Portable Equipment Design and Transportation
b. Who are the portable dental equipment manufacturers?

Portable dental equipment options are available from a variety of dental equipment companies. These companies range from larger multi-product businesses to smaller companies whose only product may be an item of portable dental equipment. Several manufacturers will have a variety of portable equipment options. Many companies have been selling and re-engineering their products for many years, while others may have just recently entered the portable dental marketplace.

Portable dental delivery system vendors that are most often used by public health programs include the following:

Manufacturer Web site
A-dec, Inc www.a-dec.com
Aseptico www.aseptico.com
ASI Medical, Inc www.asimedical.net
Bell Dental Products, LLC www.belldental.com
DNTLworks www.DNTLworks.com
M-DEC (Mobile Dental Equipment Corporation)

www.portabledentistry.com

Safari Dental www.safaridental.com

A complete list of the various portable equipment products from these manufacturers can be seen on their Web sites. Additional resource information for dental suppliers and manufacturers can be found in the ADA's Dental Buying Guide.

Some portable units are sold exclusively from the manufacturer, while others can be purchased either directly from the manufacturer or through discount or full-service dental suppliers.

Buying equipment directly from equipment manufacturers or through a discount dental catalogue (e.g., Henry Schein) may generate a lower price than from a full-service dental supply company, but timely service for repairs and maintenance may be easier to accomplish when purchased from a full-service dental supply company (e.g., Patterson Dental Supply, Inc; Burkhart Dental Supply Inc.). It may be helpful to establish a good business relationship by purchasing some equipment, instruments, and supplies from a local dental supplier so that even if you purchase the unit directly from the manufacturer you may still be given priority status if your portable unit requires repairs. They may also be helpful in training you how to perform minor maintenance and repairs when problems occur.

It may seem easier to buy components from one manufacturer, but also there may be good reasons to "mix and match" portable equipment from different vendors to gain specific features or capabilities. For example, you may wish to purchase a portable unit from one manufacturer, but a chair more easily adjusted for height from another manufacturer.

Check with the equipment manufacturer regarding warranties, timeliness of repair, difficulty associated with performing minor repairs on site, and the availability of loaner units when necessary repairs are being done. Prior to purchase of a portable unit, ask the vendor for names of previous customers who have purchased a similar unit; contact these individuals to discuss the relative merits and problems of the unit.