Welcome to The BRIDGE, the social and information hub of the dental lab industry. Connect with industry peers and vendors, ask questions, sign up for events, review products, read LMT articles and industry news and more!
Every now and then something comes along to add spice and extra-rich texture to the make-up of our community and that kind of energy is both welcome and contagious. If you’re familiar with the group that calls itself DTG, the Dental Technicians Guild, you know what I mean. It has an edgy cool that exudes energy and also draws it in. Its goal is to celebrate a passion for restorations that mimic natural dentition in both form and function.
Social media plays a large role in keeping members of the group active and engaged 24/7. DTG members share photos of their work on the Guild’s members-only...
From the initial investment to the change in technique, getting clients on board with digital impressions can be an uphill climb. Here’s how one lab is slowly transitioning its clients into the digital realm.
Q. The pace of change in our industry is accelerating. How do I keep up?
A. As the external environment changes your thinking and strategies need to change as well. For many of us that means acquiring new skills. You need to engage change proactively, making the necessary business changes to maintain a competitive advantage and you need to anticipate how your customer expectations are changing so you are not caught “flat footed.”
Ram Charan, a noted management consultant and author, has identified seven interrelated learnable skills that separate the performers from non-performers....
- Laurel Carbonneau · November/December 2014
LMT’s Laurel Carbonneau visited Whip Mix in October for its third annual Survive or Thrive Forum, where more than 30 attendees heard real-world advice on technology implementation.
A successful model-free process requires a reliable material, a highly skilled technician, excellent software and an outstanding mill. Here’s Bob Williams’ step-by-step technique for a recent case.
In September, exocad America acquired the dental assets of SensAble Dental and can now distribute and further develop SensAble’s software for designing metal and flexible partial denture frameworks.
Jeff Smith, CDT, offers a step-by-step look at how to fabricate esthetic, monolithic restorations in a single press sequence with subsequent glazing using Ivoclar Vivadent’s new IPS e.max Press Multi.
GC America is the first dental company in the U.S. and only the fourth company in the country to receive the Deming Prize, the oldest and most widely recognized Total Quality Management award in the world.
When tragedy strikes, Liz Baumgartner, Co-Owner of Baumgartner Dental Lab, Brigham City, UT, heads out to disaster areas with her specially trained dogs as part of a Canine Search Team.
LMT taps into the expertise of 20 laboratory owners and managers from all size labs who’ve successfully incorporated digital technology into their operations, offering real-life experiences and tips on what we all wish we would have known before taking the plunge.
Read More 19 minute read
Competing on price is not, of course, an unfamiliar reality—production/high volume laboratories have been the perceived competitors of small laboratories for decades. But now, with digital technology available to all size laboratories, the competitive arena enables some laboratories to make a comfortable profit via sheer volume and that is one of the causes of industry-wide price erosion.
As you see from our cover story, The Race to the Bottom is the takeaway mantra of respondents to LMT’s 2014 Fee Survey and it isn’t pretty. Because of price competition—fueled largely by...
Here’s a look at how using the split file technique and the digital, model-less workflow available from Core3dcentres—a digital design and manufacturing center with locations in seven countries that serves laboratories and dentists—met the needs of a time-sensitive implant patient.
Laboratory Owner Michael Suris has recently started using Strategy Milling©’s services to mill full contour gold crowns and bridges for Dental Professional Labs, Inc. in Merrillville, IN. He offers a step-by-step look at fabricating a milled gold posterior crown.
After meeting at LAB DAY West 2013, Sully Samartzis invited LMT’s Judy Fishman to visit his laboratory when she arrived in Arizona later that year. The laboratory is a pristine addition to a gorgeously appointed home, designed by wife Debbie, a professional interior decorator.
In 1999, Sully Samartzis had a toothache on #13. Treatment meant a root canal procedure followed by a crown. Of Greek descent, he’d only been in the U.S. for three months, arriving here from Germany with a degree in electronics and $1,400 to his name.
Intent on being self-employed and, ideally, working from home...
Once she arrived in Arizona last fall, LMT Publisher Judy Fishman visited Scott Atkin, Owner of Creative Milling Dental Laboratory and CEO of Dental Lab Milling Supplies, LLC, in Scottdale, AZ, just as Bentley, Atkin’s massive Bernese Mountain Dog, was headed out for a walk with one of the staff members. Atkin “struck gold” in 2007 by adding a retail component to his business model to stay ahead of what’s trending and increase his revenue base.
“The focus for labs these days needs to be on creating win-win opportunities for themselves and their clients,” says...
Scan and Design Technician Barry Mahoney recently competed on Face Off, a reality competition show exploring the world of special-effects make-up artists.
After watching technicians drop one too many crowns and losing productivity, Ceramist Tom Greggs invented Stabiliner, which reduces the risk of slippage of milled restorations during contouring/finishing procedures.
“It’s people who make the difference, so my business philosophy is based on taking care of the staff first. If you do that, I believe everything else will come naturally,” says Jayme Hong, CEO and Chief Rainmaker at IDOC.
LMT’s 2014 Fee Survey respondents offer a mixed picture of their sales and profitability. On one hand, laboratory sales seem to be slowly improving. Profits, though, seem to be lagging behind.
Read More 4 minute read
A 2014 Fee Survey participant from the Midwest—who prefers to remain anonymous—offers a thoughtful take on how the rampant price competition on full contour zirconia restorations is negatively affecting the bottom line of many laboratories. Here’s what he had to say:
In the early 1980s, the price of gold skyrocketed and non-precious alloy showed up on the scene. Since it was a cheap metal, most labs didn’t even add the cost of the metal into the crown fee. However, they weren’t thinking about the revenue they had been making on gold alloys—or about the...
With all the bad news about stiff competition and price erosion, I thought we all could use a “feel good” reminder that you deliver an invaluable service to the patients who receive your work; I’m one of them!
In March 2013, I went to a local general practitioner to have number 14 looked at. I was unable to chew without getting a shooting pain. (I wrote about this earlier and, for the details and more photos, go to http://lmtmag.com/series/baddentistry.)
Unfortunately, because this dentist didn’t realize how traumatized the tooth was—and didn’t give it a chance...
The great transition taking hold of the way our community works is far from settling down as strategies continue to be employed and tested by tomorrow’s business leaders. Some of the changes have the capacity to pull the rug out from under us even as we retool to adapt to today’s innovations.
Though there will be an increased need for restorative work among aging boomers in the near future, right now it’s a huge challenge for laboratories to make it to that future. Having a detailed read on the market—that would enable you to see your own future more clearly—would...
Jean Chiha, CDT, shares his step-by-step process for fabricating a posterior, three-unit, implant-supported bridge using Noritake KATANA Multi-Layered (ML) Zirconia.
The challenging aspect of this case was that one of the implants was improperly placed between #7 and #8. Steve Lee explains how he made a screw-retained zirconia framework with pink gingiva tissue to recreate the lost gingiva and then cemented on four single crowns made from IPS e.max to the framework.