While Benco Dental, the nation’s largest privately owned dental distributor, has been delivering success smile after smile® for over 75 years, not every company these days has stood the test of time. Below, discover a bit of history regarding several dental companies that have been influencing the profession, some for over a century.
H.D. Justi and Son
Now called Justi – American Tooth Industries. The company was started in the mid-19th century by H.D. Justi to make teeth. The company won an award at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia for their excellent product. Justi is still known for its quality teeth – just ask Benco Dental’s Tooth Department!
Founded by Hugo Friedman in 1908, Hu-Friedy has been crafting quality instruments for the dental industry ever since. From their early Gracey instruments, introduced in 1945, to their state-of-the-art Colorvue Goldstein Probe, each instrument is 80% completed by hand. Benco Dental carries all the most modern Hu-Friedy instruments in its comprehensive dental catalog, the DDR. Check out some of their current Gracey curettes in our catalog here.
Inspired by a speech from antiseptic advocate Joseph Lister, Robert Wood Johnson joined his brothers James Wood Johnson and Edward Mead Johnson to create a line of ready-to-use surgical dressings in 1885. The company produced its first products in 1886 and incorporated in 1887. One hundred and thirty-one years later, they’re still selling products to the dental profession.
At one time, SS White sold everything from handpieces to dental chairs. Today, the company maintains its original objective: “better products for better dentistry.” Started in 1844 by Samuel Stockton White, the company made porcelain teeth and then progressed to supplying an entire line of dental products from their headquarters in Philadelphia.
Young Dental Manufacturing Company
Founded in 1900 in Missouri to sell dental products, Young Dental still sells primarily to the restorative and preventive dental industries. Located in Missouri, today the company specializes in disposable prophy angles, which you can see in the current issue of the DDR.
J. Bird Moyer Co. Inc.
Now selling under the name Moyco Technologies, the original company was founded by J. Bird Moyer, a dentist who lived and ran his offices in Philadelphia in the early 20th century and carried general dental supplies. It eventually was sold after the founder’s death and became Moyco Technologies, specializing in dental abrasives.
Buffalo Dental Manufacturing
Once a leader in creating vulcanized rubber dentures, Buffalo is still a leader in dental knives, among other dental supplies the company offers. This ad shows some of the knives Buffalo carried in 1919. To see the company’s current lab knife offering, check out page 663 of Benco Dental’s 2018 DDR. That’s almost 100 years of lab knives!
All of the above advertisements (except the Hu-Friedy ad) came from a periodical entitled, “Hettinger’s Dental News,” published monthly by Hettinger Brothers Manufacturing, based out of Kansas City, Missouri, circa 1919 through 1921.
Watch for even more histories of long-lived dental companies in an upcoming blog. There’s more than you think!
About the Blogger
Guest blogger Jenn Ochman, Database Publishing Production Specialist in the Branding and Communications Department at Benco Dental, dedicates her time outside work to historical reenactment. She shares knowledge of dental history with TheDailyFloss.com readers on a monthly basis.