In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity – it was what Albert Einstein once said and can still be applied in today’s world which is still loomed under the COVID-19 pandemic. One company that has been focusing on growth whilst continuing to innovate in its products to better support the dental community during these challenging times is Coltene, which has been proactive in maintaining communication with its partners during the pandemic.
Speaking with Dental Asia, Roldolfo Frei, director of Coltene Asia-Pacific, said: “This communication has allowed us to remain close to the developing and changing needs of the market as a result of the pandemic to serve them best. This has been possible, thanks to the fact that we have great coverage with Coltene managers around Asia-Pacific.”
Understanding local markets and their different needs are still key to the success of any company. Frei shared that Coltene has been able to maintain dedicated and personalised contact with local partners through its local sales force, but at the same time also connected to its headquarters in Switzerland with a global message.
“This period has also allowed us an opportunity to review certain strategies to discontinue non-strategic products and focus on key segments which, in turn, means that our customers get the products and services that they want, and have come to expect from Coltene,” he added.
Beyond communication, Coltene has also compiled and continuously updated tools and resources on its website to support the healthcare professionals in managing the impact of COVID-19. In addition, the company offers various webinars on the topic of infection control to provide its customers with in-depth training in this area looking at aspects such as hand hygiene, surface cleaning and disinfection to name but a few.
He continued: “Many companies started trying online training for the first time due to contact restrictions. Congresses and fairs took place virtually and Zoom meetings suddenly became part of everyday life. Due to the high acceptance of this form of communication, some activities will certainly still take place online after COVID-19. Nevertheless, the dental community is now looking forward to face-to-face contact again.
“A somewhat surprising finding is that in markets with very strict hygiene regulations, the demand for disinfectants has not increased as much as one would generally expect. From this, we conclude that, in general, dental practices were already doing a great deal for patient and practice team safety before the pandemic.”
Continuing Product Innovation
With the information gathered from their customers, Coltene was able to revise and release new products for their customers. Undeterred by COVID-19, the company has been consistently introducing new products and innovations to the industry.
A product Coltene has developed is SUPERKRAFT which combines two solutions – SoloCem and ONE COAT 7 UNIVERSAL – into one product. The former is a self-adhesive cement and the latter is a light-cured, one-component bonding agent. Frei explained: “The dentist should have a cement that can do both – lute a restoration self-adhesively whenever the indication allows it, and lute a restoration adhesively in combination with a bonding agent whenever a ‘bonding-boost’ is required.”
Besides SUPERKRAFT, Coltene has also released the BRILLIANT family, a line of composites focusing on efficiency and aesthetics.
“Our base material BRILLIANT EverGlow is known for its good polishability and gloss retention. At the same time, handling properties are highly appreciated by dentists,” he remarked. “The CAD/CAM composite blocks BRILLIANT Crios and the composite shells BRILLIANT COMPONEER are based on the same material as BRILLIANT EverGlow. This means that you have a perfectly matching system to make great looking restorations out of one material.”
The duo shade system offered by the BRILLIANT range, he added, contains seven basic shades which cover the VITA range. In conjunction with the translucent and opaque shades, dentists will have the kit required to meet the demands of aesthetic restorations.
Another new launch by Coltene is the CanalPro Jeni endo-motor. Fully automatic and electric controlled with an integrated apex locator, the Jeni aids with smoothening root canal preparation. The Jeni assistance system also continuously adapts to the individual root canal anatomy and guides the mechanical and chemical preparation step by step.
Citing a quote from Dr Nicolas Gutierrez from Madrid, who said that it was “amazing how the endo assisted algorithm worked in the hands of a prosthodontist”, Frei commented that dentists were “enthusiastic about the possibilities for everyday use of the Jeni Motor”.
With these new product launches, Coltene was able to respond to the needs of the market in spite of a global pandemic crisis.
Nevertheless, Frei emphasised the need for a hands-on approach in experiencing their new products. He raised the Jeni system as an example and said: “During COVID-19, we were forced to rely mainly on webinars but the true power of the endo-motor is only revealed when you can practice with it yourself. Therefore, now that the measures have been relaxed somewhat, we are relying on face-to-face training in the form of our Europe-wide ‘Jeni City Tour’.”