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News from the Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting

Feb. 25, 2014
Top four news stories from the 2014 Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting.

2014 marked the 149th year for the Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting. As in years past, the annual Chicago meeting had its share of big news. Here are the top four stories that made this year’s meeting a memorable one.

1. Colgate announces the results of a major independent study of its Total toothpaste line

Colgate introduced its line of Total toothpaste in 1997, and since that time its efficacy has been tested in a number of clinical studies. Recently, the Cochrane Oral Health Group undertook a meta-analysis of over 30 clinical studies to determine Total’s overall efficacy compared to traditional fluoride-only toothpastes.

The meta-analysis came as very good news to Colgate. Cochrane confirmed Total’s health benefits in these key areas:

  • 22% better plaque reduction
  • 41% better reduction in plaque severity
  • 22% better reduction of gingivitis
  • 48% better reduction of gum bleeding

Total toothpaste contains a unique active ingredient known as triclosan/copolymer. The compound acts as an antimicrobial agent, thereby reducing the bacterial load in the oral cavity, and was found to have no adverse effects in the Cochrane review.

The review is a substantial boost for Colgate’s reputation in the market. With some recent studies suggesting that as many as 3 out of 4 adults in the United States experience gum bleeding, an early sign of gum disease and increased inflammation in the body, Colgate’s Total toothpaste looks to have a strong future ahead of it.


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2. DenMat announces the acquisition of dental assets of Zila, Inc.

DenMat’s move will have an almost immediate impact, with Zila’s dental assets being transferred to DenMat’s Central Coast California headquarters this April. Zila is currently based in Fort Collins, Colo.

DenMat, a leading manufacturer and direct distributor, will add to its lineup Zila’s portfolio of proprietary oral hygiene products. These include a number of tools to aid in the detection, prevention, and treatment of periodontal disease, as well as routine management of oral health.

Zila’s products include the Rotadent power toothbrush, Atridox locally applied antibiotic, ProDenRX soft-tissue management essentials, and the NV cordless soft-tissue diode laser.

DenMat’s CEO, Steve Semmelmayer, called the acquisition “a major milestone” and “a perfect fit with DenMat’s current suite of oral health and esthetic products.”

Zila’s CEO, David Speights, put a similarly positive spin on the move, saying he was “thrilled to know the legacy of Zila’s products will continue on.” Time will tell how the move will impact the industry long-term.

3. Danaher announces the formation of the $2 billion KaVo Kerr Group

Last week Danaher announced it would be placing its diverse portfolio of leading dental brands under the KaVo Kerr name. Kavo Kerr will now be the official designation of Danaher’s global dental business.

The president of the new Kavo Kerr group, Henk van Duijnhoven, commented, “Kavo Kerr Group formally links our world class dental brands and companies together under one identity with shared values and a lasting commitment to the dental profession.”

The move was described as a “strategic affiliation” for the company’s dental brands that will allow Kavo Kerr to leverage its clinical, technological, and R&D capabilities.

Look for the move to have an immediate impact on the of global perception of the KaVo Kerr family of brands, which include KaVo, Kerr, Kerr Total Care, Pentron, Axis, Orascoptic, Gendex, DCI Equipment, Dexis, and many others. However, each Kavo Kerr operating company will continue to market themselves under their current brand.

4. Hu-Friedy announces its alliance with Switzerland-based Electro Medical Systems

In an press conference at CMW, the leadership of Hu-Friedy announced a strategic alliance with the Swiss company Electro Medical Systems (EMS). Members of Hu-Friedy enthusiastically described the move as a step toward delivering the most clinically advanced prophylaxis protocol to the U.S. and Canadian markets.

The alliance hinges on EMS’s Piezon line of power scaling and air polishing instruments. Distribution is a key part of the alliance, but it will also extend to other areas, including clinical education, evidence-based research, and Key Opinion Leader partnerships.

With the announcement, Hu-Friedy is now the exclusive U.S. and Canadian distributor of EMS Piezon power scaling technology, as well as AIR-FLOW polishing products. The polishing products are said to deliver the most advanced and effective methods for supra and subgingival biofilm and stain removal.

As was seen in the Hu-Friedy exhibit booth, many of their new products are currently available. The company plans to release additional products throughout 2014.