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3D for affordable dentistry

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“In France, it is estimated that one in three patients decide against dental treatment on cost grounds,” reveals Communication and Marketing Director Robin Maisonneuve. “At the same time, more and more people are demanding corrective dentistry, especially the young who in particular strive for the perfect smile, involving costly orthodontic and aesthetic solutions. This dilemma results in a very dynamic market and a complex challenge, one which Biotech Dental relishes. We offer high-quality solutions for dentists and laboratories which create costeffective options for patients.”

The company specializes in digital dentistry solutions. It is a subsidiary of the UpperSide Group, which includes a specialist in the field of 3D printing. Biotech Dental has been able to leverage its connection with this company and its technology to develop innovative and cost-effective dental solutions.

Founded in 1987, the firm originally produced dental implants which is today still one of its key products. Since then, however, it has expanded its portfolio and, with the help of 3D printing technology, it has branched out into the field of crowns and dental prostheses. It is now possible to produce high-quality prostheses at a cost that rivals the traditional low-cost products from China. “The new production technology can reduce costs by up to 40%,” points out Mr. Maisonneuve.

The opportunities provided by digitalization have enabled Biotech Dental to add two further innovations to its portfolio. The Dentosmile aligner is an invisible alignment procedure which moves teeth gradually and gently.

Treatment lasts between six to 24 months on average, and over the treatment period the aligner is replaced every two to three weeks as treatment progresses. It is completely transparent so that, unlike traditional braces and wires, it cannot be seen and is therefore favoured, for instance by people in the public eye – Justin Bieber is a particularly well-known example.

The aligner has the advantage that the treatment can be performed by a general dentist without the need for orthodontist intervention. The most recent addition to the product range is the Condor 3D scanner, which enables impressions to be taken without the use of paste. The scanner is very precise and provides images in digital form which can be sent to the decision-makers immediately, making it a very fast and cost-effective solution.

“Digital transformation underpins our philosophy,” explains Mr. Maisonneuve. “It enables us to offer a complete digital solution for all aspects of aesthetic and medical dentistry. Through our sister company we have been able to develop a broad knowledge of 3D printing and apply it to the medical field.”

Headquartered in Provence in southern France, where the R&D department and a small production unit is located, the company also has another production facility in Haute Savoie. “This region used to specialize in watches, so there is tremendous technical know-how here,” notes the Communication and Marketing Manager.

Biotech Dental operates on a B2B basis, supplying dentists and laboratories across France, as well as through its sales branches in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Vietnam, Morocco and the Middle East, and via an Italian partner.

“We support dentists,” explains Mr. Maisonneuve. “We offer training, financial support and, naturally, we are also a leading partner for tooth materials and equipment.”

Mr. Maisonneuve sees the export market as a key growth area for the future. “Our aligners and scanner are currently only available in France,” he says. “In 2017 they will be launched on the overseas market and we expect to see a significant increase in overall sales. We will also be concentrating on expanding our portfolio by developing new and interesting products using 3D technology. And, of course, we will be marking our 30th anniversary with a celebration.”

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