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

Ultradent’s Ultimate BHAG (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal)


Perhaps you’ve heard the somewhat brusque, inelegant, no-nonsense business term “BHAG”(pronounced BEE-hag), coined by James Collins and Jerry Porras in their 1994 book entitled Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. The acronym, which stands for “Big Hairy Audacious Goal,” has since permeated Western business culture and challenged companies to consider “an audacious 10- to 30-year goal to progress towards an envisioned future,” as further defined by Collins and Porras. The authors go on to say, “A true BHAG is clear and compelling, serves as unifying focal point of effort, and acts as a clear catalyst for team spirit. It has a clear finish line, so the organization can know when it has achieved the goal; people like to shoot for finish lines.”

When asked if Ultradent has a clearly defined BHAG, and if so, what it is, Dr. Fischer answers without hesitation. “Our BHAG, so to speak, is to bring a worldwide cure to tooth decay. Tooth decay has become the number one prevalent infectious disease on planet Earth. Tragically, this means the abscessed tooth is becoming the number one source of severe pain globally.”

Although the answer seems at first simple, it doesn’t come without a compelling back story, which served as the inspiration for, and ultimately solidified Ultradent’s mission, or BHAG, for Dr. Fischer some ten years ago.

He recounts, “This BHAG came to me about ten years ago, when a professor from Chile invited me to lecture to the dentists there. I had on my schedule that after the lecture we’d go to a school, which was a cinderblock building, built about four years earlier by some business people in Santiago. They wanted me to go through each of the classes, from first to eighth grade, and tell them who I was and where I was from. I will never forget going into the fifth grade class that day.” He continues, “I met a sharp 11-year-old, with big dark eyes, and gorgeous dark hair. They explained to me that he had the highest IQ in the school, but that a few months earlier his grades began to tank, and they couldn’t figure out why.”

Dr. Fischer eyes glisten as he vividly narrates the rest of the story. “After a few weeks the teacher discovered he had an abscessed tooth that was killing him. He had been afraid he’d be sent home, so he chose to bear the pain. That is when they invited the dental school to build a clinic. At that point I thought, ‘We’re in the 21st century, and we’re still scooping raw and decayed holes out of the human anatomy and then plugging them. That is barbaric!’ We don’t realize in our cushy western world that in other parts of the world, the abscessed tooth is the norm.”

And so, Ultradent’s BHAG was born, out of compassion and conviction to provide treatment for—and ultimately wipe out—tooth decay and caries worldwide. This goal is something that, ten years later, Ultradent continues to progress in doing with no plans to stop until the work is finished—a lofty, but not impossible, dream. “We get closer every day,” says Dr. Fischer with a smile, as gets up to speed walk, true to his character, to his next appointment, visit, or line of business. Just like the company he has so painstakingly built, the man shows no signs of stopping.

 
» Dan Fischer

Last Lectures of 2014

Carol Jent and I rounded out 2014 with two fabulous and fun lectures that won’t soon be forgotten.

The first lecture was in Oklahoma City where, once again, Carol Jent presented to the dental hygienists and attending staff that accompanied the clinicians in attendance. Denise Jennings and Nick Williams, two of our outstanding territory account managers (TAMS), addressed the sales needs. I was blown away by Nick’s expertise and passion for turning clinicians on to Expertemp™. His deep knowledge and enthusiasm for the product has put him at the very top of the total company sales for ExperTemp. Thank you Nick, for your hard work in spreading the word about what a difference a fantastic product like ExperTemp can make in a dental office. You are a true professional!

One of my favorite things about traveling and lecturing is the opportunity to hear, firsthand, feedback and suggestions on our products from the doctors and staff in attendance. Rubbing shoulders with them and hearing their history with Ultradent is very meaningful to me.

A few days ago, Erwin, Ultradent’s executive vice-president, shared with a letter that Warren Buffet sends each year to the 80 plus CEOs of the various companies his group owns. To paraphrase, the letter said, “You can lose money, but don’t ever lose even a shred of your reputation.” This inspired and rang so true to me, as I hold Ultradent’s reputation for quality and care above all else.

The Ultradent Summit, which took place here in South Jordan in November, ended 2014 very nicely. Our TAMS in attendance to support sales and education included Arleena Robertson, Jana St. Clair, Diane McFarland, Karen Phillips, Chamil Forbes, and Jay Frazier. What a team of champions! With Dr. Renato Leonardo and Dr. Carlos Ramos lecturing, the endodontic lectures served as a superb highlight. Dr. Hal Stewart of Texas gave a fantastic, educational, and enthusiastic lecture on our Edelweiss composite veneer system and the tremendous success and feedback he’s had with it. It was a fabulous Summit to end a super year.

Ultradent Summit 2014

It already seems the stars are aligning to bring even more excitement and success for 2015…

Until next time, big hugs,

Dan

 
» Walker ShaLyse

The Immeasurable Value of Barbara Maddalena

Barbara Maddalena


Having been with Ultradent since the opening of its Italian subsidiary in 2005, there’s not much Barbara Maddalena hasn’t had her hand in, and in her own words, it’s been “quite an adventure.” She says, “I’ve covered so many different roles from the beginning because we were so small at first! I’ve worked in ordering and shipping, accounting, regulatory and quality control, as well as staffing! All of those experiences mean a lot to me because I was able to touch so many different aspects of the company, deal with so many different issues, and help to solve so many kinds of problems— it’s given me the experience and wide perspective that helps me make more informed decisions in my role at Ultradent today.”

Judging from the beginning, it seems Barbara hasn’t slowed down much in the past decade. Today, although she’s based in Milan, Italy, she also covers Portugal, Spain, France, Greece, Turkey, many parts of the Middle East, and North Africa. All in all, she says, it comes out to around 20 countries.

“I travel quite a bit! I was in Instanbul recently, and I travel to Dubai every year for our biggest trade show in the area which takes place every February. I also recently returned from Spain. In my job, there’s a lot you can do with phone and email, but I believe that personal contact with the people you work with is so important—whether it’s with your team or your customers. This business is about nurturing and growing those relationships,” she remarks.

Barbara representing Ultradent at a large tradeshow in Dubai

As for her title, Barbara acts as Marketer and Controller of Southern Europe and the Middle East. However, with so many countries under her umbrella, her role varies in regards to the business models of the distributors and sometimes multiple dealers of Ultradent’s products within each country. When working with a country where there are multiple dealers like Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, and Turkey, Barbara plays a more active role in creating marketing materials, translating them, distributing them throughout the area, organizing lectures and events, managing the web and social media, overseeing the catalog and newsletters, and nurturing relationships with key opinion leaders and universities. In countries like Greece where there is an exclusive Ultradent Products distributor, Barbara plays a more passive, coordinative, and supportive role.

Barbara supporting a KOL lecture in her region

In addition to working with the marketing efforts and varying business models of the 20+ countries Barbara supports, she also acts as Ultradent’s controller for Southern Europe and the Middle East, managing expenses, figures, sales, budgets, and reports.

As for her favorite part of her job? She says, “My favorite part of my role is marketing. I love seeing the differences in how marketing works best in the various countries I work in in relation to each country’s culture.”

When it comes to her favorite Ultradent product, she says, hands down, it’s Opalescence®. “It is very well known in most of the countries we work in and we’re the market leader in most of those countries as well. It’s such a powerful brand. However, we’re also recently seeing some great success with VALO®. With VALO, we’re heading right to the top of being the market leader in curing lights in our countries.”

In regards to her experience in working with Ultradent, and particularly Dr. Fischer, Barbara radiates enthusiasm. “Dr. Fischer…what can I say? He is a genius! I always suggest to him that he write about his life. He covers so many different roles. He brings so much energy to our company…he IS Ultradent. He embodies what we’re about. I love that there’s a doctor speaking to other doctors about our products, and that experience in invaluable and so unique. It’s something that really sets Ultradent apart from its competitors. Our message is from a doctor to a doctor. He is our guiding light!”

When Barbara isn’t fulfilling her vast Ultradent responsibilities from her home base in Milan, she loves to travel. Some of her favorite places in the world include New York City and Israel, which she calls “a special place with incredibly special meaning to many different people.” She also loves to exercise and play sports whenever she gets the chance.

Thank you, Barbara—for your loyalty, energy, hard work, vast array of knowledge, and the passion you’ve brought to Ultradent for the past ten years!

 
» Walker ShaLyse

Professional or Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening? What’s the Difference?

 
» Walker ShaLyse

Perseverance & Bond Strength: The Story Behind Peak® Universal Bond


“I could talk for a very long time about what makes Peak Universal Bond the best bonding agent on the market,” says Dr. Fischer, founder, president and CEO of Ultradent Products, Inc. Although the statement may at first come off overly self-assured, it is in fact, quite the opposite. Peak Universal Bond comes from an arduous, more than two-decade quest of trial and error after trial and error.

Dr. Fischer recalls, “We always had the commitment to keep driving until we had the highest strength bonding agent, because for our minimally invasive techniques, for reaching our vision of bringing more affordable dentistry to a larger cross section of humanity, there needed to be the capability of more affordable, direct-placed dentistry. For that to occur, a high strength adhesive would be paramount.”

His logic? “These larger direct bonded composites and the like are reinforced by the tooth structure beneath them—and the ability of the structure to reinforce the adhesive is highly dependent on the strength of the adhesive between the tooth structure and the restorative material,” he states.

Therefore, to develop Peak Universal Bond, Dr. Fischer says they first had to develop an exceptional testing procedure and device, which in addition to the product itself, evolved over a 10-12 year period. This device, now referred to as the “Notched-Edge Testing Method,” became the ISO world standard for bond strength testing in 2013.
Dr. Fischer says that the development of the Notched-Edge Testing Method played a key role in Peak Universal Bond’s journey to the becoming the strongest adhesive on the market today.

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else! Measuring the results of what our chemists did from day to day, and knowing whether their work benefitted or hindered the bond strength of the product required predictable and reliable testing that could occur in volumes, then quickly generate data so to give guidance to the chemists for where to go next to improve the product.” Dr. Fischer adds, “Peak Universal Bond is an exceptional bonding agent and I cannot think of any time, for the definitive restoration, that a clinician would want the bonding agent to be any weaker than the ultimate strength it could possibly be.”

He concludes, “Before releasing Peak Universal Bond, we had about three generations of bonding agents prior to it, and we brought the strengths and learned from the weakness of each to take each new product to the next level each time. I’d say it’s been about 22 years total time that we’ve been developing and perfecting Peak Universal Bond.”

To learn more about Peak Universal Bond, please visit ultradent.com.

 
» Dan Fischer

What I Love Most About ExperTemp

“In my early days of dentistry when I was making my methyl-methacrylate provisionals as single units, they’d do pretty good, but if that patient bit into something too hard, you’d better believe that thing would fracture or break and they would be right back into my office to see me,” Dr. Fischer recalls.

“And don’t even get me started on bridges. Those would break way too easily. So naturally, we wanted a provisional resin that was tough, but not brittle. It needed to flex and bend quite a bit before it would break. That is what led our fabulous research and development team to bringing ExperTemp™, Ultradent’s temporary crown and bridge material, to the market,” he says.

ExperTemp is a bis-acryl composite provisional material used to fabricate temporary crowns, bridges, inlays, and onlays as well as long-term temporaries. The 10:1 self-cured chemistry is easy to work with and provides exceptional strength, flexibility, and abrasion resistance. Superior performance combined with a natural esthetic make ExperTemp the material of choice for temporization.

“Expertemp leads the market as the highest flexural toughness material available. It’s more resistant than other materials to impact fracture—which would usually break the single units I mentioned earlier. That is number one reason that I love this material,” says Dr. Fischer.

“They used to tell us in dental school,” he remembers with a chuckle, “‘don’t make those temporaries look too good…the patient will never come back for the permanents!’ That doesn’t fly in today’s market! Today, provisionals have to look gorgeous, and Expertemp has some great translucency and shade possibilities, especially when used with ClearTemp® LC, our provisional, light-cured temporary cement, which can be removed completely thanks to its fluorescing properties. It gives the patient a totally sealed provisional that’s extremely esthetic and modern. The perfect combination!”

To learn more about ExperTemp or ClearTemp LC, visit ultradent.com

 
» Walker ShaLyse

The Hands-On Art of Dentistry and the Desire to Excel

 

“I often say that with dentists, half of our brains are in our hands. If you can’t use your hands, you can’t be a dentist because it’s just such a hands-on profession. I love being able to shape a tooth—it’s like an art to me that I enjoy immensely,” muses Dr. Dan Fischer, president and CEO of Ultradent Products. “There are many similarities between art, construction, engineering, and dentistry. Hey, we even build bridges!” he chuckles.

A talented and innovative craftsman, even in the dental sense, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that in his senior year at Murray High School in Salt Lake City, Utah, Dr. Fischer received the prestigious Sterling Scholar Award for Industrial Arts, which included drafting and metal design.

Having been named a Sterling Scholar, Dr. Fischer had never even considered a future career in dentistry, but given his immense contributions to the dental industry over the last four decades, it’s clear his talents and entrepreneurial spirit extend far beyond his profession today.

“I think a lot of it came from my dad, who was a “can do” kind of a guy. He would often take on projects that others weren’t willing to do, roll up his sleeves, and bust his tail—finding a way to make it happen. I grew up with that, and before I got into dentistry, he exposed me to a number of businesses, including a machining business he had, a plating business, and a number of other industries that exposed me to various solutions.”

Of his endless, contagious energy, Dr. Fischer says, “I definitely attribute my energy to my dad as well. However, I also owe a lot to my mom, who spent many a night helping me with school and homework and the like. I actually only really started to excel when I hit high school. I was probably a “B” student in junior high, but things really came together for me in high school.”

Dr. Fischer went on to do undergraduate work at the University of Utah. “In college, I did okay, but dental school, at Loma Linda University in California, is where I really hit my stride. That’s where I found my passion and was really able to shine,” he recalls with a smile. “I was the top of my class in dental school, and on my dental boards I placed in the 99th percentile in the country. Dentistry just connected with me.”

Dr. Fischer rose right to the top, despite the fact that at dental school, he had a family to support and he rode his bike back and forth to class to save on gasoline costs. He points this out not to brag, but to illustrate that with hard work and determination not only can you accomplish anything—you can excel.

 
» Dan Fischer

UltraSeal XT hydro: Truly Unique, Advanced Sealant Technology

 
» Walker ShaLyse

A Roaring 2014 Year-in-Review

Ultradent kicked off 2014 with a WILD start!
Our National Sales Meeting was full of animals, enthusiasm, and a lot of heart!

We introduced Enamelast®, the smoothest fluoride varnish you’ll ever see,
The patients leaving dental appointments without gritty teeth seem to agree!

Dr. Fischer kicked his National and International Lecture Tours into full gear,
Passionately spreading the word about Minimally Invasive Dentistry, continuous improvement, innovation, care, family,
and the Core Values Ultradent holds so dear.

 Opalescence® Whitening Systems, a product line for which we’re known best,
Celebrated its 24th birthday, and continues to ace the test!

Ultradent, this year, turned 36
Adding to its storied successes, keeps introducing quality products into the mix.

Some of these included Endo-Eze® FIND™,
As well as UltraWave™ and Ultrawave™ XS, a little later down the line.

Look no further for our ability to thrive than
the newly named 10200 S. Ultradent Drive!

 The Pride Institute bestowed upon VALO®
Its “Best in Technology” Award for its third consecutive year.

And the Townie Choice Awards recognized a few of Ultradent’s product’s too—
All honors we hold dear.

With our in-house gym, the family feel, and our fabulous benefits to name a few,
Ultradent was grateful to be named one of the
“Best Places to Work” in Utah by the Deseret News.

 Because we’re so fortunate,
We love to give back—
Donating over 400,000 pounds of food to the Utah Food Bank this year,
Among Utah companies, Ultradent gladly led the pack.

 In addition to the Food Bank,
Ultradent donated supplies to other organizations too,
Including missions in Haiti, Madagascar, Nepal, and Dominican Republic, to name a few.

 2014 was one to be grateful for.
We look forward to next year and many, many, more!

 
» Dan Fischer

A Fruitful Trip to Mexico and Brazil

Dear Colleagues,

I shared with you in my last report of travel/lecture activities the back-to-back programs we’ve had every week for several weeks running. Well, four days after the last program in Chicago, Leenie and I were off to Mexico for a lecture in Monterey. Ramon Vasquez, the dentist brother of our distributor there, Luiz Vasquez, organized the event. Ramon and Luiz are very driven, hardworking guys. Ramon has organized, for several years now, the largest dental event in Monterey Mexico. The program is called Dental Fest. Please note Ramon and myself in the first picture, followed by a picture of some of the 2,000+ audience that was made up of local dentists and dental students. The final picture was taken at at Ramon’s stand—where he sells his brother’s and other’s products (Ultradent products).



We have been friends and working partners with Luiz and his company for many years now. They are loyal, hardworking, dedicated, and do a very good job for all in Mexico. It is important we support our good neighbors to the south!

Next, it was on to Brazil. Leenie came with me on this trip for two reasons: First, she’d never met the Vasquez family—a lovely, educated, talented, and hardworking family. Second, this is the second year of our plan to spend some quality time with our Ultradent family/colleagues in Brazil.

Some great things have been happening since Leenie and I were there last year. Our new general manager there, Antonio, has been making some significant changes that have bettered the company there in many important ways.

The first evening in Brazil Antonio had Leenie, Dr. Renato Leonardo and his wife, (Renato is from Brazil and has lectured for us globally, including here in the U.S., for several years now), and myself to his home for dinner. Antonio is an outstanding person and lives what Ultradent is about. Thank you Antonio.

The following day, we were off to the plant in Indaiatuba. Our plan was to do another picnic-type event, kind of like what we do each year in South Jordan. Antonio had an even better plan. We had a Brazilian blended fruit bar that delighted all, for sure Leenie and I, as we’d not even seen many of the fabulous Brazilian fruits before, let alone tasted them. YUM! Please note Antonio, Leenie, and myself walking to the back of our property for the festivities.



We then went through a LOVELY tree planting ceremony (I think most, or all, were fruit trees). Leenie and I planted the first two trees in our names, but then every employee there planted a tree in their own name. At the end, we took pictures with all beside their trees. It was a great team-building experience. Note Fabio, who so many of you know, translating while Antonio speaks at the beginning. And yes, the rest of the pictures are pretty much self-explanatory!



Afterwards, Antonio, Fabio, and myself evaluated logistics of various products there, plus other business activities. It was a very fruitful event!



Thank you Antonio, Fabio, Claudia, and the rest of the team for all your great care and hard work down there in Brazil! We very much enjoyed our time with you all and your families.

Hugs,

Dan