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Just in the past six months alone, there have been a number of laboratory acquisitions by private equity portfolio companies. While private equity is not new to our community, portfolio companies are poised to make the most of our changing industry.
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Tra’ Chambers had no actual laboratory experience when he opened Express Dental Laboratory in Norman, OK in December 2012. Harnessing the efficiency of CAD/CAM technology, the lab touts a two- to three-day turnaround (or same-day for its mobile service) and generated over $300,000 in revenue during its first full year in business. Now, with a staff of seven, the lab serves 118 clients and 45% of its work is completely digital. Here’s more about the lab’s growth strategies:
LMT: What made you decide to open Express Dental Laboratory without any prior laboratory experience?
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During the start-up years of LMT, I read several articles about how product life cycles are bell curves; they typically peak and then decline. I also subscribed to the Harvard Business Review (HBR) and it featured a series about why most startups fail within the first five years.
Between the image of the bell curve and the HBR stats, the message loomed large that I needed to remain on high alert to recognize when LMT might peak and start to decline. I also decided it was important to have more than one product. We created LAB DAY.
Our fourth year was exceptional; I knew then that we were going...
“Change, consolidation and new business models are inevitable, but survival, growth and a seat at the table are optional. Your future in the next several years is dependent on what you decide to do,” said Mark Murphy, DDS, in his State of the Industry presentation at the 88th Annual Cal-Lab Meeting. “We have tremendous control over what our role will be in the future. You can’t change the direction of the wind, but you sure can set your sails.”
Other speakers during this year’s meeting offered ideas on exactly how to set those sails. Terry Fine, President of...
There were several new companies exhibiting at LAB DAY this year, almost all of them in the digital solutions arena:
3DRPD USA is printing chrome-cobalt partial denture frameworks at its new facility in Rouses Point, NY. The company is working with laboratory customers only; you send an .stl file of a designed framework and the turnaround time starts at three days. For more details, call 855-373-6458, email info@3DRPDUSA.com or visit www.3DRPDUSA.com.
DOF, Inc. (Degree of Freedom) specializes in open architecture CAD/CAM applications for the dental industry. Headquartered in Seoul, Korea,...
exocad GmbH is now integrated with 3M®/Steinbichler® and Renishaw® scanners; labs that own these systems can upgrade to an exocad-based system for only the cost of the software.
In addition, exocad has a new touch-enabled user interface, compatible with Windows 8 devices. An enhancement to the TruSmile® add-on module allows realistic per-tooth rendering for different metal alloys and ceramics, providing the dentist with a valuable tool to increase patient acceptance of a proposed restorative design.
Note to any Lab Day Chicago attendees who tried to attend exocad’s clinics,...
VITA Suprinity, a zirconia-reinforced lithium silicate ceramic, was displayed for the first time in the U.S. at Vident’s LAB DAY exhibit. The new-generation glass ceramic has a zirconium dioxide content around 10 times that of traditional CAD/CAM glass ceramic in combination with a fine-grained and homogeneous structure. Indicated for anterior and posterior crowns, implant restorations as well as veneers, inlays and onlays, the material will be available in the U.S. later this year for the CEREC/inLab MC XL, Amann Girrbach Ceramill Motion 2 and the KaVo Arctica 2 milling systems. Call 800-828-3839 or visit vident.com.
B&D introduced ORIGIN® LIVETM Multi Zirconia, pre-shaded, multi-layered discs; each layer mimics the inherent gradations of natural teeth, including chroma, value, incisal effects and translucency. Since there’s no dipping or drying involved, the pre-shaded disks streamline production and are less technique sensitive than the coloring liquid method, according to B&D.
The company also demonstrated its new ORIGIN-Haas 5HD milling machine with improved milling strategies (ORIGIN CAM Plus+ powered by hyperDENT) for fabricating custom abutments, implant bars and implant...
PEEK—poly-ether-ether-ke-tone—was the talk of the IDS in Cologne last year; now, it’s come to the U.S. in the form of the JUVORA Dental Disc made from PEEK sourced directly and exclusively from Invibio® Biomaterial Solutions, a global leader of PEEK biomaterials. Available from JUVORA Inc., the disc received FDA clearance for milling frameworks for complete and partial removable dentures and implant overdentures earlier this year.
“PEEK has had some use historically in dental applications such as abutments and healing caps. However, now with the JUVORA Dental Disc, dental...
In early February, LMT traveled to Panthera Dental in beautiful Quebec City to learn more about this new high-tech production center and its digital product offerings, including zirconia and PEEK double-structure bars.
The buzz at the Dental Laboratory Owners Association of California’s CAD/CAM Symposium in November 2005: rapid prototyping technology. First developed in the 1980s and used in the automotive and aerospace industries, the technology had laboratory owners enthusiastic about what was called the “next generation of CAD/CAM.” Advocates said the additive technology would result in increased efficiency and less material waste.
Those forecasts were spot on. The technology continues to revolutionize the way laboratories fabricate waxups and metal restorations. And, like CAD/CAM, it’s...
In the early 1980s, industry forecasters predicted a boon in implant placement, a prediction that was premature for a market still in its infancy. Inadequate education, inconsistent techniques and unpredictable results contributed to resistance on the part of many dentists and laboratories.
However, by the time we entered the new millennium, implant treatment became the first choice in tooth replacement thanks to technical advancements, long-term success rates, and the abundance of manufacturer-provided education.
The advent of CAD/CAM and cone beam technology further impacted the precision of...
After years of speculation, CAD/CAM came to fruition in the dental laboratory in 1998 with the official U.S. launch of the Procera® AllCeram Crown, featuring an aluminum oxide coping milled at Nobel Biocare’s production facility in Sweden. The success of Procera—and the introduction of a dozen new in-lab milling systems in the early 2000s—fueled intense interest among laboratory owners and made CAD/CAM the hot topic for the unforeseeable future.
The automated manufacturing process afforded an efficient, consistent method of production and also opened the door to using zirconia,...
October 1986, IECDT, New York City: Crowds of technicians attended Dr. Francois Duret’s lecture during which he demonstrated his chairside CAD/CAM system for the first time in the U.S. Based on micro-milling technology used to make titanium microchips for computers and missile parts, the system featured a laser scanner and milling machine that could fabricate crowns, inlays, onlays and up to three-unit bridges out of Dicor® material.
Touted as the system that “has the potential to change the way dentistry is done as we know it,” some attendees were concerned that chairside...
In the 1970s, a buzzer on a porcelain furnace was considered a luxury gadget. Back then, many insisted that a true ceramist should be monitoring the progress of the bake by eye, not depending on a buzzer to tell you when the case is ready.However, by the end of 1984, an LMT survey found that two-thirds of porcelain furnaces used in dental laboratories were either partially or fully automatic. LMT then observed, “modern technology has brought us computerized furnaces with features not even thought of just a few years ago, but the prices for these units are considerable.” Many small labs...
Zirkonzahn’s Georg Walcher, MDT, offers his step-by-step technique for rehabilitating an edentulous patient with implants and fixed Zirconia Prettau Bridges.
- December 2013
LMT Publisher Judy Fishman talks with Tim Thompson, President and CEO of Global Dental Science, LLC in Phoenix AZ about the AvaDent Digital Dentures system.
LMT: I understand you’ve cracked the code for digitizing the denture fabrication process. Can you fill us in?
Thompson: For the past four years, Global Dental Science has been developing an exclusive digital platform for the design and manufacture of AvaDent Digital Dentures. It’s the result of a comprehensive process called Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) used in conjunction with CAD/CAM; CAE uses sophisticated, scientific algorithms...
LMT attends the DLOAC CAD/CAM Expo and Symposium to bring you
the latest developments in digital dentistry. The theme? Automation continues to streamline, simplify and improve...
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- November 2013
Last year, Bob Iuliano, CDT, invested about $80,000 in CAD/CAM equipment—and he hasnât looked back since.
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DENTAL TEAM: Scott Atkin, Creative Dental Laboratory and Dr. Michael Foley, both in Scottsdale, AZ
RESTORATIVE PROBLEM: A 79-year-old male patient with an existing PFM full mouth rehab needed a classic A3 shade replacement bridge for teeth #11 through #15.
TREATMENT PLAN: A five-unit Crystal Diamond full contour bridge was prescribed. Crystal Diamond was chosen for its excellent translucency and strength, ideal for highly esthetic anterior and posterior metal-free restorations.
FABRICATION PROCESS: The case was scanned using a 3Shape D710 scanner and milled using Delcam software on a DentMill...
DENTAL TEAM: Ken Upright, Oxford Crown & Bridge, LLC and Dr. Shelley Olson, DDS, FICD, Granville Family Dentistry, both in Oxford, NC
RESTORATIVE PROBLEM: A female patient fractured the entire facial surface and buccal cusp of tooth #4, which had an old MOD amalgam restoration. Due to a 2mm diastema, the entire mesial aspect of the crown would be exposed in the patient's smile, so shade quality was a foremost concern.
TREATMENT PLAN: Because of her positive experiences with the material, Dr. Olson prescribed a Delta Zirconia full contour crown to restore tooth #4. High Translucent Delta Zirconia,...
DENTAL TEAM: Gyu Cho, CDT, 3D BioCAD Milling Center, Renton, WA and Dr. Ronald Bryant, Seattle
RESTORATIVE PROBLEM: The patient presented with severe occlusal wear on his natural teeth; the lower anterior teeth were also very crooked and discolored. The existing crowns also exhibited wear, tissue retraction, dark margins and uneven shades from one crown to the next. Teeth #5, #12 and #14 were missing, requiring implants.
TREATMENT PLAN: A full-mouth restoration with 28 units was proposed and had full compliance from the patient. The team opted to use gold-hue abutments to provide a very natural,...
DENTAL TEAM: Cindy Vuong and Dr. Michael DiTolla, both of Glidewell Laboratories, Newport Beach, CA
RESTORATIVE PROBLEM: The patient presented with a pre-existing discolored PFM restoration on tooth #8.
TREATMENT PLAN: Dr. DiTolla prescribed a full contour BruxZir® crown, and decided to take the opportunity to test the translucency of Glidewell Laboratories' new BruxZir™ Shaded material, which offers complete color penetration all the way through the restoration for greater shade consistency. The new material also prevents shade changes or white "show-through" after occlusal adjustment....
DENTAL TEAM: Manfred Pörnbacher and Clemens Schwerin, Dentallabor Steger, Brunico, Italy and Dr. Lyndon Cooper, Professor and Chair at the University of North Carolina, School of Dentistry, Department of Prosthodontics
RESTORATIVE PROBLEM: A young female patient lost teeth #7 through #14 in a car accident and was already wearing a provisional restoration that had resulted in pronounced jawbone atrophy.
TREATMENT PLAN: The team opted for a fixed superstructure supported by six implants at sites #7 and #8 and #11 through #14. Due to inadequate bone structure, the restoration would be an occlusally...