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31 Mar 2023 | Australasian Dental Practice

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Stoma instruments showcased at recent ADX exhibition in Melbourne

By Joseph Allbeury

Stoma Instruments are proving popular with dentists and specialists in Australia following Geistlich commencing distribution of the range. We caught up with Markus Braun, Vice President International Sales & Business Development at Stoma, during the recent ADX dental exhibition in Melbourne to hear about the secrets to their success.

Welcome to Australia Markus. Tell us about Stoma instruments - where are they made, where's it based?

Joseph, I greatly appreciate your warm welcome. It's a pleasure to be here in Australia. Stoma / Storz am Mark is a German-based company with its headquarters and factory located in Germany. We take pride in manufacturing approximately 1,700 diverse products at our facility. Storz am Mark produces and sells them worldwide under the brand name stoma®. All our products are made in Germany.

And what was the genesis of the business? How did it start?

The journey of our company began 104 years ago with its founder, Mr Walter Storz. He was a highly innovative individual who started inventing dental instruments for dentists from his own home. He would then ride his bicycle to the dentists' offices, showcasing his products and asking for feedback. This same pioneering spirit and customer-centric approach still define our company's DNA today. The family business is now run in the third generation by the granddaughter of the founder, Tina Storz-Mazzeo.

And how does that work? You're working with clinicians to develop new instruments?

Yes, absolutely. We're very much engaged with our end customers. Our direct sales approach allows us to maintain close contact with dentists across various specialties such as prophylaxis, perio, perio surgery, surgery, implantology and more. We have a wide range of products that cater to these specialised areas. Building strong relationships with our customers is at the core of our company's DNA. Through this engagement, we are able to generate new ideas and develop innovative products in collaboration with our customers.

What would you say are your strengths and which areas of dentistry are you particularly focused on?

We have a clear focus on various key areas, including prophylaxis which is a crucial part of periodontology, perio surgery including microsurgery, as well as a wide range of surgical instruments and implantology. Additionally, we also manufacture bone screws for bone augmentation, known as osteosynthesis. Our expertise in these specialised areas has earned us a reputation as a specialist in dental instruments, covering a wide field of dental applications.

What are some of your key achievements in instrument development?

We hold numerous patents for our products, with a history dating back to the 1930s and 1940s. Many of the current instruments used in dentistry were actually pioneered by Stoma / Storz am Mark, making us the inventor or leader in these products. For example, we have patented bone applicators and micro screws, which are used as bone screws. We also have a cutting-edge product called VST (Vestibular Socket Therapy), which is a highly innovative instrument set with unique features. We have also developed two new noble handle designs for our micro instruments, hy-light® and dark line. These instruments make the user's work easier due to 25% less weight and less reflections under the microscope. Our commitment to developing new and innovative solutions for dentists is evident through our continuous development of new products.

Is there anything unique about your manufacturing process?

Oh yes. As a company, we are not large-scale, so our production process involves a combination of automation and manual work, especially for precise instruments used in microsurgery. Our team consists of skilled individuals with specific expertise in manufacturing such instruments and our 103 years of experience in the field adds to our proficiency. The production process involves various aspects, including the use of high-quality stainless steel sourced from either the US or Germany, stringent quality management practices and validation of processes to ensure compliance.

Additionally, customer engagement is a vital part of our approach as we strive to maintain a high level of quality in our products. It's the collective combination of these factors that form the DNA of our company and the quality that our customers recognise in our products.

Are there well-known dentists you're working with?

We collaborate with renowned dentists such as Professor Anton Sculean and Professor Giovanni Zucchelli, who are internationally recognised experts in periodontology. They choose to work with Stoma because we not only provide innovative products, but also reliable, precise and safe instruments for their clinical needs. Our commitment to delivering high-quality products that meet the expectations of these influential experts is what makes Stoma a trusted and valuable partner in the field of periodontology.

So do these clinicians help develop new instruments?

Indeed. The process of product development at Stoma is not an overnight process. It involves close collaboration with our Member of the Executive Board and Product Designer, Martin Mazzeo, who is the driving force behind our innovative products. Martin initiates contact with Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) in the field and together they exchange ideas and insights. Martin has a unique ability to visualise the product in his mind, which leads to the creation of a prototype. This prototype is then sent to KOLs for clinical use and their feedback is taken into consideration for further modifications and improvements. However, the challenge lies in the regulatory aspects, especially with the current MDRs [(Medical Device Regulations), which have made the process more complex, but we strive to meet all regulatory requirements to bring our innovative products to the market.

Finally, why Stoma and Geistlich?

I appreciate the collaboration between Stoma and Geistlich because we share the same philosophy and mentality. Both companies are considered top-notch in their respective fields, offering high-end products to the best dentists. This collaboration is not just about finding a specific market, but there is potential for much more. It's about delivering the best products and solutions to meet the needs of dental professionals and that speaks volumes about the value of this partnership. Together, we strive to be at the forefront of innovation and excellence in the dental industry. So there is a lot of potential for growth and expansion in our collaboration with Geistlich.

Thank you for your time, Markus.

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