Patient Comfort and Customer Service

Jeffrey Smith is general manager at Opal Orthodontics, South Jordan, Utah. Smith has worked in the orthodontic industry for more than 20 years. The son of an orthodontist, he worked in his father’s practice and eventually owned and operated his own orthodontic laboratory company while earning his undergraduate and MBA degrees at the the University of Utah. Since finishing his education, Smith has worked for several orthodontic companies managing international sales and directing operations and marketing activities.

OP: What is Gishy Goo, and how does it help patients?

Smith: Opal Orthodontics is the first company to offer a better alternative to wax when patients start treatment or when they experience discomfort due to ulcerations at the lips and cheeks. Gishy Goo is a silicone-based elastomer that, when mixed, attaches to brackets or poking wires, effectively protecting the soft tissue from the occasional pain experienced during orthodontic treatment. After a few seconds of mixing and 2 minutes of curing, Gishy Goo stays in place as long as needed and can be easily removed by peeling it off the orthodontic brackets and wires. Gishy Goo can reduce the number of emergency appointments, allowing the patient to get through the weekend by covering a poking wire until the office reopens.

OP: Does your company provide training and education about your products?

Smith: The current line of Opal Orthodontics products does not require specialized training. However, our mission statement and, ultimately, our purpose for being in business is to provide superior continuing education and to create partnerships with orthodontists that improve the quality of care for patients worldwide. In 2009, we will be launching a clinical education program that supports the orthodontic community. At our facility in Salt Lake City, we are able to accommodate 120 doctors at a time in a lecture hall and can also connect via satellite to any destination around the world. We also recently opened a three-chair orthodontic clinic inside our corporate office that can be used for hands-on training as well as research and development.

We offer Opal Orthodontics and Ultradent employees the benefit of subsidized orthodontic treatment within the same walls where they work each day. We are very proud of this facility and plan to use it regularly as a training facility for orthodontists.

OP: What type of guarantee do you offer on your products?

Smith: “Daring to be different” is the slogan of Opal Orthodontics. One of the areas where we dare to be different is the level in which we support our products. We guarantee our products 100% and offer a Nordstrom-level of customer service. Our policy, which is clearly stated in our catalog, is that if a customer feels that a product does not meet their needs, they can send it back at any time. We do not charge restocking fees, and we even pick up the return shipping cost.

To ensure that questions can be answered immediately and that ordering mistakes are minimized, every member of our customer service team has worked in an orthodontic office and has experienced firsthand how products are used. I challenge anyone to find another orthodontic company that can make the same guarantee and that can provide the same level of customer support.

Bonding Matters

Paul A. Gange is founder, president, and owner of Reliance Orthodontic Products Inc, Itasca, Ill. He has been directly involved with the development of orthodontic adhesives, sealants, and cements for more than 34 years. Gange has been a guest speaker in numerous study clubs, universities, continuing education courses, and regional component meetings in the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Far East.

OP: Describe the features of your new Self Etching Primer (SEP).

Gange: The SEP has a unique dispenser that avoids waste. When the button on the dispenser is pressed, the two parts of the primer are accurately dispensed into a mixing well. After mixing the parts and applying, the remaining portion can be used for up to 6 hours because it is protected by a shield that is part of the mixing well and slides over the mixed portion. Reliance SEP provides excellent results with any light cure paste.

OP: What is the difference between Pro-Seal and LED Pro Seal?

Gange: LED Pro Seal is the most recent version of Pro-Seal, the enamel protective sealant that reduces decalcification. The difference is that LED Pro Seal can be cured with any halogen or LED light, whereas the original Pro-Seal had to be cured with a halogen light.

OP: According to your Web site, your power slot high-intensity light director increases the power of a halogen curing light. Please explain.

Gange: The power slot is a light director with a patented design for optimizing the cure under an orthodontic bracket. The rectangular as opposed to the circular shape of the tip allows a higher concentration of energy under the bracket base, thereby reducing curing time.

OP: How does Assure Universal Bonding Resin compare to others on the market?

Gange: Assure Universal Bonding Resin is a hydrophilic resin that improves adhesion to wet or dry, normal or atypical enamel, including dentin. It bonds to composite, metal, and porcelain restorations without additional primers.

OP: What criteria should an orthodontic office use when purchasing a new LED curing light?

Gange: First, always handle the light; never buy it sight unseen. Then, illuminate the light and put it on a digital radiometer to see what it registers. You should prefer the output to be 1000 mW and above. Keep the light illuminated continuously for 2 to 3 minutes and retest it on the radiometer. The intensity should not fall more than 10%. Also, check to see if the handle gets too hot to hold, which can be a potential problem for the user.

OP: What other products of yours should orthodontists know about?

Gange: We recently introduced a portable sandblaster, the EtchMaster®, which is powered by a CO2 cartridge. It comes with lingual and labial tips that are preloaded with 50-micron particle size alumina oxide for chairside sandblasting of all surfaces in the mouth.