Product x Development Episode
BrilloBrillo Series CAD/CAM Crown Material
Technology / Manufacturing Headquarters
Head of Department
Changes in materials development in line with the digitalization of instruments, and a look ahead.
What led you to create this product?
The wave of digitalization has been massive across the dental industry. Our company had no products supporting digitalization, so I had the idea of using Brillo as a handhold to make a jump forward.
How long did it take to go from
development to productization?
Development of the first Brillo CAD-S Block began in July 2014, and the product was commercialized in October 2017. There was an interruption of two and a half years along the way, so it was really a year and three months. Creation of the product went through a lot of twists and turns, but it’s now our mainstay product.
What is the origin of the name “Brillo”?
This is a product with excellent polishing performance. One of our employees christened it “Brillo,” which means “shine” in Spanish.
Both Brillo CAD-S Block and Brillo CAD-PREMIUM Block are for premolars. What is the difference between the two?
Brillo CAD-PREMIUM Block has a higher strength.
Even with the same premolar coverings, the classification is divided into two for Japanese insurance purposes, so we segregated the product into two types of materials.
In creating the product,
what points did you struggle with?
We were a latecomer manufacturer in CAD/CAM crown materials, so to grab market share we had to give the product features not offered by the earlier manufacturers. We closely analyzed products from other companies and found that polishing work after machine grinding took time. From that, we decided, all right, we’ll start on development under the concept of making a product with excellent polishing performance. However, as there’s a trade-off between polishing performance and strength, it took a lot of time to formulate the material to enhance its polishing performance while retaining its strength.
How has the response from customers been?
We’ve received actually a lot of comments about the ease of polishing. I was really happy when we found that we’d been able to create the product in line with our concept. I felt strongly that a product brought about through strong convictions can be properly appreciated in the world, even for a latecomer.
What benefits do dental technicians gain by using the product?
It shortens the time required for polishing, so I think it leads to shorter task time.
Dental technician is a considerably difficult job, and technicians work from early in the morning until late at night. Polishing is a task that can’t be avoided, so we hope we can lighten the burden on technicians even a little through the use of Brillo.
What is your schedule for rollout of future products?
Brillo is made from materials eligible for insurance coverage in Japan. We also plan to release a product made with a material called zirconia, used in medical treatment outside of Japanese insurance coverage. As another digitalization-related product, we’re also moving ahead with development of a 3D printer.
At present, over half of dental technicians in Japan are over 50 years old, and new successors are decreasing in number. At the same time, the number of patients is not declining, so it’s essential to boost work efficiency through digitalization. However, in contrast to fillings and caps, for which digitalization is advancing, dentures aren’t making the migration from analog. From here on out, what we can offer in the area of dentures will be a major challenge.
Do you have any closing comments?
I think that development is an area where you take 100 shots but actually hit with 10 or fewer. Nothing good will come of development unless you ask what went wrong to cause failures, think things through, and move ahead. I’ve taken the lesson to heart that development-centered products will never sell unless we can offer service that really takes in customers’ concerns and demands.