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After years of speculation, CAD/CAM came to fruition in the dental laboratory in 1998 with the official U.S. launch of the Procera® AllCeram Crown, featuring an aluminum oxide coping milled at Nobel Biocare’s production facility in Sweden. The success of Procera—and the introduction of a dozen new in-lab milling systems in...
- December 2013
Market Update: Digital Technology
LMT attends the DLOAC CAD/CAM Expo and Symposium to bring you the latest developments in digital dentistry
Celebrating its 10th year, the Dental Laboratory Owners’ Association of California’s (DLOAC) CAD/CAM Expo and Symposium—held in November in Garden Grove, CA—showcased the latest digital products, services and trends. The theme? Automation continues to streamline, simplify and improve laboratory processes and manufacturers are working overtime to offer new material choices, easier-to-use software, more affordable hardware and innovative...
- November 2013
Strategy Milling is the first milling center in the U.S. to mill full contour gold crowns and bridges. Laboratory customers design the restorations and submit .stl files that are then milled from virtually porosity-free gold alloy pucks. Two alloy formulas are available: 50% Au and 2% Au. Customers pay a milling fee, shipping and only for the alloy used in the final restoration. All cases are shipped to the customer within 24 hours of the file being sent and require minimal despruing, finishing and polishing.
Because of its connection to Atlantic Precious Metal Refining (APMR), Strategy Milling...
- April 2013
LMT magazine's LAB DAY in Chicago is the industry's educational superdome and the place for product launches and breaking news in the U.S. This year, more than 3,100 attendees from 47 states and 49 countries came to learn about new techniques, shop for the latest products, and meet up with their peers to share business strategies. Below is an overview of the hot topics that inspried dialogue and debate during our profession's biggest weekend of the year:
Business Barometer: Mixed Reviews. A number of attendees were optimistic about the start of 2013 with many telling LMT that business was...
To meet the needs of the changing landscape of the dental laboratory industry, Argen has heavily invested in future technologies and expanded its product line to include digital solutions. "Our vision is to supply laboratories with products that can expand their product offerings. We feel that the more product options a laboratory can offer...
- March 2013
1. Bring communication to a new level. Using web conferencing for case planning allows real-time communication between you and your clients, making it easier to troubleshoot issues that arise. For instance, Lab Owner Stan Bookstaber, Dentprod, LLC, Marlton, NJ, web conferences with his clients up to six times a week using a Logitec 3000 webcam with a built-in microphone and speakers. He either arranges a time in advance or, if he comes across an issue and needs an answer right away, he sends an instant message to his account to see if he's available to conference.
2. Solve a problem. "Doctors...
- October 2012
The majority of respondents to LMT's 2012 Fee Survey are delaying fee increases
in the face of price-cutting competition and declining caseloads.
With the country in the midst of what analysts are calling the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression, laboratory owners say they are holding restoration fees and overall prices show no significant change from two years ago.
In fact, three quarters of respondents to LMT's 2012 Fee Survey have delayed a fee increase due to the economy—28% haven't raised prices since 2009 or earlier—most often citing offshore competition,...
- September 2012
By knowing your product and standardizing your techniques—and sticking to them—you can be successful in processing titanium restorations.
A variety of factors are contributing to titanium's rising popularity: it's now classified by the ADA between a noble and high noble alloy and, as the precious metal market continues to hit record prices, titanium is an attractive alternative. In addition, CAD/CAM techniques have eliminated the problems associated with casting titanium.
Our lab has been working with titanium for almost three years and, during that time, we have studied clinical...
- May 2012
Ten years after the black swan event of 9/11, the gold bull market continues. The day before 9/11, gold closed at $271.50. Ten years later, it hit a record high of $1,895 on September 5, meaning the price of gold has increased almost 700% since the hijacked planes crashed in New York City, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon.
Then we had the Great Recession of 2008, which some say still hasn't ended. Since gold has always been considered a safe haven for investors in uncertain economic times, it's no surprise investor demand for gold has increased and thus the price of gold as well.
There are four...
Eleven years after purchasing and successfully operating Choate Ceramic Laboratory in Conroe, TX, the Co-Owners Jimmy Durham, David Fitch, CDT, and Alton Trotter, CDT, moved out of their ceramic comfort zone and added a removable department in January 2010.
They knew the demand for removable prosthetics was growing and saw going full service as a way to keep the 19-person laboratory as profitable as possible. Also, as a result of the economy, new technology, a dramatic increase in precious alloy prices and overseas competition, they projected their C&B workload would decrease and that...
- April 2012
On April 1, Noritake Dental Supply Co., Limited integrated with Kuraray Medical Inc. Both headquartered in Japan, the two companies will become Kuraray Noritake Dental Inc. and the U.S. representative of Noritake products will be Kuraray America, Inc., which is already renowned for quality chairside products including signature brands such as CLEARFIL™ BOND SYSTEMS and PANAVIA™. Kuraray America will market the entire spectrum of Noritake brand products with Zahn Dental as the exclusive U.S. partner.
The new company will provide complete solutions to both dentists and dental laboratories....
- December 2011
Vident, the Brea, California-based supplier of VITA dental restorative materials in North America, has signed onto the IdentAlloy/IdentCeram Council's program of material content certification.
Laboratories will now receive certificates attesting to the content of restorative materials so that they and the dentists they serve can use them to verify compositions, explain material choices to patients, document insurance claims and file with permanent records.
"We welcome Vident and the VITA line to the program," said Charles Yenkner, Executive Director of the IdentAlloy/IdentCeram Council. "Vident...
- November 2011
Because of increasing labor costs, it's only a matter of time before China loses its edge in the offshoring market. This year, China had a 15% rate of inflation significantly increasing the cost of living so, for each of the next five years, the government plan calls for 13-14% hikes in annual pay.* Bargain-hunting foreign interests have already begun an exodus as they move their orders to factories in India, Thailand, East Africa, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Right now, there are dozens of dental laboratories in the major export cities of Zhuhai, Shenzhen and Beijing, many vying for a piece of...
- October 2011
(1) Free, Interactive Webinars
Webinars offer a convenient way for you to provide information to--and interact with--your clients without leaving the comfort of the laboratory or dental office.
Arrowhead Dental Laboratory, Sandy, UT, began offering free monthly webinars in 2009. While initially its webinars were geared to potential clients as a way of giving them a taste of the laboratory and its philosophies, the webinars now include topics for current clients as well, such as how to file insurance claims for oral appliance therapy, practice management and digital occlusion. The...
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- April 2011
Q:Is it possible to cast a three-unit bridge using an #8 gauge runner bar on the pontic without having porosity or a miscast?
A: An #8 gauge sprue will only work if the thickest part of the bridge is not as thick as the sprue, according to Patrick Naylor, DDS, MPH, MS. In his book, Metal Ceramic Technology (Quintessence Publishing), Naylor details The Fourth Law of Casting: "A reservoir must have sufficient molten alloy to accommodate the shrinkage that occurs within the restorations. Alloy that fills the restorations will solidify first. As that molten alloy solidifies, it shrinks and creates...
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In November, Nobel Biocare acquired BioCad Medical, Inc., a developer of computer-aided software for prosthetic design, and formed an exclusive partnership with Optimet, an Israel-based provider of optical measuring solutions. As a result, Nobel Biocare is introducing new software and the new NobelProcera scanner that can scan impressions as well as models while also expanding the material and restorative options of the Procera System. LMT talks with Hans Geiselhoringer, global head of Procera at Nobel Biocare, about these developments.
LMT: How will the acquisition of BioCad Medical affect...
Imagine Abbott without Costello, Fred without Ginger, Laurel without Hardy. Alone Abbott, Fred and Laurel were half the show. With their partners, however, the screen became the playground from which they became icons.
This dynamic is no different when dental laboratories and manufacturers partner on product development. The laboratory brings hands-on, real-world experience and a clearly defined need and the manufacturer provides technical expertise, research and development experience and scientific methodology and procedures; together, both parties thrive.
Here, three of the largest laboratories...
Confronted with daily reports of a declining economy and mired in the unpredictability of what it means for their businesses, it's not surprising that some laboratory owners are postponing plans for fee increases, capital expenditure purchases or remodeling projects.
What stands out, though, is what they are doing: developing well-thought-out, proactive strategies that will put them in the best position to withstand the inevitable challenges that lie ahead.
For many laboratory owners, this includes implementing new promotional efforts or expanding target markets in order to keep a steady...
A male patient needed a maxillary bridge on teeth #9 to #11, with #10 as an ovate pontic. We had to match the A2 shade of existing crowns on #6 and #7, as well as the orange mamelon on natural tooth #8 (which was accomplished with the LSK121 Chair Side Shade Selection Guide as shown below).
Like most technicians, I've always used the multi-layering technique for anterior teeth. But for this case, I decided to try GC's One Body Concept, which is a one-color porcelain build-up system that doesn't require enamel translucency build-up (see below for details). Natural...
With the right marketing, an effective brand name evokes positive associations and impresses the shopper with just the "right" message.
Like all consumers, today's dentists are bombarded with advertising messages. Savvy laboratory marketers realize that they can stand out in the marketplace by creating brand names for their products and services. "The more product identity you have, the more familiar you are to current and prospective customers," says Joe Jennings, director of sales and marketing,...
The Argen Corp., the largest dental gold producer in the world, has acquired the worldwide exclusive manufacturing and distribution rights for all Captek products and technologies from Precious Chemicals Ltd. Captek restorations are known for their esthetics, strength and biocompatible properties.
"We are very excited about this opportunity for both Argen and Captek," says Anton Woolf, CEO of Argen. "We believe that Argen's vast global presence and unparalleled distribution network, combined with Captek's strong brand recognition and customer-focused vision, will further strengthen Argen's position...
LMT attends the 2009 IDS in Cologne, Germany, to find the latest innovations in dental technology that are digitizing and streamlining laboratory workflow and processes.
What recession? The crowds at this year's International Dental Show (IDS) made it easy to forget the turbulent global economy outside the exhibit hall walls. Over 100,000...
It's been more than a year since two of our industry's biggest suppliers - Zahn Dental and Darby Dental Lab Supply - merged into one. LMT visited Zahn's Melville, New York headquarters to hear about the newly integrated company and its plans for 2008.
When you hear of a merger or acquisition, it's often a larger company purchasing a much smaller one and folding it into its current operation and systems. That's what Zahn Dental's Richard Miranda would call a "plug-in." But last August, when Zahn's parent company, Henry Schein, purchased Darby Dental Lab Supply, the scenario was much different.
Financial Strategies: Research and Experimentation Tax Credit Program Extended, Applicable to More Laboratories
In the fall, Congress extended the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit Program through 2011. Some key changes to the program may make it more advantageous for laboratories.
Is your laboratory testing a new porcelain or alloy, adding new processes related to high-tech equipment, experimenting with a new technique or streamlining your production processes? If so, you could qualify for the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit (R&E Credit) and receive a credit of up to 20% of the cost of your research and experimentation activities--including the costs of labor--over a calculated...
What's the state of digital technology?
Ever-changing. From establishing partnerships to expanding indications and material options, manufacturers are continuously improving and expanding their
products and services to better streamline, simplify and improve laboratory processes.
Here are the top eight trends in digital technology:
"The technology has advanced from dial up to high speed, from minutes to seconds," says Ron Hirsty, CDT, Nobel Biocare. "We can go from scanning a die to a simple coping in less than one minute and we can design a molar to full contour in...