Labs & Profiles

  • October
  • Exit Strategies: Is There Life After Making Teeth?

    “Retirement can be amazing if you plan ahead… ” Former Lab Owner Jim McDermott shares his after-lab life takeaways.

    Jim McDermott
    October 29 at 10:45 am

    Read More 4 minute read

  • August
  • Working on the Railroad: A Technician's Labor of Love

    Lab Owner Winnie Westwood, CDT, uses her technician skills to create a garden train layout in her backyard.

    Laurel Carbonneau
    August 6 at 9:51 am

    Read More 2 minute read

  • July
  • Changing the World, One Child at a Time

    Bill Mrazek, CDT, has published a children’s book, teaching kids about the acceptance of all people and cultures.

    Becky Tyre
    July 7 at 3:36 pm

    Read More 2 minute read

  • June
  • Technician Teams with Dentist to Put Patients First

    Marius Vincze, CDT, MV Dental Studio, Wayland, MA, teamed up with Dr. Courtney Lavigne to design and build a 1,600-sq-ft dental practice and 120-sq-ft in-house laboratory. The duo works side-by-side for 60% of their restorative cases.

    Becky Tyre
    June 5 at 3:22 pm

    Read More 2 minute read

  • May
  • Artists in Residence: Painting a Picture of Dental Technology

    Marcel Fundora combines his experience as a technician and an artist to create beautiful paintings focused on dentistry.

    Becky Tyre
    May 11 at 9:46 am

    Read More 1 minute read

  • Artists in Residence: Carving Out a Passion

    Technician Biljana Ramova uses zirconia to create tiny sculptures of some of her favorite things.

    Becky Tyre
    May 11 at 9:35 am

    Read More 1 minute read

  • March
  • Lab Owner Markets e.max to Public

    When one of his clients was looking for ways to boost its IPS e.max business, Lab Owner Ray Rayeski decided to take the lead in developing the market.

    Kim Molinaro
    March 10, 2015

    Read More 1 minute read

  • 50-Year Veteran Still Going Strong

    In his 50-plus-year career, David Zielinski has worn many hats: technician, lab owner, instructor, R&D evaluator, consultant and author. And he has no plans to retire anytime soon.

    Kim Molinaro
    March 3, 2015

    Read More 2 minute read

  • February
  • Nash Dental Lab: Adapting to Stay Competitive

    By taking risks, going outside their comfort zone and reinvesting in their laboratory, Greg and Diane Nash, Owners of Nash Dental Lab, have managed to thrive in an ever-changing laboratory market.

    Kim Molinaro
    February 23, 2015

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  • How to Reignite Your Passion and Purpose for Technology

    So many of you are driven by your love for the technology itself that I thought I’d add in my two cents about The Texas Center for Occlusal Studies [minimally invasive, full-mouth rejuvenation dentistry].

    Ever since my niece was diagnosed with a Lyme disease-created TMJ disorder—and successfully repaired by Mark Piper, DDS, in St. Petersburg, FL—I’ve had a special, albeit layperson’s, interest in occlusion. So I jumped at the invitation from Lab Owners Curt Mortgese and Center Co-Founder Dan O’Rourke to attend an introductory course on Rejuvenation Dentistry last month.

    Attendees could not have been more passionate perfectionists, eager to be mentored, corrected and educated about ways the dentist-dental technician team can bring life-changing relief and wellness to patients suffering from a myriad of facial issues or discomfort. There were no egos at the Center and that, alone, created an incredible learning environment and enriching experience.


    Judy Fishman
    February 17, 2015

    Read More 1 minute read

  • January
  • Lab Owner Makes the Most of Chairside Niche

    When Massoudah Faiz opened her C&B laboratory in Atlanta a decade ago, she made working chairside a core part of her business model. Currently, she works chairside for 70% of her cases.

    Becky Tyre
    January 8, 2015

    Read More 2 minute read

  • December 2014
  • Digital Impressions: How One Lab is Getting its Clients On Board

    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.

    Becky Tyre
    December 11, 2014

    Read More 3 minute read

  • November 2014
  • Search & Rescue is Lab Owner's Labor of Love

    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.

    Becky Tyre
    November 20, 2014

    Read More 2 minute read

  • October 2014
  • He Needed a Crown and Found a Career

    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 he settled down, he determined that the way to pay for his dental work was to learn how to fabricate the crown himself. He got an apprenticeship at the dental laboratory down the hall from the dentist’s office and learned how to opaque crowns. He then took it upon himself to learn complete porcelain build up and, though a metal finisher made the post and coping, he built the porcelain...

    Read More 2 minute read

  • The Inventive Technician: Focus is on User-Friendly Materials

    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 Scott Atkin, Owner, Creative Dental Laboratory, in Scottsdale, AZ. “We know we’re moving evermore toward automated—and more commoditized—processes so, to me, that means we need to expand our services.” That’s exactly what Atkin did; in his case, offering products not to dentist-clients but to other laboratories.

    It happened in one of those “meant to be”...

    Read More 3 minute read

  • Do You Recognize this Demon? Hint: He's a Dental Technician

    Scan and Design Technician Barry Mahoney recently competed on Face Off, a reality competition show exploring the world of special-effects make-up artists.

    Kelly Fessel Carr
    October 23, 2014

    Read More 2 minute read

  • California Lab Exudes Cool Factor

    “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.

    Kim Molinaro
    October 16, 2014

    Read More 2 minute read

  • September 2014
  • Albensi Laboratories Optimizes Workflow in New Facility

    As a result of rapid growth in its digital services, Albensi Laboratories was bursting at the seams. Now, its new building features a well-organized layout, energy-efficient systems and room to grow.

    Becky Tyre
    September 18, 2014

    Read More 3 minute read

  • Bite Me Week: A Creative Approach to Learning Occlusion

    “Something different happens when you’re able to physically hold a case and learn from it instead of a book,” explains Anthony Calonico, CDT, in his article about his unique strategy for teaching occlusion to his staff members.

    Anthony Calonico, CDT
    September 16, 2014

    Read More 2 minute read

  • August 2014
  • Dual Careers: The Firefighting Lab Owner

    For three decades, Bill Matwijec, CDT, has had two careers in Rome NY: Owner of Aesthetic Dental Lab and a member of city’s Fire Department.

    Becky Tyre
    August 14, 2014

    Read More 2 minute read

  • May 2014
  • Grateful Hearts, Educated Minds

    In October of 1979, Oscar Mendoza fled for his life to California in the trunk of a car after his uncle was killed in the Salvadoran Civil War.

    At the same time 19-year-old Oscar arrived in the U.S., Martha Rico Aguilera arrived from Mexico, 16 and pregnant. Mendoza got a job in an auto detail shop; she in a balloon factory, printing balloons for Disneyland. They met on the bus to their respective jobs and soon got married.

    Though they applied for citizenship in the early 1980s, it was a long and ardous path to get there. “We kept meticulous records,” says Oscar, “and that sealed the deal for us. The INS tried to deport us in 1981 but our recordkeeping helped prove our case. We got amnesty in 1986 but we weren’t actually granted citizenship until the late 1990s.” Their story was picked up by a Washington, DC correspondent and, in 2013, made national news. (For the complete story, visit

    Their American Dream began to materialize in 1985...

    Read More 2 minute read

  • Van Hook Redefines Full Service

    Established in 1983, 55-technician Van Hook Dental Studio in Tempe, AZ, specializes in full mouth reconstruction and implants and is taking the lead in the surgical support arena.

    Since a large percentage of its dentist-clients are specialists, Van Hook is a complete dental imaging center facility that serves their surgical needs. The facility has a state-of-the-art I-Cat CBCT scanner that’s used for surgical and orthodontic scanning, implant planning and surgical guides.

    “Starting with only a CBCT scan, we’re able to combine multiple files to design and fabricate a final restoration,” explains Don Van Hook, Co-Owner of the laboratory, with his wife, Kim.  “Keeping a foot in both the surgical and restorative process, we are able to streamline and control the communication to all parties involved, which is critical to the success of these large, complex implant cases.”

    With clinical advisor Dr. Leonard Gordon and his certified dental assistant on...

    Read More 1 minute read

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  • Chairside CAD/CAM the Right Niche for New Lab

    Tra’ Chambers had no actual laboratory experience when he opened Express Dental Laboratory in Norman, OK in December 2012.  Harnessing the efficiency of CAD/CAM technology, the lab touts a two- to three-day turnaround (or same-day for its mobile service) and generated over $300,000 in revenue during its first full year in business. Now, with a staff of seven, the lab serves 118 clients and 45% of its work is completely digital. Here’s more about the lab’s growth strategies:

    LMT: What made you decide to open Express Dental Laboratory without any prior laboratory experience?

    Tra' Chambers: After spending three years as the Chief Operating Officer of a multi-location dental practice, I had a good idea of what was important to a dentist’s success: for one thing, it’s cash flow. I realized that if a laboratory could provide crowns to dentists in three days or less, it would improve the doctors’ cash flow significantly because they would get insurance...

    Maribeth Marsico
    May 20, 2014

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  • April 2014
  • Technician By Day, Councilman By Night

    The bucolic town of Central City, Pennsylvania lies five miles down the road from the site of the Flight 93 memorial and not far from the Quecreek coalmine that trapped nine men underground for four days in 2002. It’s also home to Curt Morgese, owner of a one-person, high-end C&B dental laboratory. As of last November, he’s also the district’s borough councilman.

    “Making teeth has been a life-long passion,” he says. “I am always on a quest for knowledge in my daily profession.” He is also keen on politics.

    He relocated his lab to Central City from Greenburg, a Pittsburgh suburb, a year and a half ago and is now only a stone’s throw from his home. If he gets his casework done by three on any given day, he still has time for a quick, late afternoon fly-fishing trip to one of the local trout streams.

    He opened Oral Renaissance Dental Laboratory in 1983 and says he’s grown his business in good company: “The Pittsburgh area is home...

    Read More 2 minute read

  • Keller Laboratories: Team Spirit, Empowerment

    St. Louis, MO

    Owner: National Dentex Corp.; President: Larry Weiss

    235 Employees

    Open communication is a core value at Keller Laboratories. Every other month, President Larry Weiss holds “A Forum with Larry” where team members are chosen to join him for lunch and encouraged to ask questions or discuss any lab-related concerns. The unfiltered interaction and feedback keep Weiss in touch with the team’s needs and concerns and lets them know their voices are being heard. “Team members like having access to the decision maker and to know I’m listening,” explains Weiss. “I answer all the questions I can and for those I can’t, I promise to do my homework and get back to them as soon as possible.”

    The lab also holds an annual State of the Lab Meeting—complete with dinner and drinks—where management goes over sales and unit growth, profitability and plans for the coming year. During the event, they also celebrate the successes of...

    Read More 1 minute read

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