Midwestern dental supplies are starting to look more like the stuff of nightmares as their supply chains are crumbling under the strain of the Great Recession, and they’re starting to become more vulnerable to counterfeiters.
A report released Tuesday by the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) found that dental supply companies have lost about $1.8 billion in profits since 2008, and about $2.7 billion in revenue over the same period.
“As the U.S. dentistry industry has been under intense pressure to meet standards of care, supply chains have been under the most strain, with shortages of supplies and products causing consumers to purchase higher-priced products,” the report states.
“We estimate that dental supplies and other dental products, including mouthwashes, fillings, mouthwipes, dental implants, and dental products in general, have lost nearly $1 billion in revenues since 2008.”
Dentists are seeing their profits drop as well.
According to the report, the number of dentists in the U, which accounts for more than 80 percent of the U’th- eral dental market, has fallen from more than 35,000 in 2000 to about 26,000 now.
“Despite a number of changes in the industry, dental supply chains still suffer from weak supply chains,” the NCLC states.
“For example, a majority of dental products are manufactured in China, and many of the companies that supply the products to consumers in the United States are not required to disclose their production sites.”
And because of the shortage of supply, dentists have lost money in the process of processing and packaging dental products.
For example, last year, one dentist was forced to cancel $2,200 worth of dental care after he found that some of his patients were not receiving treatment, even after having been given the proper prescriptions.
And even though the industry is facing its worst supply shortage in decades, dentistry supplies companies are not reporting any shortages at all, as they have continued to deliver high quality products, according to the NCLP.
As the toothpaste shortages continue to plague the market, it is expected that some dentists will continue to have to rely on counterfeiters to provide high-quality dental care.
“Dentists will need to be wary about purchasing products from the counterfeiters they use to fill their mouths, and consumers should be wary of purchasing dental products that are not from the original source,” the study states.
If you or anyone you know needs dental care, please call 1-800-DENTISTRY (1-800)-DENTIST.