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Where does MSRP factor in your supply costs?

Posted by The Dentists Supply Company on 10/25/18 10:37 AM
The Dentists Supply Company

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is the price at which the product’s producer recommends it be sold to consumers. Depending on wholesale cost, competition and other factors, suppliers often sell products for less than MSRP; however, dental practices too often pay in excess of this suggested price. 
Now, supply pricing is getting more attention, as illustrated by the 2018 Morgan Stanley Research presentation “Trends + 5 Five Key Forces Reshaping the U.S. Dental Market.” When considering a purchase, dentists rated “quality” as the most important attribute of dental suppliers. In fact, this attribute was rated the leading factor by 64 percent of dentists in 2017. By 2018, quality was still at 53 percent, but price had grown from 19 percent to 22 percent. Outside of quality, price was rated to be more important than all other factors combined and “relationship with sales representative” was a leading factor for only 1 percent of respondents.

The good news is that practices don’t have to sacrifice the supplies they love or the brands they trust to control costs. Increased awareness about MSRP and transparency around current pricing allows you to make more informed purchasing decisions.

The Dentists Supply Company’s online shopping site,, is dedicated to providing dental association members with competitive supply pricing. While building product-by-product price comparisons for its shoppers, the TDSC team observed two alarming trends: Many practices were paying more than MSRP with their current suppliers, and the price spread for the exact same supplies was wide from practice to practice.

Here’s how those price discrepancies broke down:

  • Product profile: CaviWipes Disinfecting Towelettes

The MSRP for a 160-count canister of these disinfectant wipes is $11.99. A major supplier is charging one practice $12.95 per canister and another practice $8.95. At, the same product is $9.58 (20 percent savings compared to MSRP).

  • Product profile: Microbrush Tube Series

The MSRP for a 400-pack of these applicator brushes is $34.99. Another major supplier is charging one practice $48.99 and another $36.00. At, the same product is $28.01 (20% savings compared to MSRP).

  • Product profile: Septocaine 4% with Epinephrine

The MSRP for a 50-pack of anesthetic cartridges is $48.49. Yet another major supplier is charging higher than MSRP: $52.95 for one practice and $55.85 for another. At, the same cartridges are priced at $43.42 (10 percent savings).

Avoid being overcharged for essential inventory. Start by aligning overhead ratios with increased awareness about the true cost of supplies and how your practice stacks up against standards.

This article is the second in a two-part series. Read part 1, “Five questions to ask about your supply send.”


All prices shown were correct at the time of publication, but are subject to change without notice.


Marketing queries:
Rubi Rodriguez
Director of Marketing 

Media queries:
Ann Marie Gothard
Vice President, Global Corporate Media Relations