What does the supply chain disruption mean to dentists and dental professionals?

It all started in 2020 with PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), at first masks weren’t available and then the price for all masks including level 1,2 and 3, KN95 and even N95 masks skyrocketed. We saw something similar with gowns and nitrile gloves. Now it’s apparent that all dental supplies are more expensive, not just PPE but the price of all consumables have gone up and are going to continue in that direction. COVID-19 has caused harm to the global supply chain for dental supplies in two significant ways. First the demand has increased, during crisis people want to stock up as much as possible so demand for essential goods like PPE has increased dramatically. Secondly, the response to COVID-19 has also caused turmoil. From the closing of ports and factories to the grounding of flights and the cancelation of cargo ships, it has created a situation where healthcare supply chains have suffered tremendously.

                The outlook for dentists and dental professionals is not optimistic, but there are some solutions. The first thing dentists should understand is that it’s not just them. These are global supply chain issues and most industries are feeling the pain. Whereas in the past dentists could expect to spend 5-6% of their budget on supplies, that number is going to be more like 8-9% in this environment. There are not many experts predicting that the delays and raw materials shortages will end soon. So what can savvy dentists do to combat a global situation like this? The first thing all dentists can do is to not over order. This is easier said than done because no dentists want’s to lose out on a procedure because they don’t have the necessary supplies, but it is something they should keep in mind. The next thing all dentists should do when it comes to their dental supplies is to find lower cost alternatives. Most dentists expect to pay more for gloves, masks and gowns during a global pandemic.

The savings are on many of the other consumables that dentists use every day. Never sacrifice quality for a less expensive product but dentist should be asking themselves, “Do I really need this composite that costs $140 per syringe to do my best work”.  Many dental supply companies will let you try their products for free, so there is little to no risk in trying a new product that is 60-70% less expensive. There are many other examples of savings on products such as, Crown & Bridge Material, VPS Impression Material, Bite Registration and Prophy Paste. That is without even discussing disposables. The savings are out there to reduce your dental supply costs they just need to be found.


Gavin Markiet

Noble Dental Supplies

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