Bridging Government and the Industry - Providing a Platform for Communication

Posted at 2020-09-10

Dental product distributors continue to introduce new dental and medical products as the dental technology changes rapidly.

Dental Industry Association Seeking Welfare for the Industry, Safeguarding Oral Health

Dentistry is one of the outpatient services the people seek out. Among them, people generally choose to see a dentist at least twice a year for dental check-ups, whilst some attend dental clinic for dental implants, orthodontics and other treatments when necessary; when it comes to toothache, the dentist in the dental clinic is our Saviour.

In these dental treatments, other than relying on the dentist's skills, dental medical equipment and facilities, the "dental laboratory" behind the clinic is the backing of the entire treatment and plays an important role.

Oral droplet suction machine.

In Malaysia, there is the Malaysia Dental Industry Association, with members related to the dental industry such as dental medical equipment distributors and dental technicians / technologies.

Acting as a bridge between the Government and the Dental Industry

The association hopes to take steps further towards the goal of establishing the Southeast Asia Dental Industry Alliance, collaborating with dental businessmen overseas to promote vigorous development of the dental industry.

Other than to unite industry players and provide a platform for communication and sharing, the association also actively acts as a communication bridge between the government and the industry.

Dental Industry Players join the Growing Organization

The President of the Malaysia Dental Industry Association, Ding Sing Leong, Deputy President Desmond Chong Yoong Fatt, Vice Chairman Jeffrey Teh Khing Choong, and Secretary General Jackson Ngoo Kea Leong said in an interview that the association was established in 2015 and initially to gather dental equipment dealers (Dental Dealers) as members, its member backgrounds include Importers, wholesalers, agents and retailers.

They said that in order to cover the stakeholders of the dental industry more comprehensively, to consolidate and strengthen the organization, the association will allow dental industry to join in 2019, including toothbrush and toothpaste manufacturers, dental technology laboratories and other dental related industries.

"Members of this association include distributors who introduce and supply equipment and facilities used in dental clinics; denture fabrication and restoration, dental mold making, and crown fabrication are the backing of the dental services, that is, produced by the 'dental laboratory', these people in the industry are all members of this association."

Root canal treatment equipment.

3D Scanning to Produce Dental Mold

The interviewees pointed out that with the introduction of new equipment and products, dentists’ dental knowledge also needs to be continuously improved and advanced, therefore, the association is also involved in upgrading and training dentists’ new knowledge and techniques.

"The traditional way to obtain dental mold is to use impression material / stone powder. However, in recent years, dental molds can be produced through the technology of 3D scanners to scan teeth (3D intra-oral scanner). Therefore, dentists need to master such novel technologies.

Painless dental scaler.

They pointed out that when launching related novel dental products, distributors are required to train dentists to master these novel technologies, so that related products can be sold.

In view of this, the association will host the "Malaysia International Dental Show" every year, allowing distributors to promote and display dental products, and the seminars and workshops held by for dentists at the exhibition can also be used for further training and improve dental knowledge.

Malaysia Dental Industry Association held seminars to enable the attending members to learn and get updated with the latest relevant medical device regulations.

"This exhibition was endorsed by the Malaysian External Trade Development Agency (MATRADE), more than 100 dental distributors participated in the exhibition and 1,200 to 1,500 dentists visited."

They pointed out that dentists need to accumulate Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points to renew their licenses. Therefore, the courses held at the Malaysia International Dental Show also provide a platform for dentists to participate in advanced studies and accumulate points.

90% of Dental Companies are Members

Malaysia’s only dental industry association, currently has 95 members (companies), and there are about 120 dental distributor companies in Malaysia, 90% of which are already members of the association, therefore the association can be described as the representative of the industry.

They pointed out that the dental industry is part of the medical industry, so dental distributors must apply for a license from the Medical Device Authority Malaysia, and the products they sell must come with product registrations.

Malaysia Dental Industry Association and the National Association of Dental Traders Philippines and Taiwan Dental Trade Association signed a memorandum of understanding to promote the market in the Asia-Pacific and ASEAN markets.

"If a related company wants to join the association, the company must have the relevant license and registration."

They pointed out that before the establishment of the association, dental distributors did not have any platform to connect with the government, therefore, whenever the government drafted relevant regulations for the industry, it was difficult for them to discuss and speak up with the government.

"However, after the establishment of the industry association, dental distributors now have a platform to communicate with the government."

The Malaysia International Dental Show (MIDS) had gathered many dental distributors to exhibit their dental products at the fair.

They said, for example, there are now two representatives in this association, who are members of the joint industry committees established by the Medical Device Authority Malaysia.

Voice for the Industry in Regulations Drafting

"Therefore, when the Medical Device Act drafted the regulations on dental product registration, equipment maintenance, etc., the association can discuss and speak out with the authorities."

In addition, they said that the association will continue to hold seminars, including the recent invitation of the Malaysian Medical Device Authority Malaysia to explain the progress and updates of the packaging and labelling of dental medical equipment, so that members can master relevant knowledge regulations.

Objective to establish the Southeast Asia Dental Industry Alliance

Interviewees said that the Malaysia Dental Industry Association currently takes the establishment of the Southeast Asia Dental Industry Alliance as its strategic direction, and even hopes to establish the Asia Dental Industry Alliance covering China or Taiwan.

The Malaysia Dental Industry Association meeting with the Malaysian Medical Device Authority, bridging relationship between the dental industry and the government.

"Dental device / equipment will have a common market in Southeast Asia in the future. Therefore, if there is an alliance, we can discuss the framework of relevant regulations with the government."

Promote Dental Business Exchanges

They said that through the alliance, this can promote sharing and exchange of business ideas and experiences among these countries and promote the growth of the dental industry.

"At present, we have signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Association of Dental Traders Philippines and Taiwan Dental Trade Association to carry out collaboration in exhibitions, networking, and businesses."

They said that the Malaysia Dental Industry Association in unwavering in its effort to support social charities, including donations to flood victims, nursing homes, and seriously ill employees of member companies to fulfil social corporate responsibilities.

The Malaysia Dental Industry Association visited Shanghai, China last year to participate in the 23rd DenTech China" to exchange information on dental equipment and others.

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