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Byline: MARILYN ALVA
Patterson Dental Co. has had plenty of time to build up expertise in the dental-supply trade. About 130 years, to be exact.
Over that time the company has built itself into the top player in its market, selling dentists just about anything they need to outfit their practice -- from dental chairs and drills to X-ray film and cement.
Now Patterson is leveraging its know-how in the dental business into two other areas: pet health care, and, since the September acquisition of AbilityOne, physical rehab therapy.
With the dental business showing steady growth and generating lots of free cash, Patterson looked to branch out. The company has a 30% share of the dental market, just …