Dental products maker Dentsply says it will buy competitor Sirona for $5.51B in stock

Dentsply International is buying competitor Sirona Dental Systems for about $5.51 billion in a deal the companies say will create the biggest maker of professional dental products and materials in the world.

The companies say they will have $3.8 billion in combined sales of products like anesthetics, sealants, tooth whiteners, dental prosthetics, lab products, and systems used to scan patients' mouths and create ceramic tooth replacements. The combined company will be called Dentsply Sirona.

The companies expect to complete the deal in the first quarter of 2016, pending approval from antitrust regulators and shareholders.

Dentsply International Inc. shareholders will own 58 percent of the company. Sirona Dental Systems Inc. CEO Jeffrey Slovin will be CEO of the combined company, and Dentsply Chairman and CEO Bret Wise will be chairman.