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.
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...
Much like the polarization we’re seeing in our country this election year, members of our community—including, of course, the dentists we serve—have different ideas about where they think our industry is headed and, more interestingly, why.
Some believe independent dental laboratories are going to disappear altogether. They are concerned that, in the not-too-distant future, most dentists will use chairside systems to make restorations and those who don’t will be sending work overseas.
This is the most negative end of the spectrum. It includes visions of profit-focused dentists who are compromising the quality of care they deliver in order to boost their bottom line. Part of this comes from buzz about some corporate dental groups working recent grads “to the bone” in an effort to move as many patients through the door as possible.
Some lab owners also voice concern for the quality and depth of education dental students are receiving and say today’s...
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.
“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...
Rick Peebles has come a long way since he began his career as a one-man removables lab in a prosthodontist’s office more than three decades ago. His laboratory, Peebles Prosthetics Inc., has grown into a 65-person, full-service operation and, in 2013, moved into a two-story, 19,500-sq-ft, state-of-the-art facility in Lakewood, CO.
When John Lavicka, CDT, saw it, he knew: the beautiful, 10-acre wooded lot in Richfield, OH would be the ideal home for his laboratory, Dental Ceramics, Inc.
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...
Where did the Cal-Lab Group get its name?
The name “CAL” harkens back to the group’s origins as Certified Akers Laboratories. Founded in 1926, the Cal-Lab Group is the oldest dental laboratory organization in continuous existence and has over 200 member laboratories.
Who invented flexible partial denture material?
Two dental technicians, Arpad and Tibor Nagy, invented Valplast in 1953 in their laboratory, Master-Touch Dental Lab, which still exists today and is operated by Arpad Nagy’s grandson, Justin Marks, CDT, in Westbury, NY.
Keeping up with modern manufacturing technology, Valplast unveiled the prototype of its new 3D Printable Valplast® Resin at the IDS in 2015 and, more recently, previewed its new r.Pod™ Desktop 3D Printer for flexible partial dentures.
Which lab was the first to market directly to the public?
In the Fall of 1984, DenMat Corp. placed ads for its veneers in Reader’s Digest and McCall’s saying, “Give...
LMT surveyed our readers to learn more about what makes you you!+
How are you connected?
More than 70% of you own a smartphone, computer and/or tablet
76% of you spend 1-6 hours per day using digital devices including computers, laptops, MP3 players, smartphones and tablets
What are the top five ways you use your devices?
Of the 50% of you who attended a non-dental technology college, what degrees do you hold?
How many children do you have?
What are your favorite hobbies?
Watching/attending sporting events
TOP DOG: 59% of you own a dog—what other pets do you own?
What are your top 3 hot button issues?
How many of you are active in regional or state dental laboratory associations?
How do you spend time off the bench?
The majority of you...
Read up to 6 books per year
Sleep 6-7 hours per night
How can I get more work from current accounts?
Cross selling your services to existing customers—rather than getting new business from new accounts—is easier because they already know you and your work and they’re more likely to be enticed to try your other offerings. Given that most dentists use at least two laboratories, try to hone in on why your clients are sending work to another lab; it may be that they are simply unaware of all the services you offer.
Here are some other cross-selling strategies:
Every case that leaves your lab should have a case stuffer about the other services you offer.
Offer a “no-hassle” return policy to clients who want to try another department in your lab; promise a full refund if the dentist isn’t happy with the case.
Train staff to continuously look for cross-selling opportunities. For instance, if your lab is making a crown that is going to receive a partial and the dentist is sending the partial case elsewhere,...
Read More 7 minute read
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.
Read More 11 minute read
At the 12th Annual DLOAC CAD/CAM Expo and Symposium, LMT got a first-hand look at more esthetic materials, new software upgrades, more powerful equipment, and more!
Over the last half century, Dickerman Dental Prosthetics has made many changes, but one thing has remained the same: at age 83, Founder Myron Dickerman still comes to the laboratory every day.
- November 2015
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.
Read More 9 minute read
- September 2015
A record-breaking crowd welcomed LMT’s LAB DAY East to its new Atlantic City, NJ venue on September 19. More than 1,020 attendees flocked to the Atlantic City Convention Center for a jam-packed day of education, networking and comparison shopping.
Read More 5 minute read
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.
Read More 6 minute read
- June 2015
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.
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
anaxdent North America is now the exclusive U.S. distributor of Cendres + Metaux’s new Pekkton High Performance Polymer (HPP). The next generation of HPP with 80% higher compressive strength than PEEK polymer, Pekkton can be milled and pressed, making it the first HPP that most labs are able to process in house. Technicians can use the Pekkton Ivory pressable system and the Pekkton Ivory CAD/CAM discs to create lightweight, shock-absorbing frames and substructures for ceramic, IPS e.max, acrylic and composite.
“Labs are hungry for good alternatives to metal and zirconia for implant frames, and they loved the versatility of Pekkton. 2015 will be a year of education and training on Pekkton as we help charter labs add this promising material to their product offering,” said Tay Harvey, COO of anaxdent North America.
Call anaxdent North America at 877-897-6598 or visit anaxdentusa.com/pekkton.
It was LMT’s biggest LAB DAY yet. Just over 3,500 attendees came from 45 states and 42 countries to the industry’s busiest, most exciting event of the year. They chose from 367 educational courses, shopped an energy-packed exhibit hall with 241 companies, and networked and caught up with their peers in an exciting new venue.
The show’s new home at the Hyatt Regency Chicago won rave reviews from exhibitors and attendees alike. The hotel offered more room for education and registration, a spacious new exhibit hall that featured wider walking aisles, an attendee café and a centralized park-like area that featured benches where attendees could meet and recharge—literally, at a 12-unit charging station for smartphones, tablets and laptops.
“Holy Toledo...I mean Chicago! Best show ever! So much to choose from, best venue, great people and courses. LMT, you hit a grand slam,” said Steve Killian, CDT, Owner/President, Killian Dental Ceramics, Inc.,...
- March 2015
Fifty-five percent of our State of the Industry 2015 survey respondents have recently changed their business model to increase profitability, gain new clients and be more competitive. Five of our respondents share their stories.
Read More 6 minute read
At the NADL’s Vision 21 meeting in Las Vegas, presentations and discussions focused on where dentistry is headed in the next 10-20 years; clearly this is the topic du jour. So much has changed in these last five years that we at LMT could hardly wait to collect and analyze the survey data you so generously provided us with this past fall in preparation for our 2015 State of the Industry series.
What the future looks like is not only the $64,000 question; it’s a downright rhetorical one! In other words, who knows? Bill Gates once made the observation that “most people tend to overestimate the rate of change that will occur on a two-year basis and underestimate the rate of change that will occur over 10 years.”
However, we know a few things that are constant, even in a continual state of flux:
Passion is powerful—enthusiasm, optimism and an enjoyment for your work are contagious.
Those who adapt most quickly and are able to ingest change will stay ahead of the...
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.
It was LMT’s biggest LAB DAY yet. Just over 3,500 attendees came to the industry’s busiest, most exciting event of the year to learn at 367 educational courses, shop an energy-packed exhibit hall with 241 companies, and network and catch up with their peers.
The show’s new home, the Hyatt Regency Chicago, won rave reviews from the crowd. The hotel offered more room for education and a spacious new exhibit hall that featured wider walking aisles, an attendee café and a green park-like area that featured benches where attendees could meet and recharge—literally, at a 12-unit charging station for smartphones, tablets and laptops.
Watch for LMT’s April issue as we share the inside show scoop on breaking news and the latest product launches.
Don’t miss LMT LAB DAY 2016, again at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, on February 26-27.