A hundred years ago in Osaka, Japan, the company that today manufactures the Belmont range of dental products was founded. Belmont has long been one of the stalwart equipment brands on the Australian and New Zealand landscape, known for its pioneering of the knee-break style dental chair as well as innovative ergonomics, left-to-right configuration and long-term reliability.
Right before the COVID-19 pandemic set in, the distribution of Belmont changed in Australia and New Zealand. The full Belmont range of dental units, chairs, stools, operatory lights and x-ray systems is now being sold by a nationwide network of 10 experienced dental equipment dealers. Critical Dental is managing and developing that network with a view to making Belmont the dentists' brand of choice in Australia and New Zealand, as it is in so many other countries around the world.
"The Belmont range is well-established in Australia and New Zealand and has a solid reputation as a cost-effective, reliable and innovative centrepiece of the treatment room," said Justin O'Connell, director of Critical Dental. "It's exciting to be able to refamiliarise the range to Australian dentists as it offers a number of unique, in demand features combined with a 5-year warranty.
"The new Belmont distribution arrangement follows a very simple business model - great products, great service and plenty of stock. Investing in plenty of stock of all the products and spare parts ensures the extensive service network we have in place is well-supported. And in doing this, customers receive their orders faster and any problems are rectified immediately."
Mr O'Connell said that his role is to draw on his extensive knowledge of the dental industry and to put in place and develop a solid network that allows all dentists in Australia and New Zealand to have access to the Belmont range, whether they be in Tasmania or far north Queensland. So far, there are now Belmont showrooms in Western Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.
Steve Symonds, founder of Queensland-based Leading Dental, is one of the long-standing Belmont distributors.
"Our focus at Leading Dental is to deliver world class brands built on rock solid reputations for performance and reliability and then back this up with the best possible service and support," he said. "The 100% Japanese-made Belmont equipment upholds these values and in my opinion, is the most reliable equipment line on the market, hands down.
"The life value of a piece of Belmont equipment is minimal. It just does not break down. Outside of tubes and O-rings, there are very few moving parts that require maintenance other than a recommended annual preventative maintenance approach, which will achieve as close as possible to 100% reliability.
"The range of Belmont chairs starts at the rock-solid workhorse, the Belmont CLESTA eIII. I still see early models of this chair in surgeries going strong well past 20 years old. The same tried and proven reliability still exists in the modern day versions, now with a much fancier LED daylight balanced light and a new stylish look and a host of new features.
"You can then step up to the CLESTA II family, offering an unrivalled line up of options. A three-chair practice can adopt the same look and feel throughout but each room can embrace a range of unique options including a tbCOMPASS chair with left/right convertibility, knee break options [CLAIR], chair or ceiling lights, cart delivery and more.
"The Belmont 900 series LED light is the best light on the market, offering seamless diming, daylight-balanced bright white output from a ring of 10 LED's with shadow control that has to be seen to be believed.
"Team your new dental chair up with the Belmont PHOT-XiiS intraoral X-Ray with colour touch display and you have an enviable line up of equipment second to none."
Andrew Law Autoclaves is one of two service organisations looking after Belmont in Tasmania. "We've been servicing autoclaves and other dental and medical equipment for over 15 years," said principal Andrew Law. "We mostly work in the south around Hobart, Launceston and Bernie and we have been trained up on supporting the full Belmont range and can also supply new equipment if required. We work with over 100 practices and around 65% of the work we do is installations, repairs and annual servicing of dental units."
On the west coast, Med & Dent WA are supplying and servicing the Belmont range.
"We're immensely proud to be the sole distributor for Belmont equipment in Western Australia," said Luke Ferris, Director of Med & Dent WA. "We have 25 years' experience promoting and servicing Belmont equipment and we have fully trained service technicians, an in-house workshop, a functional showroom and we perform in-house repairs and modification to many brands of dental equipment.
"We have promoted and supported Belmont Equipment purely based on its outstanding reliability and we believe the Belmont equipment not only works extremely well but it looks great with its modern and streamlined look. The NEW Belmont CLESTA eIII and tbCOMPASS ambidextrous units are simply amazing!"
As testament to the longevity of Belmont equipment, Mr Ferris said he was recently asked by a client to service her Belmont CLESTA unit.
"During the service, I worked out that it was 22 years old," he said. "It still looks good and works as new. Other than a few wear marks, it is still doing the same job it did back when I installed it two decades ago.
"Many of our clients have had Belmont equipment installed for over 20 years, which is simply not normal with most other brands. Belmont's reliability is second to none and it is difficult to convince a client to upgrade to the latest and greatest because Belmont equipment simply keeps performing year on year. The Belmont units are manufactured to a very high standard in a very modern manufacturing plant in Japan and Med and Dent WA believes that a dentist would find it hard to invest in a better dental unit than Belmont - the units are robust, built to last and look modern."
Mr O'Connell said he was heartened by the interest in the Belmont range as word has gotten around of the distribution change.
"With the COVID shutdown last year right when we relaunched Belmont at the ADX20 dental exhibition, we thought we might possibly lose momentum," he said. "However, 2020 proved to be a much better year than expected and we have been installing Belmont dental units and x-rays all over Australia and New Zealand. 2021 marks the 100-year anniversary of the company, so we are hoping for the best year for Belmont in Australia yet."