Although Friendship Dental Laboratories, Inc.'s first case was fabricated in 1973, it wasn't until 2006 that it implemented the efficient, computerized tracking system by Labtrac. This October, it logged in its half-millionth case!
Periodically, my staff and I have a swap meet in our company lounge. Mostly we bring in clothes we no longer want; whatever no one else wants, we donate.
In past years I didn’t participate much; I happily alternate between wearing something from 20 years ago with wearing something new. This year, however, I made a resolution to “declutter” so I brought in a boatload of tops and shoes.
Interestingly, I was acutely aware of how difficult it was for me to let go of things that still technically fit and were in good shape while noting that other staff members gleefully unloaded their stuff (that also still fit) and were quite happy to be thinning their wardrobes.
Psychologists and organizing experts say holding onto material things is “emotional baggage standing in our way.” They’ll tell you that our organizational style is a metaphor for how we conduct our lives; that holding on holds us back; that decluttering will help bring calm and serenity to our...
Back in 1981, the Board of Directors of the NADL began its search for a new association management group to breathe new life into what had become a rather sleepy organization.
For a while after its new Association Executive was installed, the NADL became a hot organization. In 1984, it introduced a snazzy, newly designed and renamed magazine [Trends & Techniques in the Contemporary Dental Laboratory] with a great tagline: “T&T is dynamite” and reasserted itself as an educational organization.
Unfortunately, within a decade the Association Director imploded, leaving the Board of Directors (who are lab owners and managers) to pick up the pieces. A group of large lab owners stepped up to give the NADL its full support by donating their time and money in its hour of need. They formed committees, created a five-year plan and introduced the excellent, motivational Vision21 program that enables attendees to network while keeping abreast of industry news, views and...
You know as well as I do that time “ain’t what it used to be.” Contrary to what Mick Jagger sang to us when we were young enough to believe him, time is not on our side. Maybe it used to be but, nowadays, the summer is practically over before I even welcome its arrival.
So here we are in September, the start of another show season, and I find myself mulling over the content of business advisor and author Chuck Blakeman’s breakout session at last month’s Dentsply Sirona’s Siroworld in Orlando. Blakeman laid out a series of challenges for attendees to help us identify whether or not we are hostages to our businesses.
Yeah, he said “hostages.” I had to think about that. Not being a hostage, he said, requires a shift from the idea of “you as the business owner making money versus the business itself making money.” More importantly, he maintains that our business should produce both money and time. One can have “riches,”...
To create characterized, natural-looking dentures, Arian Deutsch, CDT, DTG, Owner, Deutsch Dental Arts in Surprise, AZ, uses a time-efficient technique.
Roland’s DWX-51D five-axis milling machine is an open architecture unit that’s easy to install, set up and use. Brian Brooks, Roland DGA’s Group Product Manager – Specialty Systems, offers these pointers for setting up, calibrating and maintaining th
In 2010, five prestigious prosthodontists asked Mark Frichtel, President, and Sven Jesse, Owner, Jesse & Frichtel Dental Lab, a 46-person lab in Pittsburgh, PA, to write a chapter on All-on-4 restorative procedures for their book, Dental Implants: th
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“Social media is a great tool for developing brand recognition while also promoting audience engagement and providing opportunities to convert users into customers,” says Jayme Hong, CEO, IDOC Dental Lab, a 40-person laboratory in Orange, CA.
Russell DeVreugd was revered in our community and when he passed away last month, there was an outpouring of emotion and tributes from his industry friends.
Affordable Dentures Dental Laboratories (ADDL) Vice President Mike Thomas, CDT, explains the key strategies used to teach more than 350 technicians to consistently and accurately fabricate implant overdentures.
Artistic Dental Lab in Chicago has been a member of TEREC N.A. (Technical Research Consortium of North America) for only three months but CAD/CAM Manager Dan Ulaszek, CDT, feels they’ve already gotten their yearly dues’ worth and then some.
For example, at Ulaszek’s first meeting in January, another member recommended a milling disc supplier that will save Ulaszek over $2,000 a year, and he also had an opportunity to measure his lab’s production against other labs using the same systems. “You never really know how well you’re doing until you can compare apples to apples with another lab; that information is priceless,” he says. “We learned so many little pearls of wisdom at our very first meeting and have been able to look at our lab from a different point of view because of it.”
Founded in 1985, TEREC holds three meetings each year in different areas of the country. Each meeting features presentations from manufacturers and other industry...
When Gary Iocco was thinking about his long-term exit plan, he wasn’t sure he liked his options. “I didn’t have an employee interested in purchasing the lab so I thought the alternative was selling to a laboratory group,” said Iocco, Owner of Dimension Dental Design, Hastings, MN. “But I was concerned that a group would want me to change my business model, or perhaps even terminate employees or send work offshore. I just really didn’t want to do that.”
So what did he do? He joined forces with another successful laboratory owner—Todd Mayclin, CDT, Mayclin Dental Studio, Minneapolis—to form their own laboratory group. Mayclin had already acquired two other laboratories—E.C. Chmel, Eau Claire, WI and Jackson Fairmont, Fairmont, MN—and he and Iocco saw an opportunity to pool resources, ensure the longevity of each lab, and continue to grow with additional acquisitions.
In 2015, Iocco and Mayclin formed a multi-laboratory holding...
Nearly 200 laboratory owners, managers and technicians filled Jensen Dental’s Education Day lecture hall at the Swissôtel in Chicago on February 26 and an additional 200 attendees joined remotely via the streaming live webcast. Now in its 22nd year, attendees saw a stellar lineup including Peter Pizzi, MDT; Don Cornell; Dr. Brian Vence; Steve Anderson; Naoki Aiba, CDT; Adam Mieleszko, MDT; Jungo Endo, RDT; Daniele Capoferri, CDT; Luke Hasegawa, CDT; Skip Carpenter, CDT; and Thomas Sing, MDT.
Presenters explained the “how’s and why’s” behind techniques that technicians can use every day to grow their technical, artistic and business know-how and were on hand to answer attendees’ questions. In addition, clinicians held focused two-hour “master class” workshops during which they shared full contour zirconia customizing tips, esthetic techniques, zirconia layering strategies, photography and shade-taking insight and much more.
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How many practicing dentists are male vs. female?
In 2013, 73% were male, 27% were female.
Source: ADA, Dentist Supply in the U.S.: 2001-2013
Which states have the most dentists?
As you might expect, it’s the densely populated states of California, New York, Texas, Florida and Illinois.
These states also have the greatest number of laboratories.
Source: ADA, Dentist Supply in the U.S.: 2001-2013
What percentage of dentists in private practice are general practitioners vs. specialists?
In 2013, 79% were GPs, 21% were specialists.
Source: ADA, Dentist Supply in the U.S.: 2001-2013
What are a dentist’s average annual gross billings?
$646,440 for a general practitioner owner-dentist in 2013, $857,110 for a specialist.
Source: ADA, Income, Gross Billings, and Expenses: Selected 2013 Results from the Survey of Dental Practice
What is the average net income for a dentist in private practice?
In 2013, it was $180,950...
What should be included in a personnel manual?
The length and complexity of your manual should be tailored to your lab’s needs and environment. You can include attendance and other employee expectations, holidays and vacation time, sick/personal time, overtime, benefits and insurance, digital device use guidelines, leaves of absence, safety practices, non-compete contracts and grounds for termination.
Experts also say two items are a must: a disclaimer stating that the manual is not an employment contract and a policy that prohibits sexual harassment and discrimination based on race, gender, age, physical ability and religion.
Once you’ve drafted your policy, have an attorney review it, provide copies to all existing employees and make it standard practice to review the manual with each new employee.
What’s the average end-of-year bonus for a technician?
+/-$1,000, according to LMT’s 2014 Wage Survey.
Which position is the highest paid in the laboratory?
ClearChoice Dental Implant Centers, a group of 29 practices around the country, is planning to double its network and hire up to 70 implant technicians in the next several years.
With LMT’s LAB DAY Chicago right around the corner—February 26 and 27—it’s time to finalize your plans to get the most out of our industry’s biggest, busiest show! Here’s a look at some of the special promotions, raffles and demonstrations available inside the LAB DAY Exhibit Hall.
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- December 2015
- November 2015
“We knew we could no longer build a value proposition around technology that can be procured by anyone,” says Lab Owner Mike Hill. Read about his strategies for engaging clients on a new level.
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- October 2015
Argen Digital’s ArgenLink is a new cloud-based, drag and drop file transfer system customers can use to order SLM, printed and milled restorations, temps and digital models. It streamlines the ordering process by allowing laboratories to export cases directly from 3Shape’s Dental Manager into ArgenLink in seconds, without any data entry. (It will soon be available for exocad and DentalWings.)
All the order information—from lab customer details to manufacturing preferences and material selection—is dynamically populated in the system. A dashboard offers real-time updates throughout the manufacturing process, including case status, package tracking, case reorders and cancellations. Laboratories also have the ability to batch upload files of various material types and restoration sizes concurrently, including split files.
“Previously, we had to do a lot of data entry and upload the files one at a time. Now, we just enter the case numbers, drag and drop the...
- September 2015
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.
Respondents to LMT’s 2015 Marketing Survey are using new as well as tried-and-true strategies to cement client relationships, boost loyalty and increase referrals.
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- July 2015
- June 2015
Recently, I was talking to industry veteran George Obst about my startup years and our conversation got me thinking about how the priorities of a small business owner shift as the business matures.
In the beginning, it was all about having enough customers to pay the bills while at the same time making sure our products—the magazine and then LAB DAY—met the needs of the market so we could be sure we’d keep being able to pay those bills. Those were the years of 100-hour workweeks.
Once we established our market presence, we continued to build market share and market value. Four years after starting LMT we introduced Synergy, a magazine for both dental technicians and dentists. We knew it was “an idea ahead of its time” but were eager to push the envelope because we truly believe in the importance of the team effort. However, the market wasn’t receptive and we learned quickly what made us happy and what made us unhappy in our work lives; we folded it after...
- April 2015
In our industry, where the economic barriers to entry are relatively low, it’s all too common to hear stories about employees leaving a lab and then winning that lab’s customers, or worse, other staff members. Of course, from the lab owner’s perspective, the former employee didn’t win the customer or staff member; in his mind, he was stolen!
Like some of you, we too have been burned and it’s happened often enough that we were compelled to change the way we deal with new hires. In California, the Department of Corporations allows companies to pursue financial damages if it’s determined that protected, confidential information has been taken from your business, so we incorporated two documents into our hiring process to legally protect us from employees pursuing our customers and staff once they leave our lab.
Our goal in this process is not to create overly burdensome legal documents but rather to simply obtain a mutual understanding of our company’s...