Over the course of three days, MRG successfully toured all 5 halls (a total of 10 floors!) of the International Dental Show (IDS). Despite the sore feet and broken backs (that's what it felt like, anyway), I?ve learned so much and met many of our clients. While we introduced ourselves to various companies, I was also happy to know that others recognized us and praised our reports.

I will miss Cologne. I will miss its pretty cathedral, lively bars, and bustling streets filled with delicious restaurants. Fortunately, soon enough, at IDS 2015, MRG will have another chance to see the city, and the exciting new products of the dental world.

I did want to highlight some of my final thoughts looking back at IDS 2013.
 

First: CAD/CAM. Will value players enter the CAD/CAM system market? Many South Korean dental implant manufacturers were showing off their CAD/CAM milling systems at IDS. This confirms the growing attractiveness and popularity of digital dentistry. Further, having a full portfolio of dental products (either through your own development or smart partnerships) will be key to providing the best service to customers.
 
Second: New companies. How many of the new implant companies will survive? While new players have popped up like daisies (there are hardly any barriers to entry), how many can survive and penetrate into this highly competitive market? What does this mean for the major players, if anything?

Third: Aesthetics and durability. How can products be improved? As patients live longer and become more aware of available treatments, they will get them more frequently and earlier. That means that manufacturers and dentists need to also develop products that are durable or have easily replaceable parts if something fractures. For example, one of the speaker sessions noted a trend back to cement-free (screw-retained) abutments, which are easy to replace. These products are not, however, the most aesthetically pleasing, which is becoming increasingly important for patients. As a result, there's still room for innovation in this space, which is indicated by the focus on digital dentistry at the conference. This technique allows dentists to create restorations that are designed specifically for the patient, allowing for better fit, durability, and aesthetics.

As a final note, here's a shot of the cathedral in Cologne. See you in 2015!
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