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Compensation strategies, productivity benchmarks, sales, marketing, quality control strategies and product growth areas were the key topics tackled at Lab Faster, Smarter, Better: Business Think Tank the day before LMT LAB DAY East.
These days, especially in urban areas, we can find a place to stay through Airbnb.com, get a ride from Uber.com or carpooling.com, have household errands done via taskrabbit.com, arrange for an in-home massage through Zeel.com or get our car valet-parked by Luxe.com.
These internet-based marketplaces are part of what has been coined “the sharing economy.” Rather than getting goods or services from a traditional, centralized company or institution, we get similarly priced goods and services from other individuals mediated by some type of peer-to-peer community.
This type of collaborative consumption is considered more efficient given how infrequently we use some of the goods we own. For example, on average, our car sits idle 95% of the time and when it is used, it’s typically at 20-25% occupancy. In our industry, efficient usage is one reason why laboratory owners offer outsourcing services: one laboratory has a milling machine with excess capacity; another lab doesn’t...
When Daxton Grubb, Owner, R-Dent Dental Lab, West Bartlett, TN, began promoting the lab’s new INspire multi-layer translucent full-contour zirconia restorations, his first step was to create and promote a comprehensive guide to all-ceramic materials
After learning about the benefits of content marketing at a dental conference, Dianna Carroll, Business Manager, Carroll Dental Lab, a 27-person lab in Kinston, NC, felt a blog would be the perfect vehicle to provide added value and go the extra mile
When Bill Atkission moved from California to North Carolina five years ago and founded Bella Vita Dental Designs, he wanted to expand his client base and become a valuable resource to his customers, specifically CEREC doctors. He started emailing a q
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
More and more businesses are adopting content marketing strategies since social media has made it easier than ever to share content. In its June/July issue, LMT looked at the benefits of content marketing and profiled six laboratories that have implemented it into their marketing efforts. Read it first here.
Below, Derek Van Volkom, VP of Account Services, Lanmark360—a marketing agency specializing in dentistry and healthcare—shares some additional tips he feels every lab owner should keep in mind as they focus on content marketing:
Pictures are powerful. Videos and photos are gaining the most traction on social media. If you feel like video is too cumbersome, remember photos are super easy and can be uploaded to any medium you’re using (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). If you have a great looking case that looks amazing, snap it, upload it and see how many “likes” it gets. It could be something the doctor hasn’t seen before.
Don’t forget LinkedIn....
In response to the most frequently asked questions from dentist-clients, NDX Keller has created a robust library of more than 70 free online videos. Housed on its website and hosted using YouTube, the videos range from 30 seconds up to 1 hour.
“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.
Because of the limitless reach, immediacy, interactivity and cost-effectiveness of social media compared to many traditional marketing strategies, content marketing has become the Next-Gen marketing strategy. It’s a soft sell and relationship buildin
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Although Rick Sonntag owns his own four-person laboratory, he has the power of a much larger operation behind him. Sonntag is a member of the OPT-In Dental Laboratory Cooperative, a group of small, independently owned labs focused on helping its members build their businesses and strengthen their competitive advantage.
“All of our members have common goals and values and are committed to sharing information as freely as possible,” says Sonntag, RDT, AAACD, Owner of 4Points Dental Designs, Inc., St. Petersburg, FL. “And, since we’re all small businesses, we all have the same competition: big box labs and private equity-backed group labs. If we act as a group, it makes all of our individual laboratories stronger.”
That synergistic effect was the vision Dean Mersky, DDS, had in 2012 when he created the OPT-In Cooperative, an aggregate of small labs with 20 or fewer employees. Potential laboratory members undergo an interview process to ensure they fit with the...
Owner Chris May, CDT, was well positioned for growth. His 12-year-old laboratory, May Dental Arts in Fenton, MO, was successful, modern, efficient and well-staffed with 30 employees. But he also felt he had taken the business as far as he could on his own; he wanted additional capital, marketing assistance and IT support in order to grow his lab further.
May and industry veteran Donald Park have been friends for over five years, first meeting when Park worked for a CAD/CAM manufacturer and May was his customer. May knew that Park had a good understanding of laboratory operations and would periodically ask for his advice. Park knew May ran a top-notch laboratory. During that same time, Park had been talking with Long Trail Holdings, a private equity firm interested in getting into the dental laboratory market.
The result of those connections came to fruition earlier this year with the creation of Central Dental Holdings LLC (CDH), backed by Long Trail Holdings. CDH acquired May Dental Arts...
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...
Given all of the talk about the commoditization of our industry, the CAL-Lab Group’s focus on maximizing profits during its 90th annual meeting in Chicago was right on point. Chaired by Jim Gorgol, CDT, the meeting attracted 774 attendees and highlighted strategies for building your bottom line, offering value to dentist-clients and increasing efficiency and productivity with digital technology.
Keynote speaker Gordon Christensen, DDS, MSD, PhD, addressed doing business in a slowly recovering economy during his presentation Paradigm Shifts in Dentistry Influencing the State of Dental Technology. “With the economy still recovering, patients hesitant to spend and benefit plans paying less, both technicians and doctors need to look at the areas that are on the rise, such as implants, digital technology and esthetic dentistry,” he said, also offering his take on new and up-and-coming trends. “Endodontics is going to be big due to aging baby boomers, and sleep dentistry...
Dortmund, Germany-based DOCERAM Medical Ceramics has established a wholly owned American subsidiary, Nacera US, Inc., with distribution facilities in New Castle, DE. It offers multiple lines of zirconia, porcelain oven cleaning products, and single-bake ceramic products for staining, glazing and veneering.
At the show, Nacera US launched Nacera® Pearl, a highly translucent zirconia in white, pre-shaded or multi-layered in various shades for full contour restorations. Nacera Pearl Multi-Shade offers a natural and smooth transition of color from the cervical to the incisal. All Nacera Pearl zirconia has a flexural strength (biaxial) of 1,400MPa and excellent machinability for milling accurate, thin margins. “The Nacera Zirconia product line combines strength and beauty with a tooth-like, natural translucency,” said Sascha Holstein, Nacera’s Global VP of Sales & Marketing.
In addition, Nacera US and OPT-In Management have formed a strategic partnership to manage...
For the second year in a row, Ivoclar Vivadent raffled off an IvoBase-System in their LMT LAB DAY Chicago ballroom. The winner (center) was Lee Anne Sibila, Owner, Oralab Dental Laboratory, LLC, Bullard, TX, who was thrilled as she’s wanted a system for years. The fully automated press injector is worth nearly $10,000. Also pictured is Kristin Lind, denture patient and blogger, and Ivoclar Vivadent’s Senior Marketing Manager, Removables, Ted Smudde.
Airway Management launched the dreamTAP, its latest sleep apnea/snoring appliance that offers more tongue space for greater comfort than the original TAP. The screw mechanism has also been changed from stainless steel to cobalt-chromium, increasing strength and eliminating the possibility of an allergic reaction.
“We feel we will be able to achieve an even better result with less protrusion than our previous versions,” said Dr. W. Keith Thornton, Inventor of the TAP line of appliances. “As with all of our appliances, we have designed the dreamTAP to meet the PDAC specifications to qualify it for Medicare reimbursement.”
Labs can outsource to the TAP lab or buy the dreamTAP kit and fabricate appliances in house. Fabrication takes about one hour and the kit comes with everything needed to make the appliance, except the acrylic, and includes step-by-step working instructions and various marketing tools like images, videos, website content and customizable brochures....
DENTSPLY launched two new products at LMT LAB DAY:
The ATLANTIS CustomBase solution is a combination of an ATLANTIS patient-specific abutment and an ATLANTIS Core File with a screw access hole already indicated, providing a proper foundation for screw-retained restorations. Available for all major implant systems, and in titanium or gold-shaded titanium, the solution offers a customized emergence profile for soft-tissue esthetics, built-in anti-rotational features created by the patented ATLANTIS VAD (Virtual Abutment Design) software, and a retentive surface.
“By incorporating the new ATLANTIS CustomBase solution, laboratories can avoid all the confusion and any concerns related to the restriction for use of titanium blanks and titanium bases by dental laboratories who are non-510(k) holders to hand-milling only,” said Matt Gassel, Director of Marketing, DENTSPLY Implants North America. “This latest solution streamlines workflow efficiency and allows the laboratory...
“We’re in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution: it’s all about interoperability of devices and connectivity between dentists and labs. The end result is better patient care.” said Stanley M. Bergman, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Henry Schein, kicking off the company’s Evolution of Digital Dentistry Summit 2016 at the Museum of Science and Industry, held during the Chicago Midwinter Meeting in February.
After a reception during which attendees could network and visit the nearby exhibits in the museum, there was a panel discussion on digital dentistry moderated by Rich Miranda, President, Global Prosthetic Solutions and Laboratory Group, Henry Schein.
“What’s the one problem we’re all trying to solve? Inconsistency,” said Panelist Richard Harrell, CDT, Chief Development and Operations Officer of DSG. “Digital technology eliminates the human touch points and thus the primary point of introduction of variable to the manufacturing...
To celebrate 15 years of Lava brand success, 3M launched a new website at LMT LAB DAY Chicago dedicated to showcasing before-and-after case photos that demonstrate the esthetics and strength of Lava-brand zirconia crowns and bridges. In its 15 years of clinical use, millions of Lava restorations have been placed in over 40 countries.
“Thousands of skilled clinicians and technicians have allowed 3M to offer the benefits of zirconia to patients around the world,” said Jennifer Van Ranst, U.S. Marketing Manager. “We are looking forward to using this website to showcase the clinical success our customers have achieved with this material.”
Technicians and dentists can upload their favorite cases at www.3M.com/Lava15.
By investing in a scanner and 3D printer, Al Ranger has nearly tripled his lab’s production. See the steps he took before making the decision to go digital and what he’s learned along the way.
Kuwata Pan Dent, founded by Masahiro Kuwata, was one of the first laboratories in the U.S. to achieve ISO 9001 certification in 2000. Since ISO certification is an ongoing process, the Cedar Knolls, NJ, full service lab has been recertified five times since then.