After my recent trip to Orlando and Memphis, the very next week, off I went again, along with Carol Jent, to Sioux City, Iowa. Upon arriving in Omaha, we drove three hours to Sioux City, through miles and miles of lovely cornfields—part of the great food belt of the Midwest.
We finally arrived in Sioux City, which sits right along the banks of the Missouri River. The Missouri River serves as connection of this part of America to the Gulf, thanks to historic sternwheelers and modern barges that have used the river for decades, to transport people and cargo.
Just like in Memphis, I again, lectured to a large group of dentists in Sioux City, while Carol lectured to the attending hygienists and staff. This stop, along with our following lecture stop in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, serve as part of our attempt to reach out to dentists in rural areas throughout the U.S., as the dental community in these cities rarely see speakers on the lecture circuit. The lecture attendees in both Sioux City and Williamsport were incredibly appreciative, giving us a warm welcome and their full attention. We have some very loyal docs in rural America.
After the lectures in Sioux City, we were off to Williamsport, as previously mentioned. The drive from the nearest airport to Williamsport took us through the Appalachian Mountains, which look more like hills compared to the West’s Rockies. However, the drive was spectacular, as fall had clearly begun, turning the hardwood trees of the Northeast gorgeous colors. Quaint New England towns dot the valleys around Williamsport, complete with their early American feel and charm.
The lectures in Pennsylvania went off without a hitch, thanks to our noble territory manager there, Seth Berg, along with his team, which includes Katie Daniels and Jeff McCriff, who were in attendance. I’m continually amazed by our Ultradent ambassadors who are “in the trenches,” representing us so well throughout America.
A trip to Chicago rounded out this lecture trip, where Julie Krzystof and her team gathered 165 people for the lectures. One of the docs in attendance informed me that the lecture venue—an old hotel ballroom and theatre, complete with balcony—was the site of his own wedding 20 years prior! It really added some fun to my lecture title, “What Expert Marriage Advice Can Teach Us About Creating Successful, Long-Lasting Dentistry.”
“What Expert Marriage Advice Can Teach Us About Creating Successful, Long-Lasting Dentistry.” (Insert photo of famous buildings in Chicago lit pink for October Breast Cancer Awareness Month.)
I’d like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Julie Krzystof, and her wonderful team: Laurie Ambrose, Marcia Haring, Diane Dettloff, and Beth Thomas, for pulling off a fantastic (as usual) event.
“At Ultradent, our mission is “improving oral health globally,” and to me, the word that stands out the most there is ‘improving,’” says Nicolas Sondaz, Ultradent’s general manager over the Asia Pacific region. He continues, “That is what I love most about my job. I love continually working to improve myself and to help other people improve. I love to learn and I love helping others get to where they want to go. That is what gets me up every day.”
Indeed, Nicolas improves and leads by example. Under his management, Asia has flourished. Next year, the Americas—which for Ultradent, includes Central and South America as well as Canada, will soon benefit from his tenacity and enthusiasm, as Nicolas takes the position of general manager over the Americas early next year. The move will take him and his family from Malaysia to Central America.
Nicolas came to Ultradent almost nine years ago, and says his experience with the company is different from most companies in the industry. “Ultradent is a very unique company within the industry. I’ve worked for several different dental companies, and what’s wonderful is that I’ve never just felt like a number at Ultradent. It’s the opposite. I feel like I’ve been able to go in the direction I’ve wanted to go, and the human touch is one of the most unique things at Ultradent.” He adds, “Ultradent is not a “me too” company when it comes to our products. With Dr. Fischer at the helm, with his charisma and passion for dentistry, he takes it to a whole new level. I’ve never seen it anywhere else. I also think the rest of our leadership, like Jim Wilson and Dirk Jeffs, are just incredible.”
As for his favorite product, Nicolas speaks passionately about Ultradent’s composite veneer system, Edelweiss™. “I have a very soft spot for Edelweiss. To me, it’s not even a product—it’s a concept. It’s something that has been so needed in the dental industry and that people are so eager to embrace and to have! Edelweiss fits so well with our philosophy, because it’s conservative and minimally invasive. It also better educates dentists about Ultradent in general, because when they attend an Edelweiss workshop, they are exposed to many other fantastic Ultradent products that perfectly pair with Edelweiss, like our curing lights and our restorative materials.” Nicolas says he’s really seen the difference that Edelweiss makes in people’s lives, as they’ve eagerly embraced it in his region. “It’s a wonderful solution for so many people. No other product even comes close to it on the market. Asia has been number one with Edelweiss and we look forward to continuing to lead with it.”
Nicolas looks forward to next year’s move from Malaysia to Central America with his wife and three children. During his off time, in addition to spending time with his family, Nicolas enjoys what he calls his other family: running, biking, and swimming, which he’s been fortunate to do and compete in all over Europe and Asia. He completed his first Ironman this year!
Thank you, Nicolas, for all you do. Your energy and enthusiasm for life and your work continues to inspire us every day.
Thanks to their high resistance to chipping, wear, and marginal discoloration, full contour zirconia restorations are on the rise. However, a common question posed in regards to using zirconia is, “Should I be bonding or cementing my zirconia restorations?” Dr. Nasser Barghi says the answer lies within another question: “Is the restoration subgingival or supragingival?” For subgingival restorations, Dr. Barghi recommends cementing, and for supragingival restorations, bonding works best.
Whether the restoration is cemented or bonded, there’s a perfect luting material to ensure the longest-term retention for a zirconia restoration. For a subgingival, thus, for cementing a zirconia restoration, Ultradent’s resin-reinforced, glass ionomer luting cement, UltraCem® can be used. For a supragingival, bonded zirconia restoration, Ultradent’s flowable, dual cure cement, PermaFlo® DC can be used. Using Ultradent Product Inc.’s Zirconia Luting Guide can help guide the clinician in a step-by-step process for placing such restorations, as both material’s processes are unique.
Here are the step-by-step guides for using PermaFlo DC or UltraCem when placing a full contour zirconia restoration (click to enlarge):
Two days after arriving home from Southeast Asia, I was off again to the Southeast USA/Orlando area for a fantastic three-day event with a young, new group of key opinion leaders from the Latin America.
Fabio Fowler, our fantastic manager over Latin America, described it best:
“With 38 professors from 19 different countries, we held our Latin America KOL meeting this week (September 9th–11th) in Orlando, FL, where Drs. Renato Miotto, Rafael Beolchi, Carlos Bello, and Dan Fischer presented about a wide range of products and techniques, with particular attention paid to the recently announced 2015 focus products. The meeting was the beginning of the Latin America KOL project, which will continue under the supervision of Dr. Renato Miotto, collecting clinical cases and studies from these professors through continued interaction. Our goal is to meet as a group again in two years to share the work we’ve accomplished in the meantime. Thank you Rogerio, Pablo, and Jim for helping to realize this event, and special thanks to Pablo and Christa Lee for the excellent organization and coordination.”
Upon completion of my lecture in Orlando, I was off to Memphis for an all-day lecture the next day with a group of great dentists there. And, as many of you know, our in-house dental hygienist, Carol Jent, often provides four to six hours of lecture to dental hygienists and staff while I present to the dentists—and she does a fabulous job! I’d like to express a big thank you to Dan Hart, our great colleague, who did an amazing job organizing this event. After the day of lectures in Memphis, we enjoyed a lovely dinner with Dan’s wife Natalie—a wonderful and talented restaurant owner in her own right! We also shared the evening with Denise, our regional manager, Carol, and my wife, Leenie.
As previously mentioned, yes, I talked my dear wife Leenie into joining me on my trip to the South with the promise that after my lectures, I’d take her to Graceland—home of perhaps the most iconic American singer of all time, Elvis Presley. We had a lovely time, and the outing brought back many great memories of a bygone era. Graceland is a nice eleven-acre farm which, for his stature, was amazingly moderate, albeit worlds apart from his very humble beginnings. Another fun fact about Graceland: Elvis used a John Deere tractor to drive to the front gate for his interviews with media!
My trips to Orlando and Memphis made for an action-packed, productive, fun, and eventful few days!
Coming up next: Reports on more lectures in the USA, and then Mexico and Brazil!
When it comes to restorative dentistry, creating high-quality, long-lasting bonds is top of mind for all clinicians. However, finding the perfect product and adhesive technique can prove difficult, as so many factors come into play. One of the major factors that frequently concerns clinicians is the issue of sensitivity. Neil Jessop, Ultradent Products Director of Research and Development, says, “Adhesives are one of the most important topics in a doctor’s office. The subject of bond strengths often comes up, but really, what doctors are most concerned about is ‘Will I have sensitivity with this product?’”
Ultradent’s R&D team addressed the ongoing issue of sensitivity in bonding and adhesive agents in several ways through the creation of the company’s award-winning adhesive, Peak® Universal Bond. “We developed chemistry for Peak Universal Bond that allows us to have a wettable, or hydrophilic-type component that simply goes in and finds the most microscopic details within the restoration imaginable. Then, after it’s polymerized, the chemistry becomes hydrophobic. This ensures a long-term bond that really deals with sensitivity well.”
Jessop continues, “It’s the microscopic spaces left uncovered by the adhesive material that create sensitivity. So if an adhesive can’t adapt well and fill out all of those tiny spaces, sensitivity develops as pressure pushes onto those tubules, creating movement in them, which then leads to sensitivity. A well-designed adhesive, like Peak Universal Bond, covers those microscopic spaces and tubules, helping to eliminate sensitivity.”
Of Peak Universal Bond, Jessop says the reviews and response from clinicians have been overwhelmingly positive. “I’ve personally been able to experience the compliments and kind words coming back after our lectures from doctors who have done trials with so many different adhesive products and ended up with sensitivity again and again. Then, when they have the chance to try Peak Universal Bond, I’ve literally had doctors say to me, ‘Wow. Your product changed my life. It really stopped all these concerns I had with sensitivity. Not having sensitivity when it comes to my adhesives is now something I can finally go to sleep without worrying about.’”
Jessop states that it’s the smart chemistry that went into creating Peak Universal Bond, strategically geared toward eliminating sensitivity, that sets it apart. “This product really does the job. Again, it’s wettable in its unpolymerized state, allowing it to find all the details and tubules and cover them, and then after polymerization, Peak Universal Bond is hydrophobic. This creates the long-term, durable solution.”
Ultradent Brazil Celebrates Annual Humanitarian “Winter Campaign.”
Ultradent’s subsidiary in Brazil has recently finished its “Winter Campaign,” an internal humanitarian effort in which Ultradent employees raised more than 200 pieces of clothing for two local institutions: the Fala Meu Povo association, located in the city of Elias Fausto, and the San Francisco Home, located in Indaiatuba near São Paulo.
The donation to the Fala Meu Povo association took place on August 21. Elizabeth Rocha, the vice president of Fala Meu Povo remarked, “This extent of kindness is very difficult to see today. Examples like this are rare, and give us hope that some companies, like Ultradent, are still aware of the community in which they operate. We, the association, have a lot to be grateful for, and we guarantee that this gesture has bettered many of the families’ lives in this community.”
Every week, Fala Meu Povo hosts approximately 100 at-risk boys and girls—engaging them in projects such as craft workshops, sewing, painting, art, and sports like soccer.
The San Francisco Home, located in Indaiatuba, was founded in 1995. Today it continues to serve dozens of families at social risk. The unit houses 14 people at all times, treating patients with ailments ranging from AIDS to leprosy. They look forward to expanding; their clinic is currently under reconstruction. In addition to the in-patient care it provides, The San Francisco Home provides services to over 70 families at social risk through home care and food donations.
The “Make a Child Happy” Campaign Collects Nearly 200 Toys
Ultradent Brazil recently finished their “Make a Child Happy” campaign—a unified, company-wide effort to collect toys for underprivileged children in celebration of “Children’s Day” in Brazil on October 12th.
In total, Ultradent Brazil employees gathered 196 new and used toys to donate to the Ana Maria Pigatto daycare, located in Ultradent’s Brazil subsidiary city of Inaiatuba. The Ana Maria Pigatto home cares for approximately 187 children in distress and at social risk on a daily basis.
The institution is maintained primarily through charitable donations, with little help from government entities. The institution manager, Ana Carla Teixeira, in regards to Ultradent’s donation, said, “This donation came at a great time. We really wanted to celebrate Children’s Day here, but we did not have enough toys for everyone. Now we can, in addition to donating toys for children, keep many of these toys in our playroom that will be used for daily activities developed by teachers. We would like to thank Ultradent for this action, and say that you made the world of these boys and girls much better.”
The “Make a Child Happy” project consisted of a team led by Ultradent Brazil’s human resources analyst, Ana Luiza Quinteiro. This same team hopes to lead a successful Christmas campaign titled, “Help a Family Have a Special Supper,” which kicks off on November 28th and goes until December 18th, collecting food that will then be donated to families at social risk.
Over the next few weeks, we’d like to spotlight various countries in our International Family.
This week, Pablo Santiago, International Regional Manager for Ultradent Products, Inc. has provided some fun facts and information about our first country in the spotlight…
The estimated amount of dentists practicing in Mexico is around 75,000.
Ultradent products are distributed through VAMASA, which is owned by Luis Vazquez and Bernardo Suvalsky.
The top three Ultradent Products in Mexico are:
Pablo also shared this story:
“Dr. Fischer took a trip to Puebla a couple of years ago. Patty Estrada used to be Dr. Fischer’s dental assistant and also worked with UPI for many years. Patty is from Puebla, Mexico, and for a long time she wanted Dr. Fischer to lecture in her hometown. Finally the day arrived, and the funniest thing happened. While Dr. Fischer was lecturing in another city Patty called me, very, very sad, and said”Pablo can you believe? The restoration that Dr. Fischer made me many years ago just fell out.” I immediately told Dr. Fischer and we traveled 4 hours by car to Puebla. We got there around midnight and Dr. Fischer went to a dental clinic owned by a friend of Patty’s and he fixed her tooth so she could attend the lecture next day.”
It’s been slightly over a month since I returned from a lecture tour in South East Asia. I traveled to three countries—Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines with some esteemed, caring and incredibly hardworking colleagues, where I was able to meet hundreds of wonderful and kind people who so graciously spend their days or evenings with us at the lectures, and who made us feel right at home in this fascinating and gorgeous part of the world.
Our fabulous International Regional Manager over East Asia, Josephine Siewe, wrote a gracious and thorough recap of the trip. I’ve left it in her words below. Many thanks to Josephine and Nicolas, our International Regional Manager for putting together such fruitful, productive, and enjoyable lecturing tour.
After the lecture tour, as I was homeward bound, I reflected on the lovely sense of warmth that the many, many wonderful humans I met in Asia left deep in my heart during my week there. Thank you, again, to all who made such a fabulous trip possible. –Dan
Now, for Josie’s recap (in her own words):
“When I announced that Dr. Fischer was coming to the Asia region, all of my distributors wanted to grab the opportunity to host Dr. Fishcer’s lecture. However, due to our limited timeframe, I had to choose three countries, as I booked each request on a ‘first come first serve’ basis. Here’s where the journey began:
September 1-7, 2014
1st Stop- Bangkok, Thailand
Nudent hosted Dr. Fischer’s lectures upon our arrival to Thailand, in a room which catered to about 100 dentists. The lecture went off without a hitch, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Fischer’s concepts and stories that he related to them. The day ended with Dr. Fischer giving interviews to two well-known magazines in Thailand, “Mother & Baby Magazine,” in which he discussed Enamelast, and TDA Magazine (which stands for the Thailand Dental Association.
2nd Stop- Hanoi, Vietnam
Because this was Dr. Fischer’s very first visit to Hanoi, Dr. Chao, a friend of Ultradent, offered to give he and I an official tour of the city. (We work hard, but we play hard too! )
Due to the extremely enthusiastic responses from dentists in Hanoi, Dr. Philippe, another clinician helping us to organize the lecture event, had to rent an entire convention center in Hanoi to accommodate the crowd of over 300 dentists. Thanks to a fabulous translator on-hand at the lecture event, everything went wonderful. During the Q&A portion at the end of the lecture, one dentist stood up and remarked, “I’ve been practicing dentistry for more than 50 years, and in those 50 years, have attended many lectures by foreign speakers. But, I have to say, this is by far the best lecture I’ve ever attended. It was brilliant!”
Last Stop: Manila, Philippines
Dr. Fischer’s lecture series finished strong, as his excellent presentation, (hosted by Dental Domain, an Ultradent distributor) given to the over 200 dentists in attendance, was full of incredible stories and useful tips, which was received with extreme enthusiasm and appreciation.
After the lecture, Dr. Fischer gave an interesting and long interview to the editor of the “National Dental Newspaper,” followed by a lovely dinner with the owners of Dental Domain, Lynn and Christian, myself, and Dr. Fischer.