Ask Dr. Christensen: The graying of dentistry

Dr. Gordon Christensen discusses a topic he feels is very important for dental practices—the gray market of dental products. These products pose more risks than they do advantages for dental practices, and he discusses why.

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In one of his latest videos, Dr. Gordon Christensen discusses a topic he feels is very important to dentists and their patients—the gray market. He asks, “What are gray market products?” These are products not authorized by manufacturers. Products sold by gray market channels have been diverted from their secure supply chain and often do not comply with local laws and are often not approved for use.

These products might have compromised quality, and in some places they’re repackaged or relabeled. In some cases, expiration dates are changed so a product can be sold beyond its original expiration date. Of great concern to Dr. Christensen are counterfeit products, which pose the greatest risk to safety.

What makes the gray market gray, he asks? It’s often difficult to determine if a product is real or counterfeit. What makes these products so pervasive is that they’re very low priced, and this can be tempting when a practice owner is trying to watch his or her bottom line.

But the risks far outweigh the rewards of buying a gray market product. Patient safety could be put into jeopardy. Another consideration is loss of productivity, as in, spending time redoing poor dentistry performed with a gray market item. He discusses other risks as well.

He notes a 2015 survey conducted by Apex360 revealed that more than 60% of dentists admitted that they did not confirm with a manufacturer that a distributor was authorized to sell a certain product.

Dr. Christensen concludes by discussing ways to avoid the risk of buying gray market items, such as educating your staff to buy only from authorized distributors. Watch the video for more of his thoughts on gray market products.

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