This spring, Dental Technologies found itself in an unusual, yet familiar position. The company often works directly with clients to develop products to fulfill specific needs.
Suddenly, with the spread of COVID-19, dental offices were closing, and orders were plummeting.
“Our distributors were switching to hospitals,” said Paula Erickson, Executive Vice President at Dental Technologies. “And the hospitals had a desperate need for more hand sanitizer. I figured, if we were going to go down, we were going to go down helping people.”
The company, which is based in Lincolnwood, IL, manufactures pastes, gels, and liquids. It already had all the chemicals required to manufacture hand sanitizer. Dental Technologies meets FDA requirements for manufacturing and distributing drug products and medical devices, so getting infection control products approved was straightforward.
The problem? The containers to hold the product. Most of those were manufactured in China, and now there was a huge supply shortage. Dental Technologies was able to repurpose their bottles for fluoride treatments, which dentists were not ordering. They also utilized some of their tube filling capacity to fill hand sanitizer into conveniently sized tubes.
“People were working together, figuring out how to get this done,” said Erickson. “Even now, we are still providing a lot of hand sanitizer to places that really need it.”
While Dental Technologies is back on its feet, the company was among the first to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan through First Midwest Bank. The company’s loan was dispersed during first round of funding, allowing it to keep all its staff on full-time.
“Our banker, Nick [Yerkes], was unbelievable,” said Erickson. “I was having technical difficulties and he stayed up past 11 o’clock at night, to help me make sure everything got uploaded properly.”
When dental offices began reopening, the company again shifted its products to fulfill a specific need. Dental Technologies started manufacturing an approved hydrogen peroxide rinse, Peroxy Shield, that patients are required to use prior to receiving dental treatment.
As a long-time member of the local community, Dental Technologies has also donated hand sanitizer to the Lincolnwood Police and Fire Departments, as well as St. Joseph Services, a local organization that provides mentoring to at-risk individuals.
Just another example of Dental Technologies putting its resources where they’re needed most.