Stanley M. Bergman
Thank you, Steven, very much for your update and I'd like to now provide a little bit color on the business units.
So let me begin with the North American Dental business. That's our dental business in the United States and in Canada. The results for our North American Dental business was strong across the board and reflects steady patient traffic to our Dental customers' offices and higher demand for dental equipment. Of course, this was partially driven by the tax incentives that were in effect for 2011.
Internal growth in sales of Dental consumable merchandise in local currencies was 4.8% during the quarter, excluding the extra week. So I think it's best to look at it excluding the extra week, which is solidly ahead of our estimate for the market growth and shows the strength of our Dental franchise here in the United States and in Canada. And our dental equipment results turned positive for the quarter with internal growth in local currencies at 3.8%. Again, if you should take out the extra week and this is after taking out the extra week. And as I noted during our last quarter call, we entered the fourth quarter with a strong backlog of equipment orders, including some that occurred in the -- early in the fourth quarter due to the timing of the end of the third quarter. I think we provided some color on this during the third quarter conference call.
So overall, I think we continue to be happy with our North American Dental businesses. They're doing well, gaining market share. The team has high morale and overall, the management is doing a very good job.
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