Dental shopping on the Net

In the July issue of Dental Economics, I dedicated this column to "Shopping on the Internet." I hope that you had fun visiting some of the sites listed in that column and that you have had good purchasing experiences on the Web. Bargains are abundant if you are a diligent shopper.

Jeffrey B. Dalin, DDS

In the July issue of Dental Economics, I dedicated this column to "Shopping on the Internet." I hope that you had fun visiting some of the sites listed in that column and that you have had good purchasing experiences on the Web. Bargains are abundant if you are a diligent shopper.

But don`t think of the Internet as just a place where you can shop for personal goods and services. You also can surf and shop for products and supplies for your practice. You can do price comparisons, material and equipment research, and make many of the purchases for your dental practices online. This dental-shopping experience is in its earliest stages, but is growing at exponential rates. So, get your computer turned on and your fingers warmed up ... it`s time to visit some of these dental-shopping sites.

First, I must make a disclaimer. I cannot possibly list every dental supplier or dental manufacturer with a Web site. In fact, I don`t even know them all because new dental Web sites are going up every day. I also want to emphasize that I am not nor is Dental Economics endorsing any of the companies or Web sites listed in this article. I merely am trying to give readers a good starting point for using the Internet in the day-to-day operation of a dental practice.

If you are strictly looking for a listing of dental suppliers/manufacturers by name, address, and phone/fax numbers, try visiting one of the following two sites:

//www.dent.unc.edu/bayne/dmg/dmg-manufacturers/dental-manufacturers.htm

//www.yellowlist.com

If you are looking for links to many of the manufacturers and suppliers, visit one of these sites:

//www.adental.com/dental4.htm - This site has a very large and thorough listing of links.

//www.webdental.com - This site calls itself the world`s premier dental resource site.

//www.dentalicon.com/products.htm - You can find many products and dealers here.

//www.dentalshop.com - This site has a large searchable database. It is basically a dental search engine.

//www.1000gems.com/dentallinks.htm - Dr. Tom Orent is trying to gather together a large links area on his own Web page.

Most dental manufacturers have their own Web sites. If you cannot find the link you want at one of the above Web sites, try the following: Type in the address as:

//www.(name of company).com.

You will find that most company Web-site addresses are set up like this. Many dental manufacturers and suppliers are developing excellent Web sites. Most of them will give you great information on what they are selling. Some even go a step beyond that and teach you how to use their products on their site.

If you want to take the ultimate step in dental Internet commerce, feel free to visit any of the following sites and begin purchasing equipment and supplies:

//www.dexpo.com - You can purchase dental products here as well as participate in auctions.

//www.dentalauction.com - This is another dental-auction site where items are listed and people can bid on them online.

//www.ada.org - The American Dental Association has just announced it is setting up an area on its Web page called Dental Shopping Mall. Members will be allowed to purchase products at a discount as a benefit of ADA membership.

//www.net32.com/start.asp - This is a site where you can purchase products.

Many of the large dental suppliers, such as Henry Schein and Patterson Dental Supply, and the smaller regional-supply houses allow you to purchase supplies online. All you need to do is open an Internet account with them and the rest is taken care of on the computer screen in front of you.

As you can see, Internet dental commerce is off and running in a big way. Now you have the opportunity to use the Web in researching and purchasing dental products and equipment. In many cases, you will save money when making your purchases. That adds up to a win-win situation for all of us!

Jeffrey B. Dalin, DDS, FACD, FAGD, practices general dentistry in St. Louis. He also is the editor of St. Louis Dentistry Magazine and spokesperson and critical-issue-response-team chairperson for the Greater St. Louis Dental Society. His Web-site address is www.dfdasmiles.com Contact him by e-mail at jeff@dfdasmiles.com, by phone at (314) 567-5612, or fax at (314) 567-9047.

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