Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran
Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran
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1287 Leo Pranitis Talks New Molecular Dry Mouth Treatment : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

1287 Leo Pranitis Talks New Molecular Dry Mouth Treatment : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

11/6/2019 6:00:00 AM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 271
Leo Pranitis has over 30 years of professional experience in various commercial roles, primarily within the dental industry. He has built and led sales, marketing and R&D teams that have produced award-winning, market-leading products, several of which continue to hold premier market share positions within the global dental market. In addition to his current role as General Manager for Prisyna Oral Healthcare, his previous roles include Vice President of Sales & Marketing, North America, for Southern Dental Industries (global dental manufacturer headquartered in Melbourne, Australia), Vice President, Sales & Marketing for Sonendo (early stage, venture-backed endodontic device, Laguna Niguel, California), and Vice President, Global Marketing and Innovation at Kavo Kerr (previously, Kerr Dental), a Danaher company. During his time at Kerr, Leo directed all new product development and commercialization of a global portfolio that generated over $300 million annually. Leo has been directly involved and led more than 30 new product launches during his career.


VIDEO - DUwHF #1287 - Leo Pranitis



AUDIO - DUwHF #1287 - Leo Pranitis


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Howard: It's just a huge honor for me today to be podcast interviewing Leo Pranitis, who has over 30 years of professional experience and various commercial roles primarily within the dental industry he has built and led sales marketing R&D; teams that have produce award-winning market leading products several of which continue to hold premier market share positions within the global dental market. In addition to his current role as general manager for prisoner oral health care his previous roles include vice president of sales and marketing North America for Southern Dental Industries headquartered in Melbourne Australia where I did a podcast interview I went down there visited them did a podcast sir vice president of sales and marketing for Sonendo early-stage venture back into ionic device in Laguna Niguel in the California vice president global marketing innovation 4k broker previously Kerr dental a Danaher company was just spun off as in Vista. Wow during his time at Kerr Leo directed all new product at all event commercialization of a global portfolio that generate over 300 million annually. Leo has been directly involved and led more than 30 new product launches during his career, he is a co-inventor of the world's first single-dose dental in he's a system yes patent number five million eight hundred and sixty eight oh six that patent being first used to commercialize Optum on solo bonding agent one of the most successful and he said bonding brands ever launched into the dental market. He yields a BA degree from Northern Illinois University. When I started dentaltown people always started said Leo there I said Howard there's this guy on John John he's not a dentist I think he works at 3m she's like and your question is well he shouldn't be allowed on the site okay so if we took in my opinion if we took five hundred dental companies away I'm sitting outside on a rug with a bunch of stuff I bought from Home Depot chucking teeth is that really in the country we want to live in and here's a guy like you who I mean I mean Danaher I mean your background in fact the funniest thing you have ever said in your life you said that you did this clinical trial conducted by Joel Epstein okay well let's just stop the whole show for Joel Epstein DMD MSD FRC DFD I mean that guy is a nut he's like you in a dental suit I mean he's another legend. So first of all congratulations on a very long and distinguished career in dentistry where you just been hitting one home run after and in the World Series you just sit there and say dude I've hit more home runs than that is that what you're saying all during a home run?

Leo: Well geez Howard I mean first of all thank you that's a remarkable compliment coming from someone like you again I'm honored to be here and yes I have had so far a very rich career full of lots of interesting challenges and adventures no question about it all around the globe I've been incredibly fortunate to be in some of the best places at the best times no question.

Howard: How long have you been in dentistry how old, how old are you and how long you've been in this game?

Leo: So boy I have to tell you how old I am 55 over 55 and I've been in dentistry now for 27 plus years now.

Howard: So tell me if you see the tealy the same I remember the greatest thing about being 57 is is you've seen everything before I mean I mean when's the last time you've seen something shocking like when someone says the president lied oh really I can remember Nixon I mean come on but I remember way back in the day when the largest johnson johnson company like Gillette in Europe was Siemens and they own this little dental company called Sirona and the CEO decided they were over weighted in health care and needed to have more so they spun off the dental division which does it didn't mean anything I mean the building didn't change the people didn't change it's just all legal stuff but everybody at Siemens I remember being in it was in Austria wasn't it Siemens in Austria and

Leo: Someone's gonna correct me, I think you're right.

Howard: I would see their Austria Switzerland right one of the other I think I remember Austria and and the people they're all like I mean they were so excited because imagine if your mom and dad didn't love you and somebody came down the street and they say hey we'll sell you our baby and they were like they felt they said Siemens didn't care they weren't into dental they didn't love and so now here it is three three decades later and Danaher spends off and Invista all their dental today the greatest dental companies in the world and they didn't want any Siemens are you seeing another Siemens side deal where you think the manager will say hey buddy we didn't love you either and they're just gonna blossom and explode or is it different?

Loe: Boy you know Howard man what a loaded question and the reason it's loaded is because you know I was inside you know I was at I watched you I watched you and Michael miller and ingrid the other day and michael was talk he was waxing poetic about the grades of Kerr and which you know made me it brought brought a tear to my eye because I remember the grand days at Kerr and I was there when it was sybron dental specialties and then suddenly along comes a company that I didn't know how to pronounce and and I'd heard that they had you know bought Cave-o prior and they were looking for a consumable and before I knew it you know they were the new owners and you know as as as the story goes you know I lived another six years under that environment before I decided to leave the company and I think I learned a lot and I think they challenged us to do things very differently and I think that you know that history will tell boy talk about a politicizing right history will tell whether or not the moves they made then and the people that left along the way and stories that are yet to be told with this new in this you know that is yet to be written that's a WoW boy I should run for office with that answer I guess let's just leave it at that but I think strong brands as you mentioned some of the greatest brands in the dental history were under that umbrella and now they've decided to spin it off and I think it makes more sense certainly to shareholders because you can have one conversation around dental and it sets them up well to be able to talk to shareholders about dental and only dental and it doesn't and whether it was contributing or dragging down the Danaher portfolio is for any someone else another level of acumen to determine but I do think it's probably a lot more clean line for a shareholder or a potential shareholder and so we'll see what happens with that.

Howard: So you know it's funny we were talking about Siemens in Austria my favorite economist is the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter business cycles and you know like you and I have lived through for up cycles and for down deleveraging cycles 80 87 2000 layman's brother but what's also funny is the consolidation cycle where I'm old enough to work I remember when I was in college there were 10,000 microbreweries it consolidated all the way down to 70 beer companies and now it's d consolidated back to 10,000 micro breweries and I saw it in dental supplies that also plays when I got out of school every city had its own dental supply then guys like Pete Frechette and Stan Bergman they rolled them all up into like just shine Benko Burkhart and now it's d consolidated again my god a new dental supply company opens up every day just go to dental town I mean there's a buyers club every five minutes for a dental supply so they so they decide that the best way to grow is with a bunch of debt until everybody's got too much debt than it deleverages down and then their best ideas you know what it'd be a lot cooler if we just bought all of our competitors out and let's all consolidate and then as soon as they get there the first idea is well let's deconsolidation but enough of that stuff. You are seriously a dental genius what made you quit Danaher and go start your own company and was and when you left seven years ago was your first breakout move to do this what you've done now?

Leo: Yes no it wasn't actually when I left Kerr I went to work for a company called Sonendo and Sonendo is really changing the game still are changing the game in endodontics and the engineers and the brilliant scientists there developed a technology that is designed to clean the root canal system with using fluid dynamics and a very unique and well patented set of fluid dynamics that incorporates not only that management of fluid the typical foods used in endo but also vibration sound right and would create vibration from the sound to loosen and remove debris in the canal system and when I saw I met with the CEO and saw that how well-funded it was and also understood the technology to the extent that I could I thought to myself I gotta be here this is where I have to be and it was literally 10 employees that were all engineers and they hired me and I was and suddenly I was the guy responsible for commercializing the product and building the brand and finding the logos and coming up with the value proposition and building the team around that it was literally you know I walked in the office the first day and they looked at me like I was growing a tail because I was the only guy with commercial experience with a roomful of engineers but that company has blossomed into a tremendous success story and...

Howard: How much is their system is Sonendo, how much is that?

Leo: I think it depends now it depends on how you purchase it my understanding is that there's a couple different opportunities there different ways you can buy the system but it incorporates a box right and that certainly doesn't do with the technology justice but it incorporates a box and moves the fluids in a very specific way and then move that fluid through a tube to a hand  piece is disposable and I think that those hand pieces are around $50 I think piece I think depending on how many buy and other various items I could be wrong on that last I checked it was around that.

Howard: Well what would you guess it would buy for the average guy I mean you talkin 75 a hundred 150 what do you think that box costs right now?

Leo: No the box is probably less than that I think it's probably in the 60s I think something like

Howard: 60s?

Leo: Yeah

Howard:  and then the disposables per endo would be fifty?

Leo: Yeah I think they're around $50

Howard: Yeah that's because the most dysfunctional thing that I see in dentistry day by day is the dental insurance companies won't be friends or talk or share with with the dentists I mean even the ADA when when you're at the ADA and you're talking to like their chief economist she'll say well you're up the street from Delta what is their day to say and they won't show us their data I mean it's America's of the dentist the dentists are jerks you know if you owned if you and forty thousand McDonald's you wouldn't cuss at the guy selling you Idaho potatoes you wouldn't be cursing at them you would be seeing all the rude things you do to your value chain but Dennis just at all times like it's like Delta will give them like two hundred thousand dollars a year and they only get like one letter from you they cuz Leo didn't cover the fourteen unit bridge that you know and they'll just write it really nasty note there but anyway but when I'm out drinking with insurance guys from the biggest companies after lecturing they show me data that show that like on a hundred million molar root canals if the endodontists do them in five years five percent are extracted and have general dentists do them in five years ten percent are extracted so gosh if one out of every ten or one out of every 20 root canals are being extracted there's room for improvement on that.

Leo: No question about it i mean i the the endodontic space was one that just you know completely fascinated me i will tell you it fascinated me the endodontist a specialist is is truly a master at their craft and they I do believe that that generally endodontists want to do better work and we had I uncovered a tremendous appetite for a new piece of equipment you know in the specialty at least the endodontists saw the value in being able to do endo better and they saw the value in making the investment and going through the educational process of using a new device because after using it a few times or attending one of our sessions where we shared our data you know they were just they were blown away by what those canals look like after treatment and the endodontist wants to do a better job and so I really believe that but it was fascinating space but you still have failures and and and there's definitely room for improvement in that space no question about it.

Howard: So is Sonendo you know they say the five finger tests gotta be faster easier higher quality lower cost and smaller it's higher cost but is it faster or they is the speed the same ?

Leo:So my class here because I haven't done a recent update on the science but my understanding is that the doctors are using it are doing it within their given timeframe they would ordinarily choose whether they would ordinarily slot for an endo procedure I think you know when we first brought the system out and we were we had in a few offices and we were monitoring their use all day it was taking a little bit longer because there were some things that they had to get used to doing you know you have to have a sealed interface around the tooth and in order for the fluid dynamics to work properly and so there was there was some learning curve associated with that but you know dentists and endodontists in particular are engineers and artists that so who you guys are and and then they figure out ways to get their procedures into the appropriate time slots to maintain a profitable practice no question.

Howard: Well you know there's a million 50s in the United States and over 90 percent never do surgery and dentistry is the option I mean we're all surgeons and operatory working with their hands so then you're I'm trying to work my way up to where you are now but then you went to SDI down in Australia I did Sam Cheathem on episode 1181 I every time I lecture in Melbourne I always go out to dinner with them how was it working in America with an Australian company because there are some huge cultural differences like in Australia and New Zealand in Japan they use a ton of glass ionomer doesn't do that so I wasn't working for a company Down Under I'm out of North America?

Leo: Yeah I mean it's a great question and you're absolutely right you know first of all the Cheatham family is without question just one of the finest groups of people ever you know between Sam and then of course you know Jeff right the founder their facility down there you've been there so you know this facility there is absolutely world-class and I can say that with some experience I've been to a number I'm just like you have I'm sure and a world-class you could eat off the floors you know they're they're doing all of their own work down there and the innovation in terms of attention to detail and just complete total integration so they can really be their own masters of their own production and manufacturing and operations is spectacular and they ran the company ran was run very well so that part for sure. I think the challenges associated with running a North American business of an Australian based business is just what you've articulated in a moment ago which is just being able to constantly be able to you know share what our challenges are here and what the cultural differences are but primarily what the user differences are as you noted you know GI's used as much here as they are over there you've got you know some people down in that Pacific Rim area they're just massive promoters of that technology and and there's a lot of fireworks because of it but you know GC sold a lot of glass and sells all glass ionomers in the US and we competed against them every day along with some of the other companies and I Think you know we held our own but but you know if people could see I'll say this if people could see the facility in Melbourne and they could see and talk to the people who are working on the on the floor in those facilities in Melbourne it's a kind of a campus as you know several buildings there if they can see that I think SDI would be would be a predominant market share company no question because that's dedication and it's and it's real real high-quality stuff.

Howard: and there are such family people I mean I went my boys never whenever I go out of the country at least three out of four go with me and in fact the thing that blew Zach's mind away the most I'm when he realized that I'm kangaroos hate rainy days you know why they hate rainy days?

Leo: I didn't know that but im ancious to hear the answer.

Howard: because all the children play inside there marsupials get it their children are playing and there's something but anyway I'm yeah i love the same family the places of class act it is it is disheartening for me though and I shared that with her my podcasts the fact that when I feel like dentistry has been going backwards for so long I mean when I got out of school all the Crown's were gold cemented with zinc phosphate cement antibacterial and all the fillings were silver amalgams and as filling doesn't fail because it breaks it fails because bugs ate it and a silver filling is half mercury you'll never find that in a multivitamin the other half is silver zinc copper everything's antibacterial and SDI was the largest amalgam manufacturer in the southern hemisphere and I would go you know I've been to half the countries in Africa and thirty years ago they're in their place amalgam and I knew that little kid had that amalgam for 30 years now I see that same kid the dentist no assistant no rubber dam acid etch rinse and then the kid switches with a Dixie cup of water and it's like what and then he'll paint on the bonding agent carrier then the kid sits up and swish his water again then he puts in the composite cure and and then the dentist fence 30 minutes polishing it I'm like well why don't you spend 30 years polishing it because you contaminated every bonding agent to think and so it feels like 30 years ago you could have gone to any continent and any filling were the last three decades and now you go to any continent there's no amalgam it's all plastic soul inert it's all gonna fail in six years but you know what they look prettier it's yeah and you know as long as you go I call dentistry the aesthetic health compromise I mean and these women with a with a bar through their nose and they don't want a silver filling it's like ma'am you have a bone through your nostrils I mean I'm pretty sure that the oh and the aw isn't gonna be the silver but anyway I'm sittin here all my dentistry is gold cemented with zinc phosphate and none of its failed in decades I mean I think 30 years it hasn't failed right but anyway enough of that they want to be pretty so I hope I hope they're pretty so then you went to zest so talk about your time at zest.

Leo: Yes I did so zest was originally Zest Anchors as you know and that's an over denture anchor system that that they market on their own name and then they also supply to nearly every implant company of a consequence out there across the globe and so that overdenture anchor system that's then gets customized for to match with that implant system of the various companies whether it be you know Zimmer or Strauman or cetera but prior to my arrival at Zest, Zest had also oh by the way that business of course was doing very well because there's a lot of intellectual property around that no one else was able to do it and so they were looking for ways to spend their money and they decided to acquire Danville materials which you know Danville materials right?

Howard: Lottie

Leo: Exactly and some others that were that were a part of that organization and built it to what it was started out as a micro at your company pretty much and then moved on from there to a dental materials company as well so that's purchased us looking to round out their portfolio and they did somewhat around that business and then they successfully recruited need to go do that and so and that's what I did.

Howard: and what would you say Zest's core product was?

Leo: So yeah so that's core product is are is really their their locator product which is that over denture anchor system and they had a fixed version of that and a removable version of that and and that occupied a great deal of their time it was probably in the zest portfolio at the time was probably you know 75 to 80 percent of the overall revenue a success portfolio with Danville then making up the rest of that mix so very very interesting group many of them came from the implant space and landed at Zest and so you know you wanna talk about different cultures sometimes right at dental materials guy coming into an over denture anchor company you know there was that was interesting there's another example of where I walked in and they kind of looked at me like I was growing a tail but we ended up doing some good things you were liberal the Danville business double digits year-on-year and introduced a couple of interesting brands products we introduced bulk easy and we introduced Sem easy both of them with a unique curing mechanism that was designed to to cure without without a curing light in the case of all easy sort of a dual cure mechanism that would allow doctors to do more of a bulk fill filling without fear of extreme polymerization shrinkage and so that that product became part of our common daily conversation to Danville and did very well out there and I don't know doing right now but I know that it could very well I was there.

Howard: Yeah bow keys accolade area star flow the the thing that I am that blows my mind is that you go to every dental convention they've always got this some some guy is lecturing on all on four and everybody's just all drooling on themselves at this guy do it all on four and it's like and then I'm like okay raise your hand if you've never done one all one for in your entire life everybody's hand goes up then I say raise your hand if you've done an all on none this month you know a denture all the hands go up and then I'm like okay so as 64 10% of Americans have no teeth 20 percent 74 20 percent of 0t the CDC numbers and here's zest where grandma can come in she's miserable you placed two little implants in her jaw little mini implants and get her denture to snap on and you could and I always used the same denture why even make her new denture I mean just just do it right then and she loves you for life and you make all this money and nobody does it and they all want to learn how to do this $25,000 $50,000 all on 4 case something dude you live in Salina Kansas if anybody had $50,000 in Salina Kansas the first thing would be is leave Salina Kansas they'd be living in San Diego or Melbourne Australia they sure as hell wouldn't be living in Salina Kansas and my homies they always think all the money is made and owning a Ruth Chris Steakhouse and I tell them all the money is in McDonald's and if you want to go learn how to do all on four you should first tell someone who loves you you know a psychiatrist your medical doctor somebody who can tell you know go treat the people in your zip code. So what I always tell people is before you take a CE course how many times this month has someone asked you for that product or service so no one's ever asked you for this product ever in your life and you want to go learn money so then you now you've been in store

Leo: You know I mean if you think about it right so you talked earlier about how things are cyclical you know just incredibly cyclical in nature and you've got contraction expansion attractions factual you you know this we watched this expansion of the aesthetic revolution where all of a sudden all these doctors were attending courses learning how to do you know a top and eighth down below veneers right all of a sudden the entire world needed full mouth veneers and and all of that work was being done you had these big Institute's that were being built around it you know one of my good friends Bill Dickerson built a very prominent Institute around that but that's the kind of work they were doing and they were unapologetic about you know charging patients 30 40 50 thousand dollars for these cases and they became very successful doing it and so you know it's you're easily seen whether or not that kind of work has a marketplace now or if it's just now it's just shifted from the cosmetic aspect of it for maybe thirty thirty-five to forty five and maybe now it's shifted to the 55 to 65 who are seventy five that are in dentures and they want them locked in you know and that's why clear choice maybe he's doing so well because all of a sudden those centers are popping up everywhere and and they're charging that kind of quantity now that kind of money to do you know the to lock in like you said all on fours right and charging a lot of money when people are given away their 401ks and they're draining their bank accounts so they can have all that done that's the I guess that's the cyclical nature of our business as you said earlier.

Howard: You know Bill Dickerson did so many things right I'm the head lady at the ad a National Convention tells me every time she's ever done a survey and where did dentist want to go for a meeting seventy percent still pick Vegas and then twenty percent it's any of the Disney properties Disneyworld Disney whatever so there's Dickerson in Vegas with Ivoclar Bob clearly writing this whole cosmetic revolution but I never I graduate from LD I liked all that but you know what I called on it first was these guys were all joining the AAC learning veneers but when their daughter needed straightening it was bleaching and braces so now we're LVI turned into is Invisalign so the technology caught up with what they were doing for their own kids like you wouldn't let your daughter go get upper ten and lower ten veneers by some...

Leo: Probably not

Howard: Yeah because you know in ten years they'd all have to be replaced and with I mean you're we're all gonna die anyway but Invisalign Invisalign is a lot more conservative than veneers I mean there's no questions there and so yeah bill was an amazing cosmetic revolution so of all the things I mean I mean you could have gone anywhere you could have got any pay you wanted you you could have you could have made your own destiny why Prisyna where did that come from and how did that come along after I mean basically you did everything and then you decided you were gonna go to Prisyna and so what was that about on your journey?

Leo: First of all you're my you're officially now my agent now after that intro because you just said some good things about appreciate.

Howard: Ya we already know it.

Leo: So it's Prisyna by the way and it's and the way you said it is the way most people say it unfortunately and Prisyna the attractiveness for percenter was that this is very it was very similar to what went on in my head when I went to Sonendo and let me explain the this is Sonendo was a company with incredible technology and and in their case some pretty significant funding as well that incredible technology backed by some really really just unbelievably brilliant people that wanted to change the way endodontics were performed was performed they want to change the game and and they believed in it you know wholeheartedly and just I mean it just to the most incredibly intense effect and and I appreciated that because I'm a product guy I loved launching products and launching brands and love getting into the conversation and saying no this is different whatever you've seen before this is different than what you've seen before let me tell you why I just enjoy that and I'd love building things and so along comes Prisyna and Prisyna is a is actually the oral healthcare division of a parent company called Synedgen and in some of the names that I'm gonna share with you you're gonna see you're going to hear an S yn right there's an S yn in there and so the parent company is Synedgen and Synedgen developed a line of molecules intellectually you know IP protected innovative multinational patent molecules that are based on a naturally derived science with things that are found in nature and and the story behind Synedgen is fascinating because the founders one is a is a PhD research scientist that was at one of the most highly acclaimed schools the Claremont Colleges in just outside of LA here and and the other founder was a medical doctor in the in the military.

Howard: So you're talking about Shenda Baker

Loe: That's right doctor Shenda Baker

Howard: and then the other one is Marine Sudha?

Leo: No the other the other founder is Dr. Bill Weismann and he's the medical doctor and he did his time in the military and and came up with an idea to use the sort of the early beginnings of this molecule in a wound care product that the FDA approved nearly overnight and I'm almost not exaggerating when I say that and he developed this technology that involves really two things one is arginine and the other is chitosan and people usually know what arginine is an amino acid found in nature right but people don't generally know what chitosan, chitosan is a naturally found biopolymer it's actually the second most abundant biopolymer found in the face of the earth it can be derived from a variety of sources we actually happen to derive are chitosan from the shells of shrimp actually no because stationed the shrimp so you have chitosan and then we derive chitosan we take the chitosan and we merge it in a reactor with with arginine and that creates a new molecule that does a number of very interesting things to the mucosal surface. So I'm going to back up a minute Synedgen is taking this molecule and applying it's horsepower it's prowess in a variety of medical verticals and so Synedgen has formulations that are being applied in cystic fibrosis in wound care in GI treatment in nasal and there's even a contemplation are on ocular so wherever mucosal surfaces would benefit from this science Synedgen has an answer for it so what does it do so that the molecule does the following the chitosan brings moisture to the mucosal surface and it does a beautiful job of keeping that surface clean chitosan has been studied for almost well at least a hundred years now and is widely known in other industries as an anti-inflammatory as antibacterial and it's also known for its ability to grab on or what they say aggregate impurities so that you can pull them away this is why chitosan is used in wine making it's used in water treatment it's used in pesticides as a naturally derived pesticide it's used in you can even get chitosan infused athletic wear now there's more than one company that sells chitosan infused athletic wear and it's because chitosans natural ability to pull away and wick away bacteria and and impurities.

Howard: Okay I'd like to buy a vowel

Leo: Okay buy a vowel, go.

Howard: I am guessing that that's the product i'm guessing now at the product chitotek was named after chitosan.

Leo: chitotech after chitosan

Howard: Did I win what's behind door number two?

Leo: You got to say it at least ten times like my mother used to say you use it 10 times in a sentence before it's really yours.

Howaraad: So chitotek is named after chitosan which is a linear polysaccharide composed of glucosamine and

Leo: That's exactly right and Synedgen...

 Howard: I tell ya I did not make that connection.

Leo: Yeah know it's you know and so you are you are seeing firsthand right you're experiencing in our viewers are experiencing in real time the challenge is associated with marketing such wickedly effective science with some of the most challenging nomenclature out there and so perhaps that was part of the enticement for me to join the organization but to get back to your original question is why did I do this I did this because I this technology the science is real science these founders are real innovators and this chemistry it can make a significant difference in the oral healthcare space we have and I'll tell you what tip me over can I tell you story?

Howard: Yeah

Leo: Alright so I'll tell you what tipped me over on this I was in the middle of interviewing with the company and the CEO shared with me an email that she received from from a patient from a consumer right but this person was a patient because he had suffered greatly from chemotherapy and radiation treatment because of the cancer that he had so he described in painstaking detail his morning regimen of getting up and trying to obtain moisture in the mouth and he described a regimen that took him from 6:30 in the morning till about 10 o'clock in the morning to be able to get enough moisture in his mouth so that he could you know drink and eat food and he as he wrote in this in this email he said I was literally and I was and it was it was an emotional thing to read that I was literally at a point where I was contemplating that I really just didn't want to live anymore because if this was my morning every morning I didn't want to live anymore and then remarkably he was chosen as one of the patients in our 57 patient study with Joel Epstein and Tina Pappas Cristina Pappas from tusk and and and he immediately found relief in the product and he took it upon himself to write our CEO and tell us that whole story that I just described to you and put me over the top when I realized okay this is something that this is how acute and how horrible xerostomia can become because of variety of circumstances it can become this way because the medications were on it can become this way because of an autoimmune disease it can become this way because of age but it can also become this way because of the treatments that are associated with cancer and the medications so see where that damage that all the cancer can do and this guy was at his end he was at his end and serendipity would have it he was in the study and he has relief and I talked to this guy from time to time I introduced myself after I got to the company and told him who I was and I talked to him from time to time just to see how he's doing and he is experiencing a completely different life because he is using a product that gives him the relief he needs and I think for me that was a tipping point and that we burn 15 minutes with the answer in that question but I think it's a good story.

Howard: I need to ask a question first of all that it is a great story and I wish dentists would focus on other things like complete quarter complete tooth loss and suicide I mean you walk up to any girl and say if you lost all your teeth would be no big deal or you cry or do you be sad and they're like oh my god they'd be mortified and then I'd say okay well let's say tomorrow morning you woke up and you had no teeth and your hair look just like mine you'd lost all your teeth and all your hair what would you do half the girl say I'd kill myself and it's always challenged my self-esteem to know that girls think about looking like me the first thought they have is they'd kill themself but but it's a serious deal and when these dentists are time at all on four for fifty thousand well why don't why don't you tell me how many girls in your zip code killed themselves when they lost all their teeth got a denture couldn't talk slip and slide and didn't want to be there but you but when you were saying about chitotech?

Leo: Chitotech

Howard: Named after chitosan and probably saccharide made by treating titan shells of shrimp and other crustaceans with alkaline substance like sodium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide caustic so it's like soap I mean is that a big part of it is right?

Leo: No what you've described is the process between taking you know chitin and synthesizing to chitosan and we get the chitosan and a highly purified fashion and then we put it through our own purification process and to give you an example when we get the chitosan in it looks a certain way it looks pure it looks clean and then we put it through a purification process and there's a byproduct that comes off of that purification process and like in a jar and it's and it's you know it's got some it's got some color to it that's we remove that and so the the chitosan that we're using is several steps removed from whatever process is required to get it to chitosan in the first place and then it's you know also several steps removed from the meat of the shell or the meat of the shrimp which is typically what causes the shellfish allergies and so we're pretty far removed from all of that by the time we are done with it and we're ready to to merge this with arginine it's a highly purified.

Howard: but i always talk about is it like a sodium hydroxide though is that the active ingredient not really?

Leo: No

Howard: Okay and is and so the whole company Prisyna

Leo: Prisyna

Howard: I'm Catholic so I'll just remember sin Prisyna that's an easy way is Prisyna and Moisyn and they're both for xerostomia so is that there's a whole company aimed at xerostomia?

Leo: So the name our company name is Prisyna, Moisyn is our dry mouth product specifically that's our product for dry mouth relief we do have two daily mouthwashes that use a slightly lower concentration of chitotek and those products are called Synedent and Synedent FLX and FLX is the one that has fluoride but those both of those products.

Howard: I thought well I thought that meant flow but it meant fluoride.

Leo: Yep that's our fluoride rinse we use the chitotech in all of those products at varying concentrations and of course the moisyn the dry mouth progress is available in a rinse as well as a spray it spray is convenient obviously for on-the-go or if you're she need a spritz you and keep it by the bedside things like that but all of the products...

Howard: So the companies Prisyna and they make moisyn and Synedent

Leo: That's right

Howard: Okay I'm not the quickest boy in the school but I finally got it so Prisyna makes Moisyn and Synedent.

Leo: That's right

Howard: Synedent sound like synonyms, anything there?

Leo: No SYN comes in because of the parent company Syndegen and the full disclosure the naming convention on those products was established before I arrived and I didn't see enough reason to change it so and so there we are but I think you picked up on it faster than a lot of people do so I appreciate the work through.

Howard: and what I love the most about this show what's the most challenging is you know if you're listening send me an email Howard@dentaltowntown.com put the comments in the YouTube. My own mother says I have a face for radio and podcasts and not YouTube so you choose wise there but most of my listeners they're still in dental kindergarten school there they haven't even got their license to harm people yet and so they might not have seen a xerostomia patient how what do they put in their mind are these little old ladies at nursing homes or these grandmas and grandpas, who are these people?

Loe: Thats part of the ecosystem that includes xerostomia yeah absolutely you know as we age we produce we have a we have a dry mouth right and as we issues no question about it and that's a best certainly a large population associated with xerostomia but the larger population associated with xerostomia and this is why the market attractiveness of a dry mouth product is so is so so high is that there's over a thousand medications that are associated with creating dry mouth and some of these medications you take all the time and some you take once in a while and so that actually if you were to look at a chart that would be the high bar on the chart on the graph right that'd be the high bar on the graph would be medications that cause dry mouth and mean anything with histamine in it is is a is a big contributor to dry mouth but there's so many others many of the antidepressant drugs that are out there now cause dry mouth a lot of the treatments a lot of the things a lot of the post cancer treatment protocols you know result in dry mouth or either through the through that or through the procedures that went through or the damage that occurred and then of course you have autoimmune diseases as well. We did for awhile we partnered with Sjogren's foundation you know Sjogren's is an autoimmune disease that affects as many as four million people or more in the US alone and it presents itself initially very often with extreme dryness dry skin dry eyes dry mouth and they are suffering greatly those people are suffering greatly to some extent depending on their condition their their level of their condition and they are constantly looking for relief I attended a meeting last year it's Sjogren's earlier this year the children's annually that and a woman came up to me and she could not speak because her mouth was so dry and things were tongue was attaching to her mouth and she was trying to tell us that she needed something right then and there so she could go eat lunch so we gave her some samples she went to the bathroom she rinsed she came back out she was you know obviously happy over the fact that we were able to give her relief immediately so she could go eat but but yeah the high bar on the Pareto chart no question is medications and then you have cancer community you have autoimmune diseases you have old age all of those things contribute to xerostomia and how do they identify it well certainly the hygienists which is where we've been spending a lot of our time in the in the in this first year of launched with Moisyn the hygiene community sees it every day and and and they have some general recommendations that they fall into as you might imagine around suggesting certain products for patients but but the hygienists are hungry I mean just passionately hungry for new options around dry mouth relief because generally what they found and I hear this in literally every day whether I talk to a hygienist or I see it in an email and I'm not exaggerating when I say hear it every day that they are looking for something better than what they're recommending now and I think that's been a large component of our initial success is being able to give them something that they haven't seen before something that's different, it's a very naturally derived formula we don't have anything in there that we shouldn't have in there there's no artificial colors there's no you know there's no chlorines there's no sulfates there's no castor oils there's no none of that stuff and all those things I just said you can find another dry mouth products you can find out other oral rinses and I don't know why I don't know why but they're there and we don't have that and so the need is huge it comes from a variety of vectors and there's you know a lot of runway for this and I think this is only going to grow you know dry mouth conditions are only going to grow as more and more medications present themselves and as that we identify more directly what some of these autoimmune diseases are doing as well.

Howard: You know one of the things that blows my mind is is if you don't if you so many things that you say you're just obvious that you just get rejected for like like a lot of Americans now think healthcare should be free okay health care is the third leading cause of death it kills two hundred and fifty thousand people a year John Hopkins just came out with a report that said for that said four hundred and forty thousand Americans die each year in the hospital system medical errors are the third leading cause of death of heart disease and then you're sitting there talking about polypharmacy which refers to the use of a large number of medications commonly considered to be the use of five or more these polypharmacy is a consequence of having a but so by the time you take five prescription medications at the same time you're probably gonna be a lot worse off than before and if you go to a damn hospital I don't know it'll just kill four hundred and forty thousand Americans this year and then but didn't you go to Dennis some of my very good friends and by that I mean they have drinking problems and after every root canal they'll give a scrip nvk and I'll say though that you're 80% of prescriptions are not necessary and you're part of the problem like I don't even care I'm just covering my ass I don't say blah blah but my gosh it's like this this health care system I mean could you imagine thinking if it kills 440,000 friends you think health care to be free will why were cigarettes free...

Leo: I bet you won a lot of, did you win a lot of debates were you on the debate club?

Howard: I was and my I actually all my debates her at home because my two oldest sisters went straight into the nunnery after I in fact when you said Raymond Burrlody did you know my sister and his sis my sister and his wife used to be in this exact same voice turd Carmelite monastery yeah they're both nuns of the same order that goes back like eight million years I think it goes back and years but but yeah those religious debates were were very very fun and and it's not that I like to debate it just like when you tell me that you're composites lasts as long as amalgams you're I hope you're drinking I you know I hope you have a doctor's reason for saying something that asinine because when the insurance companies say well if you look at a hundred million posterior composites the amalgams lasts somewhere between twenty and thirty eight years and the white plastic inert ones last six and a half and then you look me in the eyes and say mine was longer well no they don't you're actually just nuts and by the time you're on five prescriptions you're killing people and what you just said this whole xerostomia thing is because it's probably gonna be a really huge market in America where we have the most insane health care system where every senior citizens on five or more prescriptions and four hundred and forty thousand Americans get eaten alive in a hospital from a death that they from a prop something they didn't have wrong when they walked in it like say they say the number one cause is actually medical errors is the third leading cause of death and third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer I mean you always see these these were walks in the park for breast cancer where's the walk in the part for the IT department and that they can't enter a prescription right that kills four hundred and fourty can we can we have up not what color of ribbon should that be you know like you know it's just crazy but I imagine you are gonna hit a home run if you're selling something that treats xerostomia which is for the most part in this country caused by polypharmacy.

Leo: Yeah no it is, it absolutely is powered and I know the thing the thing is is that it's it's bigger than that you know if you if people knew what happened to a mouth when it becomes dry and it sounds so silly right what we're talking about right now but the fact of the matter is people know people knew what happens in the mouth when the mouth becomes dry it's a cascade of events that are can be nightmarish if it's left unchecked and it doesn't take long for some people for some people it takes longer and based on their physiology but the fact of the matter is is it you know if you don't have that normal salivary flow then you are going to have some problems and they're gonna be you're gonna be cavities they're gonna fill with them that with tooth colored restoratives and only last six years and then there's going to be your periodontal issues and those things can progress as you know if they're left untreated and and and then there's the aspect of being able to keep just to keep the mouth clean and keep it fresh one of the things that one of the advanced that we went to was cancer event run by this cancer group called stupid cancer and it was cancer con and there were hundreds of people there and I talked to it was it's a group it's an association is designed to attract younger the cancer sufferers and it was more like a celebration than it was anything else which is the idea behind their group which is to you know you feel like it's okay that you have cancer don't hide in the shadows it's okay come on out well I'll talk about it and figure it out together that's the idea behind their their association I'm not doing them justice right now but the fact of the matter is is that it was almost a it was a jubilant environment in but I talked to so many people that when I explain to them what our technology does and how it does it a naturally derived way they said to me they said I wish I had known about this when I was going through chemo because what happens to the mouth right it's just really a shame.

Howard: You got Joel B Epstein DMD MSD FRCD I mean the guy is a certified specialist in oral medicine from the most prestigious hospitals all the way up the west coast from San Diego cedars-sinai all the way to Vancouver Canada my god you should get that guy to do an online CE course. Did you know my homies idea if you're not a dentist you're trying to sell them something and I'm like oh so so you're a volunteer dentist and a public health clinic no no III have a CAD CAM and I sell veneers okay so you sell something and it's good but you know but my buddy he sells something and now and now son Leo he's just a Salesman but you're you're a sacred dentist but that's how my homies think I would get well first of all how did you meet how do you get Joel to get on this day I mean he is got to be the most credentialed smartest that guys I mean my god I could read about him all day long I mean...

Leo: Yeah he's remarkable and the network so he's one of the he was one of the advisers to Syndegen and has has a connection with both of our founders the two individuals that I spoke of earlier and and and had such a strong interest in this science and the capabilities that it presented that I think it became you know almost a fait of complete that they would do he would do some research around our dry mouth product I think primarily because he just knew that the results would be it would be significant and in fact they were you look at our website you have a couple of extracts from that study that he did on our dry mouth product and you know you're seeing things like a hundred percent improvement in resting saliva you're seeing you know 80 plus percent satisfaction and increase in moisture and happiness you see another interesting data point thirty percent decrease in pain associated with sleep and that's a significant one right because if you think about all the tendrils associated with good health you know sleep is certainly one of them and and sleeps a big topic of course in dentistry these days due to media of course but but the other issue was the pain associated with with sleeping and trying to sleep through pain mouth pain from xerostomia or oral lesions or whatever and and so that we thought that was a significant data point as well and so we call that out we call that out as a key takeaway from the study but Joel has been advising the organization of Syndegen for quite a while just from standpoint of you know here's here's what research I think we could do to to showcase the product he's not you know it's not anything other than his interest as a researcher of course and and and fortunately the results have spoken for themselves and we've been fortunate to have his name on there's no question about it question about it. We do get great support from the community though you know the Hygiene community has a remarkable network of thought leaders you had someone on your program not too long ago Jill Meyer Lippert from side effect support right and she's really doing some wonderful things out there she's incredibly active in the community from an educational standpoint and she's then she does offer products that are specifically around patients who are suffering for cancer from cancer and she does a beautiful job I think representing not only the companies that she's working with but also does it through the does the right way right she talked about treatment she talks about the patients she talks about the practitioners and then all of that the products that she supports comes through from that in a genuine way and she you know one of the most genuine people I've ever met again you had her on the show recently and she's I think of shining light in the space there's a number of people that hadn't thought leadership that are that are very you know unbiased in their opinions about certain things and I think you see that with hygiene maybe more than I saw in in some of my other lives but you know the hygiene space seems to be very very much about let's talk about what's working let's talk about what's not let's talk about what's out there what are our options let's try this and then I enjoy that I enjoy that immensely I think that's healthy.

Howard: Do you spend any time with Dr. Shenda Baker?

Leo: Well yes I do, absolutely.

Howard: I want to go drink with that woman she's got a doctorate in chemistry French and religion that's a party right there I mean I want to eat a cheeseburger and and do shots with someone who has a PhD in chemistry French and religion that is that is out there those are three things that don't go together.

Leo: I will tell you it's a fantastic combination because she would blow your mind she's she is a passionate guy especially when it comes to things I believe in or when I think I've been wrong you know no one is is a more comprehensive advocate for the science and no one I've ever seen can present the science in such a beautifully articulate fashion and be able to do it still it into layman's terms as well and then she can just dial that up into you know PhD speak in anyone's level.

Howard: She's a PhD in chemistry probably did the rush just for curiosity but William Weismann is an MD and he's he's a neuro guy was what was his neurology fellowship did that did that leave him in I mean he's also the NIH but what where did that MD get interested in xerostomia?

Leo: Well so the line for bill right the line for Bill and Shenda was is they came from you know she came from obviously from academics he came from the in the medical space he was a medical doctor in the Army and and he worked in the field of battle and so his original the original thought was finding ways to utilize the chitosan based wound dressing to save these saved soldiers in the and with acute trauma and that proved out and as I said admitted earlier that the FDA fast-tracked the approval of that so that they could start using that in the field of battle I'm giving you a very high-level summary and I'm sure I'm skipping a few steps along the way but when he and Shenda then got together and started developing molecules then that's when they realized that they had the capability to greatly in a very naturally derived way greatly affect a positive impact on mucosal surfaces so while I'm sitting here today talking to you about Prisyna and I always commercialized Moisyn for dry mouth there are Congress is going on within a variety of medical verticals around how our molecules can positively affect other mucosal surfaces within the body and that's the strength behind the chemistry is that it can be purposed across a variety of medical activities. We have a company called Synspira that has been spun off that's a cystic fibrosis so that molecule has manifested itself in an assisted fibrosis treatment I think they're on their secondary level now clinical trials to to validate that science around treating of cystic fibrosis as I mentioned we can affect GI the environment in a positive fashion nasal, ocular there's a lot of applications for the for the science and they're all at different stages right now.

Howard: Well you know what I wish you do for man and by the way I wanna say one thing last time I can't believe went over an hour and we're done but I am I tell you what that when I started dentaltown I own dentist town it was 1998 you could buy any domain and my gosh I didn't what dental I didn't want dentist town because again if the guy is at Danaher and Kerr and Prisyna if you don't know what if all the dentists are saying man why do they make it blue it needs to be red well you need to know that more than anybody I'm just bitching to my homies you need to be in on the conversation because you're the guy that's making it and I told those dentists at the start and then so I called it dentaltown and I said if you work full time in dentistry I want you on dentaltown and all the dentist they did they thought it they thought it they're like well that guy's selling something dude you sell something and then on the cover dental town I had to stop it but when I was little with me and my five sisters I'm when we go on vacations we'd always drive to a big old amusement park theme park we drove all that Disneyland Disneyworld but along the way we'd always stop it where they made something like we watched our family car be made in Detroit and then bought it that's the assembly line night my dad I've seen Budweiser Coors was one of the neatest in Denver because and adolph coors by the way that guy's name was Adolph Coors and after World War two Adolph was a very popular name so all that like the manufacturer of Adi Das his name was Adolf dass and he made Adolf tennis shoes but Adolf Hitler ruined that name so after or two he dropped it from Adolf to his nickname Adi dass and Americans call it adidas but it's Adidas and so Adolph curves went in his quarters but he made his own bottles and so he had a whole bottle department so of course he hired the smartest chemist and they made the first dental porcelains that were infused on porcelain for crown and bridge were made but anyway I love doing that stuff so on the cover dentaltown I would always put a guy like you on the cover making the stuff that we use that makes us look greater patients and the dentists for from 94 til yesterday they reject it some guy on the cover selling stuff Oh dentists oh you're a dentist guess what there's two million other dentists you know many guys have started it then I'll come it's like when people say the gum who's that guy with that Tesla Elon Musk well he's crazy dude only twenty people on earth have started a car company okay yeah we already know they're not normal you're normal but not the guys you start car companies okay so yeah and I wish I could go back putting an amazing like on day one vacation I took my four boys to Oregon where Kent Austin he just passed away and his wife Joanne and we spent the whole day watching at one end they're bringing in pallets of leather and beads and pallets and at the other end is an Adeck chair yeah cool is that in a town of 10,000 and if you go to try to put ken and Joanne Austin who are both dead on the cover people that are trying to sell something no their dead.

Leo: They're actually good stories.

Howard: Right now and the dentist can't hear so what all this was a prep to tell you I'm sorry Leo but you sell something but if I go on to die I mean I'm smart enough

Leo: Does this mean I can't get on the cover?

Howard: Oh my I would put you on the cover and my own staff won't let me because they'll get all the hate mail but if you go and type in dry and see the reason we use message board I mean social media is first in last out it's all just for entertainment but if you go to John Hopkins if you go to Mayo Clinic if you go to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory which I have on all these places they only use a message board format because all the posts are organized or catalog we have 50 forms if I type in dry mouth every post that's ever been on dry mouth is deal and it's five pages of threads that just start with dry mouth dry mouth therapies dealing with dry mouth dry mouth is crap dry mouth woes dry mouth prescription dry mouth what do you do with dry mouth patients and does electro-stimulation work on xerostomia it just goes on and on and on but if you go answer those questions they'll say oh my god Pete he's trying to sell something he needs to be caught and arrested but man if you could get someone like Joel Epstean to go on there for an hour - and answer these guys questions I mean I mean cuz they'll love Joel because he's got 48 initials after his name and that's the whole deal in dentistry as long as you got at least half the alphabet behind your name but man if you can get Joel in fact tell Joel anytime he wants to come on the show I wish he'd go on there and talk about xerostomia and also to remember that when they're answering those questions I mean Joel's got to be he's got to be as old as I am and he's got to be reminded that a quarter of them kids are still in dental kindergarten school so tame it down just a little but you are an amazing man Leo well I'm a legend in my own mind but you're a legend in my mind and until tell Shenda that i want to do an episode of her has nothing to it anything but how someone gets a PhD in chemistry French and religion those are just what member invests are not on Sesame Street one of these things they don't go with the other tell her religion French and chemistry that's I can only imagine that as some kind of soup in uh in the French quarters what do they call it goomba gumbo...

Leo: Lumbo

Howard: Gumbo it's got to be a dish.

Leo: You know you might show up at your door one day she would be the best interview you'd ever have I guarantee it she is unbelievably engaging and brilliant and friendly and educational all at once she's a really an amazing person.

Howard: Yeah and so you dentist out there this is an amazing product by amazing people and I and I have no connection did you pay me a dollar to come on the show?

Leo: No sir

Howard: Yeah there's no money changing hands and the the one that really got me the most on this that just that it was involved with Joel Epstein and then you who have hit somebody but just remember dentist you are part of this problem too that polypharmacy problem if you're one of my homies out there given a prescriptive Pen VK vicodin after every damn root canal and every damn wisdom tooth come on there's 1 million MDs but there's two hundred and eleven thousand dentists licensed to practice dentistry in America day one dentistry is only 5% of the healthcare budget that's true but when you just look at bodies there's a million MDs and there's 200,000 dentists and you guys when you look at the opioid addiction you look at polypharmacy my god dentists are all over those charts so so yeah you need to treat xerostomia because there's guys like you out there handing a prescription every time a patient walks in so knock off the prescriptions they're not they don't do anything for colds they don't anything for herpes and I know why you don't want to talk about herpes because it's a sore subject. So quit writing prescriptions for every root canal an extraction quit being part of the problem of polypharmacy which leads all this xerostomia and then if you do got xerostomia what is the best treatment for it Leo...?

Leo: Yry Moisyn our naturally derived answer to dry mouth release

Howard: and on that note Leo thank you so much for coming on so today and talk to my homies for an hour.

Leo: Thank you so much Howard I really appreciate it.

 

Category: Endodontics, Hygiene
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