They are coming from virtually every city in every country in every part of the world. It is an invasion like the world has never seen before. They`re out there at all hours of the day and night, and they`re waiting for you. They are the .com`s, a brand of on-ramps to information that the world has never seen before. And they are not alone; they have their cousins, the .org`s and .net`s, right beside them.
What does the explosion of information and options in the dental industry mean to you? That`s your decision. The .com`s can be ignored, or they can be used to gain knowledge about everything from new dental materials to where the closest periodontist is located.
Below you will find examples of Web sites (in alphabetical order) dealing with the dental industry. This is by no means a complete list, as new Internet sites appear almost daily. This list is meant solely as a guidebook to some of the sites that are currently on the World Wide Web.
Happy surfing ... and may the .com`s be with you.
Web address: www.claimsnet.com
Location: Dallas, Texas
How claimsnet.com describes itself: "claimsnet.com provides the most extensive healthcare information processing services on the Internet with Services.now! Process your medical and dental claims, send out your statements, provide patient eligibility and referrals using your browser and the Internet."
What sets claimsnet.com apart: Claimsnet.com integrates directly to your practice management system. • Claims are interactively edited, providing immediate reports for error correction. • Online training tutorials are available around the clock for your convenience.
Joining claimsnet.com: Provider Site - $150. Billing Service Site - $350. Additional Tax ID or Providers - $20. More pricing information is available at www. claimsnet.com/public/default.asp? navbar_location_param= services/services.asp
Key players for claimsnet.com: Bo Lyke, chairman; Terry Lee, chief operating officer; Paul Miller, chief financial officer; Abbas Kaffi, vice president of information technology; Ellen Opperthauser, vice president of marketing.
Web address: www.dentalcourses.com
How dentalcourses.com describes itself: "www.dentalcourses.com is a unique clearinghouse for information on dental continuing education courses."
What sets dentalcourses.com apart: Practitioners can search for available courses by date, state, subject, or course title. • Those sponsoring courses have an outlet to advertise their event.
Joining dentalcourses.com: Free for dental professionals. Those wishing to submit course information should contact dentalcourses.com.
Web address: www.dentaldomain.com
Location: Chestnut Hill, Mass.
How DentalDomain describes itself: "DentalDomain is a solution resource to the dentist and staff. DentalDomain is also the source for patients to get the latest and most up to date information on any dental issue they may have, or procedures they may be undergoing or considering. DentalDomain is a solution resource to patients, students, public health activists, administrators, dentists, and their staffs; a presentation of the best dental resources from the enormous array available on the World Wide Web; a tool to leverage the flexibility of electronic communication of multimedia information; a business opportunity for independent doctors and laboratories; and a library for patients to explore personal health care programs."
What sets DentalDomain apart: Dental professionals are able to store and archive reports and diagnostic images, at a fully secure and backed-up off site computer bank. All you need is a personal computer a browser, a modem, and a telephone connection. • Multimedia laboratory reports are available. • Online consultations are available on topics ranging from cleft palates to TMJ.
Joining DentalDomain: Free.
Key players for DentalDomain: Arnold Rosen, DDS, founder.
According to Arnold Rosen: What sets your site apart? "We`re in the business of developing Internet-based solutions for dental staffs. Ours is not a static site. We develop actual business solutions for our clients." Where do you see the dental Web phenomenon in five years? "Tools will be created that will change work flow for the dental staffs and allow them to do work faster and better. They will be able to share multimedia information on the Internet."
Web address: members.aol.com/dentfriend
Location: Tampa, Florida
How dental friends describes itself: "Through server-side CGI programs, this site works completely automatic with very little management. You can instantly post your own messages for everyone to read."
What sets dental friends apart: dental friends is for dental professionals and related students only. • The "Cool-Site-O-Week" lets you see a new set of sites every week, all relating to the dental profession.
Joining dental friends: Free.
Key players for dental friends: Daniel Waskie, RDH
Web address: www.dentalheadhunter.com
Location: Fort Wayne, Ind.
How DentalHeadHunter.com describes itself: "DentalHeadHunter.com is your Internet resource for sales and marketing opportunities in the dental industry. DentalHeadHunter.com is the only Web site devoted exclusively to sales and marketing opportunities and talent in the dental industry."
What sets DentalHeadHunter.com apart: Section for employers to view limited amount of available candidates in five separate regions of the United States. • Section for those seeking a job to view limited amount of available openings in same five regions.
Joining DentalHeadHunter.com: Free for both potential employers and employees.
Key players for DentalHeadHunter.com: Nick Harris, vice president and general manager.
Web address: www.dentalink.net
Location: Oxnard, Calif.
How dentalink.net describes itself: "dentalink.net was created to provide staffing assistance to the dental industry throughout the United States. The staff of dentalink.net know how important it is to recruit and maintain quality staff members. We also know how much time and money is wasted when a qualified employee can not be located or an unqualified employee is foolishly hired. dentalink.net speeds up the recruiting process and is extremely beneficial for both the employee and the employer."
What sets dentalink.net apart: All resumes are organized by state and city, so finding the right employee is easy, effective, and free of charge. • dentalink.net is updated 24 hours a day, so there are always new employees to choose from. • Confidentiality is ensured, release only the information you wish.
Joining dentalink.net: Cost for employers to post jobs: $59. Cost to post a practice for sale: $59. No cost to post a resume.
Key players for dentalink.net: Mat Kelly, president.
Web address: www.dentalmall.com
Location: Santa Ana, Calif.
How dentalmall.com describes itself: "Newhouse Dental Specialties is a division of a 55-year-old company, offering mostly disposable dental/medical supplies. Pricing is based upon a continual updating process to offer the very best competitive prices."
What sets dentalmall.com apart: The dental and medical professional can obtain very competitive current pricing on mostly disposable supplies without having to wait for limited time offers, promotions, closeouts or auctions on desired items. • There is very informative educational information on many products; samples are available, as well as direct catalog ordering.
Joining dentalmall.com: Free.
Key players for dentalmall.com: C. Alford, president; T. Shahin, vice president and general manager; Wendy Bollman, customer service manager.
Web address: www.dentalsite.com
How dentalsite.com describes itself: "The Dental Site is dedicated to serving everyone interested in improving their dental health and those who`s profession it is to educate and care for the dental health of others. Our goal is simply to provide an excellent source of dental health related knowledge for the world free of charge."
What sets dentalsite.com apart: Separate areas of interest for the general public, dentists, hygienists, assistants, and technicians. • Links to a myriad of Web sites for further information. • A "Find A Dentist" search engine that will not only locate a dentist in the United States, but also in 41 other regions of the world.
Joining dentalsite.com: Free.
Key players for dentalsite.com: not available
Web address: www.dentalsupplyhouse.com
Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
How DentalSupplyHouse.com describes itself: "This Web site has evolved to provide not only information on periodontics, but also very low prices on a vast selection of dental supplies and instruments at DentalSupplyHouse.com. Savings up to 40 percent off catalog prices are commonplace."
What sets DentalSupplyHouse.com apart: The site is operated in conjunction with the UCLA School of Dentistry. • "The club" entitles customers to an extra 10 percent off, and access to quality continuing education credits online. • The convenience of 24-hour shopping complements the expanded content sections that feature news, continuing education, textbooks, tutorials, videos, chart forms, message boards, and custom e-mail alerts.
Joining DentalSupplyHouse.com: Free.
Key players for DentalSupplyHouse.com: not available
Web address: www.dentaltown.com
Location: Phoenix, Ariz.
How DentalTown.com describes itself: "DentalTown.com will offer a way for consumers to find a dentist and have their questions answered."
What sets DentalTown.com apart: Free samples of new products from manufacturers will be available on demand. • A "Just for Kids" section will have information geared toward teaching kids how to take care of their teeth. • Free services such as e-mail, Web site space, news groups, chat rooms, a listing of events sponsored by dental fraternities, and the DentalTown Daily News will be available.
Joining DentalTown.com: Free.
Key players for DentalTown.com: Howard Farran, DDS, founder.
Dental X Change
Web address: www.dentalxchange.com
Location: Irvine, Calif.
How Dental X Change describes itself: "We are your premier one-stop online shop in the world of dental information, services and products. Since 1995 thousands of dentists, hygienists, assistants, office staff, lab technicians, and dental professionals have been coming to dentalxchange.com and have made us their #1 dental internet resource. Our site is packed with exciting up-to-date content and more services than any other dental commercial web site."
What sets Dental X Change apart: An up-to-date source for product launches, new techniques, quick clinical tips, and product reviews by leading consultants is just one more dentalxchange advantage. • An extensive online continuing education directory. • "Job Boards" allows you to post job openings, resumes, or CVs.
Joining Dental X Change: Some cost for Web site hosting and construction. Otherwise, it`s free.
Web address: www.dentisthotline.com
Location: New York, N.Y.
How dentisthotline.com describes itself: "Dentist Hotline is a Web site created to provide consumers the best access to dentists and dental information on the Internet. Our belief is that the more we inform consumers, the more they will become aware of their dental needs and use the services of dental professionals like the ones found in our directory."
What sets dentisthotline.com apart: You`ll find a list of 20 important things to expect from your dentist, with special thanks given to David Letterman and his diastema. • dentisthotline.com has a "what to do" listing for the public and the dentist when confronted with an emergency situation. • There`s an interesting children`s section that mentions nothing about dentistry, but has links to the Crayola home page and cool views of the solar system.
Joining dentisthotline.com: Free Web pages are available for dentists.
Key players for dentisthotline.com: Michael Farahnick, DDS, president; Rick Pelsman, designer and vice president.
Web address: www.dentistinfo.com
Location: Northbrook, Ill.
How dentistinfo.com describes itself: "I am striving for Dentistinfo.com to be the most user-friendly, noticed, and best listing and dental information site out on the web," said Ronald Widen, DDS.
What sets dentistinfo.com apart: You have the option of playing music on the site while you navigate through the different categories. • A news ticker at the top of the page continuously flashes the latest headlines, keeping you up-to-date while you surf. • Do you want to know why feet smell or do you want to learn from the great Dr. Duey Neadam? Then check out the kid`s section.
Joining dentistinfo.com: Free, except for a cost involved with Web site set-up.
Key players for dentistinfo.com: Widen
Web address: www.dexpo.com
Location: Conshohocken, Pa.
How Dexpo.com describes itself: "Dexpo.com combines advanced e-commerce technology with content from leading experts to provide a unique online resource - a virtual `trade show` for dental practitioners and manufacturers."
What sets Dexpo.com apart: An online auction puts you in command by allowing you to determine the ultimate price you pay for dental supplies and equipment. • Every other Friday, from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. (Eastern), there is a $5 Friday auction, featuring some (as Dexpo.com puts it), "interesting products." • Classified listings that include employment opportunities and practices for sale or rent are updated daily.
Joining Dexpo.com: $1,400 for manufacturers, $5,000 for distributors, and $500 for others.
Key players for Dexpo.com: Jeff Goodman, chairman and chief executive officer.
According to Jeff Goodman: What sets your site apart? "We are close to being a trade show online. Different participants can promote their products to dentists. The reverse auction is also truly unique. Dentists have also shopped a catalog in the past. This is the exact opposite." Where do you see the dental Web phenomenon in five years? "I think every manufacturer and distributor will have an active Web site. There will be one central marketplace for commerce. I don`t think there will be a lot of fragmentation because the market isn`t large enough."
Direct Dental Courses
Web address: www.dentalcourse.com
Location: Chino Hills, Calif.
How Direct Dental Courses describes itself: "D.D.C. is dedicated to providing a quality learning experience to each dental professional. Your time is important to us so we have made continuing education courses directly available to you in the comfort of your own home. Our courses are designed to enhance the licentiate`s knowledge and proficiency to better serve the community."
What sets Direct Dental Courses apart: Available courses are displayed, and the practitioner can then choose to take the course online, or have the course mailed to his or her house. • If for any reason you are not completely satisfied, Dental Direct Courses guarantees a full refund within 60 days. • The course may be done in as many sessions as you choose so that you may work at your own pace. Once you have finished studying the course you may begin the post examination.
Joining Direct Dental Courses: Tests vary in price.
Key players for Direct Dental Courses: not available
Web address: www.edentalstore.com
Location: Burlingame, Calif.
How eDentalStore describes itself: "eDentalStore combines the convenience of online purchasing with comprehensive product selection from leading dental suppliers, delivering a streamlined, lower cost purchasing channel for dental professionals. eDentalStore is committed to delivering exceptional service, maximum value, and mutual benefits to our business partners and customers."
What sets eDentalStore apart: For suppliers, eDentalStore is the first supplier-neutral online marketplace supporting a direct manufacturer-to-dentist selling model. • For dental staffs, the eDentalStore marketplace offers dental professionals a comprehensive purchasing solution, offering products from trusted quality suppliers, and customers can easily and conveniently compare products, services, and prices, access product reviews, and order supplies from a single online source, thereby saving time and bottom-line business expenses.
Joining eDentalStore: Free membership.
Key players for eDentalStore: William A. Porter, chairman; Thomas Q. Jensen, president, chief executive officer, and co-founder.
Web address: www.floss.com
Location: Garden City, Long Island, N.Y.
How floss.com describes itself: "We aim to educate visitors and dismiss some of the apprehensions they may have with dental visits. Through an understanding of procedures, dental technology, and the latest developments, we hope to communicate to our audience the importance of good oral hygiene and health," said Dr. Peter D. Vastardis, founder and chief executive officer of Floss.com, Inc.
What sets floss.com apart: A complete library for the general public on everything from how to stop your child from thumbsucking to your pet`s dental health • This site has a sense of humor: You`ll find dentist jokes here. • You can buy everything from toothpaste to vitamins, and sign up for a subscription to many health and fitness magazines.
Joining floss.com: Free to the public.
Key players for floss.com: Peter D. Vastardis, DMD, PC, founder and chief executive officer.
Web address: www.MedAvenue.com
Location: Ontario, Calif.
How MedAvenue.com describes itself: "With over 500,000 doctors and 150,000 dentists to choose from, MedAvenue.com provides you with a complete internet medical directory. We are dedicated to providing the health-care public a unique directory source and the doctors an opportunity to explain their unique competence and skill to their patients."
What sets MedAvenue.com apart: Definitions of each doctor`s specialty can be found in an easy-to-use glossary. • A point-and-click map of the United States allows consumers to look in their own state for specialists and general doctors and dentists. • You can search for medical professionals ranging from a chiropractor to an orthodontist.
Joining MedAvenue.com: Free for consumers. Medical professionals must contact MedAvenue.com for pricing.
Key players for MedAvenue.com: Greg J. Powers, vice president; W. Craig Van Sant, project manager.
Web address: www.net32.com
How net32 describes itself: net32 is a complete set of free online resources for the dental professional, offering products, news, and advice.
What sets net32 apart: We bring multiple supply sources to you. Only through net32 can you comparison shop for more than 60,000 product choices from over 50 different supply sources. Shipping is free in the 48 contiguous states. You can accesscurrent and archived issues of RDH, Dental Economics, Dental Equipment & Materials and Dental Graduate. You can access advice from colleagues through moderated message boards and expert sessions. You can also access dental news headlines, updated every day. And you can access our events calendar and free classified advertising, 24x7.
Joining net32: Free membership.
Key players for net32: Thomas P. Cavanagh, president and chief executive officer; Patrick Cassidy DMD MPH, founder and chief dental officer; Lynne Tatum-Little, RDH, professional relations manager.
According to Thomas P. Cavanagh: What sets your site apart? "Imagine reading about a new product in RDH (online at net32.com), then without leaving the site, posting a question on our message board asking your colleagues around the country for their views about that product, and then - again without even leaving the site - placing an order for that product from your choice of suppliers. That`s the power that net32 brings to the dental professional."
Web address: www.newmentor.com
Location: San Francisco, Calif.
How newmentor.com describes itself: "Our aim in creating new learning opportunities involves the blending of current and emerging technologies with the time-honored concept of mentoring. Whether with our CD-ROM courses, our Internet educational services, or our small-group hands-on workshops, we bring the experts to you in ways that enhance learning retention, enrich learning enjoyment, and ensure learning results."
What sets newmentor.com apart: CDs available from newmentor.com have been described by Syngcuk Kim, DDS, PhD, in the Journal of Endodontics as "the best teaching material I have encountered in my 20 years of teaching." • Online newsletters highlight topics of special relevance and clinical practicality.
Joining newmentor.com: Access to online newsletters is free. Costs are involved for purchase of CDs and other services.
Key players for newmentor.com: Jeanne Cohen, president and chief executive officer; Joan Thorn, director of sales.
Web address: www.oralis.com
Location: Seattle, Wash.
How oralis.com describes itself: "Our mission is to be the number one online supplier to oral healthcare professionals for all their products and services. We will alleviate the hassles and costs associated with ordering supplies so that more time can be focused on what`s most important: patient care. We will deliver whatever our customers want better than anyone else in a more cheerful, enthusiastic manner."
What sets oralis.com apart: An online demo that showcases the site`s ease-of-use, 20,000+ and growing product database, and sophisticated yet simple ordering features including oralis.com`s signature Quicklist. • The "Customer Care Center" is staffed by experienced Dental Assistants who are equipped with real-time information regarding accounts to more proactively and effectively answer questions. • Can`t find what you`re looking for in oralis.com`s product database? Don`t worry, ask ToothHound. He`ll track down anything you need and send you a personal response within 24 hours.
Joining oralis.com: Free membership. Also, by joining Oralis.com, you will receive free unlimited access to the Internet through oralis.com`s partnership with Concentric Network. Use your Internet access to order products and services from Oralis.com and anything else you want to do on the Internet.
Key players for Oralis.com: Pierre T. Gallant, president and chief executive officer; Nathaniel Short, vice president, sales and marketing; Ann S. Palmer, vice president, engineering.
According to Nathaniel Short: What sets your site apart? "We`ve developed a tool that dentists or their staff can use in the office on a daily or monthly basis to order products and take advantage of services. We are price competitive, but we think our biggest value proposition is the time savings we offer to dentists in terms of ordering and order tracking." Where do you see the dental Web phenomenon in five years? "I think the industry will change dramatically. Technology will streamline operational efficiencies in a dentist`s office. Bill Gates once said that if the 1980s were about quality, and the 1990s were about reengineering, then the 2000s will be about velocity."
Web address: www.perioaccess.com
Location: San Francisco, Calif.
How perioaccess.com describes itself: "Prepared by George K. Merijohn, DDS, this site is designed to help you learn more about what constitutes high-value periodontal care and about the important health and safety issues affecting all patients having periodontal treatment today."
What sets perioaccess.com apart: Short explanations of the benefits of oral health make for quick reading and could provide good information to share with patients. • "Hot topics" focus on current key issues within the dental industry.
Joining perioaccess.com: Free.
Key players for newmentor.com: George K. Merijohn, DDS.
Web address: www.profitfinder.com
Location: Wayzata, Minn.
How Profit Finder describes itself: "ProfitFinder, the only dental supply pricing information service in the United States, has made ordering dental supplies simple ... and at a savings of 20-30 percent. By continually surveying over 170 dental supply companies throughout the country, ProfitFinder finds the best available prices on over 20,000 name brand and generic dental products and pieces of equipment."
What sets Profit Finder apart: Profit Finder not only lists dental supplies, but also peripheral services such as laboratory services, office supplies, handpiece repair services, and sterilization monitoring services. • Profit Finder members are given, absolutely free, a DOS- or Windows-based inventory management software system, which can track orders and determine the amount spent each month on supplies. • A referral program allows members to earn free monthly membership for every professional they refer to the site.
Joining Profit Finder.com: An annual membership is $325. Shorter memberships are available for a lesser fee.
Key players for Profit Finder: Dr. Philip Engle, founder.
Web address: www.rdental.com
Location: Bethesda, Md.
How rdental.com describes itself: "rdental.com is a dental Internet site anchored by some of the most prestigious clinical experts in dentistry today. We are dedicated to providing you, the general consumer, with the highest-quality dental care information available on the Internet."
What sets rdental.com apart: A Dental Care section provides you with access to Frequently Asked Questions on a wide variety of dental conditions and procedures (e.g., general dentistry issues, gum disease, children`s oral health, orthodontics, cosmetic dentistry, etc.). To the extent the section of Frequently Asked Questions fails to provide sufficient information on any particular area of oral health, you can retrieve more detailed information and related articles, or turn to the Ask the Dentist section with a specific problem. • The Digital Dental Directory provides you with a directory of dental providers by specialty and by location. • For the dental professional, rdental.com provides an impressive range of clinical, business, and special interest programming. The Online Institute, which features exclusive continuing education seminars and lectures from the rdental.com Board of Advisors is just one of the many features that are offered.
Joining rdental.com: For dentists, $29.95 per month. The site is free to the general public.
Key players for rdental.com: Robert Fleshner, president and chief executive officer; Lou Shuman, DMD, executive vice president of marketing and professional development.
According to Robert Fleshner: What sets your site apart? "Our continuing education opportunities and our esteemed board of advisors. We have 13 of the greatest names in dentistry that are exclusive to us. We have interactive management tools that helps dentists run their practice." Where do you see the dental Web phenomenon in five years? "I think you`ll see an increasing amount of continuing education online. The Internet won`t replace trips to Hawaii for conventions, but it will be very important to a lot of people who can`t travel to Hawaii and other conventions."
The Tooth Fairy Online
Web address: www.asis.com/toothfairy/
Location: Unknown, but she claims to store her harvest of baby teeth "in a pink cloud on the other side of the rainbow."
How The Tooth Fairy Online describes itself: not available
What sets The Tooth Fairy Online apart: Information on flossing, frequently asked questions for the Tooth Fairy, and other information pertinent to children. • International information, including a link to the Dental Gnome, the British Tooth Fairy. • Tons of links to everything from basic dental information to where to find the best music for kids.
Joining The Tooth Fairy Online: Free.
Key players for The Tooth Fairy Online: Megan McCormick, RDH, founder.
Web address: www.webdental.com
Location: not available
How webdental.com describes itself: "The WebDental Team is committed to providing the most comprehensive and diverse resource center for the dental community on the internet. WebDental was conceived to provide dental professionals with a direct link to manufacturers, suppliers, management services, business and financial information in a centralized, interactive resource center."
What sets webdental.com apart: webdental.com advertises itself as diverse, and it`s not kidding. You can find links on everything from travel to the latest NBA news. • There`s a listing of dental laboratories from throughout the country. • The webdental.com directory contains more than 170,000 practices and individual dentists found across the United States.
Joining webdental.com: Free, except for a cost involved with Web site design.
Kevin Henry is associate editor for all PennWell dental publications.