The Group Dentistry Now Show: The Voice Of The DSO Industry – Episode 39

The DenMat team joins the podcast to discuss their expanding DSO and dental group practice team, as well as their latest product and service offering for multi-site platforms. If you want to learn about the newest, most innovative dental products from a group of knowledgeable dental industry veterans, this podcast is for you!

Our podcast series brings you dental support and emerging dental group practice analysis, conversation, trends, news and events. Listen to leaders in the DSO and emerging dental group space talk about their challenges, successes, and the future of group dentistry.

The Group Dentistry Now Show: The Voice of the DSO Industry has listeners across the North & South America, Australia, Europe, and Asia. If you like our show, tell a friend or a colleague.

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Full Transcript:

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Group Dentistry Now Show, the voice of the DSO industry. Kim Larson and Bill Neumann talk to industry leaders about their challenges, successes, and the future of group dentistry. Visit groupdentistrynow.com for more DSO analysis, news and events. Looking for a job or have a job to fill, visit joindso.com. We hope you enjoy today’s show.

Bill Neumann:

Like to welcome everyone to the Group Dentistry Now Show. I’m Bill Neumann, and always have some interesting guests here and had some time to… Back when you’re able to spend time in person with people, with each of these individuals. So I knew Barry when he was at ChaseHealthAdvance, and I met… Bruce has been at DenMat longer than anybody, I think over 30 years. So I met Bruce when he was at DenMat, and still is at DenMat. And Donald Boyd when he was at Planmeca, I think initially. So we have Bruce Tuck, Donald Boyd, and Barry Trexler currently with DenMat and they’re going to be there for the rest of their careers. So welcome gentlemen to the Group Dentistry Now Show.

Barry Trexler:

Thank you, Bill.

Bruce Tuck:

Good to be here.

Donald Boyd:

Thank you.

Bill Neumann:

So give me a little bit of background on each of the individuals, some bios, and then we’ll get into some Q&A. So start with Barry Trexler, who is the vice president of sales and marketing at DenMat. And Barry started his dental industry career on the practice management side of the business, and started at CareCredit, GE Capital as a sales leader there. He went on to run the ChaseHealthAdvance patient financing solution for Chase. That’s where I met Barry. In his role there Barry built a $400 million business. Is that right? Did I get that correct?

Barry Trexler:

Yes. Correct.

Bill Neumann:

Okay, good. All right. Because I saw 400 million and I was like, really? It was that big. It’s big.

Barry Trexler:

Yes.

Bill Neumann:

It’s almost a half a billion dollar business there. Supporting the special market segment of dentistry. And then in 2018 he actually moved over to the product, the material side of dentistry and started with DenMat. Barry has over 15 years working with DSOs and emerging dental groups, and really specifically designing custom solutions that work and facilitate strong partnerships. So again, welcome Barry.

Barry Trexler:

Thank you.

Bill Neumann:

Next up we have Bruce, and he is the senior manager of business development of special markets. And like I alluded to, Bruce has been at DenMat for over 30 years. I was out at DenMat about a year and a half, maybe two years ago and had the opportunity to see Bruce there at DenMat’s location, just a corporate headquarters just above Santa Barbara in Lompoc, California. Beautiful part of the country. Throughout his career at DenMat Bruce has filled multiple roles in all aspects and channels of the business. His involvement in groups began in 1997. So they weren’t called DSOs then. DSO did not exist then, it was dental group practice or group practice. In the last 10 years dedicated solely to the DSO space, the larger groups. Bruce has built partnerships with most major DSOs, and numerous DSO startups, small and mid-sized groups. As DenMat’s forte is the ability to help DSOs drive revenue, not just save on products. Bruce’s adept at building customized partnerships that include hygiene, aesthetic, laser and restorative CE programs that result in significant revenue growth for a DSO. So good to see you again, Bruce.

Bruce Tuck:

Good to see you. Thanks for having us.

Bill Neumann:

And last but not least, we have Donald Boyd. He’s the younging at DenMat. He started pre-pandemic, right? February of 2020.

Donald Boyd:

Correct.

Bill Neumann:

Just before everything changed. And he is a senior manager of business development for special markets as well. So interestingly enough, Donald started his dental career at the University of Florida Dental School Store. So probably a great opportunity really to understand materials and dental products, and also equipment as well. So when Donald graduated, he really was able to leverage that time at the dental school store to launch his career in dental supplies and equipment. And so he also has 30 years in the industry. He spent the last five years in the DSO space. Helping DSO industry leaders with solutions that create best practices and also efficiencies in emerging dental groups and DSOs. He’s worked for companies that we all know, Nobel Biocare, Planmeca, and Henry Schein. And again, started at DenMat in February of 2020. So certainly an interesting ride for you Donald at DenMat. So welcome everybody.

Donald Boyd:

Thank you.

Barry Trexler:

Thank you.

Bruce Tuck:

Thanks.

Bill Neumann:

So let’s start… Since Bruce is the elder statesman there, sorry Bruce, at DenMat, let’s-

Bruce Tuck:

Very kind way of saying I’m old.

Bill Neumann:

That you’ve been there a long time. Tell us a little bit of the history with DenMat, and also not just the history of DenMat, but also let’s talk about your experience there as you started to see the growth of, and the consolidation in the industry with dental group practices, and now DSOs.

Bruce Tuck:

Yeah, it’s quite interesting. I got out of the military after eight years in the air force, and having a tough time finding work on the Central Coast. There wasn’t much options there. And somebody told me about a phone position at a dental company, and I’m like “Dental?” And long story short, I ended up coming on board to tie me over for a few months. It’s been 30 years. At that time not too many people were doing white fillings, very rare. So it was the first I’d ever heard of a white filling. Of course they didn’t wear gloves back then. I came in 1989, and the company had been started in 1974 by our founder, Dr. Ibsen. He authored the first textbook on adhesive dentistry, and our company really was focused on aesthetic and restorative composites. At the time not too many people did composites. People did a lot of porcelain inlays and onlays.

Bruce Tuck:

He started a lab, that’s… Back then was known as a serenade lab to focus on aesthetic restorations like ceramic crowns, inlays, onlays and veneers which expanded over the years. And then most of us knew us for our Rembrandt whitening, which we… The take home whitening we launched in the early 90s. And then we went to the Lumineers. First really impactful, direct consumer, manufacturing company that came about and did well. And then, Dr. Ibsen sold the company in 2006 to DLJ, which is arm of Credit Suisse then eventually was purchased by Center Partners who currently owns us now. After that happened, we have our COO, Bobby Cartagena, who came over from Discus who was one of the folks, and you know Bobby, and you know Steve Semmelmayer, they all came over Center Partners and acquired DenMat, November of 2011.

Bruce Tuck:

Bobby had spent his career over at Discus, and because they sold Discus to Philips. They knew that all Philips really wanted was the whitening. So we turned around and acquired all the Discus line back, which is how we got the Discus products like the Splash, and the Perfectemp, and things like that. Subsequent to that, we’ve made a few other acquisitions, PeriOptix loupe company. Zila, we acquired the Zila lines, which was the Rotadent, the Atridox, the oral meds and then the Piezo align. And so with those acquisitions, there was changes through the company. And as far as how we tied into the DSOs, that’s a little bit of background on the company, how we tied in the DSOs. I know that we’ve played with the groups before they were “groups.” As you said, the term DSO and DGPA or ADGP. I can’t remember what it was to start with. But DenMat had worked with some of those. And since I’ve been there 30 years, I came with the company in ’89. I’ll give you a bit of background of some of the things that we’ve done with some of the DSOs.

Bruce Tuck:

I remember when I first started out in a field, I worked with a dentist named Steve Thorne who had four offices up in the desert, and that was prior to PDSB and started. And I remember when I met Steve Thorne’s first partner, and she was an associate at the time Dr. Ghazal out in the desert. And so back then we started working with PDS. And so that relationship went a long time, still retains today. My experience also was with SBI before they were Smile Brands, there was Newport right now, Dental. Down here in Southern California, there was Monarch and Castle. We’d worked with all those. Actually worked with Beachton Dental, which at that time eventually became Western dental, and then Midwest Dental, which was Dr. Haley. But we had started all those relationships way back then. And then of course there was the… When we made the acquisition, some of the acquisitions brought, expanded the partnerships that we have. The Heartland…

Bruce Tuck:

If you go back to the Discus history and Bobby who I mentioned previously actually helped develop their aesthetic continuum back in the day when they were young. And to this day continues the partnership with them. Coast Mortenson, all then we partnered with them in lasers. Great Expressions has been one. And so we’ve had several of the relationship to go on. Aspen expanded significantly under the acquisition of Zila. So we really have a long history going back with the DSOs and not only did we start them long ago, we also have maintained them since. We have relationship with them and everybody’s all in with DenMat, which is what helps us adapt and be part of every group.

Bruce Tuck:

We help a little bit here, a little bit there, but we have established long partnerships with all of them. And that’s the, I guess, depending on your terminology, the elites or the major DSOs, but there’s many others. I was just trying to give examples of how far back we go to your point earlier, before they were actually even called groups. So early on we started with restorative process, impressions, and so… We’ve run the whole gamut of the programs and it’s been a long and exciting, and fun fulfilling venture for me personally, for being part of DenMat and the different things that we’ve done.

Bill Neumann:

Of course you’ve really seen the growth of these national DSOs as they started from being in a small… And now there are these emerging groups, so whether you want to call them regional DSOs or even smaller that seem to be sprouting up. A lot of them are clinician owned and led. Definitely the industry is consolidating quite a bit. But yeah, to your point it used to be the DGPA, which is the Dental Group Practice Association. And then somebody came up with the term DSO, and all of a sudden it was the ADSO the Association of Dental Support Organizations. So a lot of change just recently, and you’ve seen quite a bit of it. Barry, I’d like to kind of have you take this next question. Let’s talk a little bit about the uniqueness of DenMat and why DenMat from a perspective of a group. Why would they want to work with them? And why are all these elites, these national DSOs, continuing on their relationships as they scale?

Barry Trexler:

Yeah, thanks Bill. What I would say is as Bruce mentioned, DenMat has had a long history of working with groups and DSOs. As he mentioned, today we work with dozens of DSOs, groups, and even GPOs across U.S. and Canada. And one thing that may not be known or may be known is that… But I think definitely worth mentioning is that we distribute our products in over 100 countries across the world. And the reason why I mention that, because if you combine all of that experience, it gives us a unique position to service groups today. We can meet the products and service needs, demands of large organizations, and we have a solid track record of doing this over the time period that Bruce mentioned. One of the things I’d like to mention is that over this time and recently, certainly over the last two years, we have built really a platform of innovation, what I call innovation advocacy. So innovation in terms of the products and services that we’re offering in the special market space, and the advocacy that those products and services bring to the practices, as well as their patients.

Barry Trexler:

We really think through, as we’re thinking about products what really the end user needs, and how we can help a group or a DSO meet that end user need. So if you think about innovation advocacy, there’s really three pillars that we focus on, which is around our products, our services, which is going to include our lab as well as our continued education platform, and our customer service. We have an excellent customer service support group here to support groups in the special market segment of dentistry. One thing I’ll double click on is the innovation piece. In 2019 and 2020, were both very innovative years for DenMat. In 2019, we launched over 100, excuse me, not a 100 products, but rather 10. And including our Perio Restore, which is our oral gel and tray system, which provides a significant revenue enhancement to a group’s hygiene area of dentistry.

Barry Trexler:

We also, I want to point out we’ve all lived through the recent shutdown relative to COVID. And during that period, we pivoted and again, being innovative, having our manufacturing here, all in the USA, we were able to pivot to provide an infection control line. And during that period, we spent a lot of time helping our group partners, bring an infection control line to market. If you remember at that time, there was a scramble to find sanitizer. And we were able to provide that to the market. And today we’ve expanded that line to include an oral rinse, 1.5% hydrogen peroxide, as well as a surface cleaner. And soon we will launch a unique face shield, actually created by one of our dentist partners and it’s going to be unique and that’s going to be our entry into PPE.

Barry Trexler:

And another couple of other products, just to mention that on the innovative side, at midwinter, right before we all shut down and try to figure out, navigate our way through this COVID situation. We had launched our OrthoClear, which is our clear aligner to the market. Now what’s unique about it, we specifically designed the product and the price point to help groups compete with some of the direct consumer offerings in the space. And that’s, what’s really unique about it, that it’s affordable and it’s very effective as a clear aligner. And then soon we’re going to launch Zen CP plus, which is a topical oral gel. And it’s unique to the market again, because it has this innovative microsphere technology that is only available through DenMat, and will soon launch that to the market. Just really in a couple of weeks here. Another thing I’d like to touch on Bill is the solution part, our services part of what makes us unique.

Barry Trexler:

We have our lab right here in California. We do not outsource any of our products or services here in our lab. And one thing that may not be known is, our lab if it was a stand-alone lab we’d probably be one of the top five labs in the country. And that’s based on the units that we process and fabricate in our lab here. And again, everything’s made in California, we do not outsource anything in the lab and we continue to add new products and services to our lab to service our broad customer base, as well as our group partners. And then the other two things I’d like to point out that makes us unique is we’ve… If you think about the history 1974, this is our 46th year in dentistry. We have spent a lot of time building our continuing education platform. This was a passion of our founder to be able to pass on that knowledge to dentists. And we’ve been building that platform over the years and we’ve accelerated, invested in it over the last two years. Pre-COVID we were putting on over 50 live events a year, and we’re navigating through that now, but we also have an amazing webinar platform that where we can provide continuing education credits as well.

Barry Trexler:

And then finally on the service side we have not… Again, well-known in the group space, but we do have some groups that engage in our Smile Discovery Program. This is a unique program that actually provides leads to the practices that engage in the program. And it has a unique case conversion tool, which is our automated smile design, which we call LumiSmile. And you can do that process right from your iPhone or iPad and be able to share with your patient, and then they can share it with friends and family and it aids in the case conversion. So I guess in summary, as you heard Bruce talk about the long history of DenMat, the impact DenMat’s had on dentistry, our involvement with the groups from really the ground floor, and recent innovations and product expansion.

Barry Trexler:

We’ve demonstrated three things in my view, innovation around those products and services we talked about, the agility if you think about how we pivoted to meet demand and during the pandemic, and when everybody was shut down to meet demand for sanitizer, and oral rinse. And finally we are very responsive to the needs of our practices and the groups that we work with.

Bill Neumann:

Yeah, it’s the one thing that I was really surprised when I went out to your facility is that the manufacturing is actually done there, you have a lab, there’s so many layers to DenMat. And I think… It’s a great thing, but it’s also probably one of your challenges is to really communicate everything it is that DenMat does. And the fact that it is all done in California, everything that you do and sell for the most part is you make it and to have the lab there is certainly a testament to continuing that tradition of American manufacturing and employing Americans. So great stuff, but certainly a challenge to get that message out. And you’re adding more products, 10 this year,

Barry Trexler:

10 in 2019, and actually if you look at our infection control line as an added product line, we’re on track to add about 10 this year as well, in 2020. We got a few more to do before the end of the year. We’re very busy.

Bill Neumann:

There you go. All right Donald, so being newer to the organization, let’s talk a little bit about innovations that you’ve seen in the past year. What can you tell us?

Donald Boyd:

Well, Bill what led me to come to DenMat was the innovation itself. Just the fact that they have their own manufacturing, they have their own marketing team. Everything is right there in California. It really excited me to become part of this team because it really, I think it gives us flexibility and it makes us more fluid to be able to work with the DSOs in the industry. We know that the DSOs are looking for scalability, they’re looking for flexibility, they’re looking to be innovative. And I think that DenMat has a deep history of developing innovative dental products, as well as we understand what the special needs are for these DSOs in the market. And so we can customize those specific needs required by DSOs, from product delivery, packaging, marketing materials, customized education, training. In addition, we know with the post-COVID and everything that’s going on, a lot of things are becoming Webex based. So we need to develop Webex education and make that available to our DSOs in the market.

Donald Boyd:

We pride ourselves in developing new innovative products and services that drive incremental revenue opportunities. So for example, we know that many patients are missing hygiene appointments today with COVID and many DSOs are looking for new revenue streams. Our Perio Restore, a hydrogen peroxide oral gel, is an innovative product applied with a special custom tray system. Perio Restore is an excellent home treatment to help those patients we know that are coming in with bleeding gums, gingivitis, and the big benefit for the DSO is a new revenue stream for the office. So we know just an average of 10 cases a month can add $80,000 in incremental revenue per year, per office to the bottom line. So these are some innovations that I think that can help DSOs with the revenue streams that they’re looking for, and the opportunity to bring in new patients and also right now to serve those patients that are in need.

Bill Neumann:

Yeah. I mean, that’s certainly important as practices open back up and maybe there’s an issue with patients coming back, and it’s really looking to add those revenue streams, expand that. So good stuff. Tell me a little bit about the lab. So that’s something again that I think a lot of the DSOs, emerging dental groups don’t realize that DenMat has. So Donald, tell me a little bit about what you see there with the lab and that the benefit to DSOs.

Donald Boyd:

Well, I think Bill that’s a big benefit for us. Is a significant advantage over the market when we have our own dental lab. So we can actually talk about our products we manufacture, as well as serving the DSOs with lab aspects as well. It also goes hand in hand with the things that are going in, in the industry right now. Where we’re seeing DSOs moving into digital scanners, and to cone beams. And our DenMat lab is fully digital. So we accept all digital scans through our portal. And for example, you can marry our OrthoClear aligner with our lab services. So we position that product to be an alternative to Invisalign. And OrthoClear is an excellent product to help combat those direct to consumer clear aligners. So it’s a product to have in your back pocket. We don’t want those patients, we give them a treatment plan and then they walk out. Maybe we give them a second option.

Donald Boyd:

And OrthoClear is a perfect product to fill that void, where you don’t have something in addition to Invisalign. In addition, DenMat was started by our founder, Dr. Robert Ibsen in the 80s to focus on all ceramic restorations. And we are one of the top five largest dental labs in the country. So we pride ourselves with providing affordable high-end aesthetic restorations right here in California. We are not going to be the $50 crown, ever. And we know that there is a segment of dentist in the DSO space that want affordable high-end aesthetic crowns. So we want to be able to service and provide those dentists in the DSO space an opportunity to have a reasonable aesthetic option here at DenMat lab. So this gives us an opportunity really to service both the manufacturing end, the product end, as well as the lab end to the DSO market.

Bill Neumann:

Yeah. Excellent. I mean, those are all good points. Real good point on the OrthoClear and making sure that patients actually follow the treatment plan that they’ve been given. So you don’t want anybody walking out the door and not taking advantage of the treatment planning in office, versus going somewhere else and possibly having something done with another provider or maybe a direct to consumer solution. So, yeah.

Barry Trexler:

Hey Bill.

Bruce Tuck:

Bill, if I might interject. You brought up a good point right there on the… I think Barry was about to say the same thing I was is.

Barry Trexler:

Yes, both jumping on it.

Bruce Tuck:

Yeah, we just want to be clear. We’re not looking to be Invisalign. We actually… It’s a very affordable, clear aligner of simple cases. And what we’re trying to do is allow a DSO to compete with the direct consumer specifically.

Bill Neumann:

Sure.

Bruce Tuck:

That’s who we’re targeting to go after. And when it comes to the aesthetic, high-end… Every DSO has the segment of their doctors, the one or two percent that want to use a really high-end lab, but yet is affordable. So that’s kind of what we’re targeting for. We know we’re not going to be competitive on the crown and bridge space. But I did want to reiterate those two things, and Barry I’m not sure if you have a couple more things you want to throw in there as far as the aligners being specifically to allow DSO to compete with the direct to consumer, not the Invisaligns or all the other clear aligners that are out there.

Barry Trexler:

Well, and you hit on a lot of what I was thinking Bruce, but I had another one to add. And if we go back to the agility of DenMat, Bill, I want to talk in our tier end the Perio Restore product. We actually got into that business because a group partner needed a solution, and they came to us and asked if we could do this. We were not in that space at that time. And we, again, here we have a customer that needed a solution, a large scale solution. I think that’s important to point out about our lab. And we were able to, once again, pivot, provide a solution. It has worked very well for the customer. In 2019, we did over 30,000 cases. And that was the same year that we launched with them. So again, not only the innovation, but the agility and the ability to customize a solution for our customer

Bruce Tuck:

And Barry, we actually even do that with the clear aligners. Different programs, one fee for everything. We customize any program, whether it’s a lab procedure product tailored to that group, we can modify anything that we have. It’s not, these are the three options, take it or leave it.

Bill Neumann:

So Bruce, this next one’s for you. So reading your bio, there’s a lot in there about education and, continuing custom, continuing education in particular. And one of the most important things for groups, whether they’re using, whether their providers are using a new product or service, how do you onboard them? But just in general, educating a vast group of providers in different locations, possibly in different states can be a real challenge. So a lot of these groups, whether they’re large groups, or whether they’re emerging groups really lean on manufacturer partners to help educate. So let’s talk a little bit about what you’ve put together, Bruce.

Bruce Tuck:

So yeah. The core of our company since our founder, Dr. Ibsen. I remember when I first went through training, I went into the room and he was in there and on the board, it said, “I see and I forget, I hear and I remember, I do and I understand.” And so we’ve built these courses to be… He found that to get a dentist to change behavior, because we know they’re all creatures of habit, actually probably more so than the average person. So they want evidence-based research and then they want clinical competence, right? So all of our courses are actual hands-on not just lecture or anything like that. We have one day programs, two day programs. We can condense a two day program into one. And they’ve been a huge part of our company and what helps us be successful. Once you do these courses, you don’t know what they’re going to roll into. It’s always fun to see people come and learn.

Bruce Tuck:

I was talking about long-term relationships in the DSO space. I remember back in 2004, when we launched Lumineers direct to consumer, there was a young dentist there with his wife, came to our live placement course with our founder at our corporate office. And he was from Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, which was Dr. Matta, North American Dental Group. And so then you just didn’t know where… It’s been fun run. And so doing these courses in the groups over the years… Typically groups don’t like to be out long periods of time. So we have a couple of things that we’ve done, we have laser courses which we’ve rolled out. And we have a composite courses. We have a veneer courses. We have hygiene courses. And again, like I said, we have one, two, three day courses. So what we typically do to work with the DSO… When we talk about the major DSOs they… We’ve had relationships as long as we have had with them. They know us, we know them, they know what we have, they know what we can do, right? So it is what it is. And let’s develop something new, we go to them.

Bruce Tuck:

Where we really are beneficial are to the small, and up and coming groups. That’s where we really help a lot. Trying to get systems in place and the group space is doing a really good job, letting know the up and comers. You’ve got to have systems in place, right? So important. Everything’s about systems. So our programs are systematic. And so where we’re beneficial to them is like most hygiene departments, aren’t all on the same page. So we have a one day soft tissue management program. And it includes everything from LBR, to LAAs, to SR. I mean, it’s the whole gamut of hygiene. We have two day veneer courses. So typically the way we do it is we’ll have some of the clinical directors come and attend our course as our guest, give them the program, let them look through it. And then what we do is at the end of the program, if it’s something they decide that that fits for their group and wants to roll it out, then we set out a training and a rollout program.

Bruce Tuck:

They’ll sit down, let’s say for example, in our hygiene course, we teach lesion detection with lesion devices. We teach LBR, we do lays with lasers. And they may say, “You know what, we’re not going to incorporate lasers right now, but we like the course so let’s do this. Let’s expand on this.” Huge piece is effective patient communication, getting the to patient to say yes, right? So everybody wants that piece, and we do a great job at that. So some will want us to expand on that part. For example, our one day hygiene course when we do it in a private practice, it’s a one fee for the whole office because we want the front, the back, and the doctor, all hygiene all on the same page. So we will tailor it as they want that way. Those we’ve done in many groups and it’s not uncommon for the, take our partner and their chip, our training decks that we put together for them. And they’ll go off and do their thing a few years later. It’s fine with us, and as long as we have that partnership as we go.

Bruce Tuck:

The veneer courses, those are a little bit tougher because there’s a mindset with the dentist that, “Well, it’s so hard.” But when they, when they get ahold of it, thought that we can do a veneer case prep to finish in two hours. The thing about the veneers when they really catch it is, the fee they collect with a crown is the same as a veneer, right? And some will say, “Well I’d rather just do a crown.” Okay, it’s easier. It’s covered by insurance. But with crowns they are doing ones and two, veneers they’re doing eights and tens. And so, but again, it’s a thing where they get a little bit sketchy about it. So we have hand pieces cases that they do in the courses. So the hard part of a DSO is the downtime. So we’ll take that two day course and condense it to one. We had one group that we did. We rolled out the veneers and we did all their courses on Sundays. We rolled out a hygiene program. They went through all of them Sundays.

Bruce Tuck:

We had one group, we did the hygiene program for, and the owner doctor about 10 to 15 offices, wanted to do it on a Monday because he felt like if we did on Friday or Saturday, they’re going to forget it by Monday. So let’s do it Monday. So they go on Tuesday. So we’ll accommodate just about anything at all, and modify all the programs that we have. And we’ve been successful in all of them at varying degrees, but the groups that benefit the most are the probably doctor own, doctor run, a little bit easier as far as for them to adjust schedule and timing. But we’ve done as many as with groups of 50. Well, if you look at what Barry was talking about, the one group we did, 200 to 400 offices. So we can adapt program. If they don’t have a program, we’ll build one for them. If they have one, we can tweak ours to fit into theirs. It’s whatever’s going to work.

Bill Neumann:

So I think that’s one thing that Donald touched on about the agility of DenMat and the flexibility. Barry, do you want to touch a little bit more on the customization that you all do, whether even beyond the continuing education, for DSOs in particular, what’s DenMat doing for different size groups and let’s talk about that agility.

Barry Trexler:

Yeah. I mean, we recognize the different needs across the different sizes of the groups. And one of the things we do well is just understand what is important to them. What are they trying to accomplish? Whether it is to get some more education for their doctors. Whether they’re trying to implement a clear aligner solution, whether they’re trying to add some additional revenue to their hygiene area. We actually listen and really lean into what they’re trying to accomplish. The fortunate thing about us is we’re very agile. We have a team, whether it’s the BD team that’s here today, plus our operations team, our lab team, our continuing education team, that we are… We are just mentally wired, if you will, to respond quickly to a need and offer a customized solution.

Barry Trexler:

And I really think that is one of our strengths, and we’ve demonstrated it time and time again. Since I’ve been here and Bruce been here a lot longer than I have, there hasn’t been a time where we have not been able to respond to a solution. One other example I’ll give you, we had a group come to us that is opening up these unique hygiene centers. And they were looking for a customized gel and toothpaste to be able to provide a very unique consumer experience in these hygiene centers. And within probably, Bruce, eight months we were able working with them on the formulation and what they needed in terms of packaging as well as delivery. We were able to launch that with them, in fact we just delivered that, I think it was last month. I can go through numerous examples where we’ve been able to respond to the need. And we just love being that responsive. It provides a lot of energy among all of us because we just want to provide that unique solution. And we have those capabilities to provide it.

Bill Neumann:

Excellent.

Bruce Tuck:

And Bill I think if you talked with anybody over the years, that’s dealt with DenMat, myself, Barry or whatever. Typically when we meet with a group they’ll tell you it’s, we’re not coming in and pitching stuff. It’s the first thing we’re coming in with is questions. Like, what do you need help with? What do you want to hear about? What you don’t want to hear about? And because we make everything where we’re at from, to vary from scratch to creating a product to somebody, anything like that it makes for a great relationship and it makes for a lot of fun to do. And so when they sit down with us, they generally have an idea of where they want to go with it, and we’re going to focus on that. We’re not going to jam a square peg into a round hole or anything like that. It’s actually, I think, and Barry can speak for himself, but it is a lot of fun. And it’s a lot of excitement when we get to create something new specifically for a specific group, which we’ve done quite a bit of that. And that’s when it’s fun.

Bill Neumann:

Yeah. I mean, it’s just amazing talking about creating a custom paste for a DSO or for a… I mean, there are very few manufacturers out there that I think would do that because of the time and the effort to create something, really interesting. So last question, and unfortunately, it’s one of the more important questions for DSOs and groups. Let’s talk about competitiveness when it comes to pricing in the group space. So maybe we’ll let Bruce start with that one and Barry can finish it up.

Bruce Tuck:

Yeah. That’s always this thing, right? It’s like almost a… It’s a tight thing but we’re used to it, having been with it a long time. And fortunately, we were in a lot of these places early on. And so DenMat I can tell you,  We are always been perceived as a premium brand. We believe we’re premium brand. Most people know us as a premium brand. The reason the DSOs like it is that they narrow down their formularies and… The hard part is to, at some point you want to keep the doctor happy, but yet there’s the dollars and pennies you got to look at. And so I think the main reason, most of the major DSOs have us on board in some form… Our biggest thing across the board is our impression material and then our oral hygiene products.

Bruce Tuck:

I think the biggest reason is because they can provide their doctors a premium brand at almost off-label prices. We’re not the cheapest, but we get pretty darn close when there’s the volume involved and the trade off that they get. We’re pretty hard to beat. Outside of some off-label brands, I’d say that we’re probably one of the most affordable impression materials out there. Certainly if you tag on the fact it’s a premium brand, so we get in there in different areas and maybe one skew works for them, or stuff like our restorative materials, like our core paste and Geristore. Because we make it all here, right here in California I mean, we can do it fairly inexpensively and be incredibly competitive on some of those products.

Barry Trexler:

Yeah. What I would add Bill is that our group business keeps growing, which tells you that pricing is not a barrier. I do echo Bruce’s comments about we may not be always the cheapest, but if you look at our vast portfolio, there’s two elements that makes us very competitive. One, we can price and respond to price very quickly. We’re all here. So that makes it a lot and quickly. But there’s two areas that provides some opportunity for DenMat to meet that pricing ask. One, is we have a vast portfolio, and that’s what Bruce was talking about. If we can’t meet a specific skew over here, more than likely we’re going to find something that’s going to provide a benefit and an additional savings for that group.

Barry Trexler:

The other piece that we have to talk about is the ability to service, and the ability to respond. Because especially if you’re dealing with a low cost provider you may, especially in this environment, you may have some supply chain challenges. And that’s something that we do not have. If you’re working with a lab, I mean, you need to consider the remakes and the service levels of the lab, all of that adds additional cost to a solution. So that’s another element, dimension if you will, that we can provide and really wrap up a nice package to respond to a customer’s request around pricing. I’m very confident that we can provide a pricing solution for any customer. We haven’t really had that challenge where pricing has been the biggest barrier. We typically work through those opportunities and deliver.

Bill Neumann:

Yeah. I mean, it’s certainly one of those things, I mean, you take a look at the value proposition. It seems to me that your price is certainly important, but you want to make sure your providers are happy with the products, right?

Barry Trexler:

Right.

Bill Neumann:

That they’re comfortable with them, that they’re a product that they want to use. That they don’t feel like they’re being given a subpar product. So if you can get that great marriage of competitive pricing products that they’ve used in dental school, or feel comfortable with, or a higher end lab where you don’t have to deal with the retakes. And then put on top of that relay the customer service aspect, the agility that you all have, and the education piece, right? It’s the training it’s like, okay, pricing’s right. It’s a great product, but how do I use it?

Barry Trexler:

Right.

Bill Neumann:

That hands on element and that training, you guys kind of really put the whole package together. So listen guys, I really appreciate the time. This is good stuff. Thank you, Bruce, Donald and Barry from DenMat for being a part of the Group Dentistry Now Show. It’s been a lot of fun, educational experience and I hope to see everybody live again soon at some point. So-

Barry Trexler:

Absolutely. Thank you very much, Bill.

Bill Neumann:

Yeah, thank you.

Donald Boyd:

Thank you Bill.

Bill Neumann:

Until next time-

Bruce Tuck:

Great, thanks for having us.

Bill Neumann:

Thanks Bruce.

Bruce Tuck:

All right.

Bill Neumann:

Until next time. I’m Bill Neumann from Group Dentistry Now.

 

 

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