Rising sales of dental products helped Patterson Companies meet third-quarter earnings expectations and exceed revenue estimates Thursday.

Patterson provides consumable dental supplies, dental equipment and software, and products such as artificial teeth. It also has medical equipment and veterinary supply units.

Patterson earned $53.6 million, or 52 cents a share in the third quarter, in line with analysts’ expectations. Year-earlier earnings were $53.1 million, or 50 cents a share.

Third-quarter sales were $915.9 million, up 2.3 percent from $895 million a year ago, and surpassed analyst sales expectations of $907.5 million.

Sales of dental equipment and software rose nearly 10 percent in the quarter, driven by services such as digital imaging, the company said. Sales of technical and other services rose 2.3 percent. Sales of consumable supplies dropped less than 1 percent, which the company attributed to the third quarter having two fewer selling days than the comparable period a year ago. Veterinary sales rose less than half a percent, and medical equipment sales declined slightly, the firm said.