Planmeca, Roselle, Ill, has turned to contracts with the US government and military to expand the market for its dental and orthodontic equipment. In March, Planmeca completed its contract with the U.S. Air Force (USAF) to supply its ProMax X-Ray units to upgrade the dental and orthodontic equipment at all the USAF’s base clinics. The company has been in the government market since 2004.

According to Michelle Bottino, Planmeca’s direct sales manager, selling to the government is different than selling to individual dentists. "With private practice you have one doctor who makes a decision on how he or she wants to spend their own hard earned money," says Bottino. "With the government, there are many hands in the pot and everyone has their own idea of what is best, so I often have to talk to 10 people in the same clinic before a decision is made, especially for Veteran’s Administration or Indian Health Service clinics."

Planmeca has a Federal Supply Schedule that allows the government to purchase directly from the company at previously negotiated prices, which are lower than the company’s commercial price. The company also has an agreement with the VA Healthcare system to provide an additional discount to VA facilities when they purchase ProMax units.

Other Planmeca contracts include a product evaluation agreement with the US Army to test the ProMax 3D CBVT unit; joint ventures with Force3 to implement the US Navy’s Digital Dental Implementation project and the US Air Guard’s Digital Dental Radiology Solution; and a joint venture with Patterson Dental for a US Coast Guard project. 

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