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Packaging trends have deep roots in dental 3

Packaging trends have deep roots in dental; unit-of-use and other currents in medical packaging are strong in the dental niche—both professional and OTC.

Packaging and teeth have something in common: At their best, they're both functional and attractive. And as the functions of dental products change, so does the packaging. Dental products, both for professionals and for over-the-counter (OTC) sale, are evolving in line with trends in medical packaging in general.

Like many medical professionals, dentists are tending more toward single-use packaging for many of their supplies.

And like many health care consumers, users of dental products want to take a more active role in their own care--and are willing to pay to do it. Unit-of-use is one of the biggest trends in packaging for professional dental products. Dentists, like doctors and others, are open to anything that makes their jobs easier.

"If it's easier to use, that's more significant, even if it is more expensive," says Michael Bender, a dentist practicing in Elgin, Ill. Besides being easier to use, dental products in single-use packaging enable dentists to avoid application errors and cross-contamination. Suppliers of dental products are making sure that dentists get used to single-use packaging during their training, says Howard Thau, president of Sonic Packaging Industries.

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