Bret W. Wise, Chairman & CEO
Jim Mosch, Exec. VP & Group President of Dentsply Implants
Scott Root, President of Dentsply Implants, North America
James P. McNulty, VP, Global Supply Chain
Charles K. Pigott, VP, Quality and Regulatory Affairs
No. of Employees: 11,900
Global Headquarters: York, Pa
We’ve all heard the old saying “Put your money where your mouth is.” In the case of Dentsply Inc., it’s more like they’ve put their money where your mouth is. And indeed after a successful year like fiscal 2012, they’ve put quite a bit [of money, that is] in their pockets, too. The York, Pa.-based provider of dental supplies, implants and related equipment had a busy year. The big news for fiscal 2012 was the formation of a new dental implants unit that included the company’s existing implant technology business (called Friadent) with assets of Sweden-based Astra Tech AB, the dental unit of drug giant AstraZeneca. Dentsply acquired the company in August 2011 for $1.8 billion, and claims the purchase makes it the third-largest maker of dental implants. The new division, called Dentsply Implants, began selling in North America under that brand name in April 2012. The new company’s portfolio includes patient-specific implants, bone regenerative products, 3-D virtual surgical planning and surgical guides.
Dentsply officials expect the global dental market to grow in the low- to mid-single-digit range within the next few years, with a faster pace of growth in developing markets. Sector analysts have predicted that domestic growth may accelerate more than forecast as job growth improves in developed markets.
Dentsply’s specialty businesses—orthodontic, endodontic (instruments and systems) and implants—have grown from $700 million in 2006 to $1.3 billion in 2012 and account for approximately 48 percent of the company’s sales. The firm’s leadership attributes the increase to new product innovation, strategic acquisitions and “substantial” investments in clinical research and education. Prosthetic procedures were perhaps hardest hit by the global recession in 2009 and have been the slowest to recover, according to Dentsply executives and industry analysts. In particular, Beyond dental, consumable medical devices represent approximately 13 percent of the firm’s global sales. This division comprises consumables-based urology devices and catheters, surgical instruments, respiratory products and disposable surgical instruments. The business was rebranded in 2012 as Wellspect HealthCare from Astra Tech HealthCare, added in 2011 following the Astra Tech acquisition.
Dentsply’s consumables products division (dental supplies and small equipment used in dental offices for patient treatment) accounted for 28 percent of sales and dental lab products (used in the preparation of dental appliances by dental laboratories) were 11 percent of sales. Overall, net sales for 2012 (ended Dec. 31) were $2.9 billion, a 15.4 percent increase. Net income for the fiscal year was a record for the company at $314.2 million, or $2.18 per diluted share, compared with $244.5 million, or $1.70 per diluted share for 2011. Worldwide, organic growth accounted for 4 percent of sales increases in 2012. Acquisitions accounted for about 16.2 percent of growth. Excluding precious metal content, net sales by division were as follows (the sector breakdowns are how Dentsply reports its divisions’ performance): Dental Consumable and Laboratory Businesses sales were $792 million, a drop of 0.3 percent; sales for Orthodontics/Canada/Mexico/Japan increased 2.9 percent to $298 million; sales from Select Distribution Businesses dropped 1.3 percent to $288 million; and sales for the Implants/Endodontics/Healthcare/Pacific Rim sector were $1.34 billion, an increase of 39.4 percent.
Though the overall financial picture was mostly rosy for the company, little progress was made regarding a protracted legal scuffle. In September, a Pennsylvania federal judge refused to dismiss a putative class action accusing Dentsply of providing dental practices with faulty Cavitron ultrasonic teeth-cleaning tools, clearing the way for the case to proceed in the wake of the dismissal in 2011 of a related suit. Dentsply had argued in the motion for dismissal or summary judgment it filed in March 2010, roughly a month after periodontist plaintiffs filed suit, that the complaint should be dismissed because it duplicated litigation in another case filed in 2006. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania, alleges that the company failed to inform customers that the Cavitron system required an aseptic water source to prevent the biofilm growth within the device. “Beginning with the 2006 Cavitron models, Dentsply changed its instructions for the Cavitron, stating that Cavitrons should not be used where asepsis (the state of being free of pathogenic microorganisms) is required. It recommended, but did not require, the use of a bleach, sodium hypochlorite, in flushing the system periodically, which could only be accomplished by the purchase and use of additional equipment from Dentsply or another manufacturer,” according to court documents. “Dentsply did not, however, change its instructions or warnings to state that Cavitrons should not be connected to a public water system, and did not provide any warnings concerning the dangers of biofilm formation, its accumulation within the Cavitron’s internal and concealed waterlines, and the contamination of dental treatment water from bacterial pathogens in the biofilm.”
Dentsply has facilities throughout the United States, Belgium, Brazil, China, France, German, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Puerto Rico, Sweden and Switzerland. Of the nearly 12,000 employees, nearly 3,500 are U.S. employees, while roughly 8,400 people work for the company at international locales.