Ezo denture cushions have become a popular option for denture wearers looking to improve comfort and fit. However, these cushions don’t come cheap, leaving many wondering – why are Ezo denture cushions so expensive?
There are a few key reasons that Ezo cushions command such a high price tag. Let’s take a closer look at what goes into making these premium denture cushions and why they end up costing more than basic alternatives.
Reasons For Ezo Denture Cushions Being So Expensive
- Patented Design and Materials
Ezo is a branded denture cushion product, manufactured by a company called Pip Company based out of Japan.
The original Ezo denture cushions were patented in Japan back in 1965. This patented design remains the basis for Ezo cushions today.
The Ezo cushions feature a unique contoured shape that is designed to conform closely to the roof of the mouth.
The cushions are made using specialized soft polymers that offer compression and rebound when bitten into. This helps absorb shock and impact, protecting sensitive gum tissue.
The exact materials used in Ezo’s proprietary polymer formula remain a trade secret. However, the company claims it is a more advanced cushioning material compared to basic silicone, acrylic, or vinyl cushions.
Owning this patented design and special material formulation gives Ezo cushions an edge over generic cushion competitors. The exclusivity allows the Ezo company to command higher pricing in exchange for what they position as a superior product.
- Imported From Japan
Ezo denture cushions are imported directly from the parent company in Japan. As an imported good, Ezo cushions are subject to international exchange rates, overseas shipping costs, import duties, and other taxes.
All of these costs of getting the cushions from a Japanese factory to retailers in other countries get passed onto the consumer through higher retail pricing. Even online purchases direct from Japan involve expensive international shipping fees.
In comparison, drugstore denture cushions are typically manufactured domestically or imported from lower cost regions like China. The regionalized production and distribution allow cheaper alternatives to be priced much lower than the globally sourced Ezo brand.
- Premium Branding and Packaging
As a premium imported product, Ezo leverages upscale packaging and branding to enhance the perceived value of their cushions. The product comes in sleek, modern packaging showcasing the Japanese origins of the product.
Even the product description and documentation conveys a sense of elite quality and specialized proprietary technology. This cultivated brand image allows retailers to feel justified charging a premium for what is positioned as a high-end denture cushion product.
Meanwhile basic vinyl or silicone cushions come in simple plastic pouches with minimal branding. The lower production costs of the packaging and materials is reflected in the lower retail pricing.
- Specialized Designs and Sizes
Beyond the standard U-shaped Ezo cushions, the company offers a range of cushion sizes and customized designs. For example, there are specific upper and lower Ezo cushions contoured for either denture type.
Smaller or larger cushion sizes are available to suit individual denture fit needs. And alternatives like the Ezo Gel Cushion offer extra cushioning power for those needing more shock absorption.
These specialized cushion designs are more expensive to produce in smaller batches. And the customization requires more complex product modeling and manufacturing processes. These factors drive up the production costs that translate into higher retail pricing.
Generic one-size-fits-all denture cushions simply don’t require this level of design personalization and custom manufacturing.
- Retailer Markups
As an imported premium brand, Ezo allows retailers to mark up the cushions substantially from the base wholesale pricing.
Distributors are likely paying a premium cost to stock the imported Ezo cushions.
They then pad the retail price even higher to take advantage of the brand’s reputation and customer demand.
The hefty retailer markups result in the cushion’s high price being 2-3X the actual manufacturing cost.
This contrasts with generic store brand cushions that have minimal markup from base import or production costs. The retailer has more pricing control, passing maximum savings onto shoppers for their own in-house cushion products.
- Research and Development Costs
Ezo invests substantially in ongoing research and development to continually improve their cushion technology. Creating proprietary polymers and fabrics requires extensive testing and iterations to optimize the materials and designs.
The costs of these R&D investments both in the lab and clinical trials get incorporated into the final product pricing. Continuous innovation comes at a price.
- High-Quality Manufacturing
Ezo denture cushions are produced in a state-of-the-art facility in Japan using precision manufacturing processes. Maintaining this high-quality factory with stringent quality control adds overhead expenses relative to cheaper overseas mass production.
The skilled labor and regulated working conditions also drive up manufacturing costs compared to developing world factories with lower standards and wages. This focus on quality adds expenses all down the supply chain.
- Customer Service and Support
Ezo sells through authorized retailers and provides customer service support spanning multiple countries and languages. These ancillary services centered around the product add additional operating costs that contribute to inflated pricing.
This contrasts with generic cushion importers that offer little to no customer assistance or even product information. Keeping overhead low allows for smaller margins and cheaper retail costs.
How Ezo Compares To Other Popular Denture Cushion Brands?
- Fixodent Denture Cushions
Fixodent is one of the most well-known denture adhesive brands. Their denture cushions use a soft vinyl material instead of Ezo’s specialized polymer. The basic U-shape is a one-size-fits-all design.
The Fixodent cushions are cheaper than Ezo but don’t mold quite as closely or absorbs shocks as effectively. They are a reasonably priced domestic product but lack the custom shapes and premium cushioning material of Ezo brands.
- Sea-Bond Denture Cushions
Sea-Bond offers both silicone and soft vinyl denture cushion varieties. Their vinyl cushions are inexpensive but not as durable or cushioning as Ezo’s polymer material.
The Sea-Bond silicone cushions rate closer to Ezo for shock absorption. However, they lack contouring and use a basic oval shape instead of a customized fit. Overall, a decent mid-range cushion option but not on par with Ezo’s premium design.
- Corega Denture Cushions
From Japan, Corega is a major Ezo competitor on the premium cushion market. Their Ultra cushion line uses advanced materials to deliver exceptional fit and cushioning.
Corega’s prices are on par with Ezo since they also import from Japan. Corega may match Ezo’s performance by some measures. However, Ezo remains the more recognized brand among denture wearers globally.
- KlearView Denture Cushions
KlearView offers a quality denture cushion at a more budget-friendly price point. They use customized U-shapes for upper and lower dentures.
The KlearView material isn’t quite as shock-absorbent as Ezo’s polymer, but provides decent cushioning. A good option for those wanting an affordable, pre-shaped cushion without the high cost of the Ezo brand.
- Dr. Wise Denture Cushions
As another Japan-imported brand, Dr. Wise is a direct Ezo alternative. They focus on quality materials and research-backed designs.
Dr. Wise cushions rival Ezo in performance and quality. Pricing is similar, though Ezo remains the more well-known brand. Dr. Wise appeals to shoppers already familiar with Japanese denture cushions seeking to pay a little less.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ezo Denture Cushions
Ezo denture cushions are made from proprietary soft polymers designed to provide exceptional cushioning and rebound. The exact materials are a trade secret held by the Ezo company in Japan, but they claim it is a specialized formula optimized for denture comfort and shock absorption.
Yes, denture cushions are a popular way to add cushioning and help improve the fit of dentures. Cushions made from soft vinyl, silicone, acrylic, gel, or custom materials like Ezo can be placed in the denture to provide a more comfortable, less abrasive fit. Proper denture adjustment and relining are also recommended for optimal comfort.
For lower dentures specifically, look for denture cushions that are contoured to match the shape of the lower jaw and gumline. The Ezo Lower Denture Cushions are pre-shaped specifically for lower dentures. Place the cushion with the thicker end towards the back molars. Ensure the cushion lies flat and even along the gum ridge. Most lower denture cushions are a U-shape to cradle the arch properly.
Upper denture cushions are contoured for the palate shape. Ezo’s U-Shaped Upper Denture Cushions work well to provide full cushioning coverage. Position the cushion so the curved ends nestle into the sides of the upper gum ridges. The thickest cushioning should sit centrally to pad the sensitive palate. Test the fit and ensure the denture still seals properly over the gums before wearing for extended periods.
So in summary, the combination of patented designs, specialized materials, global importing, upscale branding, customization, and retailer markups all contribute to the expensive price tag of Ezo denture cushions.
For those unwilling to pay a premium, lower priced generic cushions offer a more budget-friendly solution. But Ezo remains the top choice for those seeking high-end quality and performance.