Q: How are things going for Convergent Dental?
A: Things are going extremely well. Solea is now the fastest-growing dental laser in the US as word of its virtually anesthesia-free and blood-free capabilities spreads. We’ve had a tremendous first half of 2015 fueled by continued innovation from our product team. We introduced a new Ultraguide handpiece with a family of different-sized hollow waveguides that expand the breadth of applications for Solea. It enables dentists to perform procedures in the periodontal pocket in addition to the other hard and soft-tissue procedures Solea is known for. We’ve also made significant software upgrades to Solea, including a new 1.25 mm-XC spot size. The new spot size increases Solea’s industry-leading speed by a factor of 4, which makes it easier than ever to quickly perform large preparations at near drill speed. With this new spot size dentists are routinely using Solea for crown preps. We’re committed to product innovation and continue to enhance Solea, making it the dental laser that delivers on the promise of laser dentistry.
We’ve also signed 2 strategic partnerships with major dental distributors, Benco Dental and Darby Dental Supply. Both of these companies are trusted partners that help a huge portion of the dental community identify and integrate strategic technologies that generate revenue. Solea fits perfectly into these dental distributors’ portfolios of innovative products and services.
Q: How has the dental laser landscape changed since Convergent entered the field?
A: Convergent Dental has changed the landscape by delivering a laser that functions as advertised. In the more than 20 years that lasers have been on the market, they have never lived up to the hype. Solea’s predecessors created a bad image for the entire market because of slow cutting speeds and inconsistent analgesia. Solea is changing that narrative. As more Solea dentists report efficiency gains and practice growth as a result of performing anesthesia-free and blood-free procedures more than 95% of the time the reputation of hard tissue lasers is changing. Solea has created new momentum within the product category as a whole and has captured the leadership position for Convergent Dental.
Q: How do dentists feel about dental lasers in general?
A: Solea’s ability to perform virtually anesthesia-free and blood-free procedures eliminates the 2 most glaring efficiency killers for dentists. Clinicians lose valuable time injecting patients, waiting for numbness and controlling bleeding. The efficiency gains are significant and immediate as Solea dentists report performing several more procedures per day, representing tens of thousands in additional revenue per month. These results are typical for our dentists and are a big reason why we’re not only seeing early adopters but also more traditional dentists purchasing Solea because of its profound impact on a practice’s bottom line.
Q: What are dentists’ biggest concerns about dental lasers?
A: There are 4 primary concerns dentists have about dental lasers. They are:
1. Speed, especially when cutting hard tissue
2. The ability to consistently use the laser without anesthesia
3. The learning curve
4. Whether it will be a good investment
Q: Does Solea help alleviate these concerns? How?
A: Solea has successfully addressed each of these concerns. The facts are as follows:
• Our dental laser ablates hard and soft tissue at speeds which are comparable to traditional tools
• Solea dentists routinely report performing more than 95% of their procedures anesthesia-free and blood-free
• New Solea doctors are able to comfortably perform pretty much any general operative procedure after undergoing a one-day training seminar.
• Finally, because of the benefits (time savings, multi quadrant dentistry, new procedures, etc.) associated with eliminating anesthesia and bleeding such a high percentage of the time, and significant referral growth, Solea dentists are seeing meaningful increases in revenue, routinely, 25% to 40%.
Q: Do you think Solea is a true replacement to the traditional drill?
A: The drill will always be part of any dentists’ armamentarium. Solea replaces the drill for a lot of dentistry but not all of it. There are plenty of drill-free procedures done with Solea and plenty that incorporate both Solea and the drill. The thing that makes Solea so effective is that it can be used anesthesia-free, even when the drill is still incorporated as part of the procedure. That changes the dentist’s efficiency and the patient’s experience, forever.
Q: What do you want to tell dentists about Convergent? Why should they check you out?
A: I want to tell dentists to forget everything they think they know about dental lasers and take a look at Solea. Solea with its all-new wavelength and unique computer controls has made reliably anesthesia-free and pain-free dentistry is possible. We’re a tremendously hard-working company that puts our customers above all else. Convergent Dental spares no expense when it comes to equipping dentists with the knowledge and tools they need to successfully integrate Solea within their practice. We believe wholeheartedly in our products and offer a full-satisfaction guarantee for new customers. If dentists aren’t happy with any aspect of Solea’s performance, they can return in. There is little to risk and a lot–hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars–to gain.
Michael Cataldo is the CEO of Convergent Dental. He is a seasoned entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience in healthcare technology companies that founded, funded, built and sold MediVation Inc. to McKesson Corporation in 2000.