How far have we come in ten years?
Sometimes we need to look back in order to see the future.
Ten years ago the 2007 Fall Edition of the American Dental Association, Professional Products Review was released. The dental amalgam separators article asked one of the most important questions in the amalgam separator industry.
I saved that edition, (Volume 2: ISSUE 4 – Fall 2007) and every now and then I look at it to gage our progress in the way we relate to our customers regarding the accuracy of our marketing message and quality of dental products. This is a habit that I have gotten into over the years. It helps me keep a mental picture of where the company is in relation to the market.
On page 5, I reread “DENTISTS, INDUSTRY EXPERTS DISCUSS AMALGAM SEPARATORS,” two of the discussion points were; the issue of the expected life of the filter cartridges and the reality of actual service life. The excerpt read: “I thought this cartridge was supposed to last for 6 months or 9 months or a year, and I’ve had to swap it out three times already, what’s going on there?”
Ten years later, unfortunately, the questions and answer have not changed. Doctors are still paying, in many cases, a lot more than expected (U.S. dollars). I have seen offices that are paying as much as $6000.00 a year more than they needed to. If I were the customer you can be sure that I would be doing business with the vendor that stands behind his or her product, and I mean “You looked at my application and told me it would last ”X” number of months or years and it didn’t get close. so get me a unit that will last “X” time, as you said or give me my money back. It’s time we introduced honesty and responsibility back into the conversation. Can honesty really be so hard?
The second issue was a concern that separators may fill and spontaneously stop the suction if service was not done religiously. Today we know that most ISO 11143 separators have overflow systems that ensure plenty of suction while you make time to change or service the system. At least after ten years there is one separator system that gives the practitioner a guaranteed service date. Simple, if you fill the separator under normal use, M.A.R.S. Bio-Med replaces it.
There is also a reminder call, approximately 1 month previous to the end of the service life, This ensures the practice remains compliant without having the trouble associated with regular service, costs and interruption. Install is and forget about it. Of course there is a small catch. When the service life of the separator is over and despite the continued suction, the system is no longer functioning. It’s kinda like having a car in the driveway but you can’t drive it because it is out of gas.