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- September 2013
Several years ago we received a case that sparked a complete shift in the way our lab is run. A doctor asked us to make two zirconia crowns for a 17-year-old girl. The crowns were to replace teeth #8-9 and the prescription specified that the length of the centrals be 18mm long! We called to clarify the instructions and the doctor confirmed...
Thanks to the advent of digital technology, many laboratory owners and managers are discovering new business models and finding ways to reinvent their businesses and reinvigorate their careers. Here are the stories of three lab owners/managers who have done so using Sirona Dental, Inc.'s CEREC Acquistion Centers, Sirona Connect—a web-based portal through which CEREC dentists and inLab laboratories communicate—and the inLab system.
Smile Design, Inc.
Smile Design, Inc. in Elkhart, IN, is bringing digital technology to the dentist's office—literally. Owned by Chad Rogers, Richard...
Read More 6 minute read
- April 2013
In the latest installment of Barry D. The Lab Guy, Laboratory Owner Mike Hill explains his strategies for protecting the bottom line.
As you know, running a successful dental lab requires more than just great technical knowledge and skills; you need to be a good businessperson. In light of rising material, fuel and labor costs and the increase in business taxes and regulations, we need to be even more focused on the bottom line.
Here are some ways I've reduced costs in my laboratory:
Make the most of vendor visits:
Manufacturer/supplier representatives can offer a lot of new product information,...
Read More 2 minute read
- February 2013
With standing ovations for the last two presentations—by Mark Murphy, DDS, FAGD and Gordon Christensen, DDS, MSD, PhD—it was clear that the mood among attendees of the 2013 V21 Meeting at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas was upbeat and keenly focused on everything digital.
The three-day program focused almost exclusively on the digital realm, including scan and design performance metrics, a comparison of various systems and a discussion about digital workflow process implementation.
As Christensen introduced his topic: Dentist/Laboratory Relationship Trends including Material Trends,...
- February 2012
In this economy, working faster, smarter, better is the key to riding out the storm. Here are 36 ways to streamline production, reduce remakes, lower costs, maximize marketing, improve client relationships, boost employee morale and create a leaner, meaner, more efficient laboratory operation.
4 CAD/CAM Strategies
7 Marketing Strategies
2 Technical Strategies
6 Financial Strategies
8 Management Strategies
3 Customer Service Strategies
6 Personnel Strategies
Have an ingenious marketing strategy? Innovative cost-cutting idea? New way to streamline production? Share your best business...
Read More 1 minute read
8 Faster, Smarter, Better Management Strategies to Boost Your Business: We Want to Hear Your Management StrategiesLMT Communications, Inc. · Faster, Smarter, Better: 36 Strategies to Boost Your Business · Management · Feb 2012
Problem: I'd like to implement pre-scheduling to help make our workload more consistent; we're overwhelmed one day and slow the next.
Strategy: Pre-scheduling—where the laboratory, rather than the dentist, determines the turnaround time for each case—helps ensure an even workflow, which minimizes the pressure of deadlines and...
Read More 8 minute read
- April 2011
Coping with inadequate work from dentists and finding competent staff are top problems in the laboratory
Overall, 63% of respondents had gross sales under $200,000 in 1999. Here's how different size laboratories fared last year
Problems with dentist-clients' work coming into the lab
Given that the nation is experiencing its strongest economy in 30 years, it's no surprise that laboratory owners and managers responding to LMT's 2000 State of the Industry survey are upbeat about their economic situation and optimistic about the future of our industry.
Read More 10 minute read
"Our industry is now in an evolutionary and transitory stage. The developments of the past 10 years, including CAD/CAM, advances in other technologies and the decline in formal educational programs have led to a 'tipping point'," said moderator Bill Mrazek, BS, CDT, during his opening remarks at the State of the Profession II meeting sponsored by the Illinois Dental Laboratory Association (IDLA) and the Chicagoland Dental Technician Study Group (CDTSG) in Lisle, Illinois this September. The event was organized by IDLA and CDTSG board members Mrazek and Paul Vena; IDLA President and CDTSG board...
Laboratory owner Bill Van Evans can feel the breeze off of Chesapeake Bay--all the way from Canada.
Van Evans, who has a background in business management, was trained in orthodontics by his father-in-law and opened Orthodent in Oshawa, Canada--just outside Toronto--in 1988. About eight years ago, he opened a satellite lab closer to the city for better positioning in the Toronto market, and then went on to purchase two more existing laboratories in the Toronto area.
But he wasn't done; his goal was to create a network of about 10 laboratories. His next acquisitions were in the United States,...
Read More 1 minute read
At Pro Dental Art in Titusville, Florida, they've taken that term quite literally: all four members of the laboratory staff are related. Mike Mahery is the owner and head technician; his wife, Janine, is the lab's vice president and model and die technician; Janine's sister, Sherry Rivers, is a technician; and Janine's mother, Frankie Zimmerman, is the office manager.
Getting all four family members involved in the laboratory was more of an evolution than a plan. "When I first opened my own laboratory, I wanted to be a high-end operation and to make that happen, I needed to hire people who...
A comprehensive set of standards provides a level playing field for your laboratory. Your technicians know what you expect of them, what to expect of you and what to expect of each other; everyone operates from the same handbook. Having standards paves the way for an efficient, well-run organization and is the foundation of a quality management system (QMS).
Implementing a QMS necessitates that you take a cohesive look at your operations and define and document all of your laboratory processes, including technical, administrative and managerial procedures. It doesn't dictate what your methods...
Read More 12 minute read