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In patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most common type of sleep apnea, the mandible falls back as the brain approaches the deepest stages of sleep and the muscles of the airway fully relax, which is what causes the obstruction. When the brain senses breathing is compromised, it forces the body out of the deepest stage of sleep in order to regain control of the jaw muscles and reopen the airway. This can occur over and over during the night and, as a result, the patient’s sleep is extremely fragmented.
Left untreated, sleep apnea can have serious and life-shortening consequences: high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, automobile accidents caused by falling asleep at the wheel, diabetes, depression and other ailments. A major symptom is extremely loud snoring; other indications are persistent daytime sleepiness, bouts of awakening out of breath during the night, and frequently waking in the morning with a dry mouth or a headache. OSA most commonly affects middle-aged...
An estimated 25 million adults in the U.S. suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Oral appliances have proven to be a viable option for treatment and a huge opportunity for dentists and labs, but there are numerous complexities in the market.
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DTG celebrates the sharing of knowledge and techniques among its members to enhance everyone’s skills. This philosophy was palpable at the second annual DTG Symposium in August, which included the first ever World Mixed Dental Arts Championship competition.
In the last year, MicroDental has acquired four laboratories and is actively seeking additional laboratory members. Here, MicroDental President Len Liptak details what the company is looking for and the benefits it offers.
The grand opening of Panthera Dental’s U.S. office featured numerous announcements regarding the company’s growth, new restorative solutions and commitment to sleep apnea treatment.
It started with a 13-hour trip—including a stop in Munich—but it was worth it to realize my long-time dream of attending the IDS show in Cologne.
Walking into the show, I felt like a little boy entering a carnival for the first time: there were eye-catching booths with glamorous lighting and “side shows” such as magicians. And yes, plenty of free beer at the various exhibit booths.
It was exciting to see machines, materials and vendors that aren’t yet available in the U.S.; I felt like it was a preview of the future of the U.S. laboratory industry. One of the “wows” I saw was the new line up of milling machines from Zirkonzahn and the laser milling technology from Dental Wings. I was also really interested in Pekkton, Cendres+Metaux’s new polymer for hybrid implant bridges, sold in the U.S. by anaxdent.
Although there are no separate lecture rooms at the IDS—just huge exhibit floors in various halls—there were many talents...
As part of our ongoing State of the Industry 2015 coverage, LMT Editors visited the world’s largest dental show to bring you the scoop on the latest product and process innovations worldwide—including digital dentures, laser milling and more—and what else is coming down the pike for the U.S. market.
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Industry icon Jim Glidewell shares his perspective on the future of our industry, including restorative trends, the biggest challenges you’ll face and strategies to ensure your laboratory’s success.
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CAP is now Amann Girrbach’s premier partner in North America, selling the complete line of AG equipment, material and tools, as well as enhancing training and customer support.
The digital transition in labs is not just about fabrication processes; the operational side of the lab business is changing too. Speakers at the 2014 DLOAC Meeting look at the continuously evolving role of the technician. Also: new products announced at the show.
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“In the U.S., dentists and labs tend to be divorced; they need to get remarried. We’re a team and we need to understand each other better,” said Gordon Christensen, DDS, MSD, PhD, during his keynote address at the Argen Corp.’s Future of Digital Dentistry event in November.
- December 2014
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.
- November 2014
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.
- September 2014
In addition to technical support, marketing personnel and a scanner repair area, 3Shape’s new east coast facility in Warren, NJ, features training rooms for technicians to test drive and learn about 3Shape scanners and dentists to get familiar with the TRIOS Digital Impression System.
- May 2014
Just in the past six months alone, there have been a number of laboratory acquisitions by private equity portfolio companies. While private equity is not new to our community, portfolio companies are poised to make the most of our changing industry.
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- March 2014
I've been traveling around the country this season and have visited a number of laboratories, manufacturers and educational institutions. As I was passing through the Pittsburgh area, I stopped to visit Nick Hayden at Partial Foundations Dental Lab. Watch for more stories in my Road Trip series throughout the 2014 issues of LMT. ~Judy Fishman
Since their introduction in the 1950s, PFM restorations have been the bread-and-butter of C&B and most full service laboratories. In fact, as recently as 2005, only 17% of C&B workloads were metal-free. However, with the proliferation of metal-free materials and technologies, we’re nearing the tipping point: 45% of C&B workloads are now comprised of metal-free restorations, according to LMT’s 2013 Porcelain Survey.
In 2010, the NADL’s analysis of the new healthcare legislation revealed that a 2.3% excise tax would be applicable to the selling price of completed dental restorations beginning in 2013.
Vague terminology in the legislation indicated that the 2.3% tax would be payable by the manufacturer, producer or importer but didn’t specifically define those terms. Given the FDA’s previous classification of dental laboratories as medical device manufacturers, the conclusion was that the tax would apply.
The news generated a growing alarm over the next several months as laboratory owners sought clarification on what the tax would mean to them. Despite the efforts of the NADL, ADA and nearly a dozen other allied dental organizations to have dental devices excluded from the tax, the IRS denied the request at a public hearing in Washington D.C. in May 2012.
However, at virtually the last minute—on December 4, 2012—the IRS released its Final Rule on the Medical Device Tax,...
The full contour zirconia trend began in 2009, with the launch of Glidewell’s BruxZir® Solid Zirconia crowns and bridges, marketed as a “virtually unbreakable” option for bruxers and grinders. Other manufacturers began to follow suit and introduce their own solid zirconia options and “Full Z” has become the fastest growing restoration in laboratories across the country.
The restorations allow laboratories to offer a lower-cost solution, and the labor-saving digital process ensures better fits and fewer remakes. There remains concern among some laboratory owners about zirconia’s increased wear on opposing dentition, although advocates say that maintaining a high polish reduces the problem.
Manufacturers continue to introduce new zirconia materials to address the question of esthetics and laboratory owners are taking note. “The days of using 20 different porcelains to build up a tooth, as the first option, are long gone. You can get esthetics...
On the heels of widespread media attention about offshore crowns containing lead, two bills that required laboratories to spell out the origin and content of dental restorations passed in 2008: one in Florida and one in South Carolina. Although both bills only required the lab to provide the information to the dentist—and not for the dentist to pass the information onto the patient—supporters felt it was a step in the right direction because the information would be placed in the patient’s file and would provide a mechanism for traceability.
Illinois, Ohio and Minnesota have also passed disclosure laws; similar legislation is pending in Virginia and Kentucky, and efforts are also being made in New Mexico, Colorado and California. Although it’s not a law in Missouri, disclosure is a “best practice” requested by the state dental association. To date, there are no laws requiring dentists to disclose point of origin to the patient.
Foreign Dental Work Put to Test, an investigative report about lead found in restorations made in China was the talk of the industry when it aired in February 2008 on Ohio’s WBNS 10TV. The story covered an Ohio woman who had experienced pain and infection in her jaw after her dentist placed an ill-fitting, three-unit PFM bridge the previous year. After learning the bridge was made in China, she had the bridge removed and tested for hazardous materials, and lead (160ppm) was found in the restoration.
In addition, the TV station ordered eight PFM crowns from four labs in China and also had them tested; one of them tested positive for lead (210ppm).
The media coverage fueled objections to offshore outsourcing and even breathed new life into the debate about mandatory laboratory certification and registration. The ADA announced it would do its own independent testing and released its findings a year later: scientists analyzed 44 different porcelain powders and 102 finished PFM crowns...
The buzz at the Dental Laboratory Owners Association of California’s CAD/CAM Symposium in November 2005: rapid prototyping technology. First developed in the 1980s and used in the automotive and aerospace industries, the technology had laboratory owners enthusiastic about what was called the “next generation of CAD/CAM.” Advocates said the additive technology would result in increased efficiency and less material waste.
Those forecasts were spot on. The technology continues to revolutionize the way laboratories fabricate waxups and metal restorations. And, like CAD/CAM, it’s changing things quickly. Since 2011, the percentage of laboratories who offer 3D printed metal restorations has tripled (from 8% to 24%) and the percentage with a rapid prototyping system for wax has more than doubled (from 8% to 17%), according to LMT’s Digital Technology Surveys.
Thanks to its physical properties, esthetics and ease of use, Ivoclar Vivadent’s IPS e.max—the first lithium disilicate on the market—penetrated the marketplace with unprecedented speed. Introduced in 2005, an estimated 75 million IPS e.max restorations have been fabricated worldwide. Also a contributing factor to the product’s success: the company’s strong marketing efforts to create brand awareness among laboratories, dentists and patients alike.
“We had success with IPS e.max right from the start,” said Charlie Fager, BS, CDT, Owner, Fager Dental Laboratory, Camp Hill, PA, in 2012. “Our clients started with a case or two, then kept expanding the applications of it, doing more units and larger cases. Ivoclar Vivadent has done a good job creating awareness among dentists and basically IPS e.max sells itself.”
Historically, the FDA—long involved in overseeing the manufacturers of dental laboratory materials—paid minimal attention to dental laboratories. In 2004, due to the dramatic rise in imports from overseas laboratories, that changed. Concerned that these restorations might not contain FDA-approved materials, the FDA started taking a closer look at foreign laboratories and consequently, the domestic operations that imported cases from them. Several laboratories reported random inspections and, later that year, the FDA invited the NADL to a meeting to discuss its concerns about public safety.
The FDA’s involvement in the industry continues to grow, with an emphasis on compliance with its 1997 Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and adherence to its requirements for registration for offshore laboratories, importers, manufacturers of sleep apnea devices and snore guards, and repackaging or relabeling of Class II devices.