Dentistry heading for ‘innovation age’ thanks to technology transfer, says Sagentia

18 June, 2019

Improvement and modernisation of dentistry is set to accelerate over the next decade, aided by technologies that have already been proven in other sectors, say medical specialists at Sagentia.

According to the science-led product development consulting company, technology transfer could help dentistry strike a more effective balance between innovation and cost-efficiency. There is much scope to integrate new technologies with existing dental devices, or adapt equipment that is becoming mainstream elsewhere for use in dentistry applications.

For instance, combining advanced imaging techniques with digital records will provide a living picture of individual patients’ dental health. As additive manufacturing technology becomes more affordable, in-house 3D printing of orthodontic devices and restorative implants will become feasible. And, looking further ahead, current developments in salivary analysis could unlock a new generation of point of care diagnostic devices for dentists.

Nevertheless, determining the priorities for new product development and ensuring economic viability remains a challenge for manufacturers supplying the dental industry.

Rob Morgan, VP Medical at Sagentia, explains: “Globally, there is a tendency for dentistry to be isolated from other aspects of healthcare, and dental clinics generally have to shoulder new technology investments in their entirety. Even relatively large dental groups struggle to make a business case for expensive new kit unless it will quickly deliver tangible commercial benefits. However, there is an ongoing need to improve practice efficiency and patient outcomes, and dentists know that technology holds many of the answers.”

Sagentia advises dentistry device manufacturers to ensure product strategies are focused and aligned with wider trends. Otherwise they could be disrupted by new market entrants offering ground-breaking devices that are both innovative and affordable. To help counter this risk, it has released a whitepaper Transforming Dentistry which is available to download free of charge.

Topics covered in the whitepaper include biomaterials and biologics, additive manufacturing, advanced imaging, biomarkers and in vitro diagnostics as well as connectivity and new care models. It highlights major innovation areas that dentistry device manufacturers should consider when creating research and development roadmaps.

Morgan continues: “Setting priorities for product development is far from easy in sectors like dentistry when devices have a long lifecycle and economic viability hangs in the balance. One solution is ‘scalable innovation’ where devices can be upgraded over time, but you still need to know what those upgrades might entail. We believe that our whitepaper, investigating emerging developments, removes some of the guesswork.”
Transforming Dentistry is available at

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