Dental Treatment Evolving with Digital Technology (Part 5)
The second part: Digital Technology Alliance Across Borders - Strategies for the Japanese Dental Industry
A New Step Toward Digital Solutions through International Collaboration
In the first part of this article, we asked about Kyocera's digital technology related to dental implants. The large medical product enterprise has partnered with Osteon Digital Japan Co., Ltd, organized in Japan by an Australian company engaged in digital implant dental technology. In the second part of this report, we asked Kyocera about its frontline prospects that indicate its global trend. Mr. Toru Yoshida, General Manager, Dental Sales Department, Medical Division, Kyocera Corporation, continued to discuss our questions.
Kamo: Why did your company, with its experience in the dental implant business, decide to partner with an oversea firm? Why did you choose Osteon Medical?
Mr. Yoshida: In the Japanese dental implant market, the top three companies are overseas manufacturers in terms of market share. They had already developed a business called “milling center,” where they produce and process the superstructure (the part of the artificial tooth that attaches to the implant like a screw planted in the bone) by themselves using CAD/CAM.
For us, too, the ability to support CAD/CAM for superstructure fabrication was critical to secure our implant market share.
In such an environment, we collaborated with several domestic laboratories specializing in the manufacture of prosthetic materials (crown/filling) since we did not have the know-how to produce superstructures and could not have our milling center.
By doing so, we have been able to support CAD/CAM and expand the market share of our current flagship product, “The Kyocera Implant System,” which was launched in 2017.
We tied up with Osteon Digital Japan Co., Ltd, headquartered in Australia because they possess unique digital solutions that overseas implant makers and major domestic laboratories cannot provide. We thought it would be an excellent opportunity to develop new business by differentiating ourselves from competitors.
Kamo： There are many implant manufacturers globally, and dentists who perform surgeries need to be familiar with their respective systems. Since Kyocera has been making implants in the bone, do you only deal with your own implant bodies?
Mr. Yoshida: Of course, we can handle Kyocera implants, but we do also intend to take superstructure fabrication for major overseas manufacturers.
Kamo： When implant surgery, the location of the jawbone and how the artificial teeth to bite on are aligned might not always be straight and ideal. Is it correct to assume that the partnership with Osteon Digital Japan Co., Ltd, which specializes in prosthetics, is a solution for top-down treatment (comprehensive determination of the position of the implant body from prosthetics and other factors)?
Mr. Yoshida: Whether prosthetic-oriented or surgically-oriented, we would develop a CAD/CAM solution business specializing in comprehensive implant superstructure fabrication.
These answers might show that Kyocera has a new partner, Osteon Digital Japan Co., Ltd, and is willing to work on new technologies with more freedom.
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