In 2013, frustrated by the changes he was seeing in the industry—mass digitization, commoditization, consolidation—Von Grow, Owner of Dark Horse Dental Studio in Pleasant Grove, UT, sent out a rallying cry via social media to his fellow technicians:
“I propose that we all band together in the name of high-end, handmade, esthetic restorations and do not let machines take over our jobs. …Instead of hoarding all of our secrets and techniques, we give the information away freely to other like-minded technicians and dentists,” proposed Grow. “…everyone within the sound of my voice who is feeling helpless, downtrodden, fearful of the future or just wants to get excited again about the work you do, let’s take a stand. Let’s get a worldwide network going that is so big, it cannot fail.”
His words struck a chord and technicians responded in droves. The result? The Dental Technicians Guild (DTG), a closed Facebook-based group where members...
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...
Laboratory Owner Bill Atkission explains how the Bio-copy function of inLab SW 15 copies the patient’s intact natural teeth, the temporary restoration or a diagnostic waxup to create anatomically correct restorations.
Over the last few years, there has been an explosion in the number of new or improved material options for digital fabrication. LMT’s exclusive 2016 Digital Materials eSurvey asked how they are impacting workloads and uncovered three key trends.
There were many companies exhibiting at LMT LAB DAY for the first time:
Based in São Carlos, Brazil and founded in 1977, Bio-Art Equipamentos Odontologicos offers a variety of small equipment, including articulators and facebows, microblasters, vacuum forming machines, curing lights, magnifiers, ultrasonic machines and more. Its Bio-Art semi-adjustable A7 Plus Articulator is made of aluminum and offers a modern design that provides greater visibility. It combines several features—including a Fixed Intercondylar distance at the average 110 mm; curved condylar guide; adjustable condylar guide angle; adjustable Bennet Angle; and Central Lock—making it easy to use. Visit www.bioart.com.br.
Chung Song (Sunburst) is a Korean manufacturer and exporter of lab equipment and consumables. It offers a wide variety of products including micromotors, polishing systems, plaster trays and more. Visit www.dentalmicromotor.com.
DDS-Pro USA launched its new DDS-3D Printer, which has a...
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...
Wagner Rotary showcased several new lines of instruments at LMT LAB DAY. Cerulean™ Blue handpiece carbides feature a super nitride coating made of TiAIN (Titanium Alumina Nitride). Their nanocomposite structure offers increased hardness, durability and extremely smooth cutting and is ISO 513 certified. The shanks are constructed from high-quality, hardened steel known as X46CrS13.
Also on display were the new Cirrus™ diamond-infused instruments. Highly flexible and available in 26-mm knife edge, they provide gentle contouring or polishing ideal for all-ceramic restorations and PFMs with metal collars.
For additional information, please call 888-223-2231 or 201-541-9700 or visit www.WagnerRotary.com.
If you saw LMT LAB DAY attendees walking around with stickers on their lapels, they were likely competing in Jensen Dental’s new product giveaways. Once an hour, an attendee wearing an Imagine™ sticker was randomly stopped and awarded a can of Jensen’s InSync universal spray glaze, the newest member of the InSync Paste Stain and Glaze product line. It offers a quick application process that allows more units to be completed with less labor, and also eliminates a firing cycle since it’s sprayed directly over set surface stains. The thin, uniform coat preserves surface detail and occlusal anatomy and provides a smooth, glossy, streak-free surface texture after firing that enhances natural esthetics. The glaze can be used on zirconia, lithium disilicate, metal ceramic and titanium restorations.
Two sticker-wearing LAB DAY attendees were also chosen to receive Jensen’s new Imagine Veneering Ceramic Kit, which includes 20 powders, a glaze paste and three liquids...
Aurident’s Delta Milling Center is now offering BruxZir® Anterior Shaded anterior and premolar crowns and bridges in addition to Delta Yttria-Stabilized Zirconia restorations. At LMT LAB DAY, it also announced three specials, effective until July 31, 2016:
A free titanium scan body with your first milled custom abutment order; the scan bodies are engraved with the implant type for easy identification.
A free scan body kit with the purchase of an Optimet Scanner. A $1,925 value, the kit includes 70 scan bodies—two per implant system—for 35 implants of your choice plus an implant library.
Special abutment pricing: $99 for a titanium abutment and $109 for hybrid abutments; both come with two free screws and you can submit .stl files or models.
Aurident also introduced Helling Anti-Glare 3-D Spray for laser scanning. Its uniform thin application layer eliminates pooling and clumping that can impact scan data accuracy and it’s easy to remove by brushing, air blowing...
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.
In order to offer a comprehensive suite of CAD/CAM solutions for digital dentistry, Digital Dental Lab and Dental Laboratory Milling Supplies have merged to form Digital Dental. Headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ, the new company offers the leading brands of Crystal® Zirconia, Dental Mill machines and SinterMax ovens.
The four founders—Scott and Anna Atkin of Dental Laboratory Milling Supplies and Kim and Cameron Karpowitz of Digital Dental Lab—have been working closely for years; all are staying on at the new company and are excited about the growth opportunities ahead.
“We are entirely focused on being partners with our customers,” said Kim Karpowitz. “I believe this merger uniquely positions us to continue our leadership role in milled full contour posterior, anterior and implant restorations.”
The merger transaction also provides new capital for growth. It was arranged and led by St. Louis-based Villhard Growth Partners (VGP) which specializes...
Digital technology product lines continue to expand and this year’s attendees got the first look at new scanners, 3D printers, milling units and software options, as well as a host of new materials.
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Jim Emmons, CDT, FNBC, discusses how his efforts to control the heat zone led to the development of the Wonder Z-Ring and offers advice on managing the firing process.
In 2012, Peter Lee wanted to grow his two-person C&B laboratory, LifeLike Dental Studio, into a larger, more modern operation, but his partner wasn’t on board. So Lee bought him out, then got to work.
The LMT staff is still on a high from LMT® LAB DAY® Chicago at the end of February. We had record-breaking attendance—4,163 people, up from 3,501 last year! Attendees came from 49 states plus Washington, D.C. and 58 different countries—that’s 15 more than in 2015—making it a decidedly international affair.
The mood was upbeat among exhibitors and attendees alike. With the bigger exhibit hall and clinic rooms and open lobby (and Big Bar!), there’s much more elbow room at the Hyatt. It’s conducive to meeting old friends, having meaningful conversations and learning about new technology.
LMT Editors were around the town to find out what’s on the minds of laboratory owners, managers and technicians. Many of the trends we’ve spotted over the last couple of years continue to play out; here’s an overview:
3D printing. As the technology evolves, printers are getting more affordable and material options and applications are expanding....
Lab Owner Salaries: 1994 vs. 2014
Restoration Fees: 1994 vs. 2014
Average Hourly Wage for a Beginning Technician: 1994 vs. 2014
The Growth of Subcontracting
In 1995, 48% of our State of the Industry respondents subcontracted work; today, 69% do. The growth of subcontracting is being driven by the consolidation of the industry, the personnel shortage, ever-growing demand for digitally fabricated restorations as well as a steady demand for partial frameworks.
What a Difference a CENTURY Makes!: Price of a full denture, including setup
Is the number of U.S. labs shrinking?
Yes. The number of U.S. laboratories grew steadily from the late 1930s, peaking at approximately 11,500 labs in 1995. That number held pretty steady through the mid-2000s and then began a slow decline. Today there are just about 8,000 labs, including in-house labs; this figure is not expected to hold steady since more boomers will be retiring over the next 10 years.
How many laboratory owners will retire in the next five years?
Just over one-third of laboratory owners plan to retire by 2020. The most popular exit strategies are selling off their equipment and shutting their doors or selling to an unrelated third party, such as a competitor or laboratory group.
How many laboratories have in-house digital fabrication equipment?
58% of respondents to LMT’s 2015 State of the Industry Survey offer digitally fabricated restorations. Of that percentage:
78% have at least one scanner
59% have at least one milling machine
24% have at least...
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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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!
That’s the question on everyone’s mind these days, especially since the NADL released an alert on the in-house milling of custom abutments in November. Here are the details, including the NADL’s alert, the FDA’s heightened enforcement efforts, and responses from the marketplace.
- December 2015
Eric Nunnally discusses the high-tech dental practice he joined, as well as cutting-edge technology he will and won’t include in his office.
- 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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