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“Retirement can be amazing if you plan ahead… ” Former Lab Owner Jim McDermott shares his after-lab life takeaways.
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Lab Owner Winnie Westwood, CDT, uses her technician skills to create a garden train layout in her backyard.
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.
Marcel Fundora combines his experience as a technician and an artist to create beautiful paintings focused on dentistry.
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.
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.
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.
- December 2014
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.
- November 2014
- October 2014
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...
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”...
Scan and Design Technician Barry Mahoney recently competed on Face Off, a reality competition show exploring the world of special-effects make-up artists.
“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.
- September 2014
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.
“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.
- August 2014
- May 2014
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 http://bit.ly/QvGT0i.)
Their American Dream began to materialize in 1985...
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...
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...
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- April 2014
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...
St. Louis, MO
Owner: National Dentex Corp.; President: Larry Weiss
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...