By Danny Chan
South Korea’s rapid technological ascension has been one of the most keenly documented and admired. Buoyed by a booming economy and productive population, the country has produced some of the world’s most lucrative and well-known brands in Samsung, LG and Hyundai.
In the field of specialist radiography, VATECH is the dental company to watch from one of the world’s most technologically advanced and digitally connected countries. The company has already scored the dental equivalent of a Samsung by creating many “world’s firsts”, introducing milestone technologies such as 3-in-1 digital imaging; auto-switching between Pano and 3D CT; and one-shot Cephalometric system. Remarkably, these trailblazing innovations were all achieved within 8 years.
Leading technologies – in more ways than one
VATECH is a leading manufacturer of radiographic imaging solutions for the medical, dental and veterinary fields. With 12 overseas subsidiaries and business partners in 93 countries, VATECH has been carving out a global presence since its landmark contribution to dentistry in 2005.
In September of that year, VATECH launched the world’s first 3-in-1 Digital X-ray system (known domestically as Implagraphy and overseas as Picasso-Trio). Installed in over 2,000 sites around the world within 2 years, the Picasso Trio is also a global best-seller. It was the very first digital imaging system that combines Pano, Ceph, CT imaging in one system. Prior to the innovation, dentists had to purchase the CT and Pano/Ceph units separately. The FOV of Picasso-Trio covers the whole arch with just one scan, delivering all anatomical information instantly, ideal in cases like multi or full mouth implant surgery.
Within three years following the launch, VATECH achieved market leadership in the U.K, Germany, Spain, Japan, Taiwan and Korea. In recent three years, VATECH achieved a significant foothold in the North American market, while yet holding pole positions in Europe and Asia. To reinforce its position in the US, the company will be holding its inaugural VATECH 3D Symposium in New Jersey this October.
Even as product success and market expansion advanced smoothly, the R&D department kept apace with other significant rollouts. In successive years, VATECH cranked out one “world’s first” innovation after another: Auto-Switching System between Pano & 3D CT (2007); Digital One Shot Cephalometric System (2008); and Free FOV 3D CT (2009). Then a 3-year hiatus was followed by its launching the World’s First Low Dose CT in 2013.
When not creating groundbreaking innovations, VATECH has been busy developing eco-friendly systems that improve the health and safety of dental patients. Touted as Green Radiography, VATECH introduced its unique fleet of ultra-low X-ray dose 3D CTs that are designed to protect both the patient and clinician from radiation exposure.
The PaX-i3D family of imaging products is big on features that promote patient care and image quality. In particular, the award-winning Pax-i3D Green boasts the famous 3-in-1 system; a 5.9 second rapid scan time; multi FOV sizes (from 5X5 to 15X15); Magic Pan (for panoramic image that corrects distorted/ blur images caused by improper patient positioning); and the One shot ceph image acquisition that reduces unnecessary X-ray dosage while scanning the ideal area of cranial anatomy for diagnosis and treatment planning.
The PaX-i series is one of VATECH’s most profitable product lines: More than 6,000 units of PaX-i (2D) and 3,000 units of PaX-i3D series have been sold within the last 2 years. Feedback on these imaging systems has been very positive, much of which highlights the consistent image quality, ease of use and fuss-free maintenance.
Dr. Sandeep Mohal (Confidental in Berkshire, U.K.): "I’ve found it quick and easy to use, but it’s not just me making use of it. It can be used by most of the team.
“It produces consistent, reliable images unrivalled by any other competitor machines that help us to plan treatment, for example highlighting potential pitfalls that may require a technique beyond the norm to achieve the best results.”
Dr. Petter Hubbard (Edgeworth, NSW, Australia):
"Having used other brands of digital diagnostic machines for over 5 years I am very impressed by these VATECH machines, giving exceptional quality images. Our present one has been trouble free since installation. "
At this year’s IDS, VATECH unveiled EzSensor Soft, which again, flows from the Asian manufacturer’s big push for developing products that are “beneficial for both human health and the environment”. The key attribute of the soft-edged intraoral sensor is that it is bendable. At 14.8µm pixels, the sensor is touted as the smallest in the industry.
The EzSensor Soft offers a solution to positioning difficulties and comfort issues posed by rigid digital sensors. By allowing easier and more comfortable positioning – especially for mandibular canine imaging – the bendable sensor greatly enhances the accuracy of the diagnosis, making interproximal caries detection a breeze.
Unlike many competitive manufacturers that outsource the production of their internal componentry, VATECH develops and manufactures its own digital radiographic sensors – considered the most critical component of diagnostic X-ray systems. Its vertical integration of critical components, including sensor technology, allows for higher quality control, increased pace of innovation and ultimately greater value to the customer.
The establishment of VATECH’s Australian subsidiary offers dental practices in the Australasian region new and exciting innovations that have solidified their global position. VATECH Australia plays a critical supporting role to local distributors on sales and technical service, exemplified by a warehouse and spare parts room for more timely distribution and support.
Just as Australasian consumers have benefited from South Korea’s high-tech electronic products, it’s about time dentists in the region get a chance to experience the innovative imaging systems of VATECH.