10 Questions: Dr. Dan E. Fischer

Dental Products ReportDental Products Report-2010-10-01
Issue 10

01 Ultradent Products Inc. is still a private company. Has this impacted your business in any way?

01 Ultradent Products Inc. is still a private company. Has this impacted your business in any way?

Yes, absolutely. We’re better able to maintain control of our assets-whether that’s employees, budgets or the sourcing of our supplies. Being “private” provides the ability to make decisions at a quicker pace. We also manufacture 95% of our products in South Jordan, Utah, and have been able to maintain a “family-like” relationship with employees, distributors and subsidiaries overseas from all walks of life.

02 How has Ultradent’s culture impacted the business overall?

Ultradent’s stakeholders, whether they’re internal or external, are all familiar with the terms “trustworthy” and “progressive” as they relate to our brand, including the patient in the chair.  We often talk about the need for considering the patient in every product, service or aspect of our business. “Patient-centered, minimally invasive dentistry” isn’t just a fad for us-it’s a focal point of our business and what we stand for.

03 How did the name “Opalescence” become a standard with regard to tooth whitening? 

We constantly place ourselves to the task of improving delivery and materials to meet customer and patient needs. It is science, not marketing hype, that has been our drive from the development of our sticky viscous take-home gel to the rest of the Opalescence line. The unique PF formula aids in the delivery of potassium nitrate and fluoride during whitening, reducing the occurrence of sensitivity and benefitting the patient’s enamel.

04 How has Ultradent shifted its marketing toward some of the non-traditional methods?

I have to commend our marketing team for stepping into the realm of these non-traditional methods from the early days, but education always has been important to us. For example, Ultradent now has one of the largest libraries of podcasts in the industry. This is because we sought after a channel to reach customers in remote regions or who preferred “on-demand” education. Media like Facebook, Twitter, and the corporate blog also allow us to feel as though we’re in closer proximity to our valued customers.

05 What does Ultradent’s international business look like?

About 60% of what we manufacture is exported to countries outside of the U.S. We now have more than 100 distributors worldwide along with wholly owned subsidiaries in Italy, Germany, Brazil and our newest addition in Japan. We’ve become more and more structured with direct support in the fastest growing markets (India, China, etc.).

06 What’s Ultradent’s response to an economy in flux?

One of the best services our customers can provide to their own patients is the option of “repair” rather than “replacement.” For example, intraoral repair of a PFM crown. With the bonding and composite products available today, the end result is an esthetic and functional repair that is feasible, low-risk and cost-effective. Patients will appreciate your consideration, which can be valuable for the wallet of both the patient and clinician. In short, much of our recent focus has been on providing the tools for alternative treatments to the more expensive options. 

07 How has the company dedicated resources to its humanitarian causes?

Ultradent’s mission is to find a cure for caries. While we understand this is a lofty yet achievable goal, it requires us to focus attention in the interim to improvement of oral health care on a global level. To this end, we’ve dedicated a significant portion of resources (monetary and product) toward supporting humanitarian missions around the world.  

08 What makes VALO, your newest curing light, so special?  

The slim design of VALO enables it to outperform every other quality light in regard to access  and we know this because of MARC-a new technology for testing light energy within preparations-and the work of Dr. Richard Price and Dalhousie University. It wasn’t until we developed VALO that we had the confidence that we were truly offering the best of all options in the market.

09 Some people remember you as the man working the aisles during tradeshows demonstrating how to use hemostatic agents years ago. Where did this passion come from?

We started the company with the mission to improve existing delivery systems and dental materials. And, in the early days we relied on principally family to get the job done. The passion from the early days still exists.   

10 Part of Ultradent’s vision is to find a cure for caries and gum disease. How do you plan to take this on?

Tooth decay is the most common infectious disease globally. The abscessed tooth has become the most prevalent cause of death in second and third world countries. For this reason, we’ve made finding a cure for caries a high priority at Ultradent. To this end, we have projects in the pipeline that expand on what we’re already doing in addition to those already available such as fluoride varnish and high xylitol. It is ethical that we do.

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