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DOTmed Industry Sector Report: Dental Equipment Sales & Service

by Joan Trombetti , Writer

Gregory Drinkwater, President of feels his company is at an advantage because as far as dental equipment goes, sterilizers are a basic necessity and that is all he sells. "All the other dental technology that is available, while beneficial - is a luxury,"states Drinkwater. "Dentists do not like spending money on a sterilizer, but they know that they have to."

When Drinkwater's company refurbishes or remanufactures a sterilizer, all parts are replaced in the core machine. The machine is then run through an extensive testing period and basically ends up offering the same value as new at half the price - or less. Drinkwater gave an example of a new Statim 2000 sterilizer costing over $6,000, while his remanufactured version runs about $1799. All of Drinkwater's sterilizers come with everything a new sterilizer would have, plus a year warranty.
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New technology

On the international front, DOTmed user, Alessandro Boschi, Manager at Lambda Scientifica promotes laser dental technology. Laser technology is increasingly used in medical practice and can be successfully applied to children and odontophobic patients. Lasers can reduce the need for anesthetic, minimize post-operative swelling and discomfort and enhance patient recover. Boschi says that the technology is based on energy action and not mechanics. "With laser technology, there is no direct contact with the patient - giving great relief from pain," says Boschi. He admits that laser technology is here to stay, promising to create new waves in the future, "but, says Boschi - our systems are quite costly."

Paul Mulhauser, President of FactorsNY has merged the disciplines of applied human factors, engineering and industrial design to create products that have become standards for emerging medical, technical and consumer driven markets. Mulhauser believes that dentists are extremely cost-conscious and are always looking for ways to save money. "We are working on a new intraoral digital camera - enabling dentists to efficiently identify and patients to clearly visualize micro issues which can then be cost effectively treated before becoming more significant," says Mulhauser. FactorsNY has also designed Dentslpy's cost-saving reusable instrument for accurately dispensing local anesthetic gel without a needle into subgingival interstitial pockets of the gum.

John Sweeney, Director of Investor Relations at Sirona (leading global manufacturer of technologically advanced, high quality dental equipment) reported that Sirona fiscal year 2008 operating income, excluding amortization expense of $91.6 million, totaled $155.4 million, above guidance of $150 to $155 million. Sweeney sees favorable future trends that will positively affect the dental industry. They include the increasing level of global dental care, preventative care and a shift in the market place from film to digital imaging.
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