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Product Profile: Patterson Dental launches

Promoting safer industrywide supply chain practices.

Patterson Dental is dedicated to ensuring the highest integrity of its supply chain. Unfortunately, gray market dental distribution, or the distribution of products sold through unintended channels, poses a threat to the dental industry. As such, Patterson Dental is placing an even higher priority on its supply chain practices by raising awareness of potentially unsafe gray market or illegal black market products.

Oral health professionals are invited to learn more about Patterson Dental’s educational campaign at This site contains information that dental hygienists and other dental team members should be aware of when ordering supplies and materials.


Clinicians can ensure that their dental purchases are made from a clean supply chain by asking six questions:

1. Is the deal too good to be true?

Deep-discount suppliers are often the largest source of gray market materials. These discounts, however, may exist for a reason. For example, the products may not have been intended for distribution in the United States or they may have been damaged or improperly labeled. Clinicians should understand the products being purchased and should never sacrifice quality for cost.

2. Is this product safe for patients?

If the product was not intended for distribution in the market, it may not satisfy applicable government regulations that were designed to promote and ensure its safety. Some products even may be hiding unknown ingredients that are not approved for individual consumption or use.

3. Is the order direct from the manufacturer or an authorized dealer?

Many online retailers can’t provide assurance that their products are coming directly from the manufacturer, allowing for suspicious products to enter the supply stream.

4. Is there an ordering history with this supplier?

Clinicians should only purchase from suppliers they know and trust. While recurring purchases do not guaranty the supplier is legitimate, a long-established distribution entity can help ensure confidence. Always research before buying.

5. Where did this package originate?

As regulations differ by country, be sure that the products purchased are clearly labeled to be sold in the US. Products permitted to be sold in the US typically are conspicuously marked so the purchaser can easily determine their origination.

6. Is there a valid warranty?

Products sold through gray market channels often lack a genuine manufacturer warranty, leaving clinicians without recourse should a product break down or, worse, cause bodily harm to patients.


Go to to learn more about issues related to gray market dental supplies.
(800) 328-5536

From Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. May 2015;13(5):67.


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