Forum Tec wins FDA approval for dental implant device

Forum Tec founders Photo: Shlomi Yosef

The new device called Implant Spotter locates existing implants for dentists.

Israeli dental technology company Forum Tec has received marketing approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a new dental device for reducing pain and expediting recovery from dental implants. The company predicts that it will reach $300 million in revenue in the US market within a year.

This is just a prediction, but Forum Tec is in a better position to make forecasts than other companies with medical devices reaching the market, because its device is not its first launched product. Forum Tec already sells various products making it easier for dentists to conduct root canals and dental implants precisely. The veteran company already has tens of millions of shekels in revenue and sells its products in 140 countries through both direct and indirect marketing.

The new device developed by Forum Tec, called Implant Spotter locates existing implants for dentists. Locating implants is part of the process of implanting the tooth. First, the implant is put in place of the extracted root. The gums are then allowed to heal, after which the crown is assembled on the implant (the implant simulates the root and the crown simulates the tooth), which requires exposure of the implant.

Forum Tec's product looks like a digital pen that transmits electromagnetic waves that change when they pass near metal. The change in the waves is received by the device, which beeps and alerts the dentist when it is precisely over the implant. The implant can thus be assembled on the implant after only a small hole is made, without making a major cut in the gums. The company says that this method reduces the pain caused by the treatment and accelerates healing.

Forum Tec CEO Sari Gur says, "The company is now working on additional developments in implants."

Forum Tec is a private company founded in 1987 by three engineers: Michael Jacoby, Samuel Averbuch, and Michael Minilo. In contrast to Alpha-Bio Tec, MIS Implants Technology, and Paltop Dental, Israeli dental companies that were sold for tens to hundreds of millions of dollars, Forum Tec develops devices for making dental treatment easier, not implants.

In a "Globes" interview, the three company founders said that they were all engineers who had entered the dental field at the request of a friend who was a dental technician. After the friend asked them to require several devices, they got the ideal of devising engineering solutions that could significantly improve these devices. Their breakthrough came from marketing to the disintegrating Soviet Union, where dental treatment was just getting started and there was no competition. The company later expanded to many other countries.

Among the company's products are a device that measures the depth of the tooth's canal in order to help root canal treatments and a computerized heater to burn ceramics to make it easier to prepare tooth crowns.

Dental market boom

The dental market in Israel has gained recognition in recent years after years in which Israeli companies in the sector built themselves quietly and persistently. Because of the lack of interest in the field in the 1990s and early 2000s, these companies did not receive venture capital money, did not hold IPOs, and were not merged into international companies; they were built gradually through their sales, just like an entirely conventional sector. The rewards have been reaped for the past decade.

After Alpha-Bio Tec was sold to Nobel Biocare in late 2008 for $95 million, Karmiel-based MIS was acquired by Dentsply for $375 million. These two deals attracted the attention of medical device investment fund Accelmed, founded and managed by Dr. Uri Geiger and Mori Arkin, to the dental market in Israel. With the help of Poalim Capital Markets, the fund mapped the market. Accelmed eventually acquired Keystone Dental, a US company, and merged it with dental implant companies Paltop, controlled by the Topaz family. The merged company has a sales turnover of $75-80 million and also operates in the US market. Among the other companies mapped are Adin Dental Implant Systems, ARDS Implants, AB Dental, Cortex Dental Implants Industry, and TAG Dental.

Founded: 1987

Sector: Development of devices for improving dental procedures

Founders: Michael Jacoby, Samuel Averbuch, Michael Minilo

CEO: Sari Gur

Capital: Self-financed

Employees: 40 in Ashekon

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 10, 2019

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019

Forum Tec founders Photo: Shlomi Yosef
Forum Tec founders Photo: Shlomi Yosef
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