Dental Tribune International

Consolidation ramps up as Dentsply Sirona acquires assets of Propel Orthodontics

By Jeremy Booth, Dental Tribune International
June 09, 2021

CHARLOTTE, N.C., U.S.: Dental giant Dentsply Sirona has acquired the assets of U.S.-based Propel Orthodontics. Propel develops and manufactures orthodontic devices and sells them around the world, and Dentsply Sirona says that the acquired assets will strengthen its position in the fast-growing clear aligner market.

Propel Orthodontics provides tooth-moving solutions for at-home and in-office orthodontic treatment. The company says on its website that its mission is to “comfortably accelerate treatment, provide more predictable outcomes, and enhance practice growth and economics.”

Dentsply Sirona paid $131 million (€107 million) in an all-cash deal that granted it “substantially all” of Propel’s assets, including the VPro device and the VPro Fastrack mobile app, according to a press release announcing the acquisition.

Propel says that the VPro is a high-frequency vibration product that is used to accelerate tooth movement. Intended for patient use, products in the VPro series are reported to reduce treatment time by up to 64%, reduce discomfort and increase treatment predictability. The device has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The company’s Excellerator Series—an in-office solution that was not mentioned in the press release as having been acquired—is the only line of products that has been approved by the FDA for use in micro-osteoperforation.

In the press release, Dentsply Sirona said that the acquisition of Propel was an important step that it had taken to strengthen its position in the clear aligner market and that the acquired product lines complement its existing clear aligner businesses—namely Byte and SureSmile.

The acquisition of Propel continues the trend of major dental manufacturers acquiring successful young orthodontics companies. Earlier this year, Dentsply Sirona paid just over $1 billion in cash for the teleorthodontics provider Byte. Don Casey, CEO of Dentsply Sirona, said in May that certain areas of the dental market were showing strong growth, including the esthetic dentistry area of clear aligner therapy.

The Straumann Group acquired a majority stake in the Berlin-based clear aligner manufacturer DrSmile in July last year, and Straumann CEO Guillaume Daniellot commented in May that the clear aligner market was “one of the most attractive areas in dentistry.”

Propel Orthodontics has its manufacturing unit in San Jose in California, a state which is fast becoming the epicenter of a burgeoning clear aligner industry. Also located in San Jose is Align Technology’s U.S. West Coast headquarters, and Byte is headquartered in Los Angeles.

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