Buying Amalgam Separators: When “FREE” Is NOT so Free

free not free (1)Today’s blog will be discussing the dangers of falling for “free” amalgam separators and helping Dental Professionals make the right ecological and economic purchases for their practice.

The cutoff date for EPA Regulation compliance is looming, and many Doctors are unsure what they should do to become compliant. Most Dental Professionals have the goal of becoming compliant while spending the least amount of their hard earned cash on an amalgam separator. That line of thinking is entirely understandable, and achievable, but only if done correctly.

The Doctors who are educating themselves about their options, researching the total costs of a system based on the needs of their office are the ones who will most succeed in buying the best-valued amalgam separators.

Unfortunately, most Dentists are not taking the time to make an educated selection in choosing an amalgam separator for their practice. It is upsetting to see how many Dental Professionals are being fooled by the old “free” give away tactic used by many high maintenance amalgam separator manufacturers.

 

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Dental Association Endorsements

Many Dental Associations have endorsed a particular amalgam separator, often choosing the system that pays the most in royalties. The issue with many of these “Association Deals” is that Doctors are quickly becoming aware that their “deal” has been costing 3-4 times more money than initially advertised.

A scheme used by some amalgam separator Manufacturers is to reduce the cost of the initial price of the system. The lower priced (sometimes free) system entices Doctors to purchase that particular unit. The manufacturer does this because of two reasons;

1) They know once a Doctor installs a unit, they will most likely not switch to another system.

2) Where the money is truly made is in the cost of the maintenance of the system.

Once Doctors have installed the amalgam separator that has been endorsed by their Association, they often find the system requires significantly more maintenance than advertised. Often paying 5-10 times the amount in filters and maintenance than what they spent on the initial unit within the first year of ownership.

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“FREE” Amalgam Separators

As the adage goes “nothing good comes free,” a statement to consider when choosing the right amalgam separator for your practice. At many Dental Conventions, you may find service and supply companies offering a “free” amalgam separator as a show special. A few questions to consider when being offered a “free” or severely discounted amalgam separator is;

* What value does a product have if it is just given away?

* Is the system of poor quality?

* Is the product defective?

* If they are giving it away, where are they making their money?

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How to Avoid this Trap?

Typically, a quick Google search can often save someone from making a bad purchase. Don’t be pressured into purchasing anything on the spot, regardless of the “amazing deal” you are being offered. In many cases, if the product that is being sold is a good product, the deal will be extended long enough for the Doctor to do their research.

Before purchasing the amalgam separator, read the user manual thoroughly. The user manual is required to contain the maintenance needed on the system to keep it compliant. Look for required maintenance, inspections, any mention of troubleshooting in case of clogging or failure.

Systems like the LibertyBOSS have simple instructions with no maintenance, filters and no chance of a clog or experiencing suction loss. Just install the system and forget about it for up to three years. Other amalgam separators require babysitting to function correctly, those type of systems are the ones Doctors should avoid, as they typically are higher in cost and fail more regularly.

Amalgam separatorsWhat is Next?

Want to learn more? Keep tabs on the M.A.R.S blogs, as we are releasing two blogs a week to help educate the Dental Industry on how to stay in compliance with the Amalgam Separator Rule.