Alachua company launches dental shield worldwide


Published: Tuesday, January 25, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 24, 2005 at 10:25 p.m.
DenShield, a product that treats severe, chronic tooth hypersensitivity, has been launched into expanded international markets by its developer, NovaMin Technology Inc. in Alachua.
The product, which is available through dentists for home use, builds a new mineral barrier that protects tooth nerves.
Already available in Italy and Switzerland, DenShield is being launched into other international markets that include Austria, Poland, and Singapore, said Randy L. Scott, president and chief executive officer of NovaMin.
Tooth sensitivity usually occurs when part of the root along the gumline is exposed, either because the gumline recedes a little bit or the enamel is abraded, Scott said.
"This exposes tubules, or pores, to direct access from outside into the tooth's nerves," Scott said. He added that while current sensitivity toothpastes deaden nerves to mask the pain, DenShield builds a mineral layer that closes the pores and protects the nerves.
DenShield, which does not contain fluoride, is brushed on daily like a toothpaste for the first two weeks, and then is used once a week. Users also may continue using their favorite toothpaste along with DenShield, which is nontoxic, Scott said.
The current market for sensitivity toothpastes is roughly $300 million, about half of which is in the United States, Scott said.
"We think there is room to grow," he said.
"Twenty-two percent of the population has chronic or severe sensitivity, enough to have to change their dietary habits, but only about a third of the people who need it use a product regularly."
DenShield's sister product, SootheRx, was launched in the United States in October 2004.
NovaMin, a subsidiary of Alachua-based USBiomaterials Corp., also has another product waiting in the wings.
NuCare, a new type of prophy paste (used by dental hygienists during cleanings), will be launched in early February.
NuCare, which contains NovaMin, is less abrasive and helps re-mineralize open tubules to calm the sensitivity that can occur after a cleaning, Scott said.
Doris Chandler can be reached at (352) 374-5094 or chandld@gvillesun.com.

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