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Recently, the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation awarded $193,924 in grants to provide funding for innovative oral health programs aimed at encouraging changes in consumer behavior, improving access and enhancing the efficiency of the oral health care system. These grants were made possible by Dental Trade Alliance members’ generous donations to the foundation.

Become your dentists’ trusted resource and you’ll help them grow their dental practice and provide better care for their patients. While these challenging times are producing angst among dentists, they can present an opportunity for you. You can become your dentists’ trusted resource and help them see beyond their practice walls to the larger trends and opportunities in dentistry today.  

Read more at First Impressions Magazine.

Excerpted from the September 2014 issue of Mentor

A good thing turns bad when there’s too much of it. Take the example of “too much information.” Every parent wants to know what their children are up to, but they’re probably not interested to learn about the treasure that little Johnny or Susie found sifting through the kitty litter. So it goes with dental trade shows. These events can be beneficial in boosting field sales and generating leads, but the number of shows — and, in some cases, shrinking attendance — are cause for concern among manufacturers and distributors. When it comes to meetings, the challenge for dental companies is knowing which venues are producing — and which they’re better off turning their noses up at.

In today’s super-competitive climate, it’s all about discovering which exhibitions offer a solid return on investment, and then finding creative ways to leverage those venues for maximum brand-building and sales impact. And while there’s no bulletproof cost/benefit formula that works for every firm, there are strategies that can help dental companies determine the “right shows” to which they should commit their resources.

Read the full article at MentorIsSalesPower.com.

The U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), a bureau of the Department of Homeland Security, maintains a trademark recordation system for marks registered at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  Parties who register their marks on the Principal Register may record these marks with CBP, to assist CBP in its efforts to prevent the importation of goods that infringe registered marks.  The recordation database includes information regarding all recorded marks, including images of these marks.  CBP officers monitor imports to prevent the importation of goods bearing infringing marks, and can access the recordation database at each of the 317 ports of entry.

A study by the University of Florida researchers shows that a change in the Florida and Texas Medicaid policy is showing an increase in the likelihood of children receiving basic oral care health screenings and cavity prevention through primary care provider reimbursement.

Read more from University of Florida Health Science Center website.

The FDA has unofficially agreed to use the term dispenser in place of the word syringe when the item is not being used for sterile injection. This was the term DTA recommended on behalf of its members to convey the function of the device and to standardize the nomenclature in response to UDI (unique device identification) rulemaking. DTA sought input on this topic from a variety of industry representatives, DTA members, practitioners, consultants, academic and military personnel. 

The change was needed because the term syringe (as used by the dental community) has become very broad. It encompasses hundreds of devices that dispense a variety of non-sterile pharmaceuticals and medical device products. One U.S. dental distributor shows more than 500 syringe listings in their current catalog. FDA and the Center for Disease Control believe it would be in the best interest of practitioners and patients to avoid any possible confusion and develop a more descriptive term than just using the term syringe for a wide range of dispensers.

Have you considered growing sales through international exports? There is a strong demand for U.S. dental devices because of their quality, technology and cost. The growth opportunities for your company are significant and DTA can help manufacturers just starting out in the export market or those who want to increase their already established market share.

Time to contact your Member of Congress. Also a good time to invite them to visit your business!

Congress has now left Washington, D.C. until early September. All 435 members of the House of Representatives and 36 members of the Senate are up for election this year, so they should be predisposed to listen to the voters in their states and districts. They will spend as much time at home as possible until after election day in November, so you should have a lot of opportunities to contact them.

Please take time to call their local offices or send an e-mail to remind them of the issues that dramatically affect the dental industry.

The impact of the Medical Device Tax is more severe on dental products, than other medical products, as there is little to no coverage of dental services under the Health Care Law. In fact, the tax amounts to 40 times the potential additional benefit from the limited additional coverage.  Several U.S. Senators and Representatives have joined the DTA in the fight to repeal the Medical Device Tax. Some congressional supporters hope that action can be taken on the medical device tax in the lame duck session of Congress that will occur in November.

  • House Bill 523, known as the Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2013, was introduced February 6, 2013 and is sponsored by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN). With 274 cosponsors, it has been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.
  • On February 7, 2013, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced the Senate version of the bill known as the Medical Device Access and Innovation Protection Act which amends the Internal Revenue Code to repeal the excise tax on medical device manufacturers and importers. It has 40 bipartisan cosponsors and is with the Senate Committee on Finance. 
  • Click here for a sample letter that you can use to reach out to your representatives and senators to let them know how you feel about this tax.

The Physicians Payment Sunshine Act, a provision of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, requires medical device manufacturers to report payments or transfers of value to dentists that exceed $10. While dentists are covered under the definition of physician, only about 25 percent of dentists participate in CMS programs. We believe that the burden of reporting costs for dental manufacturers far exceeds any intended benefit of transparency in relationships with providers. We are proposing to raise the reporting limit significantly and eliminate the requirement to aggregate payments or transfers of value throughout the year.

Please contact your elected representatives today, while they are in your community, and take the opportunity to invite them to visit your business. Click here to locate your representatives.

If you need assistance with your letter or your invitation please contact us.

For more information about how to host a visiting member of Congress, check out the DTA Washington Advocacy Guide for step by step guidance.

Excerpted from the July 2014 issue of Mentor

As an industry, we’ve all tried to balance the benefits and frustrations of attending dental meetings. And while the benefits — networking, intelligence gathering and forging business connections — are obvious, the frustrations are equally apparent. Exhibition costs are high, especially proportionate to shows with flat or shrinking attendance. It has gotten to the point where some companies are no longer exhibiting, while others are drastically reducing their exhibition space. While identifying a return on investment (ROI) can be difficult, dental meetings are still a way to connect with clinicians, let them road test new products, and gain valuable practitioner feedback. Companies can hone their exhibition strategies with an overall plan to increase ROI by following a few simple tips.

Read the full article at MentorIsSalesPower.com.

While gray market goods is not a new topic in the dental trade sector, focus on the issue, its impact and potential legalities continue to move front and center. The following June 16th article in the ADA News highlights the  concern about what products are finding their way back to the US and into the hands of unaware health care professionals.  Learn more about the efforts of a number of DTA member companies who are working to control gray market sales and educate dentists on the potential issues and risks of using gray market goods.

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