SFA (Small Firms Association) National Business Awards for Innovation 2021
Today we are excited to be in the finals of the Irish SFA Awards ( Small Firms Association ), for Innovation.
How did DentalOrg came about initially?
Our initial project was born out of the need to find a new solution to an old problem.
The drill bits a dentist uses are called “Burs”. They are a critical instrument used by every dentist.
Existing bur stands available held the array of dental drill bits the dentist uses in almost every restorative procedure and had not at any advancements in design in many years. Some were plastic and not sterilisable, some were metal and had “open lids” that would only hold some of the drill bits which come in two different diameters.
We set ourselves to design a new burstand that would hold any diameter bur in any order in a new non-magnetic silicone base that would fit any diameter drill bit in any order that would allow the dentist to organise and sterilise the vast array of burs that a dentist uses in the order they want, without magnetising the drill bits.
We developed the BurButler with a clear autoclavable lid (which had not been done before) that would protect the contents against aerosol in the dental surgery, with a choice of colours and sizes to give a colour coded solution to give efficiency and systematic management of all the burs in a practice, saving time and improving cross infection control.
What sort of challenges did the company face in the beginning?
We were a small family company with a new idea, in a profession and industry that is dictated by large international companies that dictate the culture of the profession and have matching budgets for marketing and production. We launched our first product, the BurButler at the worlds biannual trade conference in Cologne to 140,000 dentists.
We were a small fish in a big pond.
Learning the new roles of designing, manufacturing, marketing and compliance with limited resources and finance was always going to be a challenge but we believed in our idea and our products and knew we had a solution to a problem every dentist in the world faces every day. We persisted, we spread the word, we developed new ideas, we endured.
As our products were recognised by leading clinicians worldwide, we were able to create a network of distributors in 14 countries including Australia, Japan, S Korea,USA, the Middle East, several European countries and even in Columbia.
What sort of products and services do DentalOrg provide?
Following our success with the BurButler, we developed further organisational products to make the dentists day to day procedures simpler, safer and more efficient.
The BlockButler. This was the world’s first solution to Organise and stock control the growing variety of the porcelain blocks in the new era of Digital Dentistry that allow a dentist to make one visit crowns, fillings, bridges implant restorations and veneers into size , colour, materials and manufacturers. These blocks allow a dentist to match the natural tooth structure to mimic natural teeth with high grade porcelain restorations from digital images, designed by your dentist and “milled” or cut and fitted to 25 micron accuracy.
The EndoButler again is a new concept to allow the dentist to measure, to pre-organise and to pre-sterilise all the precision files he needs to complete the complex and demanding procedures involved with a root canal treatment. This organisation just makes the dentist’s task that more predictable, simple and safe.
The LaminateButler is again a silicon “tray” to organise the delivery of all the components required to assist and simplify the delivery and fitting of crowns, veneers and implants on a sterile surface and a logical and simple manner.
We also have a newly patented silicon product called the VisionButler in later stages of development to comfortably “retract” or hold the lips out of the way when the dentist or hygienist is working. This will negate the need for the dentist t pull the lips out of the way while they are working with a patient and see clearly what they need.
How have the company coped with COVID over the past 12 months?
With the pandemic we had to reassess our business like most companies. We could now longer attend international trade conferences to promote our products, support our distributors and find new partners. Dentistry was stalled for nearly three months worldwide and is still only recovering.
We decided to open an online store www.Steriliu.com where dentists in countries we did not have a current distributor could access our dental product range.
This was and is a new learning curve for us but we are now able to market worldwide.
Providing Sterilisation for the Beauty Industry for UK and Ireland
In April we were approached by a Japanese Beauty company who wanted to use our BurButler to organise and sterilise their nail drills. This got us thinking.
On examination we realised that the Beauty and Hairdressing professions in UK and Ireland as a rule only Disinfected or “Sanitised” their instrumentation that they used on consecutive clients.
With the new Covid reality and requirements, for adequate standards of sterilisation should include autoclaving of all instruments in the beauty clinic as if they were a dental practice.
This is the only safe way to proceed that should be acceptable for public safety. disinfection will have to be upgraded to sterilisation.
Disinfection is defined as destruction of many pathogenic and other kinds of microorganisms by physical or chemical means. Disinfection is less effective than sterilization, because it only destroys a percentage of pathogenic microorganisms. Simply reducing the amount of micro-organisms between patients is not enough.
Disinfection does not ensure the degree of safety associated with sterilization processes.
The disinfected instrument is not sterile.
Sterilization: The se of a physical or chemical procedure to destroy all micro-organisms.
Current practice in many beauty clinics has been to disinfect instruments with a variety of proprietary solutions. This is not adequate . UV light, glass bead “sterilisers / sanitizers” , Cleaning solutions are not 100% effective.
With the emphasis on social distancing, it seems prudent that instruments should be sterile and pouched for each individual client
We realised the need for sterility in any health care facility in the future will be up for review, every aspect.
The Covid19 pandemic has highlighted the awareness of clients of all clinics whether medical, dental or any aspect of health or beauty therapy to protect both their employees and clients.
So, with our 40 years of experience in the Dental Industry we have assembled a collection of the technology and instrumentation required for their ease of use, suitability, efficiency, reliability and durability from only the BEST manufacturers.
The demand for adequate standards and competent and effective protocols should be the concern for all service industries. Patient awareness will be a driving force in this change.
Current practices of disinfection should be upgraded to sterilisation.
You're nominated in the Innovator category of the SFA Awards. What do you think is particularly innovative about DentalOrg?
All our dental products we designed are unique, patented and focus on making procedures simple, safe and efficient. We are Irelands ONLY dental manufacturer.
A far as we know we are the first company to try to highlight the discrepancies in the Beauty / Hairdressing professions. In many countries it is mandatory to have the facility to autoclave instrumentation between clients. Here in the UK we believe that customers would prefer this and society would benefit from the increased cross infection of not sharing hairbrushes etch from client to client unless they are STERILE.
How many employees work at DentalOrg and what sort of roles do they have?
Currently we have only two full time employees and engage part time workers as required. As the Online store engages with the world we anticipate engaging more employees full time this year.
Have there been any recent business developments at the company?
The response to the Pandemic to create the online website www.steiriliu.com ( Translates as Sterilisation ) has been a major factor. But we have also reached out to four new partner distributors in Prague, Germany, Bulgaria and Japan.
We have been supported by the Local Enterpise board for our expansion project and the assist in the employment of further staff this year.
We have submitted a procurement bud for the USA government dental services to the Army, Navy, Airforce, Prison Services and Indian reservations to supply one use sterile Bur Procedure sets for the 5000 dentists they employ. If accepted this could mean multiples of 5000 sets of BurButler per day.
Recently the risk of using magnetic bur stand was highlighted in a major Dental Provider in the UK and Ireland. They have banned these magnetic burstands as they magentise the burs which can then stick to the dentists instruments and can be dropped down the patients throat.
With this danger in mind, our non-magnetic BurButler provides a solution that could be used to replace upto 25% of the burstands in the world.
What does being a finalist in the SAFA awards mean to you?
The recognition of fellow innovators is a huge boost to confidence and endorses of efforts to make the day of the dentist and patient safer, simpler and more efficient. We have been so proud to be involved.We would also like to highlight the difference between Disinfection and Sanitisiation verses Sterilisation by an autoclave in the Beauty and Hairdresser industry.
With all the attention, emphasis and importance of social distancing and cross infection control to limit the spread of Covid and save lives, we feel this is a great platform to raise the public awareness and demand for improved standards and client safety.
What are DentalOrg's plans for the future?
We are nearing the completion of the design of the new product, the VisionButler. We believe this is an idea that every dentist and hygienist can use for every procedure every day to make the patient’s appointments comfortable and easy.
We are working with the Major Dental bur suppliers internationally to offer our BurButler as the new standard of Dental Bur storage.