Mission Statement

What we want to achieve

Dr. Dan Fischer

We are driven to improve oral health globally through science, creativity and education.

We promise to provide progressive and trustworthy solutions to clinicians, enabling them to respect oral tissues and promote well-being to their patients. Our commitment to humanity is to continually pursue the discovery of cures for caries and gum disease.

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Blog
» Walker ShaLyse

The Incomparable Jeannie Nugent


“I want to be a part of helping the company to grow and move forward,” says Jean, or “Jeannie,” Nugent. It’s a goal that most people say she’s already accomplished; since Jeannie started at Ultradent seven years ago, the company has more than doubled in size from just 600 employees to the more than 1,300 people who work here today.

Jeannie’s role at Ultradent has also grown significantly. Starting as a part-time lobby receptionist, Jeannie now works full-time managing the receptionist team, coordinating all facility tours, working in human resources, and serving as co-chairperson of Ultradent’s many events with Audrey Mede. “I’m not a person who likes to sit still. I have to keep moving,” she says.

As we head into what Jeannie calls her “busy season”—which begins with Halloween and ends with Christmas—Jeannie says that impacting people’s lives in a positive way is what makes it all worth it. “I love anything that has to do with people. I love people. I love helping and serving them. That’s my motivation—serving people and making sure they have what they need and that they’re happy.”

Another joy—“I love doing tours because I love Ultradent, its story, and the things it’s based on,” reflects Jeannie. “When they put me in charge of tours, I began to really appreciate what it took to get Ultradent to where it is over the last 35 years!”

She continues, “The first product that Dr. Fischer created, Astringedent—every dentist uses it! VALO has revolutionized the industry. Of course, Ultradent has a tremendous influence in that field of tooth whitening. Across the board, everyone wants Opalescence. It’s the standard. It’s the best whitening out there.”
Of Dr. Fischer, Jeannie says, “That’s what I love about Dr. Fischer—he loves the dental industry so much that he’s ever stretching to make it better,” she says, calling him the opposite of an “arms-length man.” She remarks, “Another thing that is so gracious about Dr. Fischer is that he often comes up to tell you how much he appreciates what you do. When he began to see some of the things Audrey and I would put on for the employees, he would come up, every time, and thank us for the work we had done.”

To say that Jeannie does a lot would be an understatement. Although she loves Christmastime, Jeannie says that organizing Ultradent’s annual food drive is the most satisfying. “I love the food drive. It’s so fun to see all of our departments in the company pull together and do an amazing thing for people who are less fortunate. It makes me so proud to work here at Ultradent! I’m just blown away by the generosity of our company.” Last year, Ultradent raised over 300 pounds of food, making us the second largest contributor to the Utah Food Bank in the state. Jeannie hopes that this year, the company can claim the number one spot.

The fact that Jeannie loves the food drive so much makes it no surprise that she treasures Ultradent’s core values of “care” and “integrity” the very most. “I think integrity is essential to make the world a better place. I love the fact that I work with people who mean what they say and do what they mean.”

She points out that Dr. Fischer, despite his already full plate, leads by example. Of Ultradent’s core value, “care,” she says, “When I became a receptionist, I was impressed with how quickly he learned my name. Such is the case with nearly every employee at Ultradent, despite its growing size.”

When Jeannie’s not at Ultradent, she loves spending time with her five children, husband, and her grandchildren. She also enjoys painting, walking, and reading.

 
» Dan Fischer

End of Summer Lecture Tour

Lecturing in Walnut Creek


I’ve recently closed out a fabulous summer filled with wonderful people and experiences, beginning with my visit at the end of July to Bismarck, North Dakota.

In Bismarck, Carol Jent provided her excellent hygiene course while I did my usual presentation with the doctors. Over the last year and a half, my lecture has evolved into an analogy between the creation of quality, long-lasting marriages and quality, long-lasting dentistry. I’ve found a great number of parallels between these two subjects. As always, I keep the emphasis on prevention and minimally invasive techniques, as I believe this encompasses the definition of quality, long-lasting dentistry.

Although is it the capital of North Dakota, Bismarck’s population stands at approximately 200,000 people. I’ve found that because of the small population, the area doesn’t see many speakers on dentistry, which, I believe, makes the audience incredibly appreciative and receptive. I love the dentists, hygienists, and staff in the area, and had a great time with them during my visit.

After Bismarck, I traveled to Indianapolis, Indiana, where a good sized group of dentists and professors came out to hear our lectures. The University of Indiana’s dental school is one of the top in the nation, and sitting in the front row of my lecture was a former professor of mine from Loma Linda—Professor Melvin Lund who, now in his nineties, has been at Indiana for many years now. Next to him sat his son, who is a part-time professor at the dental school. What a wonderful reunion it was!

One row behind Professor Lund and his son sat the exemplary Bruce Matis, who has done more research for us on tooth whitening products than any other researcher. Although now retired, he still lectures on the subject and does some part-time work on the side. He has been a huge asset to Ultradent! What a blast to engage with him, Professor Lund, and the rest of the group during mine and Carol’s lectures. Thanks to everyone to came out!

Following my trip to Indiana, I traveled to Walnut Creek, California at the end of August for my last lecture trip of the month. The super Anthony Corsello, Brandie Miller, Pam Perry, Sabrina Kong, and their lovely, caring, and hardworking territory account manager, Judy Durrant covered all the bases for this, our largest course of the year. We had a whopping 220 attendees—among them, some of the most quality doctors in the area. Although many at the course have been loyal to Ultradent for years, we also had many new attendees who learned about our company and products for the very first time. We also had quite a few faculty members in attendance from the two dental schools in the area. Walnut Creek is a lovely place and I thoroughly enjoyed the few, yet productive, days spent there.

As I write, I’m in transit to Orlando, Florida, where I will lecture to a large group of key opinion leaders consisting of prominent professors and dentists from Latin America. It should be a fun and vibrant day! The following day Leenie and I will fly to Memphis, Tennessee for another all-day lecture series there. Should be great!

I’ll be back soon with a full report on my great trip to gorgeous Southeast Asia.

Until then, hugs to you all!

Dan

 
» Walker ShaLyse

The Delicate Art of Etching

“I am a self-proclaimed ‘bondodontist.’ I use Ultra-Etch almost every time I sit down to work. It is perfect—especially the viscosity. It goes where you want it to go and stays there until I rinse it off. Other reps are always bringing me something to try, and it either doesn’t flow, flows too much, or doesn’t come in a syringe,” says Dr. David D. May, a dentist practicing in Hemet, California, of Ultradent’s Ultra-Etch.

There are many important factors that go into the etching process. Because etching is a delicate procedure, one must take care to not etch so much that the acid penetrates too deeply, causing sensitivity and tooth damage. And yet the depth of etch must be sufficient enough to create an optimal surface for the tooth to receive resin and facilitate optimal bond strengths. Additionally, an etchant’s viscosity proves vital, as it must strike the delicate and extremely important balance of staying where the clinician places it—without running onto (and subsequently etching) unintended areas of the tooth. However, it must also possess enough flowability to penetrate and etch the deep pits and fissures of the tooth. Thus, the ability for precise placement combined with sufficient flowability is key to ensure superior control.

To prevent over etching, Ultradent’s 35% phosphoric acid solution contains self-limiting properties to ensure optimal conditions for resin impregnation and bonding. Phosphoric acid creates an ideal retention surface on enamel while rinsing clean to eliminate any residue that might interfere with bond strengths. Originally formulated as a liquid, the consistency of Ultra-Etch made it easy to penetrate deep pits and fissures but was difficult to control. So shortly after the inception of Ultra-Etch, Ultradent changed its viscosity to a flowable gel that stays in place, yet still penetrates thoroughly to achieve a thorough etch.

Ultra-Etch features a syringe delivery method (its tip measures 0.05mm in diameter), further enabling the clinician to place the etchant precisely and with complete control—whether in a tiny area or a very thin line. For flat surfaces, Ultradent’s Inspiral Brush tip thins the gel, allowing for easy application and deep penetration of every surface of the tooth.

The industry leader for over 20 years, Ultra-Etch allows for the controlled, flowable application and self-limiting etching process clinicians need to achieve quality bonding without leaving any residue behind. Perhaps this explains why Dr. Gerald Bloom and hundreds of other clinicians have said that when it comes to Ultra-Etch, they “can’t live without it.”

 
» Walker ShaLyse

Taking Dentistry to New Heights: The Path to Everest

Having reached Mt. Everest Base Camp II, elevation 21,500 ft., turning back was the last thing on Dean Cardinale’s mind. In fact, many Everest trekkers see Base Camp II as a destination, with Everest’s summit too lofty a goal. Not for Cardinale. Working on a “Seven Summits” bid—climbing the highest mountains on each of the world’s seven continents, the top of Everest symbolized only a piece, albeit large, of his journey. But as many a human being can attest, sometimes the smallest obstacles—the proverbial pebble in your shoe—can prove life’s greatest challenges. This rings particularly true when it comes to a toothache.

At such heights, “elevation sickness” encapsulates innumerable strange and unpredictable symptoms. Cardinale had developed a bad case of barodontalgia—altitude-induced tooth pain caused by pockets of gas that form under deep tooth crevices such as fillings. Barometric pressure changes cause the gas to expand, and unlike the ear canal or intestines, teeth are unable to contract to accommodate or help expel the growing gas. In debilitating pain, Cardinale knew of a small dental clinic run by a Sherpa turned hygienist at Namche Bazaar, elevation 11,000 ft., and a two day diverted excursion from the summit path. He also knew it was his only option.

Upon arrival, Nawang Sherpa—the aforementioned Canadian-trained hygienist who runs the Namche Dental Clinic, fixed Cardinale’s tooth, and on his 67th day of trekking, he summited Mt. Everest.

Dean Cardinale went on to found World Wide Trekking, a boutique adventure travel company that hosts explorations through Nepal to Everest-surrounding locations twice yearly. Knowing he could not have completed his Everest bid without the help of Nawang Sherpa, Cardinale, in partnership with Ultradent Products, Inc., a Utah-based dental supply and manufacturing company, has been helping the Namche Dental Clinic ever since.

Twice every year Cardinale fills two extra-large duffel bags—a notable excess burden for such treacherous and difficult terrain—with donated dental supplies from Ultradent such as bonding agents, sealants, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and delivers them right to the Namche Dental Clinic’s doorstep—much to Nawang Sherpa’s delight.

Nawang Sherpa and Dean Cardinale with Dental Supplies


Namche Dental Clinic


Sherpa children on the Everest trail exhibit four times the amount of tooth decay than children off the trail. This comes thanks to well-meaning Everest trekkers who, unable to resist the sweet smiles of the Nepalese children, give them candy that they normally could not afford to buy. The Namche Dental Clinic serves these children, along with the rest of the 130,000 residents and some of the 35,000 visitors that pass through the bazaar annually.

Nawang Sherpa and an Assistant at Work


As the only dental clinic within a 500-square-mile region, people often walk up to five days to see Nawang for tooth pain and dental work. One of Nawang’s primary goals: teaching the locals, and especially the children, basic dental hygiene to prevent further decay that runs so rampant in the area.

Recently, a group of monks walked for two days to reach the clinic for routine check-ups and cleanings after learning the importance of good dental hygiene from Nawang.

Monks at Namche


Why does Cardinale do it? In his “Seven Summit” bid, he says this quote best sums up his continuing desire to give back: “I expect to pass through this world but once. Any goodness I can share or any kindness I can show…to any fellow human being…let me do it now and not defer nor neglect it…for I shall not pass this way again.” – Unknown
Ultradent proudly supports Dean Cardinale and World Wide Trekking’s efforts to “improve oral health globally” through the bi-annual donation of dental supplies. To learn about how you can help, please visit humanoutreachproject.org.

 
» Walker ShaLyse

Endo-Eze FIND

Without dispute, determining and establishing the correct apical working length during root canal therapy has a profound and critical effect on the successful outcome of the procedure. However, this very thing has presented a challenge to endodontists and clinicians for many years, due to the fact that locating the apical constriction zone within a clinical perspective is very difficult—mostly because of its position and conformation, which are highly variable.

Methods of determining the working length include tactile sensation, knowledge of root canal lengths and anatomy, assessment of preoperative radiographs, and electronic apex locators. Traditionally, radiography has been the most used method in obtaining information on the anatomy of the root canal and its surrounding tissues. However, the working length measurement performed radiographically presents several limitations, namely radiation exposure, time expenditure, and difficulty of interpretation because it is a 2-dimensional image that is often overlapped with anatomic structures and is subject to the interpretation of the observer. Apex locators have been presented as valid instruments for identifying the apical foramen, helping to determine working length alternatively to the radiographic method. One published in vivo study states: “Underestimation of the WL [working length] can lead to insufficient debridement of the root canal, whereas overestimation can result in damage to the periapical tissues, which will delay or prevent healing…Furthermore, radiographs provide a two-dimensional image of a three-dimensional structure, which might affect the interpretation.”1

Another published study found that “working length ending radiographically 0–2mm short of the radiographic apex does not guarantee that instrumentation beyond the apical foramen will be avoided. Therefore radiographic working-length measurements should be combined with electronic working length determination using modern apex locators.”2

Third-generation apex locators detect the canal terminus by measuring the electrical properties of the apical part of the root canal, such as resistance and impedance, using multi-frequency measurement, like Ultradent Products, Inc.’s Endo-Eze® FINDTM apex locator. Endo-Eze FIND is a battery operated, portable device designed for foramen localization, using a multifrequency-dependent impedance method. FIND’s easy-to-read, full-color graphic display, audio feedback, and fully automatic measurements make foramen localization and working-length determination easy and convenient during root canal treatment. Thanks to its compact design and small footprint, FIND easily fits on any counter or treatment tray.

To learn more about, or purchase, the Endo-Eze FIND apex locator kit, please call 800.552.5512 or visit ultradent.com.

1. Stöber EK, Duran-Sindreu F, Mercadé M, Vera J, Bueno R, Roig M. An evaluation of root ZX and iPex apex locators: an in vivo study. J Endod. 2011;37(5):608-10.

2. ElAyouti A, Weiger R, Löst C. Frequency of overinstrumentation with an acceptable radiographic working length. J Endod. 2001;27(1):49-52.

 
» Dan Fischer

Ultradent Drive

A few years back when discussing the plan to build the first phase of our now Building 2 with our city of South Jordan planning commission, one of the commissioners said, “Ya know, we probably could name the road you are on “Ultradent Drive” if you’d like.” I replied, “That would be awesome!” And that was the end of that.

People get busy, and soon enough, the idea fell through the cracks until a recent planning meeting where we found out that the city of South Jordan officially renamed 10200 South “Ultradent Drive.” What a fun surprise! We are honored and thrilled.

Throughout the years, Ultradent has loved not only calling Utah, but also this fabulous community, our home. We’re grateful for the way the city of South Jordan has welcomed us, championed our growth, and helped us celebrate our successes in return.

It will be great fun to see our new address represent all of the places I have come to love over the years: Ultradent, South Jordan, and gorgeous Utah.

Hence, our new address:

Ultradent Products, Inc.
505 West Ultradent Drive
South Jordan, Utah 84095
USA

Dan

 
» Walker ShaLyse

Ortho: Safeguarding Your Patients Means Safeguarding Your Profits

It’s safe to say that braces require a significant adjustment for the patient when it comes to comfort, eating, and of course, hygiene. However, when patients invest in orthodontics, an aligned, beautiful smile isn’t the only thing they expect; they expect healthy teeth as well. One of the best ways patients can protect their pearly whites during the orthodontic process is a great orthodontic sealant.

Today, patient referrals make up over one million dollars in revenue for the average orthodontic practice, making quality care and quality products that much more important.1 Thus, choosing the right sealant not only protects your patient’s teeth, but it’s safeguarding your practice’s profits as well!

Fluoride plays an essential role in preserving healthy enamel. Choosing a sealant with the ability to not only release, but recharge fluoride, like Opal Orthodontics’ Opal Seal, helps protect the patient’s teeth throughout the orthodontic process, even in cases of extremely poor hygiene.

In addition to the many adjustments a patient must make during the orthodontic process, one difficult transition is helping the patient to feel as comfortable and as confident as possible in their new braces. Many orthodontic sealants on the market come with the negative reputation of possessing or taking on a yellow hue over time—adding to the self-consciousness the patient might already feel. Opal Seal’s non-yellowing, stain-resistant chemistry appears nearly invisible against the teeth, giving your patient a natural, esthetic look they can feel confident in throughout the entire orthodontic process. Opal Seal also fluoresces under black light, allowing for easy visibility during follow-up appointments.

An independent, third-party study performed a Vickers hardness test after ten days of pH cycling to evaluate enamel hardness on teeth treated with and without Opal Seal under dynamic conditions. The study ultimately showed a significant increase in enamel hardness of teeth treated with Opal Seal compared to those not treated with a blind placebo or no sealant at all.2

The outcome of quality orthodontic treatment not only involves giving patients an esthetically pleasing smile, it also includes maintaining the health of the patient’s teeth and protecting their precious enamel from start to finish. Choosing the right orthodontic sealant helps safeguard your patients, and your practice’s profits too!

  1. http://www.orec.com/upfiles/I%20E%20Database%20Marketing.pdf
  2. Data on file
 
» Walker ShaLyse

Peak Universal Bond: A Discussion on Adhesives and Sensitivity

Neil Jessop, Ultradent’s director of research and development, speaks about Peak Universal Bond, and how its unique formulation addresses the problem of sensitivity that so many clinicians frequently encounter with other adhesives. Check it out:

 
» Walker ShaLyse

Continuous Improvement with Shane Baller

“I take a lot of pride in coaching and mentoring people to ultimately take my position, because I hope I keep moving up, and I love to help them become what they want to be. I feel like my team is the strongest we’ve ever been right now. We have really good leaders,” says Shane Baller, Ultradent’s Manufacturing manager. “We’re making a big push in ‘continuous improvement,’ so we’re always trying to find ways to better ourselves, our department, and our processes in any way that we can.”

When it comes to continuous improvement, Shane leads by example. He just finished his MBA with an emphasis in IT management, and since starting at Ultradent five years ago in product development, he’s come a long way.

Shane now oversees about 200 employees, and has worked hard to be able to call each one by name. “We have about eight different manufacturing departments and each of those team leaders report to me, and I report to Jeremy Johnson. I try to spend a lot of my time out on the floor so that they see who I am and know that I care about them.”

That kind of caring, he says, has trickled down from Dr. Fischer. “Dr. Fischer always comes down, asks me how I’m doing, and shows a real concern for what he can do to help us. If he does it, and knows everyone’s names, then I can do it! I know that the reason we’re successful is because of him. It’s not really about the money. It’s about developing people and putting out our best products. That’s what it’s about for Dr. Fischer. I really look up to him.”

Managing the Manufacturing department isn’t without its obstacles, but Shane says that’s part of why he loves his job, and part of what sets Ultradent apart. “I love the diversity here. It’s part of what makes us so unique.  I learn so much about people every day. Even with the communication barriers, we work through them and we always somehow get through it. It’s a challenge, but we always find a way.”

Shane loves to travel both for work and with his family. “I was able to go back to Germany to help set up and train the people at the VALO repair center, and that was a lot of fun. I used to live in the city where the repair center is located and would walk by that very building every day. I never could have known that 20 years later I’d be back there for work!” He’ll also travel to China to train the employees at the VALO repair later on this month.

Aside from travel, Shane also enjoys playing soccer, and spending time with his wife, three sons, and young daughter.

Shane’s enthusiasm for “continuous improvement” has indeed, made Ultradent a better place. Thank you, Shane, for showing us how it’s done!

 
» Dan Fischer

My Most Rewarding Case

I love being a dentist for many reasons. One of those is having the ability, every day, to help take someone out of pain, help them gain more confidence through a more esthetic and beautiful smile, and/or help them maintain their oral health and wellbeing by giving them the highest quality dental care possible. However, I’ve learned over the years that, despite the number of cases I’ve performed producing positive results, it’s often the patient that gives back to you—teaching you something, and, in turn, changing your life for the better. That is the most satisfying aspect of the job.

Years ago, my wife Leenie and I were working late in my dental office, when an older gentleman that was not a prior patient called about an abscess tooth that was killing him! He had called dental office after dental office, but could not find anyone working at that hour. Lucky for him at that time (which later would prove also lucky for me) we answered the phone and got him right in that night—and he happened to like us. His name was Jim Cunningham.

Jim was a trained geologist, and had been a boxer in the military. He had a tooth way out of alignment because of that, but we didn’t want to lose it. So, on a subsequent visit, I ended up doing some orthodontics on him—at the age of 65! He also had some missing teeth from his boxing days, so I did some fancy bridgework on him, which was quite exotic at the time as dental implants did not yet exist. We basically reconstructed his entire mouth!

Through this process, Jim and I became great friends. I even learned early on that he had known my grandfather whom I had lost at a very young age. In fact, his wife had taken a spin with my late grandfather at the dance hall which was formerly Hotel Utah in their youth! What a delight it was to hear stories about him that otherwise I would never have had the opportunity to know.

Jim was a self-made man. He had several corporations that he built from the ground up, and had developed most of the neighborhoods/homes just north of the capitol in Salt Lake City. He became a fantastic mentor to me. I loved hanging out with him on Saturdays. He’d pick me up in his big Cadillac, and we’d drive around, sometimes to his ranch, and I’d pick his brain. Jim didn’t have a lot of fancy academic diplomas, but he had a lot of common sense, incredible logic, and I learned a lot from him. It was grand spending time with him! Our families became quite close, and he even gifted us some of his registered quarter horses. He was like the grandfather that I had lost as a kid!

I often look back and smile at some of the pearls of wisdom I imparted from him, and repeat some of the phrases he would often use—my favorite, being, “Use your head for something more than a hat rack!”

Jim is long gone, but his profound effect on me lasted much longer than the effect I had on him with my dental work. That’s why I would say he’s my most rewarding case to date.