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“Today’s solutions from FKG cater to the very diverse patient and dentist population in the Middle East”

Didier Devaud, CEO at FKG Dentaire. (Image: FKG Dentaire)
Dental Tribune Middle East

Dental Tribune Middle East

Mon. 24 April 2023

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Swiss company FKG Dentaire designs and manufactures endodontic products, working with the best universities in the world to develop innovative solutions. In order to anticipate and respond to the needs of users, the company seeks to be close to its markets and for that reason works with carefully selected distributors all over the world and has training centres in La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland, Oslo in Norway and Dubai. In this interview, Dental Tribune Middle East & Africa speaks with CEO Didier Devaud about the company, its operations in the Middle East and plans for the region, and how it meets the needs of customers in the Middle East.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how it led you to your position as CEO at FKG?
Endodontics has long been a passion for me, both in terms of innovation opportunities and commercial strategy. After leading marketing and clinical operations worldwide for Dentsply Sirona’s endodontics business, I joined FKG two years ago as chief commercial officer and became CEO last November. FKG has always had a strong manufacturing and technology background, designing and manufacturing the most advanced NiTi file systems; however, it has lacked commercial presence and impact. This is the reason for my appointment, considering my background and experience in the field.

Could you explain FKG’s mission and core values and how they guide the company’s operations and decision-making?
FKG’s core values are , and our mission is to make endodontics safe and easy with innovative, high-quality and less invasive solutions. How do we do this? First, we don’t copy, but we aim to come forth with truly novel approaches that preserve the natural tooth anatomy by removing as little dentine as possible while providing enough space for disinfection. We design and manufacture our own machines and processes and perform control quality from the very start to the last . This enables us to stand on our own, and FKG is further differentiated through our minimally invasive designs, cutting-edge products and Swiss quality based on centuries of manufacturing experience originating from the watchmaking industry.

FKG has a reputation for innovation in the dental industry. Would you tell us about some of the recent products or technologies that FKG has introduced?
Recently, we have completed our portfolio with R-Motion, our reciprocation technology that has up to 200%–300% better cyclic fatigue compared with past designs. We also updated our XP-endo Rise product portfolio with a glide path file, shaping file and finishing file, providing a complete minimally invasive solution with a unique faceted tip profile that follows the root canal anatomy while cutting optimally. We also introduced the Rooter X3000—the fastest endodontic motor in the market—which is ideally suited for all endodontic procedures, from glide path creation to retreatment.

What is FKG’s current presence in the Middle East, and what are the company’s plans for expanding its operations in the region?
We currently have our Middle East headquarters in Dubai, where we have offices as well as a state-of-the-art training facility with 20 chairs for training on simple to very advanced endodontic procedures. Since the easing of COVID restrictions, we have been able to restart our training programmes, collaborating with prestigious universities like the University of Birmingham in the UK and some of the best known endodontists in the region.

We have gained substantial business through our partners in the Middle East, notably through government tenders thanks to our quality and education. We are also one of the very few companies solely focused on endodontics, . Our plan is to continue expanding commercially and to enlarge our education by establishing training centres in other countries, for instance in Egypt, where we have a strong partner.

How does FKG tailor its products and services to meet the specific needs and preferences of customers in the Middle East?
Customers in the Middle East are demanding in terms of both product quality and education, as they are core to an evolving profession. The past practices of drilling a big hole in the tooth or spending hours manually accessing and shaping a canal are obsolete. Today’s solutions from FKG cater to the very diverse patient and dentist population in the Middle East who want to preserve teeth. These products are the strongest on the market and won’t fracture inside the canal like copycat designs from me-too companies. FKG also offers continuing education and the clinical evidence to support the benefits of the products we offer. FKG’s TotalFill, for example, has hundreds of studies supporting its use, whereas competing bioceramic sealers have at the most just a few.

Can you discuss any specific goals or targets that FKG has set for its operations in the region over the next few years?
Sure. FKG’s goal globally is to double its sales in the coming five years, and the Middle East is one of the key and largest regions for our company. We aim to more than double our sales in the Middle East establishing new training centres and partnering with new distributors that focus on endodontics and with universities that teach best practices in minimally invasive endodontic treatment.

Looking ahead, what role do you see the Middle East playing in FKG’s overall growth strategy, and how is the company positioning itself to capitalise on opportunities in the region?
The Middle East is one of the regions where we historically established a regional headquarters and training facility and is core to our strategy of expansion. Dentists from all around the world come to the yearly AEEDC Dubai congress and to be trained in our centre in Dubai. We are ideally positioned, having some of the best distribution companies in the region, for which FKG’s portfolio ideally complements their own. We aim to continuously innovate our designs and already have some innovations in the pipeline that will fuel growth in the region for years to come. We are not focused on the short term, but envision success in the long term.

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