Buyer’s Guide - Comparing the Top Dental Supply Companies

Comparing the top dental supply companies


Every Dental Practice may be unique, but all share the same challenge: Finding the right dental supplies at the right prices. A savvy dental practitioner knows that this will always be an evolving process.

Modern practices have the benefits of shopping online, but this again comes with its own challenge: With so many options – how do I know where to shop?

To help you here, we've put together this list of some of the best places to shop. We compare the strengths and weaknesses of each, in order to help you find the right match.

With this overview, you can cut out some of the legwork of finding and comparing the best dental vendors.

Noble Dental Supplies

Noble Dental Supplies has been in the game for a long time – over 40 years – and in more recent years, with the move they became one of the biggest online dental supplier, they have always maintained the same company ethos. Their focus is on customer service, and that is what sets Noble Dental Supplies apart.

That means consistently and diligently helping our clients save money, and finding the high quality dental products and best solutions to satisfy dental businesses unique needs.

Unique Benefits:

What is unique about us is our care. We offer to review what you're currently buying, by studying your invoices and give you a detailed comparison, at no charge to you. We also offer free shipping on orders above $500.

What Makes Us Stand Out?

While some competitors focus on a mass marketplace approach, and while others use aggressive marketing tactics, Noble cuts a different path. We focus on building relationships that are mutually beneficial while saving you money at the same time.

Our decades of experience in sourcing gives us leverage, so we are able to put the Dental Practice itself in focus. Noble's approach is that it's the small details that matter – like ensuring each package is neatly packed, complete, and delivered on time, every time. Nurturing these relationships is what has made the business last.

This approach has made Noble the Top East Coast Dental Supply Company. Their flagship brand is MARK3, and they stock a huge range of supply products and basic equipment, consistently beating the prices of big-name brands by 30-50%.

Henry Schein Dental Supplier

This is a big company, listed on the Fortune 500, and it casts a long shadow. The Company's sales reportedly reached $10.1 billion in 2020, and Henry Schein became a public company in 1995. They’re also obviously a big name, with a big reputation, and that comes with both its pros and its cons.

Unique Benefits:

Henry Schein operates a centralized and automated distribution center, with a selection of more than 120,000 branded products. They have technological muscle, and this is great for surgical instruments, as well as for the sale and service of large equipment. They have few peers in that niche.

What Makes them Stand Out?

With Almost 20,000 employees, Henry Schein is stable and diverse. They carry 60,000 products, and more in different areas of business, and the company uses a force of motivated and trained sales representatives. They have multiple warehouses, both in the US and globally, and can usually deliver most products within one day.

Their distribution machine is well-oiled and follows the Amazon model. Unfortunately, all these benefits come at a cost, which drives up their retail prices. Keep in mind that they are a public company, and so have to answer to shareholders.

Safco  Dental Supplier

This company has a legacy similar to Noble Dental Supplies. It was founded in 1945 by Harold Saffir and later continued by his progeny. They carry a fairly large range of between 20,000 - 40,000 products, including all the major brands.

Unique Benefits:

Safco uses the Catalog model, with no aggressive sales representatives. The company is now starting to focus on online ordering, offering over 18,000 inventory items featured on their website, and in their printed catalog that has over 500-pages.

What Makes them Stand out?

Since Safco is a privately owned company, they are able to keep their prices slightly lower than Schein. They also have a house brand, and offer free shipping for orders over $100.

Save 30% to 50% on supplies

NET32  Dental Supplier

Here we have a totally different approach to the business. Net32 is basically a big marketplace, where various vendors compete on similar ranges of products. It’s an attractive idea, and one that aligns with the democratic idea of a free and open market, but it also has its drawbacks.

Unique Benefits:

The big drawcard here is competition. Vendors that supply Net32 must compete with price and quality in an open forum, and they are subject to reviews from clients. There are obvious benefits to this approach.

What Makes them Stand Out?

Because it is basically an open marketplace, the central company cannot always guarantee exceptional service. As great as a competitive market is for prices, it also suffers from erratic customer service, decentralized systems, and the hassle that Dentists get invoices from many different vendors. It’s a private company, and there are no sales representatives.

Darby  Dental Supplier

Darby dental supplier is 50% owned by Schein Dental, and they follow the same model as the giant. Being partly independent, they are able to offer slightly lower prices. They carry a robust range of around 40,000 products on their online portal and stocked in a number of distribution hubs scattered across the country.

Unique Benefits:

The Darby sales representatives are highly motivated, and their enterprise has doubled in five years, a testament to the effectiveness of their sales machine, to the point of aggressive selling. 

What Makes them Stand Out?

Darby carries and stocks all the major, well-known Dental brands, and it is a private company, although affiliated with Schein. That means it also benefits from some of the same heavyweight muscle, and shares the protection of its big brother - but again - with similar drawbacks. Although the outbound calling representatives are eager for business, their automated supply model in the background may be vulnerable to faults that the personal care of smaller supply companies can overcome. 

Scotts Dental  Dental Supplier

A relative newcomer to the playing field is Scott Bigler, the founder of Scotts Dental, who started the company in 2002. Competing as a small fish among the big fish means having to offer more value in terms of price and service, and this is where Scotts finds their niche. Their range includes many of the major lines but excludes three big names: 3M, Dentsply, and Kerr.

Unique Benefits:

The biggest drawcard here is their savings catalog. On certain Dental products, their prices are aggressively slashed in order to maintain their slice of the dental market. Scotts is especially known for its range of handpieces and stainless steel instruments. They also offer free shipping for orders above $500. 

What Makes them Stand Out?

Scott’s Dental Supply offers a 300-page quarterly catalog, and they have staked out the West Coast as their territory for now - becoming a Top Contender in this area. Carving out this niche, the private company has grown to around $17Million in sales, which is noteworthy, considering their sales strategy focuses on inbound, rather than outbound calls.

In Conclusion…

The list above covers the most significant Dental Supply Companies out there, competing for your business. 

Each one has its own peculiarities, and its own plus and minus points. In the end, it is a question of balancing your time and money. 

Some companies offer the potential for savings, but create hassles for you in other ways, whereas the big fish have all the bells and whistles, but can’t compete on cost. Feel free to contact us to help you make an informed comparison, based on your unique buying needs, and let us prove to you the savings and benefits that are possible.

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