Keystone has spent nearly three decades formulating and producing biocompatible, cutting-edge, patented photopolymer resins for dental and cosmetic nail applications. Keystone maintains FDA licensing, ISO 13485 (medical device) and 22716 certifications, along with GMP certification and international product registrations.

About Nexa3D

Nexa3D is digitizing the world’s supply chain sustainably. The company makes ultrafast industrial grade polymer 3D printers affordable for professionals and businesses of all sizes. The company's photoplastic printers are powered by its proprietary Lubricant Sublayer Photo-curing (LSPc) while its thermoplastic printers are powered by Quantum Laser Sintering (QLS), both of which increase print speed and productivity by orders of magnitude. The company’s partnerships with world-class material suppliers unlock the full potential of supply-chain approved polymers that are tailored for faster production at scale. Nexa3D’s Digital Twin Printing (DTP) software optimizes the entire additive production cycle through process interplay algorithms to ensure part performance and production consistency, while minimizing material usage and waste to reduce energy and carbon footprints. To learn more, visit www.nexa3d.com, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Monday, January 18, 2021

U.S. News & World Report Rank Dentistry in the Top 10 Best Jobs

 


While the pandemic has certainly changed work environments for a lot of us, healthcare, and especially dentistry  has for sure undergone changes.

However, dentists can take heart as the profession can at least feel good about their rankings in the annual U.S. News & World Report ranking of Best Jobs.

Dentistry has ranked pretty high in this list for the past few years that I've been paying attention to it... and this year isn't much different.  The job list ranks "Dentist" as #9, not just in healthcare, but in all jobs across the board.

For those of you who might be considering dentistry for yourself or perhaps for one of your children let me state something right off the bat... Money isn't everything.  While dentists tend to make a good living, the profession isn't necessarily easy.  My biggest piece of advice to anyone exploring what to do with their life is this: "Do what you love."  I consider myself a really lucky guy.  I *love* what I do.  I get to earn a living by doing something that I love to do.  I love helping people and I love getting to know people and helping them feel at ease.  I also truly enjoy "fixing things".  Dentistry allows me to do all of that.  However, if you do not love it, the profession can be daunting and difficult.  If you choose to do what you love, you will never work a day in your life.  That's my best advice.

Here is what the report has to say:

Dentists identify and treat problems concerning a patient's mouth, gums and teeth. Their duties include extracting teeth, fitting dentures and filling cavities. Some choose to specialize in areas that range from treating serious oral problems and diseases to straightening teeth and performing oral surgeries. They are assisted by dental hygienists, who complete a patient's teeth cleaning, and by dental assistants, who usually help with record keeping and instrument sterilization.

Many people dread the dentist. When they open wide, they're afraid what the dentist will find. Yet another cavity? Or even worse – will it be time for a root canal? Will the dentist embarrass them about their flossing frequency or their coffee drinking? Will they push procedures that patients don't want?

According to Ada S. Cooper, a consumer adviser for the American Dental Association and dentist with a private practice in New York City, these concerns are why establishing trust is so important. "Patients have to know that dentists are doing what's best for them," Cooper says. And they can do this by being honest, ethical and compassionate – three qualities Cooper looks for when she is hiring at her practice. She also highlights the importance of good communication skills.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 2.8 percent employment growth for dentists between 2019 and 2029. In that period, an estimated 3,700 jobs should open up.

Dentsply Sirona Acquires Byte®, a Leading Direct-to-Consumer, Doctor-Directed Clear Aligner Company


The largest manufacturer of dental supplies on the planet, Dentsply Sirona, Inc has made an interesting move in the clear aligner space.  In the past couple of years, the U.S. market has seen a few companies entering into the orthodontic space by going direct to consumer.

This can be a dangerous move.  orthodontics is one of those things that "seems" easy at first glance, but there is a reason specialists in the field have 4 years of undergraduate studies, 4 years of dental training and then another 2 years for the orthodontic speciality.  In a nutshell, the movement of teeth doesn't require 12 years of college because "anyone can do it."  No, it requires all of the knowledge and training because it's NOT easy.  Trust me when I say I've had to fix some things in my career that were "do it yourself" fixes and trying to rectify the train after it has jumped the tracks is much harder than just laying the tracks straight to start with.

However, some of these clear aligner companies have seen the light and are partnering with doctors to make sure the treatment is done properly and is monitored throughout.  One of those companies is OrthoFx, which I happen to work with.  Now we are seeing Byte being acquired by Dentsply Sirona.  The relationships  developed between orthodontic companies and doctors are smart.  The companies do the marketing and manufacture the clear aligners while the doctors use the tools and provide the expertise.

My personal opinion is that these types of situations benefit the patients as well as the profession.

Doctor supervision is critical to clinical success.  You cannot have an inexperienced patient squish some putty in their mouth, mail it to a company, and receive quality care the works.  That business model is begging for clinical failures because you have removed all of the "knowledge guardrails".  (I'm talking to YOU Smile Direct Club)

So I'm interested to see what Dentsply Sirona does now that the own Byte.  I anticipate this will be a benefit to doctors and patients, but only time will tell.


DENTSPLY SIRONA Inc. (“Dentsply Sirona”) (Nasdaq: XRAY), and Byte, a rapidly growing clear aligner company, today announced that Dentsply Sirona acquired Byte in an all-cash deal for $1.04 billion. Byte holds a leadership position in the rapidly growing direct-to-consumer, doctor-directed clear aligner market. As a result of the transaction, Dentsply Sirona adds scale to its SureSmile® clear aligner business and strengthens its connection with dental professionals. With the global reach and supply chain expertise of Dentsply Sirona, and the innovative direct-to-consumer system that Byte brings, the combined company’s clear aligner platform is well-positioned to drive additional growth.

Byte has developed an innovative business model, built on doctor-directed care that provides excellent outcomes for patients with mild to moderate orthodontic needs. Byte was founded on the commitment to improve access and affordability to orthodontic care using a nationwide network of licensed-dentists and orthodontists. It offers effective treatment planning and an easy-to-use clear aligner solution delivered directly to a consumer’s home. The CEO of Byte, Neeraj Gunsagar, and the existing management team will continue to operate the business.

Don Casey, Chief Executive Officer of Dentsply Sirona, said, “Over the past two years, we have executed against our restructuring plan, strengthening the R&D, supply chain and commercial platforms, positioning Dentsply Sirona for long-term growth. We are excited to take the next step in our evolution by bringing Byte into our organization. We have been pleased with the growth of our SureSmile clear aligner business and we are confident that adding the innovative platform of Byte adds scale for us in the important clear aligner market. We look forward to working with the talented team at Byte as we utilize our collective strengths to expand patient access to quality care and support the success of our dental partners around the world.”

Neeraj Gunsagar, CEO of Byte commented, “We’ve been impressed with the passion that Dentsply Sirona has for innovation in dentistry.  This combination provides Byte with unmatched resources and R&D capabilities that allow us to reach additional customers and accelerate our mission of changing the world one smile at a time. The transaction enhances our ability to offer affordable care to patients and increases awareness of the overall benefits of oral care. Our team is committed to driving our strong growth and we are delighted to join the Dentsply Sirona family as we execute on our shared mission.” 

Jorge Gomez, Chief Financial Officer of Dentsply Sirona, said, “As we bring the two businesses together, we are confident that we can unlock incremental growth and further capitalize on the increasing consumer demand for clear aligner solutions. This transaction is immediately accretive to Dentsply Sirona’s revenue growth rate and Non-GAAP EPS. In addition, we expect the acquisition to be accretive to Dentsply Sirona’s long-term financial commitments. We’re thrilled that Neeraj and his team are joining our company as we continue to focus on driving growth and value for our shareholders.” 

Strategic and Financial Benefits

Enhances scale in the important clear aligner space: With the market projected to increase at a 20-25% growth rate, Dentsply Sirona strengthens its SureSmile clear aligner platform with the addition of the Byte business.
 

Accelerates the growth and profitability of Dentsply Sirona’s combined clear aligners business: Dentsply Sirona’s R&D capabilities and commercial expertise offer significant potential to drive additional growth of the Byte clear aligner solutions. Additionally, Byte has developed an innovative direct-to-consumer system that expands patient access, enabling Dentsply Sirona to connect additional patients with its network of dental partners and increase access to quality oral healthcare.
 

Accretive to Dentsply Sirona’s long-term financial targets and Non-GAAP EPS in 2021: Byte is expected to generate 2021 run-rate sales of at least $200 million. Combined with the SureSmile business, which has an expected revenue run-rate of $100 million by the end of 2021, Dentsply Sirona expects a combined clear aligner revenue run-rate in excess of $300 million by the end of 2021. Given the proven track record of profitability at Byte, the acquisition is expected to generate Non-GAAP EPS accretion of at least $0.05 in 2021 and be incrementally accretive in the years thereafter. The net present value of the tax benefits associated with the transaction is estimated to be approximately $160 million.

The transaction closed on December 31, 2020 and was funded with cash on Dentsply Sirona’s balance sheet.

Centerview Partners LLC served as financial advisor to Dentsply Sirona and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP served as legal counsel. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and American Discovery Capital LLC served as financial advisors to Byte, with Bodman PLC as legal counsel.

Conference Call/Webcast Information
Dentsply Sirona’s management team will host an investor conference call and live webcast on January 4, 2021 beginning at 8:30 am ET. 

Investors can access the webcast via a link on Dentsply Sirona’s web site at www.dentsplysirona.com.  For those planning to participate on the call, please dial +1-877-370-7637 for domestic calls, or +1-629-228-0723 for international calls.  The Conference ID # is 8676463.  A replay of the conference call will be available online on the Dentsply Sirona web site, and a dial-in replay will be available for one week following the call at +1-855-859-2056 (for domestic calls) or +1-404-537-3406 (for international calls), replay passcode # 8676463.

About Dentsply Sirona
Dentsply Sirona is the world’s largest manufacturer of professional dental products and technologies, with a 132-year history of innovation and service to the dental industry and patients worldwide. Dentsply Sirona develops, manufactures, and markets a comprehensive solutions offering including dental and oral health products as well as other consumable medical devices under a strong portfolio of world class brands. As The Dental Solutions Company, Dentsply Sirona’s products provide innovative, high-quality and effective solutions to advance patient care and deliver better, safer and faster dentistry. Dentsply Sirona’s shares of common stock are listed in the United States on Nasdaq under the symbol XRAY. Visit www.dentsplysirona.com for more information about Dentsply Sirona and its products.

About Byte
Byte’s doctor-directed clear aligner system provides customers’ nationwide access to at-home invisible aligners for a straighter, whiter smile. With a growing team of over 450 employees and headquartered in Los Angeles, Byte’s nationwide network of licensed dentists and orthodontists prescribe and oversee every customer’s treatment plan, delivering a top-rated consumer experience and results in up to half the time and cost of traditional methods. At under $85 per month, Byte has found a way to make the inaccessible, accessible — providing an easy, convenient and affordable way to upgrade your smile through the Byte Teledentistry platform. For more information on Byte, visit: www.byteme.com.




 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Sony Announces AirPeak Drone Camera System

 



No word on price as of yet, but check this thing out in the video above!

While consumer drones have had cameras for years, this takes things to a different level... somewhat.  My DJI Phantom 4 Pro has a 4K camera and crazy stabilization which provides some startlingly great photos and video.

The AirPeak is actually a flying platform for Sony's Alpha Series of cameras.  The idea is that you can now get drone footage from a professional camera.  As a drone pilot I'm fascinated by the retractable landing gear and also the amount of lift this aircraft needs to generate to lift that heavy camera.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Join Me on Friday for the eAssist "How We Did It" Meeting!

 






This week, Thursday through Saturday eAssist will be presenting their "How We Did It" virtual meeting.  On Friday January 15th at 8:00am Mountain Time, I'll be presenting: Diving Deep int Dentistry and Technology.  I'll be going over products and services that I use on a regular basis and that I couldn't do without.

You register for the meeting here.

I hope a lot of you can make it.  This is the future of dental meetings and you won't want to miss out!