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The Forsyth Institute, with its 111-year history of oral health innovation, convened key stakeholders across the oral health ecosystem at Forsyth dentech 2021 to spur innovation and investment into the $100+ billion untapped dental technology market. On Sept. 23, more than 400 inventors, investors, and leaders from 28 countries gathered virtually or personally at Forsyth’s headquarters in Kendall Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts, to attend the world’s first-of-its-kind oral health technology innovation conference and investment forum.

Forsyth dentech 2021 featured a keynote speech by Dai Feng, the co-founder and managing director of the dental focused VC and growth investor, CareCapital Advisors Limited. Feng manages a $5 billion portfolio of more than 50 dental technology companies worldwide, investing an average of $250 million annually to support innovation and leadership.

Feng described eight of the most exciting areas in oral health innovation, from preventative dentistry to digital dentistry, bone and soft-tissue repair and regeneration, to innovative oral health care delivery systems.

“Dental innovation is not just technology. The product is important, the user experience is important, and the clinic economics need to be sustainable,” Feng said in his speech. “Success usually means a specific patient type and need, a specific practice type and need, and a specific dentist type and need. Almost all of the great dental innovations succeeded based on the new context they created.”

The conference held a CEO panel discussion on dental innovation, with thought leaders from industry, academia, venture capital, and government sharing their perspectives.

Stanley Bergman, CEO of Henry Schein shared his predictions for the next major disruptive technology in dentistry. “3D printing is pivotal and growing for the use of dental practices and dental labs, but I think we’re still at the beginning. Advances in materials and printers are expanding, use cases are making additive manufacturing in dentistry faster and more popular. Going forward, we’ll see likely permanent restorations—crowns, dentures, clear aligners—fabricated chairside,” Bergman said. “There is so much going on in this area—little companies, big companies, who knows who the next Apple Computer in this field will be.”

Dr. Rena N. D’Souza, Director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, said that for the first time in history, the intersection of science and technology is transforming oral health care delivery. “Science is what drives the evidence to let us know what works and what doesn’t work, and what is needed to drive the policies that create the problems we have in our society,” Dr. D’Souza also discussed the exciting new NIH innovation initiative, ARPA-H.

Other CEO panelists covered topics from establishing an innovation ecosystem, providing a dentistry focused VC fund, enhancing innovation-driven education, adapting quickly to new technologies, and creating innovative start-up companies.

Forsyth dentech 2021 featured 18 presenters showcasing their novel oral health technologies. The cohort, selected from 80+ companies attending the event, made their pitches under a strict time limit and were judged on several elements of their presentations. Learn more about each of the presenters and their companies here: Forsyth.org/dentech2021  

“What a back to the future ride! From pharmaceuticals to medical devices to AI-based software and dental consumer products, the scope of technologies presented at dentech was truly astounding,” said Dr. Wenyuan Shi, President and CEO of The Forsyth Institute. “Our judges had their work cut out for them as all the presentations were quite impressive.”

Dr. Chris Ciriello, Co-Founder of Cyberdontics, won the Forsyth dentech 2021 CareCapital Award, and Michael Nelson, Chief Executive Officer of Intrommune Therapeutics, Inc. won the Forsyth dentech 2021 PrimeRock Capital Award.

Forsyth dentech 2021 has established a dental innovation ecosystem for key oral health technology development stakeholders to share ideas and resources that move the market forward. By popular demand, Forsyth dentech will become an annual event and a new networking platform has been incepted to further promote interactions. 

To learn more and join this growing movement, contact dentech@forsyth.org.