When you think about the importance of teeth (after all, everyone has them), it's hard to believe that the worldwide movement to promote regular brushing and flossing only began around 1890. The history of dentistry as we know it is fairly short. Fluoride toothpaste was only invented 64 years ago, around the same time as the first modern toothbrush. These days, the dental space is hardly recognizable, with the ever growing demand for better products - especially better cosmetic options - and better technology for performing a wide variety of oral surgical procedures.
As these demands increase, a number of small cap companies stand poised to reap the benefits of the growing interest in the dental space. The small cap companies list below includes just a few companies that health care investors may want to watch.
Remedent, Inc. (OTC: REMI) headquartered in Belgium, specializes in the research, development, and manufacturing of oral care and cosmetic dentistry products, including a line of professional veneers as well as a family of teeth whitening products. Its breakthrough technology for dental veneers serves the professional dental industry. The company manufactures, markets and distributes its products and concepts to more than 35 countries worldwide. REMI closed March 17 at $0.20, no change for the day, with a market cap of $3.85 million. Its 52-week trading range is $0.07 - $0.24.
Pro-Dex Inc. (NASDAQ: PDEX), headquartered in California with operations in Oregon and Nevada, designs and produces powered solutions for the dental market as well as the medical, factory automation and scientific research markets. Pro-Dex focuses on bringing speed to market in the development and manufacture of technology-based solutions. Pro-Dex recently announced that a record date of March 20, 2014 has been set for the Company's planned rights offering. PDEX closed March 17 at $2.21, up one cent, with a market cap of $7.52 million. Its 52-week trading range is $1.80 - $3.80.
Biolase Inc. (NASDAQ: BIOL) specializes in the development, manufacturing and marketing of lasers and other products for use in biological treatments that are safer for patients and eliminate pain. The company's flagship products include the WaterLase iPlusTM and WaterLase MDXTM, both of which feature novel, patented laser technologies designed by the company's R&D and clinical teams to perform dental and medical surgery. Biolase recently reached a major industry milestone with the sale of its 25,000th laser, which "no other medical laser company has achieved in dentistry, or any other medical field, over the past 15 years." BIOL closed March 17 at $2.93, no change for the day, with a market cap of $103.14 million. Its 52-week trading range is $1.14 - $5.93.
Privately held Sonendo, based in Laguna Hills, CA, is another contender in the dental space. Sonendo is developing innovative and disruptive technologies to transform traditional endodontic therapy. The company is preparing to begin a limited launch of its Gentle Wave Multisonic Ultracleaning System, a disruptive technology designed to dramatically reduce the time a root canal procedure takes and to improve the clinical quality and business performance of root canal therapy. The system uses a mixture of irrigating fluids and sound waves to automatically and simultaneously clean all canals much faster than the traditional therapy.
Dental customers these days expect a great deal more than their ancestors, from painless procedures to simple solutions to high-quality veneers and a wider array of cosmetic options. As the dental space continues to grow and evolve to meet these demands, the companies above and others may be worth examining for a potential healthcare investing opportunity.