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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» Walker ShaLyse

Dental Hygiene Roundtable

Carol Jent, Ultradent's Clinical RDH

We here at Ultradent are fortunate enough to have not only Carol Jent, our Clinical Dental Hygienist onboard, but to have several Registered Dental Hygienists now working out in the field as Ultradent sales reps. These include Kimberly Ferruggia, Barbara Ingram, Jennifer Strickler, Amy Gray, Laura Ambrose (who is also Ultradent’s Endo sales manager), Rita Gooley, and Carol Cormier. With such a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field right at our fingertips, we thought we’d have a dental hygiene “roundtable” in celebration of National Dental Hygiene Month to discuss some of the hottest and most pressing topics surrounding dental hygiene today.

We were able to spend some time with each of these fantastically brilliant women and pick their brains for a few minutes. Please enjoy the resulting discussion:

What is your favorite hygiene tip or piece of advice for patients or other hygienists?
Laurie Ambrose: It always goes back to me saying, “Only floss and take care of the teeth that you care to have for the rest of your life!”

Laurie Ambrose, RDH

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Carol Jent: Something I always told my patients to do was something I call “dry brushing.” So many people don’t really love to brush, but the whole idea behind brushing is to dislodge and disorganize the plaque around the teeth and gums. So, one of my favorite things to tell people is to have multiple toothbrushes around where they live and work. For example, I have one at my desk, one in my car, one down in this little drawer next to where we watch TV, and I have one in each of my bathrooms. If I’m sitting watching TV or if I’m driving, I’ll grab my toothbrush and I’ll "dry brush" and it’s amazing how clean your teeth feel afterwards. With my patients who would do it, their oral health would totally improve. If you want the toothpaste, give yourself that refreshing fluoride treatment at the end, and the results are absolutely amazing.
Carol Cormier: My best tip to patients would be to do everything you can to keep your natural teeth, as there is no replacement that can compare. A few minutes a day taking care of your oral health can prevent a host of problems. There is nothing like your natural teeth and you are sure to miss them when they are gone.

Carol Cormier, RDH

[
Jennifer Strickler: One thing that I learned as a dental hygienist was never to judge a book by its cover. Never judge a patient by their appearance. Always treat each and every patient the same, and give them the very best treatment that is best for the health of their mouth, despite economic status or personal appearance.

Jennifer Strickler, RDH

[
What is the biggest misconception about hygienists?
Rita Gooley: That we’re mean and that we somehow want to hurt you. We’re not mean people! The better care you take of your own teeth, the less likely it is for your teeth cleaning appointment to hurt!

Rita Gooley, RDH

[
Amy Gray: I think the biggest misconception, probably, is that hygienists only clean teeth. I believe more importantly, it’s key to be an educator. Cleaning someone’s teeth isn’t going to do a single thing if they don’t know how to take care of them in between appointments. Education is paramount. It’s just as important as cleaning the patient’s teeth.

Amy Gray, RDH

[
Kimberly Ferruggia: In my eyes, the biggest misconception I see in my patients is that it’s going to hurt or that it’s scary, so patients end up avoiding it and creating more problems for themselves down the road. A cleaning isn’t supposed to hurt. It’s all about basic maintenance. The more you go, the easier it is and the healthier your mouth is going to be.

Kimberly Kerruggia, RDH

[
How has hygiene changed over the last ten years?
Barbara Ingram: I think a lot of the treatment modalities, especially when it comes to periodontal disease, have changed. We irrigate more with chlorhexidine, the antibiotics that you can place subgingivally—those are all so much more prevalent than they used to be when I was just out of school. There’s also a higher focus on treating gum disease. Fortunately, that’s really improved over the last few years. Hygienists are really upping their scaling and root planing game.

Barbara Ingram, RDH

[
Amy Gray: Back when I was a hygienist, we didn’t have teeth whitening, so that is a great change we’ve seen in the industry. I also can’t believe how much better the products are now and how much easier they are to use, especially with sealants and the dispensers they come in. There’s also more opportunity to talk about more procedures because there are more cosmetic options than there were 20 years ago. For example, if I were a hygienist now, I would be talking about whitening all day long.
Jennifer Strickler: It has definitely advanced a lot with hygienists now using soft tissue lasers and fluoride varnish and scalers and ultrasonics. They’re taking things that used to be basic and turning them into really cool little gadgets to help the patients get better care. I initially left hygiene because I was having issues with carpal tunnel, but now, a lot of the tools they’re coming out with for hygienists are more ergonomically friendly. I think the industry has just gotten better and better over time.
Carol Jent: Back in the day, dentists were seen as “drill, fill, bill,” and hygienists were seen as “gum gardeners.” There were all these funny names like that for us…but now I think it’s becoming more of a respected profession, especially since they’ve been making the connection between the oral cavity and the rest of the body’s health. For example, if someone is immunocompromised due to diabetes, they’re going to really need to get their teeth cleaned on a regular basis because of the way that that inflammation affects the entire body. Even gingivitis is a low-grade inflammation that spills all of these cytokines into the bloodstream that affect all of these other parts of the body. Good dental hygiene isn’t just to make your teeth look pretty or to get the coffee stains off—it’s a real, important health issue.

What is your favorite hygiene product?
Rita Gooley: Enamelast™! It goes on so very smooth, it’s an easy application, and it tastes great. My offices really love it.

Enamelast

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Barbara Ingram: I love UltraSeal. I’ve placed a lot of varnish over the years, and I’ve seen some huge advantages with UltraSeal XT® plus™ and UltraSeal XT® hydro™ as well. In my opinion, there just aren’t any other sealants on the market that even come close to what Ultradent offers. I’ve been using UltraSeal for years! I’m so passionate about that product.

UltraSeal XT hydro


Laurie Ambrose: My favorite hygiene product that I use now, (and I get everyone hooked on them), is Opalpix. If someone knows they’re in my purse, by the end of the day they’ll be gone or they’ll have stolen the entire packet of Opalpix from my purse.

Opalpix


Carol Cormier: I love our sealants. If all offices realized the benefits of UltraSeal XT hydro, we would not have failed sealants. Ultraseal XT hydro has high fill, high flow, adhesive properties in the chemistry, hydrophilic capabilities, as well as an awesome delivery system make it such an easy material to achieve a successful sealant placement. Not to mention a three-second cure with VALO®!

VALO and VALO Cordless


Carol Jent: My favorite product is probably UltraSeal XT plus because it just never lets me down—not that the other ones would. But when I was working regularly as a dental hygienist, when a kid would show up six months after I had placed a sealant on them, I would be sweating bullets and my blood pressure would almost go up, thinking… “Oh, I hope that sealant is still in there.” Even before I was with Ultradent, every time I used the UltraSeal XT plus, when that six months would go by, the sealant never let me down. It was always still there. It made me a healthier, happier hygienist!

UltraSeal XT plus


With that, we conclude our roundtable discussion in celebration of National Dental Hygiene Month. Thank you, Carol J., Amy, Jennifer, Barbara, Kimberly, Rita, and Carol C. for your expertise and contribution to this year’s article. Until next year, take care of those pearly whites, and thank goodness for fabulous dental hygienists!

 
» Walker ShaLyse

Vlog: Re-Shaping Tooth Anatomy with Ultradent’s Vit-l-escence

 
» Walker ShaLyse

Fabio Fowler Brings True Experience to our International Ultradent Family

“There’s just something about Ultradent that you fall in love with. It’s the people, it’s Dr. Fischer, it’s people like Dirk Jeffs and Jim Wilson and everyone just always there to support you. I’ve personally had so many opportunities through Ultradent to see the world and live abroad and learn. I’ve stayed with Ultradent this long because of the people I work with. It really is a family and I cannot imagine my life today without it,” says Fabio Fowler, Ultradent’s marketing manager over the Americas.

He continues, “My favorite part of my job is the team…not just my team I oversee, but the entire Ultradent family across the world. It’s the Pablos and the Olgas and the other friends I have across the globe. Many people don’t enjoy getting on long plane rides to travel for work for hours and hours, but I look forward to it because I get to see my Ultradent family and industry friends.”

Fabio (picture bottom row, middle) here at Ultradent, spending time with friends and colleagues.

Fabio’s experience in the dental industry goes far beyond the twelve years he’s been with Ultradent. Before then, he practiced as a dentist, and then became a distributor of Ultradent products. Before coming onboard at Ultradent, Fabio truly gained experience as a seasoned industry professional, having seen all sides of the business: as a customer, a sales rep, an importer, a distributor, and as a manufacturer. After Ultradent hired him as an international manager, Fabio worked for several years in Ultradent’s South Jordan, Utah headquarters, before moving to Milan, Italy where he worked as a regional manager for Western Europe, then Southern Europe, and eventually, as a  marketing manager for all of Europe and the Middle East. Not surprisingly, he speaks five languages: Portuguese, English, Spanish, Italian, and French.

Now in his home country of Brazil, Fabio spends his days at  Ultradent’s Brazillian subsidiary and only international manufacturing plant, located in the city of Indaiatuba, just an hour’s drive from Sao Paolo.

Of the company’s growth since Fabio came onboard twelve years ago, he says, “I came as one of eight international employees, and now, we easily have over 100 international employees working all over the world. It’s incredible! It’s amazing to be able to offer our services as an international company to dentists who live outside the US, thanks to our incredible growth through the years.”

Fabio attributes much of Ultradent’s growth and success to the savvy, intelligence, and charisma of Dr. Fischer. Of him, Fabio says, “Dr. Fischer is incredible. It’s amazing how someone can wear so many hats within a company or even a career. He still practices dentistry, which informs his works and he gets a lot of respect for that, and he has an incredible understanding of chemistry, physics, management, business, operations, and even information technology. Because of this knowledge, he’s able to hold intelligent and fruitful conversations with experts in so many different fields, travel the world, and still pat you on the back and call you by name—even if the last time he saw you was 15 years ago. He has this unique ability to make you feel like the most special person in the world. It’s remarkable.”

Harking back to his dental school years, Fabio’s favorite Ultradent product remains ViscoStat. “When I first tried ViscoStat, I fell in love with it. It saved my life in dental school because I was able to take an impression so much faster and more reliably. Before discovering ViscoStat, I had to go back and start over again and again, trying to get an accurate and predictable impression.“

As for the region he now oversees, VALO holds the number one spot in popularity with Brazillian dentists, and Opalescence Boost and Opalescence PF are following closely in the other areas within his region, including Brazil. “Mexico and Canada are powerhouses for whitening,” Fabio says.

As for Ultradent’s future, Fabio sees it continuing to go “onwards and upwards, as always.” He continues, “We have tremendous potential here in the region. We have great products, great distributors, and great partners. Additionally, there are many products that haven’t been introduced to part of my region, so it’s going to be exciting and a lot of fun to unveil them here.”

Fabio Fowler and Family

When he’s not working, Fabio enjoys spending his free time with his wife, who is also a dentist working toward her specialization in orthodontics. Together, they have two daughters, Natalia (4), and Camilla (2). Fabio has a passion for music, and loves to play his bass guitar and saxophone whenever possible. If he’s not doing one of the aforementioned activities, you might find him on the basketball court.

We’re very lucky to have Fabio as part of our Ultradent family.

 
» Walker ShaLyse

Territory Account Manager (TAM) Spotlight: Kayla Simmons

Kayla Simmons
Territory: Eau Claire, Wisconsin and St. Paul, Minnesota
Time with Ultradent: 9 years in August

Favorite Part of Job: I would say my favorite part of my job is educating people about our products. I love that we are a private company and that there is no middle man involved. I love the fact that I can clear up the misconception that we’re expensive. I love showing people that we can provide better products at an economical price.

Favorite Products: My favorite product is Opalescence Go. It’s fun because I’ve been with the company so long that I’ve seen our whitening line evolve and change and I love showing our customers that we listen to them and that it’s an option or starting point for every single patient.

Fun Fact #1: I have two little boys- and I never imagined being a mom of boys—but with boys come messes, mud, sand, and I feel like I’m reliving my childhood through them. I’ve really learned to love things that I never thought I’d like that my boys love, like trucks, tractors, diggers and hot rods!

Fun Fact#2: I’m very passionate about my family—my two boys and husband, CrossFit, running, and I like my paleo diet.

 
» Dan Fischer

Practicing the Ultradent Way

“Anyone who sees in his own occupation merely a means of earning money degrades it; but he that sees in it a service to mankind ennobles both his labor and himself.” – A. Lawrence Lowell

I’ve said it many times: The ability to repair brings a rich new ethical meaning to what we as dentists and dental professionals do. I call this mantra the practice of “minimally invasive dentistry.” Anytime we can repair, and in doing so preserve, the natural structure of the tooth falls under this arena. Modern dentistry too often falls victim to greed—forgetting patient-centered, tooth-centered care and replacing what could easily be remedied with a minimally invasive approach with a more expensive and invasive solution, such as crowns, veneers, etc.

On that note, I’d like to amend the statement of “minimally invasive dentistry” to “minimally invasive caring dentistry,” or MICD. MICD is not just a list of procedures. It’s a philosophical way of practicing dentistry. It is an opportunity that we as dentists have to provide quality, high-tech care with one clear message and direction. It is the same message for the rich or the poor!!! I can personally attest that doing so builds trust with the patient, bolsters personal integrity, and will allow us to provide well for our families.

One of my favorite ways to practice dentistry the Ultradent Way is whitening. The ability to enhance smiles via whitening enamel or dentin, and thus leaving it intact, is a wondrous thing compared to cutting off that precious and irreplaceable enamel, flushing it down the sewer, and replacing it with a sub-par man-made ceramic.

Certainly, our bonding agents and adhesives fit the MICD approach as well. The number one gain of the 20th century for modern operative dentistry was the invention of quality, predictable, reliable adhesive dentistry. That being said, there are over 100 brands of adhesive products on the market today and there are only five or six that I truly consider to be high-quality and non-compromising. Many of these products are made with the idea or notion of creating a faster procedure by cutting corners and eliminating necessary steps required to provide that non-compromising, high-strength adhesion. When dentists learn to manage and predictably create high-strength adhesion, they can, in turn, preserve more tooth structure. This again eliminates much of the need for more invasive, indirect, expensive, and often unnecessary dental procedures.

Certainly, pit-and-fissure sealants, caries prevention, and fluoride varnish also fall under the MICD category, in addition tooth whitening and many of the adhesive products available today. Naturally, anything that helps to prevent lesions or caries in the first place is one of, if not the greatest, ways to practice Minimally Invasive Caring Dentistry.

Hugs,
Dan

 
» Walker ShaLyse

Territory Account Manager (TAM) Spotlight: Katie Daniels

Katie Daniels
Territory: Allentown, PA
Time with Ultradent: Four years and one month!

Favorite Part About Job: I love the fact that I get to sell so many different products that have such great reputations. I also love that every day is different and that there are so many different products to fit people’s needs and get them excited about. It’s also always very refreshing to walk into an office and feel such a warm welcome because of the reputation of our products.

Favorite Ultradent Product: My favorite Ultradent product overall would be Opalescence Go, but currently I’m also really loving ExperTemp. It’s a fun product to sell and demo. Plus, the strength of the product is awesome. It’s been such a gem to have in my bag.

Fun Fact #1: I have a passion for traveling. Every year I try to make it a point to visit a unique place around the world. My parents instilled that in me as a young child. I’ve already been away three times this year! One of my favorite places in the world is Thailand, I love Europe, and I’d really love to visit Croatia next.

Fun Fact #2: Although I’m no longer married, my first wedding was featured on “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” and we got third place! My great-uncle who was in his 90’s at the time got up during the prayer, walked clear to the front, and asked the minister giving the prayer where the bathroom was. It was HILARIOUS!

 
» Walker ShaLyse

Whitening Myth Busters: Do Whitening Toothpastes and Mouthwashes Really Work?


When it comes to teeth whitening, the market seems saturated with over-the-counter options—from a plethora of whitening toothpastes to various mouthwashes that promise a brighter, whiter smile. The options can seem endless. This edition of “Whitening Mythbusters” is here to address if whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes work, and how they claim to produce the results they promise.

“Here at Opalescence, we’re purists. We know what works, we know what’s safe, and we know why and how it works,” says Peter Allred, Ultradent and Opalescence’s Director of Formulation Technology. Peter has served as one of the key masterminds behind the global success of the Opalescence Professional Tooth Whitening System line of products, including Opalescence® Boost, Opalescence® PF, the Opalescence line of whitening toothpastes, and, most recently, the exciting new semicustom, take-home whitening system, Opalescence Go®.

Peter has dedicated his entire career to studying, experimenting, and working to perfect the science behind lasting, safe, and effective teeth whitening. He says, “At Ultradent, we believe peroxide-based bleaches to be the only long-lasting, effective teeth whitening solution. We’ve spent years studying peroxide—what it does to the body, how it is metabolized, and how much of it is safe.”

Before we jump into the science behind how peroxide works, let’s address some of the non-peroxide containing products, like whitening toothpaste and mouthwashes that can be purchased at the market, and how or if they help to lighten the shade of tooth enamel. “Whitening toothpastes whiten the teeth through a mechanical, abrasive slurry. For someone that has, for example, been brushing their teeth with a chalk-based toothpaste for a long time and then switches to a whitening toothpaste, they actually may see a difference because they are tackling those surface stains more aggressively,” says Peter.

“Even the old baking soda toothpastes can have a positive effect in reducing surface stains,” Peter continues, “Baking soda has an advantage in that it’s reactive with some acids in the mouth that create bubbling and foaming which might help penetrate some of the micro indentation of the tooth to help remove surface stains. However, for something to be a really effective bleaching product, it absolutely has to penetrate the enamel with peroxide.”

So, in other words, whitening toothpastes and mouth washes simply remove surface stains, which leads us right back to peroxides—the only ingredient proven to whiten the teeth from the inside out! He explains, “Peroxide doesn’t remove surface stains. What it does, is it penetrates the enamel, reacts with the stain molecules, and actually changes them. Everyone has some staining on their teeth that darkens certain parts of them. The only way to hide those stains is through the use of the chemistry in peroxides that is small enough to penetrate the enamel, get into the dentin, come in contact with the stain molecule, and then react with the stain to change how it reflects light.”

How about products available at the market that in fact do contain peroxide, such as strips, pens, swabs, and even some toothpastes? We’ll tackle that in the next edition of “Whitening Mythbusters.”

For now, keep smiling!

 
» Dan Fischer

There’s Courage and Opportunity in Saying “I Don’t Know”


I’m often asked by new Ultradent reps what advice I might have for them as they go out into the field to educate dentists and their staff with the hopes of selling them Ultradent’s line of products. What kind of advice do I have for them? Well, some things I tell them might seem par for the course, while other pieces of advice might surprise them. Here are a few of things I like to tell our fabulous Ultradent reps as they go out and begin working on their own in their individual territories.

1.) Know your products. Strive to gain as much knowledge and understanding of each product line, their features and benefits, and what it uniquely brings to the table that the competition cannot. This is paramount! That being said, I’m always impressed with the enthusiasm our Ultradent reps bring to the table about the products. Their desire to be the best in their field instills confidence in me that they are representing Ultradent, it’s values, and its products in the best possible way. I’m very proud of our fabulous team.

2.) Realize you have permission to say, “I don’t know.” While I applaud your efforts to be the experts in your fields, I’d be hard-pressed to find the man that knows it all, and I’d even go further with that statement by saying that perhaps the man who knows all the answers might lose out on a valuable opportunity: the follow-up visit. When confronted with a situation in which you might not know the answer, I say, DO NOT shoot from the hip. It’s okay, and even encouraged to honestly say, “I don’t know, but I’ll find out and get back to you.” Any doctor will rarely tell you to not to get back to him, and the most important thing in the first place is to give customers honest, reliable information. There is honor and courage in being able to say “I don’t know.” Remember that, and turn it into an opportunity to learn and follow up.

3.) Last, dentists and dental professionals are a unique breed. When engaged in a conversation, they’re far more likely to study the mouth of the person they’re speaking to than the average person. For this reason, keeping good oral hygiene (as an Ultradent rep) is paramount so your dentition doesn’t distract from the message you’re trying to share with the doctor. The doctor must be able to focus on the message coming out of your mouth verbally, not visually.
Knowing your products, turning challenges into opportunities, and representing what you sell in a physical sense to the best of your ability are essential tools that I believe will set you up for a successful career as a fabulous member of our Ultradent rep family. I’m always impressed with your loyalty, care, hard work, courage, and enthusiasm you bring. Thank you, team, for all you do!

Hugs,

Dan

 
» Walker ShaLyse

Territory Account Manager (TAM) Spotlight: Pam Perry

Pam Perry
Territory: Northern California
Time with Ultradent: 10 years next month

Favorite Part About Job: My accounts and the relationships I’ve been able to build over the years. Those relationships become more like friendships than business contacts over time.

Favorite Ultradent Product: My all-time favorite product is VALO, but my current favorite product is ExperTemp. It’s been a really neat product to talk about and the doctors have loved it. I’ve had great results and feedback with it.

Fun Fact #1: : I love to read and my husband and I absolutely love to travel. I also love gardening and hiking.

Fun Fact #2: I’m married and I have a beautiful 21-year-old step-daughter. She’s our pride and joy.

 
» 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.