Schaan, Liechtenstein – 13 March 2023
2023 marks the 100th anniversary for the Ivoclar Group. The following information provides detailed information about our 100 year history.
The history of Ivoclar
1923 – 1964
Even though today's home of Ivoclar is Liechtenstein, the company is founded in Zurich, Switzerland, back in 1923. Operated under the name of Ramsperger and Co., the general partnership focuses on the production of artificial teeth. In 1933, the company moves to Liechtenstein, where more than 100 new jobs are created. During the following years, the company sees consistent growth. The outbreak of the Second World War significantly changes the relevance of the company. As more or less the only still operating tooth factory in Europe, the products of the Liechtenstein-based Ramco AG are highly sought after.
Dr Adolf Schneider, a mechanical engineer from Germany, takes over the management of the company in 1948. Later he also takes ownership of it. In 1951, he decides to change the company name: Ramco AG is renamed "Ivoclar", a combination of the French words "ivoire" (ivory) and "clair" (bright). The new name becomes a symbol of the upswing the company is experiencing based on its innovations: New, unique quality products are developed. The start is marked by the introduction of a new cross-linked resin, which is used both for the production of artificial teeth and crown, bridge and denture materials. The resin, plus the vacuum-fired denture tooth Vivodent-C developed one year later, are the first two groundbreaking innovations launched by Ivoclar. With the world's first silicate cement for the restoration of anterior teeth introduced under the name of Achatit, Ivoclar sets a new benchmark in the field of restorative dentistry. Then the time is ripe to expand internationally. In 1954, the first foreign subsidiary is founded in Ellwangen, Germany. Subsidiaries in France, Italy and Austria are established in the 1960s.
1965 – 1989
The world-class innovation Silicap, a pre-dosed and mechanically mixed filling material, is launched in 1965. This invention offers practitioners unprecedented convenience. Early on in its history, the company starts focusing on developing customer-relevant innovations and recognizes the immense benefits of promoting the training and educations of dentists and dental laboratory technicians. Almost five decades after its founding as a porcelain manufacturer, the company has evolved into a supplier of product systems for prosthetic, conservative and preventive dentistry. While the different subsidiaries are focused on manufacturing and distributing the company's products, one of the world's largest and most influential research and development centres is established in Liechtenstein: a position the centre still holds today. Among the company's quickly increasing number of patent-pending innovations is the SR Ivocap system, which is presented in 1974. It marks the start of the production of prosthetic materials in large capsules including the relevant mixing units. Another example is the world-class innovation Heliomolar, the world's first radiopaque composite filling material, which is launched in 1984.
Dr Adolf Schneider, who significantly advanced the continuous expansion of Ivoclar, dies in 1979. He leaves behind a vibrant company which has just begun to drive business expansion beyond Europe by opening further subsidiaries in Australia (1975), New Zealand as well as the US (1978) and Canada (1979). Christoph Zeller, Dr Schneider's grandson and a trained dental technician, prepares himself for his future role as CEO and Chairman of the Supervisory Board by gaining experience in the international banking world. Ivoclar establishes its first subsidiary in South America in Brazil in 1985. In 1986, Ivoclar acquires a company called Williams Gold Refining Co. in the United States. Williams is one the most successful manufacturers of precious metal materials for dental applications. As the importance of the North American market continues to increase, the US subsidiary of Ivoclar experiences rapid growth.
Sustainable research and development ahead of the times
1990 – 2002
From 1990 onwards, when Christoph Zeller serves as CEO and Chairman of the Supervisory Board, the company expands its international presence and invests heavily in research and development. With the launch of IPS Empress, the world's first press ceramic, Ivoclar revolutionizes the global dental industry. At the end of the millennial, the invention of the press technology kicks of the “Aesthetic Revolution” which is a promise for better dentistry. In 1992, the Tetric technology is introduced which ushers in a new era in the field of tooth-coloured filling materials. Then Ivoclar enters the Asian market by opening subsidiaries in the Philippines (1993) and in China (1998). In 2000, a subsidiary in Colombia is established. By the beginning of the new millennium, Ivoclar has gained a foothold in all the important global markets. Strategically positioned production plants across the world ensure the quick supply of high-quality Ivoclar products.
Stronger, faster, better
2003 – 2018
In 2003, Robert Ganley, President of Ivoclar North America, additionally assumes the position of CEO of the Ivoclar Group, while Christoph Zeller concentrates on the strategic tasks of the Supervisory Board. Robert Ganley directs the company's operations for 16 years. This period sees the development of Ivoclar's best known innovation: IPS e.max. Launched in 2005, the lithium disilicate ceramic stands for high esthetics and high strength. IPS e.max CAD – the legendary blue block – ranks among the most sold glass-ceramic materials in the world today. With the launch of Programat P710 (2015), a high-tech ceramic furnace featuring bluetooth, wireless LAN, infrared technology and the DSA functionality (Digital Shade Assistant), Ivoclar contributes to accelerating the digitization of dentistry.
Future-ready: The age of digital dentistry
2019 – 2023
In 2019, Helmut Schuster is appointed President of the Supervisory Board, while Diego Gabathuler assumes the position of CEO at Ivoclar. Under the new management, Ivoclar continues to focus on the development of customer-relevant innovations. With the presentation of the Ivotion Denture System, Ivoclar establishes a seamless process chain for the digital production of complete dentures. This system solution offers an ingenious combination of coordinated process components, high-quality materials and mature technology. The exceptional CAD/CAM disc Ivotion is at the heart of the system. It allows customised monolithic dentures to be fabricated in one uninterrupted milling process.
In addition to supplying individual products, Ivoclar provides integrated solutions today. These solutions are more than just intelligent systems consisting of materials, equipment and processing techniques: Rather they are a combination of products, platforms, training and education offerings, technical and consulting services as well as additional proprietary and third-party systems resulting in holistic workflows that offer dental professionals added value and enable them to provide their patients with natural-looking esthetics and a completely new outlook on life.
Over the years, the Ivoclar Group has managed to become the market leader in various product segments. They include ceramic furnaces (Programat series) and lithium disilicate glass-ceramics (IPS e.max CAD). The company's continued global market leadership in the fabrication of highly aesthetic tooth replacements can be traced back to its origins and symbolically links the occasion of the company's foundation in 1923 to that of its 100-year anniversary in 2023.
Further information can be found at www.ivoclar.com/100years.
We will be happy to provide a detailed, tabular list of the company's history including product and company milestones (incl. location openings in the countries) as well as accompanying visual material upon request.
About the Ivoclar Group
The Ivoclar Group, headquartered in Schaan, Liechtenstein, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of integrated solutions for esthetic, high-quality dental applications. In, 2023, the company proudly celebrates its 100-year anniversary under the theme of “A Century of Innovation”. The company’s success is based on a comprehensive portfolio of products, systems and services, strong research and development capabilities and a clear commitment to training and further education. The group of companies, which sells its products to around 130 countries, has 47 subsidiaries and branch offices and employs roughly 3500 people worldwide. More information about the Ivoclar Group is available at ivoclar.com.