Interview: “… it has been a, let’s say, interesting time”
Dr Kwang Bum Park is the CEO of the South Korean implant company MegaGen. In an interview with Dental Tribune International, Park discusses the company’s dedication to innovation in the dental industry and its continual movement into the international market.
In 2017, MegaGen underwent large changes. How have things been going over the past two years?
Well, we had an intense and exciting year in 2018 with the opening of our new state-of-the-art HQ production facility and offices. I am very proud of our production team, who have been able to achieve on-time manufacturing results in the new facility in a very short space of time, freeing up our teams to focus on new developments for better manufacturing practice, working with our R & D teams and always improving our service to our customers.
We have developed in exciting new markets with significant new user growth in countries like Russia, the US, China, Japan and Germany, and most encouragingly, even our more mature markets continue to grow.
For these reasons and more, it has been a, let’s say, interesting time! I have learnt a lot with the many changes that the company has undergone over the last several years, and I am happy to say it is still great to be leading a company that is agile enough to make the changes necessary to stay in the forefront of our exciting business of dentistry in the modern age.
You are also working under a new slogan: “MegaGen never stops innovating”. Has innovation always been a consideration?
Since its early days in 2002, MegaGen has introduced leading concepts to implantology. For example, the Intermezzo implant, which was launched in 2005, is the narrowest implant for provisional use and is also a permanent solution in small anterior tooth spaces. In 2006, we launched the Rescue, which is the shortest implant for long-term success in molar sites. Also in 2006, we launched EZ Plus, a bone level implant for better aesthetic solutions.
Other areas of innovation include the biologically inspired AnyRidge implant. Launched in 2009 in South Korea and 2010 in the rest of the world, it continues to show phenomenal results in all types of implant treatment and has helped make the one-day implant a truly successful treatment option.
In 2009, MegaGen also launched the Eureka R2 project. The target has been to develop an overall treatment and maintenance programme that will yield more predictable results, less chair time for patients and dentists, better long-term success rates for surgical interventions and better maintenance over time.
What is the current status of the R2 project?
R2GATE is a cornerstone of this project. This software program aims to offer a seamless connection between the diagnostic phase, treatment planning and the final treatment solution. Over the six years since we launched the R2 software, many of the original concepts, for example, the merging of CT and intra-oral scan files, have become the norm in software worldwide. Our service concept has developed to offer an internationally based treatment planning and prosthetic design that enables surgeons worldwide to offer one-day treatment solutions to their patients, as seen on the recent National Geographic documentary New Boundaries of Dentistry.
Last year at the 14th Annual MegaGen International Symposium in Las Vegas in the US, we launched the new R2 Studio concept. In collaboration with a leading Korean CT company, our software offers dentists an opportunity to create a virtual patient. The data can then be used as a holistic diagnostic tool, for patient education, for final treatment planning and for CAD/CAM of prostheses.
How have you managed to bring all these concepts to the international market?
This is an exciting step forwards for us, but in line with our history, it is not a final step. MegaGen never stops innovating and our aim to become a leading healthcare innovator remains our guide. Percentage-wise, MegaGen still invests more heavily in R & D than in marketing. My team is pushing me to balance this, so we have also invested in our education and networking brand, MINEC [MegaGen International Network of Education and Clinical Research]. Our company philosophy remains one of inclusiveness and the spread of ideas, and our MINEC team will work hard to develop this concept.
I always think that products and innovation will speak for themselves, and we have relied more on a word-of-mouth spread of our ideas than on heavy-handed marketing campaigns. My wish is that going forwards we can spread our concepts more widely through education and by developing our networks, working with young, and also not so young, open-minded individuals, developing talent and helping dental practitioners to achieve their best, and this will be our focus over the coming years.
IDS goers can find the MegaGen booth (#N060) in Hall 4.2.