Optimal function through timeless designs

ZURICH, Switzerland: Throughout Europe, Mikrona Technology is mainly known for its MIGMA alginate mixer and ORTHORA orthodontic treatment unit. This Zurich-based company, which takes pride in working according to the Swiss virtues, appears to have successfully combined functionality and aesthetics with precision and attention to detail. Founded in 1959, Mikrona now operates in around 25 countries and is expanding to other regions, most notably Asia Pacific. Dental Tribune Online went behind the scenes and sat in the treatment unit together with a well-known German orthodontist.

CEO Fabio Fagagnini, who has been overseeing the medium-sized company for two years, welcomed us at the airport in Zurich, about a 15-minute drive from the company headquarters. He is Swiss, from St Gallen, in his mid-30s, and a trained engineer in medical technology, in addition to holding an MBA from INSEAD. Charismatic, calm and determined, Fagagnini is set on continuing the company’s legacy regarding quality, innovation and style in launching new products and developing the ORTHORA 200 and MIGMA 200 further. It will not stop at Model 200 either, said Fagagnini, who briefly introduced us to the two flagship products at the beginning of our visit. While the functionality and construction of the MIGMA is evident, the ORTHORA requires a more in-depth explanation.

This treatment unit is probably the perfect complement for every orthodontist. Mikrona developed the chair specifically for the needs of the orthodontist based on long-standing engagement with its clients. The unique design is already discernible from a distance, and the quality and compactness are evident upon closer inspection. After sitting down, the special ergonomics of the chair are apparent. 

According to Fagagnini, a unique style is very important. All products have won design awards, among them the Red Dot Design Award for the ORTHORA 200. “For us, it is very important to develop aesthetic products that are timeless design classics,” he said. Therefore, while there are significant technological differences between the previous model (ORTHORA 101) and 200, the design was retained. As a result of its continuous development, Mikrona has achieved a leading position in orthodontic treatment units in Europe.

A success story 
Many orthodontists who use the ORTHORA appreciate the attention to detail, said Fagagnini. The headrest feels secure, can be adjusted flexibly and is quickly interchangeable. Furthermore, the unit is distinctive from competing products in its use. Various pedals help to control the entire unit, whether moving the chair, adjusting the micromotors or controlling the light. The upholstery feels oft, smooth and, above all, durable. Depending on frequency of use, Mikrona recommends changing the upholstery only after six years. Moreover, this is easily accomplished with a simple click system that allows one to remove and replace the plate along with the padding within seconds.

Developed in collaboration with the University of Zurich, the ORTHORA was very quickly incorporated into dental practices owing to its unique design and high quality. After the 101 model, the 200 line entered the market in the early 2000s. As a new development, the ergonomics for the patient and the practitioner were improved. Another focus was the integration of the instruments. All options are modular and can be retrofitted over the entire life cycle. The electronics, LED technology, and instrument and suction components are state of the art. “Of course, the ORTHORA 200 from 2000 differs from today’s ORTHORA 200. We have our finger on the pulse to ensure we always offer the latest technology,” said Fagagnini.

Comfort, compactness and attractive design
The orthodontic practice of Mikrona customer Dr Robert Mertens in the Westphalian town of Lippstadt in Germany is a splendid example of creating new based on old. The Mertens, together with architect Annette Illert-Passgang, transformed a 420 m² villa built in 1906 into the modern practice it is today, carefully selecting design, colours and materials, and bearing in mind the requirements of a contemporary dental practice and laboratory. What was once the kitchen, now dressed in new colours, accommodates a treatment unit, while the old tiles on the wall remain as a reminder of the room’s original purpose. The lobby has ultra-modern counters, beautiful light installations and tasteful furniture. The reward for all these efforts: Villa Maxilla received the 2016 design prize for Germany’s most beautiful dental practice, awarded by prominent magazine ZWP.

When the Mertens and their architect decided in 2015 on the practice interior, all of the rooms were planned to reflect one feeling: comfort. “Patient satisfaction begins with the feel-good atmosphere in the practice room and ends with the best possible therapy by experienced and passionate practitioners,” said Mertens. High ceilings and bright spaces, modern decor and attention to detail are the hallmarks of the practice rooms. According to Mertens, Mikrona’s treatment units were particularly suitable for a contemporary practice offering the finest treatment: “ORTHORA 200 was a natural choice. In close cooperation with Mikrona, we equipped our practice, coordinating the colours of the units with those of the rooms and placing particular emphasis on design, ergonomics and efficient work.”

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