Archive for March, 2011

Teething at the IDS

March 29th, 2011

The most urgent news to come out of the IDS was the pain Nil Miro was suffering from his slowly erupting teeth. This was compounded by the fact that he was surrounded not only by his parents, one of which was a dentist, but by thousands of others dentists. None seemed prepared to help. The best I could do was to make funny faces and funny noises, and that seemed to calm him down…

Also a special hello to Dr. Robert Piscioneri who, quite obviously, is from Adelaide in Australia, who bet me $5,000 that I would not get his name onto the DTI website within 2 days. Expensive drinks will be served in the lounge.

The IDS is over for another 2 years. From ‘the floor’, we came to the following unofficial conclusions –

  • More exhibitors, including a lot of small manufacturers. They used the many national pavilions which provide service to  ‘make it easy’ to attend. (As long as they have the means to back up their product, good for them. For it is becoming more and more difficult to break into overseas markets, let along one’s own).

It seems the Americans again brought the largest team from overseas…

And among the most attractive stands?

CMS Dental

Baumann Dental

Klockner S.A.

One of the strangest? The stand of the Italian company, Metasys.
And at the Sanavis Group stand (which includes SciCan and MicroMega), where they were driving visitors up the wall.

  • Overall, definitely less retail visitors, with the Saturday much weaker than expected. But there were quite a few additional comments that the quality of visitors was better, suggesting that retail orders were good – perhaps better overall sales than in 2009.
  • The international dental trade attended in strong numbers. All exhibitors I spoke to were surprised that all planned meetings went ahead –  and there were many new/potential dealers turning up.
  • Officially, no sales over the counter, but there is no question that some exhibitors went home ’empty-handed’, while the ‘buyers’… well, they just went home.

Smile – Promote your dentist

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The Famous IDS Dealer Day

March 24th, 2011

Have to admit that, much as you were all panting with anticipation at my next blog, due at the end of the first IDS (Dealer) day, the fact is that there is only so much that these 3-4 typing fingers can produce. And we, those fingers and I, have been rather busy here.

But first you’re all hungry for news about the weather at the IDS….Well, have a look at the skyline of Köln above the exhibition’s rooftop car park.

Yes, I love the magnificence of the Cologne Cathedral, seen on the left in the distance – and cleverly held in a blurred dusk in the picture on the right.

The Dealer Day was reported to have been a great success, with trade visitors from both Germany and almost every country of the World. I could not verify this; I was stuck on my own company’s stand, with wall-to-wall meetings.

And at the end of the day, the DBU party, a popular celebration of 18 years of the Dental Buddies of the Universe ( Here were gathered some of the icons of the international dental trade, including Torsten Oemus (don’t know him? We wouldn’t be reading this without him…). Torsten is seen here with yours truly….Torsten is holding a copy of the current DBU magazine, which features ‘An Interview with Torsten Oemus’.

New products? Of course there were. And they featured…? I have no idea; I was stuck on my stand.

Smile – Promote your dentist

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Preparing for the IDS

March 22nd, 2011

I must not be so arrogant as to presume that every dentist knows what the IDS is. Manufacturers and all traders…they know that I am referring to the International Dental Show in Germany. For the others among you, the IDS is and always has been the World’s largest dental show. It used to be held every 3 years in Germany, each time in a different city. Since the 90s, the expo has stayed in Cologne, and is held every 2 years. There were initial complaints at the costs of having such an expo 50% more often than before. But today, very few exhibitors complain. The show is growing larger and more popular every year.

I arrived Saturday morning in Frankfurt. It was 4C and rainy. But 2 hours later, we were already in Cologne, using the wonderful ICE train (Inter-City Express), which hits 300 kph during its journey. The temperature had risen to 15C. The skies were blue. And the streets were full of the weekend shoppers…

Busy pedestrian shopping area with the spires of the famous ‘Kölner Dom’ (Cologne Cathedral) in the background  -and one of the many street entertainers taking advantage of the wonderful weekend weather.

But all is not perfect in Cologne. The city has been suffering with effects of the construction of a new subway (metro) system…

But that Cathedral is still magnificent…

On the ‘piazza’ in front of the Cathedral, most people were having fun…

While the following pictures show 2 groups with totally different methods for collecting money for Japan.  The first shows young guys ‘being strong’ for the tragic country. The second, a young Japanese watches proudly as his extended families ask for donations. It really is strange to see poor Japan in this light.

And  the expo itself?

Well over 100,000 visitors are expected – from all over the World. There are over 1,900 exhibitors from 56 countries. An interesting development, I believe started many years ago by the Americans, is the emergence of ‘national pavilions’, as seen at World Expos.

The Dental Trade Alliance (formerly the Dental Manufacture’s Association) were the first to set themselves up as the hosts for many ‘smaller’ US manufacturers who, for many varied reasons, were happy to have someone provide all the necessities, including stand design, refreshment lounge, interpreters etc. Such pavilions now exist for many national groups, including the Italians, Swedes, Israelis, Korean, British etc. Among some of the benefits is the attraction of many more manufacturers into the export World, who otherwise would have stayed at home.

More news at the end of the Dealer Day (March 22).

Smile – Promote your dentist


Dental Fasching in Vienna

March 10th, 2011

For the uninformed, Fasching is another word for carnival – or mardi gras. They say it comes from the word to fast – before the beginning of Lent. Whatever, it’s just another great excuse to dress up and have fun.

I haven’t asked their permission – so sue me – but I had the pleasure, March 8th, to visit Updent, a leading dental office in the centre of the Austrian capital. I already know the place to be very special. For instance,

  • In which other dental offices do you see beautiful model trains displayed?
  • And where else do you see the staff (and there are perhaps 30 of them) change their uniforms every day of the week? (Woe betide the one who forgets to have the right colour scheme that day…)
  • They have many ‘important’ clients. The one I particularly remember – and had the pleasure of meeting – was the late Friedensreich Hundertwasser, famous artist and architect of the magnificent Kunsthaus art museum. (Btw, he had terrible teeth).
  • And where else does a dental centre celebrate carnival THIS way –

First, let’s introduce the Pharoah with the loupes, Walter Wadsak, and his lovely Queen, Lucia.

Yours truly poses with an angelic dental therapist  – and another angel is about to be curetted.

When did your periodontist last look like this – and get away with it! And here’s a few of the less-shy team…

Note: I am NOT aware that any of the bubbles in the glasses were real…

Smile – Promote your dentist

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Krakdent in Krakow

March 9th, 2011

What a beautiful city.

Everyone compares Krakow to Prague – fair enough. But both are fantastic cities. Krakow is less overwhelmed by tourists, and therefore far less commercial and commercialised. Prague has better beer, but the buildings are stunning, their illumination magnificent. Churches in both cities have concerts nearly every evening. Prague features Dvorak and Smetana; Krakow features Chopin.

And when you are in Krakow and want great food, stick to dental……

You all know Zirc Dental, the company that makes those cassettes, steri-boxes, mirror-handles etc, in 16 fantastic colours? Well, the boss is Jim Campion, and his son, Johnathan runs 2 really very special restaurants in Krakow. The first is Manzana, excellent Mexican, located in the Jewish quarter. The second is Metropolitan, international cuisine, and to be found right on the main square. I do not exaggerate. First class food, atmosphere, service – and relatively very inexpensive.

Some bullets about the Krakdent expo:

  • Extremely well-attended. They were lining up to get in.

  • Narrow aisles, no symmetry of stands, lots of ‘lost corners’ . Stand beauty was not the priority.
  • The smallest stand: MCosmetics (1 sq. meter)

  • Over-the-counter sales was the norm. All repeat-order items on sale (scalers/curettes for $5 – rubber polishing wheels for $0.20). Bags were very full and heavy by the end of the day.
  • There were many lectures, and they appeared to be well-attended. Mostly Polish speakers, with a wide range of subjects.

We’ll be back next year…

Smile – Promote your dentist

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Somewhere in eastern Europe

March 8th, 2011

While the Middle East and northern Africa struggle through their re-birth pangs, it is healthy to be reminded of the varying turmoil that eastern Europe is still going through in ridding itself of the communist cloak. I just spent a couple of days in Cluj. Where? you might ask. It’s a decently-sized city in Romania (that’s Transylvania – Dracula-land – to you don’t knows).

I gave a couple of talks in the dental department of the very busy Universitatae de Medicină şi Farmacie. I promote hand instruments, with the emphasis on perio. Romania is another country with, officially, no dental hygienists. (In western Europe, such countries include France, Belgium, Greece and Turkey). With communication and information as it is today, I personally cannot understand this. The presence of oral hygienists, therapists – call them what you will – has proven to be a boost for the dental profession. One might fear that cleaner and healthier teeth would mean less work for the dentist. It certainly means a change of emphasis, but it never means less work. It results in better patient education, with more of the population going to the dentist – and going more often (partly because of the reduction of ‘fear of the dentist’). And those ever-more-popular implants get to stay in longer when properly maintained…..

While this message is slowly seeping through, the dentists with no hygienists are learning to improve their understanding and use of hand and ultrasonic scalers instruments. (They kiss my ring when they discover our no-sharpening instruments).

Flew to Krakow via Vienna. Not only no direct flights, but very few flights at all out of Cluj. Have a look at the arrivals and departures areas at 7.30 in the morning…

In Krakow, attended Krakdent. I’ll tell you about that meeting in the next blog…

Smile – Promote your dentist

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