George Wolfe is President of DMG America, a leading manufacturer and distributor of high quality restorative and preventative professional dental materials.
VIDEO - DUwHF #1186 - George Wolfe
AUDIO - DUwHF #1186 - George Wolfe
With over twenty years of industry experience, George is responsible for running all facets of the business. Hisleadership style is one that incorporates the mantra of “Doing Well by Doing Good.”
Howard: It is just a huge honor for me today to be podcast interviewing George Wolfe, president of DMG America a leading manufacturer and distributor a high quality restorative and preventive professional dental materials. With over 20 years of industry experience George is responsible for running all facets of the business. His leadership style is one that incorporates the mantra of doing well by doing good which is first said by Benjamin Franklin. George gained his business acumen by working in a variety of positions in various dental industry sectors. After graduating from the University of Delaware and working in the banking sector he entered the dental industry with a leading national distributor. Over the next 10 years George worked in various positions on both the retail and wholesale sides of the industry holding positions and sales marketing operations as well as research and development. George always focused on learning and understanding all aspects of a company from the ground up which enabled him to gain insight into all segments of the market as well as those of his competitors this gave him the confidence and ability to take the helm of DMG America as president in 2007 as president. George's goals for DMG America include a focus on the overall growth and culture of the company while giving back when possible his hands-on approach has helped him with his presidency and it has provided him with the ability to appreciate the everyday challenges and success of every department in his organization. George has two children a son Ryan and a daughter Sydney he resides in white skok New Jersey I'm sure I didn't spell that right with his soon-to-be wife Ingrid. George sits on various industry and civic boards like the dental trade Alliance foundation, The entrepreneurial fund, Alliance for oral health care across borders founding member Alpha will make a dental fraternity on and on and on. George thank you so much for coming on the show today.
George: You're very welcome, honored to be here and thank you for having me.
Howard: and you know it's kind of funny because when ever and when I sort of Dentaltown in 1998 a lot of people were sending me email saying hey this guy's joined he's not a dentist he works for a dental company and I'm like and and well he's probably trying to sell something and I'm like look dude if you took away about 500 dental companies I would be sitting on the sidewalk with a rug with some pliers I bought from the Home Depot, the only way we look great is by great companies like you guys and you didn't pay to come on the show it's not a commercial it's not advertising and it leads back to my childhood whenever we'd go on vacation my dad only had two themes we would go to the Six Flags over wherever and then we would go visit manufacturing places and watch him and we visited Budweiser Coors was amazing. Did you realize that Coors beer Adolph Coors he didn't like outsourcing anything so he had his own bottle factory which the with the scientists and there made some of the first dental porcelains and America and it was just I can remember as a little kid seeing that thing and wow they make their own bottles their own glass and they even made dental porcelain. So I love to have manufacturers on there and plus I think you see the industry differently because everybody listening to you right now is commuting to work for an hour and they only see their dental office but you see dentistry from 30,000 feet. So my first question to you is how is the dental industry doing?
George: Well I think well first of all thank you for that again that nice introduction and before I answer that question I want to let you know you talked about passion for the industry and I want to give you maybe two minutes of background to show how invested not only myself and also my partner in DMG and Hamburg are in this industry. So DMG was founded in Hamburg in 1963 actually on the day my partner was born it was founded by his father so it's really a life been a lifelong passion for him. I myself was born during at New York Dale meeting my father was a salesperson in this industry and at that time parking lots were not open 24 hours a day so and he got the call you actually had to break his car out of a New York City parking lot to go to go back to so he could be with my mother during my birth so this has been truly a lifelong adventure I've literally was born into this industry. I think we're at a very exciting time of dentistry right now we're at a time where technology and tradition are intersecting we are seeing so much so much innovation and technology yet we're still in the hands of the traditional materials and innovation that there's turn a tremendous amount of innovation in those traditional materials and a lot of room left there yet we're at a point where we're testing the bounds of technology and how that meets and as a manufacturer you know we're really looking at all of these things and we're trying to harness both the new and the old and how we can make all of those work together to really come out with better products that make everybody's lives easier because we're not making people's lives easier we're not making the products better and the end product better we're not doing our job and we're not going to be successful.
Howard: Yeah you've seen a lot of changes like I'm sure when your dad was in industry amalgam was the biggest selling on restorative material and now you're pretty close you're on the East Coast in New Jersey right up north of you in Maine, Maine just some place an act to restrict the use of mercury and dental fillings and any state-funded dental procedures this bill prohibits use of mercury amalgams as part of the procedure covered by covered by any dental program funded or partially funded by the state. That one is kind of an emotional one to me because I linger those silver fillings and they averaged about 38 years I mean it's such a great restorative material but it's really quickly becoming a dinosaur in the developed world isn't it?
George: It certainly is and you know as the material side I agree with your you know it's a material amalgams material that's like no other I mean that the properties how it reacts in the mouth and the ease-of-use and especially you know from a state-funded perspective for those types of procedures there's nothing that competed and and the u.s. is actually far behind countries overseas in pushing it out of the industry. So it's again our job to come up with materials that are as good if not better than those in alternatives that are more cosmetically appealing and that's less problematic shall we say you know with the use of mercury and it's a challenge and you know as there's the mantra if it was easy everybody would be doing it these are challenges that manufacturers face every day and ones that we accept willingly and ones that we feel that we are up to the challenge. You know we at DMG it's really about a spirit of innovation for us and I think one word that I always come back there was invention because if we're not you know me too is not acceptable for this company we have to come out with what we believe is the best, what we believe the practitioner is going to use and is going to seek out and again coming back to making people's lives easier and patient outcomes better because we're just doing what others were doing we're just doing good enough we're just not going to be successful and it's vital to this company to be a leader.
Howard: Well you know the I would think the Holy Grail of a tooth-colored materials when you look at the silver filling I mean silver fillings all fillings fail pretty much is a bacterial invasion. I mean we we make these fillings out of wood and then they're eaten by termites and then we blame the patient for not brushing and flossing all the termites away and you don't see a dental implant you don't see a titanium implant getting a cavity and the silver filling about it's half mercury it's half silver zinc copper Tennant's all antibacterial, how long do you think it will be before companies like you figure out an antibacterial component to the tooth colored restoration so that this inert plastic tooth colored gorgeous filling has a chance against all these organisms trying to eat everything around it?
George: That's a great question and I don't pull my crystal ball out all that often and unfortunately I've used to I've used it already but maximum times this week so I wish I had a really good answer to that. Certainly I believe you're right and using that term the Holy Grail because again if we could get it truly you know there's been this desire to get a truly tooth colored amalgam out there like you say it's antibacterial it doesn't shrink you know it actually there's some expansion properties to it, it's again easy to use easy to place so that that is the Holy Grail and certainly something that we strive and I'm sure my counterparts strive as well to recreate.
Howard: So you know a lot of a lot of Americans I think I'm get confused though they'll compare what's happening in the US to something some country in Europe and it's always some company you know the usual suspects like Denmark, Sweden, Finland these small little countries they don't I don't I think they always forget that the United States is the third most populous country on earth I mean you got China the billion three India of the billion one the United States a third of a billion Indonesians number four two hundred eight million America's just a big country so I could totally see in Medicaid clinics across America where they still need this low-cost durable filling but are you seeing most of your amalgam sales shifting out of the twenty most developed countries into the 200 more developing countries is that is it internationally is that what you see?
George: We only so our amalgam sales are purely in North America so we DMG America does not export any amalgam and it is certainly a diminishing part of our business you know our key our key businesses in restorative materials Lux Atem our impression materials our core materials all those products.
Howard: So how was your anterior-posterior hybrid composite doing?
George: Those are let's call them that our second generation products we're really focused on our DMG branded products which is our luxe temp line I mentioned last week or another product line that we came out with about just about ten years ago now is our icon carriers and filtration product and which is really a first of its kind in the industry and that is to deal with incipient lesions without drilling it's an answer between not using fluoride when fluoride this will not necessarily repair and you have one of these typical wait-and-see product wait-and-see cases it actually gives the practitioner a chance to deal with that and then also our colors are colors fluoride products have been a tremendous success for us but those the anterior-posterior composites is really a smaller line for us.
Howard: You know when you go to dentaltown and you do a search for DMG I mean you get oh how many pages of threads I mean it's a goes on and on and on but when you just pull it up it seems like a lot of people are starting to already talk about you know we're talking about amalgams is silver in it and silver is antibacterial and now we have silver diamine fluoride coming out what are your thoughts on silver diamine fluoride and silver products?
George: So I think silver diamine fluoride is a very interesting product and with a lot of very potential great uses for you know a lot of the same reasons we talked about with amalgam and you know it's one of these products that can have a lot of benefit to a lot of people is it the perfect product no but I don't know that there's a perfect product out there I think it's very exciting and I think there's a lot coming out on it.
Howard: Yeah and you'll be employed in so many of your products I mean it's just a again I think dentists who is approached the mouth as an engineer and most of the failures come from biology I mean they're actually eaten by or you know I love it when I'm someone said to me that a physician friend told me goes he says yeah all physicians do is try to slow down the rate of ascent of your death. So we're all gonna die all of our teeth are gonna die all we're trying to do is slow down this ascent. In spending your whole life and dentistry some people you know podcasters are young they're they're more millennial so on dentaltown we got a quarter million people on the website when we came out with the app in 2007, 65,000 downloaded the app but those all tended to be Millennials and whenever I have someone email me Howard@dentaltown.com and tell me if you like the show how old are you what country you live in they seem to be about a quarter of them are still in dental school and the rest time are all under 30 there's only about one old guy a week that's as old as me that sends an email but some of these kids say they're coming out of dental school four hundred thousand dollars of student loans and they look at guys like me and they say Howard you graduated in the glory days of dentistry and now they're not so glorious. You've been in dentistry your whole life what would you say to a kid graduating today would you say wow that's a that was a bad back four hundred thousand dollars on being a dentist or would you say that that was a good bet?
George: I would definitely I'm gonna go on the area if the good bet. I think again this weren't envolving in industry but we're in evolving industry and a lot of and a lot of positive ways as well I think certainly a student that is an issue and a serious issue that we have to deal with but I think there entering into a very exciting industry and a great career. I think being you know focusing on the things that that got them to where they want to be you know to be able to be a practitioner to be able to do dentistry to be able to be an artist be able to be an engineer all combined in one aspect and as I alluded to earlier with the technology that's coming and we're going to be able to do things better we're gonna be able to do things faster and way and in ways that we've never done before and you know you talked about failures of materials, materials are getting better the understanding of the mechanics of the materials the mechanics of building restorations I think will significantly reduce failures because it's not only the biology of it in it really is a lot of mechanical and now with the ability that we have to see inside the mouth inside the phone inside the restorations is more than we've ever had before. I think as far as the graduating dentist with the debt and you know some of these options the corporate options and there's many many good paths but there's also still many entrepreneurial opportunities out there and yeah I think it's an exciting time evolving time a very exciting time.
Howard: and with another question Millennials always ask is I'm I have Amazon Prime on my phone but truthfully I've never used it I'm too old and senile for that but a lot of the Millennials ask they up in your area they've gone to the Greater New York meeting three years in a row they've seen an Amazon booth there a lot of people are wondering when will big companies like yourself will you guys ever sell direct on Amazon Prime or you grew up in dealerships you worked for Sullivan for years who did your dad work for t he worked for Sullivan too?
George: He has actually grew up in on the wholesale side of things with Star Dental.
Howard: Star Dental?
George: Star Dental selling hand pieces and yeah
Howard: Wow and then you work for her Sullivan Dental supply right?
George: I actually work for I work for Becker Parkin which is now out of business which was one of the only dealerships truly on the island of Manhattan so yeah.
Howard: and Becker Parkin's gone now?
George: I was a retail rep, yes Becker Parkin went out of business about 10 11 years ago yeah.
Howard: and so you work for Becker Parkin so you know the the distributor side do you think that do you well just point-blank do you do you see these major industries like your company selling direct on Amazon someday or?
George: So I think the question I think it's a great question and especially talking to a student that's just graduated it's about a you know it's about finding partners just like we find partners with our dentals distributor, it's not just so much it's not a matter of just sending a material and then selling it to a dentist it's finding somebody that will work with you to enhance your business and it's the same thing I would say to a dentist who's graduating is find a partner you know it's not a matter of just calling up a dental distributor whether it be Schine or Patterson and saying hey I want to order some Lux temp it's having somebody that's gonna have your back that when your equipment goes down you're going to that they're gonna fix it when you need financing or when you need to connect with a mentor that you want to grow by another practice or expand or redo your office. So I think it's more than just it's more than just by product and I think that's what sometimes gets lost. For us it's more than just selling a product it's having a partner in marketing covering the North American area effectively and I think that the dentists it's about having a partner in business.
Howard: Well you know it's funny because you know even though humans have evolved from you know smoke signals or the Telegraph to the telephone to the internet the human is still the same the human hasn't evolved aby in the last several thousand years and when we started dentaltown in 98 in 98 so 20 years ago a lot of people start saying well are you gonna sell supplies from there and I thought well this is silly the reason we're starting dentaltown is the former community because you know no dentists should ever have to practice solo again and when I start thinking about supplies I mean the rep coming into my office the reason they've always been so important to me is because like my first question is well who else is using this and then you know and like when I get an endo file I'd say well you know the most awesome in a dentist in town Brad Gettleman what does he use it and she would know and so I thought that relationship was so imperative and I thought well the sale supplies to get rid of your rep I mean I mean we're I'm trying to grow the community and my rep to me has always been more about networking. In fact my rep so good if I when I would talk about a different implant she she would arrange happy hour after work with three or four dentists using that implant a periodontist and so we be said they're having beers and talking about titanium all night it was just a blast and I don't see the humans are such a social animal they need more social interaction. So when you so of all the products that you have right now what would has got you the most excited what are you most passionate about?
George: Well so that's a tough question because I'd like to say that we're probably passionate about a lot of products you know we have a strong history we have some some legacy products again this company was the first to market on a lot of different things we've come out we've taken a lot of very successful products and made them automix one of the innovators really of the automix product which was the first of its kind to be automix and still a huge force in the marketplace and for temporaries is really the you know the it's the perfect blend of strength and beauty which is just really not not easy to come by and sustained itself in the market for as long as it has and is still used by so many people because of that and I'm passionate I talked a little about icon you know icon is a first of its kind and that to me is incredible we have chance to be really new to the market and it is seeing a lot of success now and it took us it took us some time because it's really changing the way practitioners treat patients right because when there's no option also you introduce a new option it's hard too hard to get people to change and people are now changing and understanding that they don't have to they don't have to just wait and see anymore we have a way to treat problem now before it becomes a problem.
Howard: Well do you know why I called you to be on this show?
George: I assumed it because it was because of my good looks.
Howard: You are a handsome man it was actually one of my idols in pediatric dentistry who lives up the street I mean if here in the Arizona Phoenix Valley is Dr. Jeannette McClain and she did a webinar about your product icon carries infiltrant and if you do a search on dental town for DMG icon there's just I mean you just tons of threads on it but she did a course on dental town resin infiltration a minimally invasive treatment option for enamel caries and cosmetic defense. Dr. Jeannette McClain will discuss resin infiltration is a simple and painless option to manage incipio lesions recognized by the American Dental Association's new evidence-based clinical practice guideline for non restorative treatments for carious lesions and so how what I'm trying to grasp is how does a guy like you decide on some you know really high-tech innovative product and then get it to market? I mean you did you did you give you the idea then you guys made it or how do you how do you go from sitting in New Jersey to making an iconic product no pun intended iconic product called icon how does that even happen?
George: So it's a great get another great question in the structure of the company and I mentioned before my partner in Hamburg Germany and its really our partner company. So we distribute in North America DMG products DMG products are made in Hamburg Germany and there is a you know this is a large a much larger company with tremendous and incredible research and development and this was developed in Germany was developed within universities in Germany as well so this was not this certainly was was a long thought-out process and Icon even before it was launched it was probably one of the most researched products more research done on that product to prove its theory because again when I say we came to the market with something different than what's being done you know we needed to know the science behind that and the science to understand that it worked. So yeah this is a product that long and development at universities and and research in Germany that was brought here which is where a lot of our products are generated. We have a really incredible new and and I believe game-changing product that it's going to be launched in the third or fourth quarter of this year I wish I could thought more about it but I'm gonna leave a little bit of suspense but we believe that it will be as big of a game-changer as I can as well and developed at Hamburg Germany.
Howard: and on your website your website is DMG what do you call that - America and what do you call that?
George: DMG-America, yeah
Howard: DMG-America and you got online courses on your on your product by the way DMG I learned this I DMG they started Hamburg Germany when I was 1 year old I was born in 62 they started in 63 since her dental materials gyal shaft & gell shaft is a German word meaning social relations based on impersonal ties as duty to a society of organization now that's a very interesting term but yeah you got some nice webinars on your deal another one is vitamin C has who says white spots are a major issue for my post orthodontic patients icon enables me to remove them in one simple painless treatment it's a WoW moment for the patient and a significant source of growth for my practice Dr. Timothy Hess. So is this taking off with orthodontist?
George: This taking really taking off with the word of orthodontists certainly pediatric dentists but really general dentistry as well. It's you know the the white spot part of it that there's really two parts is the white spot removal of white spots certainly certainly post ortho brackets but you know that if it's the everyday waiting slip let's I see something on that radiograph I see something on the x-ray let's wait and see and and you know we equate it to if you go to your cardiologist you very rarely hear that let's wait and see right let's do something and you know we've never really had that option in dentistry and we do have it now you know we don't have to wait for the problem to occur we don't have to wait until we have to do something much more drastic it's a it's a relatively a quick procedure and it can be taken care of and not have to worry about it again in the future.
Howard: Again this is not a commercial but this is just me a lot of your people on your site are townies and have made us online CE and podcast another one is Peter Auster, Peter Auster was show 763 and he says I'm not sure who was smiling why to the patient or me I can't work miracles on this odd difficult case and there's just a lot of them people posting about on dentaltown. So I want to switch gears completely away from icon I am you you sell vinyl Polysiloxane impression material, Honigum, Honigum Pro I've been on Impergum since 1983 and I've never changed I mean it just always worked but I was wondering with you are you seeing the Honigum and impression materials going down as scanning goes up, has scanning made a material impact on impression the sales are not really?
George: It has not yet and I say yet because at some point I think we're I don't need my crystal ball to figure that one out but at no at this point it has not and even as far as the industry goes and the metrics we get it is not beyond just DMG it is not made an impact.
Howard: Yeah and so for you kids listening there's you know there's all this hype and like ever like kids come out of school and say well I'm already $400,000 in debt if I open up my own practice should I get a chair sight milling for a hundred and forty thousand and a CBC tea for another hundred thousand and some you know laser for another you know they can make three purchases and double their student loan debt and I'm like dude I don't think CAD cam is even III think it's maybe what twelve to fifteen thousand offices in the United States and there's two hundred and eleven thousand Americans who have an active license to practice dentistry a hundred and fifty thousand or full price and what you just heard what you just heard from George Wolfe's mouth is that they have not seen a decrease and impression sales. So much of this stuff is hype and my Fife in your rule is does it does this solution make me do dentistry faster easier better cheaper and more succinct and so I think and and pressure materials are gonna be here for a long time things just take so much longer than everybody thought. If someone was coming out of school and and you've been in dentistry your entire life is I don't know how old you are what what are you almost you're born in the parking lot of a dental meeting so right so you've been in dentistry for almost half a century, what advice would you give her she's come out of school she's worked for corporate for a couple of years she's been working at a Heartland Aspen Pacific and now she wants to start her own practice and what advice would you give her on starting that practice?
George: I think the first piece of advice is find some really good mentors and I think that that's where companies were or communities like with like dentaltown are so important because I'm sure that's a resource that you can do that because there's so much great experience out there that you don't have to reinvent the wheel right this has been done and there's a lot of good people out there willing and passionate people about dentistry that want others to succeed and I think with the right mentor you can really accomplish a tremendous amount and I think it's I think that's important whether you're coming out of dental school whether you're coming out of a corporate practice whether you're in a business I use it all the time in my life I'm part of industry group and president's networking group where I can talk about issues that I'm facing and mentors and I've had I've been fortunate to have three mentors in my life who are extremely important to me and people that I can go to what I have a question or order or a success so I think that's number one is you need to you really need to align yourself for success and then I think that the right having the right people and having the right you know I'm here to talk about materials and having the right materials and life you said it's not about spending, technology is changing so quickly and some of these technologies that we see right now you know that you go to a convention and you see right now will be completely different in a year. You know workflows and the fact that we can we can send something send files electronically and you know we'll limit and it can be from here or it could be across the world eliminate a lot of the need to do things locally and you don't have to jump and do something right away and like you said there's some just incredible materials out there and learning how and understanding how to do it let's call it the old school way will in no way inhibit you from embracing the new technologies in the future in fact I believe you know understanding it will only make you better. You know understanding how a combustion engine works is gonna make you it's not going to hit your drill ability to drive a Tesla in fact it's only gonna make you understand how that works even better. So I think again align yourself with with mentors making good decisions about how you spend money and how you manage money how you manage people and then you know I think you have to I think you have to be good leader and understanding what leadership is and you know creating culture within dental practice and you know it's got to be hard coming from a school and working for a company and then transitioning into being a leader and they're not necessarily skills that are taught in schools so it's really about leaning on people and reading good books and understanding and understanding culture yeah I hope I've answered some something in there I hope is a nugget to somebody.
Howard: Well you know we're going back to always start is you're not selling your supplies directly to Amazon because you want them to have a community of dealers and be part of the community that's what I did with dentaltown. When the internet came out when I became aware of it in 1998 they say the internet had was five C's it was selling commerce that's what Amazon was it was content so we put our magazine on the site it was connectivity to your smartphones and laptops and iPads and it was commercials but the one I saw and fell in love with was the community and it's just a people game, all your success people the first thing you said is get Mentors and I think it's it's success isn't what you know it's what you know and who you know and these young kids don't realize that they'll go open up a practice in some small town in Tulsa Oklahoma and what they don't realize is there's 50 60 70 year-old dentists that will take them under their wing and I want to ask you about some of your mentors. I noticed that on your deal you were the chairman of the Dr. Edward B Shill's entrepreneurial fund I think a lot of these young kids might not even know who Edward Benjamin Shills who lived from 1915 to 2004 did you ever get to meet him?
George: I did and I was I'm on the board they're not the chair that might have been a spillover from one a month I've been on that board for a long time so Ed Shills was the executive director of the dental trade Alliance is the dental manufacturer so Association and later merged two organizations become a dental trade Alliance so it's really our industries organization. I did meet him when it was when I was younger actually when I was with my father at industry events and Ed Shill's passed away some time ago but he was an amazing guy with multiple different degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and really the just a highly regarded in business and specifically in in the dental industry and someone who really treasured entrepreneurship which this you know this industry is is built on entrepreneurship and small companies and obviously there's been a lot of mergers and acquisitions on the industry side in the last let's call it 10 20 years and now there's really some much bigger companies but it's also an industry filled with a lot of small companies a lot of a lot of startups and a lot yeah people have built companies for a long time and he recognized that and he was a master of connecting people and talking about Mentors he just connected people and if you were a small company coming in he would find somebody that would be willing to help you out and connect and talk and realize that that was better for everybody and while you might be competing against groups you also could talk to them and learn from each other and a really incredible guy and I'm proud to carry on his legacy and what we do is we try to find and foster entrepreneurs in a dental space and different programs and to give back and we also like to recognize leaders in industry in his memory.
Howard: You know I remember when I you know you have two mindsets in in in humans either they think and hope growth and abundance and let's grow the pie or you have those that think in fear and scarcity. Like I look at the orthodontist who when they came out with Invisalign in general didn't start doing invisalign they they were very upset and there was tensions at the study Club and then there'd be another work that honest and said well shoot if you're gonna do Invisalign and won't you do it right so I'm gonna set up a study club in my orthodontic office and we closed at 5:00 and anybody who comes over at five o'clock I'll sit there and help you with your sets tracings your models and guess which orthodontists offices doubled and tripled. I mean there was one guy in Sydney and it took his orthodontic office from one location to four and he does ten million dollars a year he's probably the largest Invisalign trainer for all the general dentists in Sydney and I I've been asked to speak to the dental trade Alliance foundation before and I spoke for him when you guys were in San Diego and I loved the fact that the business of dentistry manufacturers you had all these competitors sitting there shaking hands eating drinking having a ball sharing their best knowledge and for some dentists that that mindset is like oh my god you you should be wanting to kill your competitor it's like no that's exactly wrong you got to think and hope growth and abundance. Talk about the dental trade alliance are you how are they doing these days?
Geroge: So you know it's a very strong organization I think you summed it up very well we were able to learn from each other and interact and be social and strengthen and come up with ideas to strengthen the strength in the industry and let's call it to grow the pie right and and that is really special and I think it's a testament to how this industry started and the fact that it was not you know it was built on the backs of small companies I am the chairman of the dental trade alliance Foundation which is that the foundation end of the industry organization and its really I'm honored and flattered to be that you know one of the we really it's part of the culture of the energy America to give back and being in this position with the dental trade Alliance foundation is great with our focus is really do a few different things we one of the main focuses we give away we there's application process for the different grants or how to increase access to oral health care and as long as you know the grant the applications have to be scalable they have to be innovative and then we in you know they go through a process and they're awarded money and often you know our initial seed funding leads to you know multiples of 10 20 times you know we might give $25,000 to get them started to do something on all sudden they track that they're able to get started they'll track you know much more than that upwards of a you know a million dollars in the future and it's really great. The other thing we do is we do student dental student scholarships and we give away this year we're giving away twenty eight dental student scholarships and it's mainly they have to be community focused community service oriented their applications have to demonstrate a history of community service and a willingness to be a dental leader and be community service oriented in the future and I have to say it's one of the bright spots of my day I'm actually in the middle of reviewing these scholarships right now that they send these video two minute videos of their with their applications and it's just a bright spot because these are some incredible kids and what they are doing in school and what they are and along with their studies the amount of volunteer work and the amount of community service is just overwhelming and their dedication to doing this in the future it all I mean it kind of it makes me feel a little bit lazy when I see what they're doing so because these are some very motivated kids.
Howard: That is just unbelievable and you're staying true to your quote by Ben Franklin do well by doing good Benjamin Franklin 1706 to 1791 of the founding fathers United States leading author printer political theorist politician postmaster scientist freemason inventor humorous activist statesman diplomat and you do all kinds of other things you're even on the board of a fire department and a baseball game I don't know how the fire department and baseball works into dental fillings but I want to tell you I just I appreciate you guys following me on Twitter I got a how many followers now on Twitter it's a 25,000 I just retweeted from your website if so if you're driving you find this on my Twitter feed your free online dental CE and of course I had to retweet Jeanette McLain since she's just so darn amazing but you've got a and that's with Vivalearning.com these courts are so good dentaltown has four hundred online CE courses and they've been viewed almost 1 million times so if you've already got all those courses you might think of also reposting them on dentaltown because that's the one thing I've noticed now I've been lecturing I lecture tomorrow in Barbados and I've lectured in a 50 countries I've lectured about a thousand times and my the old guys like me that's what we always did we always had to get on airplane fly sort of lecture but this online CE i think the humans like it because it's just an hour it's a lot easier to commit to an hour than flying to the Greater New York meeting and getting a hotel for three days instead of these eight to five lectures. I really think that one of the key differentiators with the Millennial dentist versus the the baby boomer dentist like me is they love hour-long online CE it is so easy to do and you've got a lot of amazing courses on DMG-america.com. I want to switch to another on a question I know I'm all over the board but it's dentistry uncensored so I always like to talk what's controversial and you have you the new echo site bulk fill and some of the old school guys are convinced that you need to just put in little layers and cure you know two millimeters at a time and and all this stuff but when you try to do something faster easier better faster easier this bulk fill is very seductive I mean it's just nice to put it on that you can cure five millimeters at a time. Is your bulk fill sales going up and our poster hybrid composites going down do you see any material impact from these bulk composites?
George: These bulk fill materials are definitely moving forward and in the right in the upward direction absolutely you know again it's it's a I'd like to say that we made some things that forever your body bulk fills definitely seem like the newer and the newer alternative and we want to make it as I said a probably a couple times you know we're trying to make dentists lives easier and by doing that we can't cut any corners though right you can't have an easy product it doesn't work and you know we feel that with echo site bulk fill we really came out with an incredible product that really does what it says I mean it probably cures much deeper than that but that's what we're that's what we're allowed to say you know we wanted to make sure that product was really did what it what did what we said it was going to do and far beyond and what you know a really able to accomplish that we accomplished some other things and it handles unbelievably it polishes extremely well you know that the filler content is so even that you don't have these these is almost a large we kind of talk about them as pebbles and rocks you know it's almost like it's just very even so it cures well handles well it polishes well it's not sticky you really feel like it we came out with a great product that somebody that's not that that's almost avoided the bulk fill because of this not wanting to change what they're doing we feel like we came out with a product for them.
Howard: You know my dad his business was sonic drive-in hamburgers but when you said I that you can't cut any corners I immediately knew you're a Wendy's fan because that's what Wendy said they had square patties right because they did not want any corners. You know what really surprised me I was watching one of your courses online Dr. Carla Cohen who we had on the show she was episode 280 she's like one of the most amazing probably the most amazing pediatric dentists out of all of Canada and it didn't even dawn on me because I'm not a pediatric dentist that this would appeal to pediatric dentists to you think I think a bulk fill is a big man like yourself with a big molar and you know a lot of volume but is this taking off in pediatric dentistry too?
George: It's definitely a focus for us in pediatric dentistry I think it's been one of these changes where it's it's a newer thought but when we work with pediatric dentists on this product yes and we are it is it is moving forward there you know and again that the challenges that they have and they can certainly speak to it more than I can but you know in in spending time in pediatric dental offices you don't have time right you don't have you you don't have a lot of time or agreement from the patient and so anything that we can possibly do to save time and make their jobs easier and certainly bulk fillers that's what bulk fill is about.
Howard: I never understood pediatric dentists I mean if you want a patient that can't talk to you why didn't you just be a vet I mean it would not have been much simpler. I also love your website drilling-no-thanks.info drilling no thanks info. It talks about removing white spots I know Carla talks about this on her show arrests early cavities remove white spots icon the news so is that drilling no thanks info is that more of a b2c consumer site or is it more a b2b dentist site?
George: It's well and it's drillingnothanks.com they could be drilling - no thanks but it you could also just do drillingnothanks.com site yeah that was a site dedicated to icon it's really consumer site it's a consumer site focused on icon and showing the benefits to the patient. There's some videos on there some testimonials on there you know you alluded to earlier about the emotional you know what what happens when they show their patients what happened and we've had some unbelievable really successes and stories with icon of you know people who thought they would have to live with white spots and even getting married or not having alternatives or not having the financial means to have alternatives and all of a sudden we do white icon white spot on and and it's like it's just unbelievable. I mean it's an emotional reveal and you know listen you know how important the from a cosmetic what the dental impact can be on somebody's self-esteem and their ego and their confidence and that's what's been great to be a part of Icon is to have this emotional outpouring when people have to had it done.
Howard: Well if you go to dentaltown and you do a search for Icon Icon drilling no thanks I mean there's just there's just so many threads on this on this product so it's gotta be it's gotta be a hot one. So I've noticed that some manufacturers now are starting to go b2c advertising I think the biggest genius at it in my 30 years, when I got a dental school you already had the big names of a Colgate and crest and Listerine and all that but it's been Invisalign I mean I think they actually marketed more to the consumer by far and it's funny when you when you I don't care where you go in the world when you're at the bar and someone says what are you doing you say you're a dentist the bartender starts asking about Invisalign do you when you're with the your own company DMG America and when you're a dental trade Alliance do you see dental manufacturers in the future doing more b2c marketing to build up macro demand or do you focus still mostly on b2b dental manufacturer to dentist to build demand how do you how do you look at b2c marketing?
George: So I think it's a I think it's really product dependent and you know just speaking for DMG you know a lot of these a lot of these products to really be you know in but certainly if the right product comes along and it will have that consumer interest we would go b2c but we would do it in a way that we make sure that we it would never be only consumer it'd be in conjunction with something to the consumer but you know our focus is in talking to the dentist and the dent professional make sure they understand the product you know with icon it was almost when we launched that there was just a groundswell. I mean we were icon was featured in popular extra digests and it was not by us going to the campaign it was merely by it was just picked up because it was such an exciting exciting product that was launched. I do think that with you know the way the world were in and products sometimes takes will take a life of their own and you know with social media and sharing you know you never know where they're going to go but our focus is mainly b2b and again in the right the right type of product perhaps augmenting that with some b2c.
Howard: So I noticed you also sell core build ups and that's up and one of my pet peeves my whole career where dentists don't want to do a molar so they send the molar to the endodontists the endodontists does the root canal but the dentist says well I want to do the buildup you know because they want to bill that out but after you do a root canal again these all fail from biology they don't fail from you know being born in the zodiac symbol a Virgo and I always thought the endodontists should just always do the build up. I mean you got done finding all the infection finding all the canals cleaning it out shaping it filling it and then what you're gonna leave you're gonna put him on a temporary for two weeks because his dentist wants to ball out the build-up. I wish that I wish that that if an endodontist did the root canal that they a hundred percent of the time did the build-up to give them give the patient the tooth and the tipping point of that infection that but the best chance. Do you sell more that to endodontists or general dentist or?
George: I would say that that we sell more to general dentists you know but certainly it's a mixed bag and we sell to both I think that's just more of a result of the volume of one versus the other and but certainly we sell to both.
Howard: Well and then on the post on you sell Luxapost and then you have a Splrapost self adapting dental post I tell them tell us whatever dream Luxapost and Splrapost PV PFS and how each one of those products are doing in the marketplace.
George: So Luxapost is a more traditional I mean certainly has its very unique properties but more traditional which we think is of a composite post system and it's certainly our top seller but we also have the yes the innovative Splrapost which is if you think about it's based on the book that's called scaffolding and making a post out of scaffolding it looks almost well it's a spiral it's a spiral with bristles it's a brush type substance that you use as a post then when you flow down that cement through that core material and you're filling in you're filling in that that scaffolding or maybe even if you think about it is flowing cement through rebar. So what's nice about it is that that that post is adapting exactly to the shape of the canal and then you're flowing material in there to solidify it so it's really a very innovative product.
Howard: So would it when people are thinking about it coming on you DMG where it's headquartered and founded in Hamburg Germany and you when you say your North America is that just us in Canada or does North America more geography include Mexico too?
George: U.S. and Canada
Howard: U.S. and Canada but like what percent of sales is DMG US and Canada versus the rest of the world? I mean are you guys about a third of DMG are you 40 percent of DMG how much of DMG are you guys?
George: I don't know percentage-wise but North America is an extremely large market for for for DMG and believe we are the largest market that DMG serves.
Howard: Yeah a lot of the big dental manufactures telling me that the US is usually 35 to 40 percent of the whole global market was like because I was gonna make a comment about your post but I don't know how you would be aware of that because you're focused on US and Canada but when the one thing that scares me about big government socialized medicine is that when I let you in three of the greatest societies in the world Tokyo Japan, Paris France, London England and those dentists tell me that with their government dental plan they only get $100 u.s. for a molar root canal. So they have to put a post in every canal they're big fans of your post because it especially the Splrapost PFS because you're not boring it out to put some big hunk of metal in there it's more of conforms to their curvature the canal but they have to puta post in every root because I mean think about that I mean London Paris and Tokyo those are expensive places to operate dentistry, in fact when you go to a dental office in Japan I mean there they're usually 500 square feet there because it's so expensive I mean dirt and topia is a million dollars a square meter so when the government only says you can only have $100 u.s. well they can't even break even on $100 u.s. so they so that's what scares me about socialized medicine because they'll pay for like a hundred thousand dollars for a bypass but they'll only pay the doctor like $50 for an exam and so then you wonder why the United States is so surgery driven it's because well a lot of these hospitals when I was getting my MBA a lot of these people that worked in a hospital said if we don't do three major surgeries a day like a bypass a colonoscopy if we don't do three major surgeries a day we can't even pay our bills and so these posts are very very popular in countries where the government is paying for the dentistry and for some bizarre reason they only a lot a hundred dollars for root canal so you got to have go on and put post it just it just is what it is. So I've covered I can't believe we went past an hour weren't overtime and was there anything that you were wishing I would have asked you about that I was too dumb to ask?
George: I think we covered a lot you've we've talked a lot about the company and yeah it's just I hope when people think about DMG they think about again our industry leading products Luxatemp Luxacore and Honigum and Icon but I hope they also knows a lot more that we really do we give back a tremendous amount it's ingrained in our culture what's really important to us is our people you know at the end of the day we're in we're in business because of our people and we provide you know we cherish our employees and the community and that's really important to us because without that there is nothing so and yeah and thank you it's I think you guys have a huge following and I it's flattering to be on the show.
Howard: Well you should you should have ended with your free sample I've been seeing free samples on your site how do how do they go and just find free samples to try this stuff?
George: So if they go to DMG-America.com and there should be an indication there on where to click and we will absolutely send them a sample. okay I got the sample out of the Ecosite Bulk Fill a great product and yeah happy to share that.
Howard: So which products are you shipping free samples to as of right now?
George: The Ecosite Bulk Fill, the fluoride varnish and our Prophy Paste.
Howard: Nice everybody loves free samples right but hey seriously the only reason this show is a success is because I'm able to get studs like you to come on and talk to my homies for an hour. George it's been a complete honor to podcast you good luck I hope you guys innovate more and more greater products to make us dentist look better than we should be.
George: Okay well thank you for all the support.
Howard: All right have a great day George.