Debunking own brand myths

Gary Bond is the head of UnoDent, an own brand range with more than 30 years of experience in the dental sector. In this article for Young Dentist he challenges some of the myths surrounding own brand products.

Myth #1: The difference in cost means there must be a catch

False. We work very hard to keep our prices low. We buy in huge volumes which allows us to pass on the economies of scale to our customers and additionally, we don’t include any unnecessarily expensive packaging and branding.

We don’t compromise on the quality of our product and because of this we’re confident that each of the 3,000 items within the UnoDent range can stand-up to any brand comparison – something we further promote through our 28-day money back guarantee.

Myth #2: It’s all made in China

False. The majority of UnoDent products are manufactured in the UK and Western Europe. We believe in sourcing from countries that can deliver the best solution and where we can be confident of continuity of supply and product quality, not where we can make the greatest cost savings.

Myth #3: Private brands are better because they’re regulated

False. Any brand, whether private or own, is regulated and scrutinised to the same standards.

Myth #4: It’s a compromise  

False. When own brand first started to appear on our supermarket shelves it’s fair to say they were positioned at the bottom end of the scale in terms of cost and quality. They included everyday essentials such as toilet roll and bread, which we couldn’t do without, but were happy to compromise on quality for value for money.

Today, however, own brand has evolved and is competitive on both cost and quality. And that applies in dentistry too.

Supermarket shoppers are savvy, they know that a lot of their branded products come from the same manufacturer or production line as the brands they are compared against, the difference in cost is purely due to luxuries such as packaging, branding and marketing.

Myth #5: I can’t use own brand products on my private patients- they will know

False. Most patients are not aware of dental brands except for those that they can buy on the high street. It is unlikely they could name one filling material or dental glove brand. Why? Because they never see the brand name when they’re sat in the chair waiting for treatment.

The only difference is, with a private brand product your profit margins are less than an own brand alternative.  

Myth #6: If own brand products were just as good they would be recommended more during a dentist’s training in University

False. Most dentists keep using the products recommended in training throughout their whole careers, but that doesn’t mean they are using the best products – just the ones they’re most familiar with.

Our experience is that dentists now entering the sector are more open to trying newer things and they are more business savvy about where they can increase margins while keeping patient treatment standards high.

Myth #7: I can tell the difference

False.  We regularly carry out blind testing with our independent clinical panel which is made up of dentists, hygienists and industry professionals and the truth is time after time they struggle to identify private brand from UnoDent product. We sometimes blind test UnoDent against UnoDent too.

This testing helps us evolve our products and because we’re an own brand range that focuses on the dental market specifically, we can be agile and get a new product, or improved variations, to market quickly.  

Myth #8: Own brands don’t look as good

False. We carefully consider our design and we’ve received great customer feedback on it.

The only difference between our own brand and a private brand is that we remove any unnecessary costs that don’t deliver value, quality or performance to the customer. 

For example, the private brand has decided their packaging will look better by using a glossy card and embossed printing. This doesn’t make the product itself any better or add any value to the customer, but it does make the product ultimately more expensive for the customer.

UnoDent is the own brand range created by leading dental dealer, Dental Directory. With more than 30 years of experience in the dental sector, the UnoDent range consists of more than 3,000 product lines, including surgical, cross infection control, consumables and its new Luminos range. For more information visit