A pioneering company in the field of dental implants, Paragon Implant Ltd (Paragon) is revolutionizing the way we approach oral healthcare. With its relentless commitment to innovation and cutting-edge technology, Paragon has emerged as a leader in providing advanced implant solutions that offer superior aesthetics, functionality, and patient comfort. Backed by a team of skilled professionals and guided by a patient-centric approach, Paragon Implant is dedicated to transforming smiles and restoring confidence. Gerald Niznick, DMD, MSD, President and CEO of the company, tells us about his path towards the creation of Paragon Implant.
“I graduated dentistry in 1966, at the University of Manitoba Canada, which is now called the Gerald Niznick College of Dentistry. Subsequently, I studied for a master’s degree in prosthetics, the specialty of tooth restoration and replacement. I began practicing in Los Angeles in the 1970s, back when dental implantology was in its infancy and practiced with questionable predictability. By the end of the decade, I had started to develop my own implant designs. I launched my first of 33 patented implant products in 1982 and by 1990, my company was one of the two largest implant companies in the world. In 1991, I sold the distribution rights, only to take them back six years later and launch a series of new designs. Things took another turn in 2001, when I decided to sell that company. I started a new business in 2004 which I ended up selling again in 2010. It isn’t until I reached the age of 79, in 2022, that I embarked on a new venture called Paragon. Utilizing a factory I had built back in 1994 for my previous businesses, I began laying the foundation for Paragon. Fast forward to July 2023, and the progress has been remarkable. I have already filed four patents for improved designs, installed 24 state-of-the-art Star CNC machines, and welcomed back 28 skilled individuals from my former manufacturing teams. As we continue to expand, our staff is projected to reach around 100 employees by the end of this year.”
The dental implant industry has witnessed remarkable expansion, primarily due to advancements in product reliability and increased public awareness. In this context, Gerald sheds light on the functionality of dental implants and highlights the unique contributions of Paragon in this thriving sector. “Dental implants are sophisticated screws that are inserted into the jawbone of a patient to replace a missing tooth. These screws, made from medical grade titanium alloy Ti6Al4V, bond with the bone and can last the lifetime of the patient. Ranging in diameter from three-to-seven millimeters, these screws serve as the foundation for attaching abutments. These abutments provide support for teeth custom made by dental laboratories. Because of the small size of the implants and abutments, the stability of the connection is critical to prevent complications such as screw loosening or fracture. In 1986, I pioneered a significant advancement in implant design known as the internal hex, which features a conical connection. Although the patent for this innovation expired in 2007, it remains a cornerstone of modern implant design, widely adopted by most companies currently in the market.
“To meet the precision requirements of our dental components, we invested in specialized tools and equipment. Designing and manufacturing cutting and inspection tools and gauges enables us to complement our state-of-the-art quality department. Our Swiss machines are monitored by the cutting-edge Caron process monitoring system, allowing us to run our machines continuously with minimal human intervention. This enables us to operate for 24 hours a day, six days a week, while keeping costs down. Thanks to these cost savings and the savings we make in marketing due to my 40-year reputation for producing high-quality and innovative implants, Paragon can offer our basic implants at a price equivalent to what they were in 1986. This competitive pricing is a true advantage that sets us apart from other top implant companies, some of which have significantly higher prices,” he affirms.
With decades of industry experience, Gerald has dedicated significant time and effort to enhance the manufacturing facilities that are used by Paragon today. “The Paragon plant was originally developed with dental implant manufacturing in mind. We have trenches for all the electrical and compressed air lines, which have been arranged for the exact equipment that we use. Currently, our factory can accommodate a total of 36 CNC machines. Each machine is set up with Edge automatic bar feeders, a fire suppressant system, and a Caron monitoring system. Our Caron technology is very efficient in surveilling the cutting process of our implants as it automatically shuts down any machine that fails to cut the parts to our precise specifications. Supporting our manufacturing operations is our tooling department, equipped with ANCA tool grinders. These state-of-the-art machines are utilized for both creating cutting tools and regrinding existing tools. We also have plans to utilize the ANCA machines for running drills specifically designed for our implant system. Complementing this, our tooling department comprises Haas mills and other necessary appliances to manufacture all the required tooling for our equipment and ensure quality inspections are carried out effectively. Moreover, Paragon is bringing two previously outsourced processes, anodizing and blasting, in-house. This decision enables us to have better control over the time frame from manufacturing to packaging for most of our products.
“Throughout the manufacturing process, our quality department conducts continuous inspections of the parts. To ensure the highest standards of quality, we employ a range of inspection tools, including scopes, comparators, and optical inspection equipment. Recognizing the technologically advanced inspection capabilities offered by Keyence, we have established a significant partnership with them, further enhancing our inspection capabilities,” he adds.
As Paragon continues its journey, Gerald reveals the company’s continuous efforts towards fostering sustainability. “We aim to reduce our energy, water and gas consumption as well as minimize waste and emissions in our manufacturing process. Our Kaeser compressors reduce our energy consumption by matching shop requirements at any given time with variable output controls. Additionally, we have implemented mist collectors on each machine to decrease the release of fumes and gases into the atmosphere. Lastly, our facilities in Calabasas, California, utilize reclaimed water to fulfill all external landscaping needs, which has been particularly important during times of drought,” he ends.
As part of its focus on sustainable operations, Paragon is exploring harnessing solar power at its manufacturing facilities. This dedication to innovation and reducing environmental impact, combined with Gerald’s decades of expertise, puts Paragon in an advantageous position to continue dominating the dental industry into the future.