Kerr Celebrates 130 Years of Dental Innovation

Kerr Corporation


Pioneers in dental innovation Kerr celebrates its 130th year in serving the dental community, which has been an integral part of the company’s continued growth and breakthrough technologies over the decades.

“Since launching in 1891, Kerr has created many innovative and high-quality products used in daily dental restorative procedures worldwide,” says Jim McGillivary, President of Kerr, Infection Prevention and Value Implants. “Our success has been driven by our deep understanding of what dentists do in their practices. Their willingness to share their clinical experience and knowledge with us has been the driving force behind our innovation.”

Kerr was founded in 1891 as The Detroit Dental Manufacturing Company by brothers Robert and John Kerr. In 1892, the company began exporting products to Europe, and in 1939 rebranded as the Kerr Manufacturing Company to honor its founders. After opening European manufacturing facilities in the 1960s, Kerr also began expanding its product offerings incorporating new dental technologies. By the 1990s, Kerr had extended its global reach into Switzerland, the Czech Republic, the Middle East, and Africa. In 2019, Kerr joined with other industry leaders as part of Envista, a global family of more than 30 trusted dental brands.

“Over the 130 years that we have been expanding and growing, Kerr has always placed a priority on attracting top scientists and investing in research and development,” explains Dr. Lina Li, Vice President and General Manager of Kerr Restoratives and Endodontics. “We’ve also collaborated closely with our industry’s key opinion leaders to make sure we’re responding to the needs of doctors, practices and their patients.”

One such opinion leader, Dr. Matthew Miller, relies on Kerr products for a wide range of cases in his practice, including full mouth rehabilitation and endodontic therapy. A member of Kerr’s Endodontic and Restorative Advisory Board, Dr. Miller credits Kerr with actively involving doctors in their research and development. “Kerr truly listens to the feedback from dentists and incorporates our input into their design. This results in products that are intuitive to use, drive workflow efficiencies, adapt to the doctor’s preferred techniques, and support improved patient outcomes with exceptional results.”

“As the needs and challenges of the dental community have evolved, Kerr has been at the forefront to anticipate, respond and support doctors worldwide,” adds Erica Jordan, Vice President and General Manager of Kerr Infection Prevention. That includes the development of Kerr’s TotalCare product line, encompassing CaviWipes™ and CaviCide™ advanced surface disinfectants as well as VioNexus™ no-rinse spray antiseptic hand sanitizer that work together to keep dental spaces sanitized and clean. As part of its commitment to give back to the community integral to its success, Kerr donated CaviWipes to dental and medical facilities throughout the world confronting supply shortages during the pandemic. Effective against over 40 pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2, the latest generation of CaviWipes, CaviWipes 2.0, fully qualifies for EPA’s rigorous Emerging Viral Pathogen Claim*. 

Kerr’s industry-leading innovation extends to its line of restorative products as well, including the OptiBond™ family. Built on Kerr’s patented GPDM monomer, OptiBond is the recognized gold standard with a proven record for long-term clinical success. More recently, Kerr introduced SimpliShade, designed with Adaptive Response Technology (ART). Requiring just three shades to make all 16 VITA® Classical shades, SimpliShade helps streamline inventory management and simplify workflows. Kerr’s groundbreaking SonicFill™ remains a popular product, with easier handling, sculptability, and polish for one-step restorations.

Kerr has additionally introduced a number of innovations in endodontics, including the minimally invasive ZenFlex™ NiTi rotary shaping file. Kerr also put the K in K-File, defining a new category of endo products found in most doctors’ practices. Doctors have come to trust Kerr’s full portfolio of rotary products as well, including the Zir-Cut™ Diamonds, SmartStrip™, and KaVo Kerr Carbides for optimal quality and performance. 

“We have had 130 years to refine and advance our products,” says Li. “Now we’re looking forward to continuing our collaboration with doctors and opinion leaders as we innovate the next generation of products to meet the needs of the dental community and patients.”

In honor of Kerr’s 130th birthday, the company will be offering additional free products with select purchases. Customers have the opportunity to earn 30% in free goods for $700 in purchases, 40% for $1,000 in purchases, and 50% for $1,500 in purchases. The promotion runs between September 13 and 17, 2021.

To learn more, visit visit

* Against all virus tiers, enveloped, large non-enveloped, and small non-enveloped viruses. 
Accessed 9/1/2021


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