First, manufacturers use federal copyright law to say that they control the software inside of gadgets and that only they or licensed repair shops should be allowed to work on it. Second, manufacturers won’t sell replacement parts or guides to the masses, and often use esoteric parts in order to specifically lock down the devices.
Dentists are no strangers to expensive maintenance and repair. The special nature of our equipment and the limited market keeps prices high.
It seems that in the tech world some companies build in unique features that only they can supply. In that way they control repairs. If they don’t supply the unique component then the device cannot be fixed. Or sometimes it is not a part but access to the software.
The linked article refers to groups looking to pass laws that control this type of behavior. I am skeptical that government is the answer. I suspect a better approach would be independent groups that certify products are open and parts are available. Something like an underwriters laboratory or good housekeeping seal of approval.
If a product does not have the seal we simply won’t buy it.