How to choose the products you recommend to patients

As dental students, most of us did not have many options when it came to the dental materials used in clinic. There was one brand of composite, one brand of impression material, one brand of prophy paste, etc. These limitations often carried over into the free patient home-hygiene bag given out after cleanings. I was a creature of habit and did not put much thought into the products given to our patients. At that time, I did not have any influence over which products were recommended to my clinic patients.

Now that I am a newly practicing dentist, I have more responsibility in answering my patients’ questions regarding home-care products and what I personally recommend in my office. Luckily, the American Dental Association recognizes that navigating the numerous dental products in the marketplace can be a daunting task for the busy practitioner and their patients. This is where the ADA Seal of Acceptance Program has become an invaluable resource on a daily basis.

The ADA Seal Program was first started in 1931 to help protect the public against creative marketing claims and benefits made by dental product manufacturers. This goal is still evident today. For a product to qualify for the ADA Seal, a stringent review process by the ADA’s Council on Scientific Affairs is conducted. A company submitting a product for the ADA Seal must supply laboratory and/or clinical studies that demonstrate the product’s efficacy. Each product must also meet the American National Standards Institute and ADA Standard guidelines of safety.  Moreover, even the manufacturing facility must meet FDA standards. If necessary, the ADA can even request additional studies from the submitting manufacturers that demonstrate their product claims and benefits.

Personally, the printed ADA Seal of Acceptance gives me confidence when making recommendations. The logo itself now contains bullet-points with each scientifically supported benefit. This helps empower your patient to make the right purchase for their dental well-being. So next time you are in clinic, examine each product in that free hygiene bag. Make sure they have the ADA Seal of Acceptance so they meet the expectations of you and your patient.

For more information about the ADA Seal of Acceptance – including a list of all products that carry the Seal – visit ADA.org/ADASeal.

~Gregory J. Sabino, DDS, PhD, Stony Brook ’16

This content is sponsored and does not necessarily reflect the views of ASDA.

ADA Seal of Acceptance

The ADA Seal of Acceptance ensures a dental product has been independently evaluated by scientific experts for safety and effectiveness. More than 200 products have earned the ADA Seal, including various brands of toothbrushes, toothpaste, interdental cleaners, mouth rinses and sugarless chewing gum. For more, visit ADA.org/ADASeal.

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1 Comment

  1. Dr. Sabino,
    Coming from the other side if this story, I couldn’t agree more. I sell products and services to many dentists across the country, and the ADA stamp of approval is something that is always strived for. They did a great job allowing dentists to buy reliable, and safe products; something that has been harder and harder to find with the growth of the internet.

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