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Dental concierge at your service

Patterson Dental

BEFORE: Marti O'Brien, the school's newest Patterson Dental representative, has made several changes to her operations in
the basement lunchroom since arriving in April, starting with swapping the land line for her cellphone.

Media Resources/Steven Doll

Fully armed with a cellphone and laptop, the new Patterson Dental rep in the dental school basement can take student orders anywhere, anytime. She can also offer assistance with associateship opportunities. And software training in the ATC. Did we mention she previously worked in the private practice arena? 

A resource during dental school and beyond

What Patterson Dental representative Marti O’Brien — a 12-year veteran of the private practice world as a dental assistant and office manager — really wants students to know is that she is a resource for them.

In August, O’Brien arrived with the returning students and established her operations corner in the basement lunchroom for the academic year, with some new benefits for students.

For starters, O’Brien did away with the land-line phone in the sales area. Now students and faculty can contact her directly on her cell phone. And texting is just fine, which is good, because during the eight hours she spends at the dental school each week, she’s rarely at her desk. It’s quite common for her to be on different floors, assisting with an Eaglesoft tutorial or making sure all the Patterson equipment in the Advanced Technology Clinic is up to date.

When she is in the basement, students will find a fully labeled inventory, so instead of standing in line to find out if dental supplies are in stock, they can look for themselves. When it can’t be found, O’Brien can look it up on her laptop to see what is currently on hand at the Patterson distribution center instead of poring over the print catalog. The addition of a credit card machine is also in the works, so students can avoid writing checks, giving out card numbers or combing through their pockets for the ever-elusive dollar.

“We’ve got the capabilities to help them in every stage of their life here at school and once they leave,” says O’Brien, “whether it’s in school and something they don’t understand or getting connected with practicing dentists and associateship opportunities.”

Most recently, O’Brien oversaw the addition of LED lights to the A-dec dental chairs and the integration of a Sopro intraoral camera into the operatory’s delivery system. O’Brien — a former Eaglesoft trainer — will provide tutorials for the training software when students do their initial rotations through the ATC. And if they have questions about sensor placement for the digital imaging system, O’Brien can help with that, too.

“I’d like to encourage the doctors and the students to pull from my knowledge,” says O’Brien, who has been with Patterson Dental Supply since 2008. “The word that I keep going back to is a good resource. As a full-capacity resource person, it’s like having your own concierge with you all the time."

Patterson Dental Patterson Dental Patterson Dental
Patterson Dental Patterson Dental Patterson Dental

OLD VERSUS NEW: O'Brien replaced the land line with her iPhone, which she checks throughout the day for student orders; supplies now have labels listing the price for shopping ease; and instead of flipping through the print catalogue, O'Brien can look for on-hand inventory with her laptop.

Media Resources/Steven Doll