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A surge of digital technologies, the corporatization of dentistry and omnipresent insurance woes are just a few of the challenges impacting your dentist-clients. As part of our State of the Industry 2015 survey coverage, LMT polled 80 dentists from around the country to get their perspectives on these trends and more. Here’s what they had to say.
They’re hesitant about digital impressionsAlthough 41% of laboratories are equipped to accept digital impressions, dentists have been slower to adopt the technology: labs receive digital impressions from only 6% of their clients. While many...
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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.
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Seeing the impending boom of digital technology, Anton Woolf, CEO of Argen Corp., conceived a plan to reinvent the company and its product offerings to meet the needs of the changing marketplace. The result? The Argen Digital Center.
By taking risks, going outside their comfort zone and reinvesting in their laboratory, Greg and Diane Nash, Owners of Nash Dental Lab, have managed to thrive in an ever-changing laboratory market.
The first part of LMT’s comprehensive, multi-issue State of the Industry 2015 coverage offers an in-depth look at the key trends impacting laboratory operators today.
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Hosted by Quintessence Publishing and Henry Schein in October, the 1st International Symposium on Digital Dentistry: Technologies That Enhance Clinical Outcomes featured an exhibit hall and three days of lectures by digital dentistry experts.
The digital transition in labs is not just about fabrication processes; the operational side of the lab business is changing too. Speakers at the 2014 DLOAC Meeting look at the continuously evolving role of the technician. Also: new products announced at the show.
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- December 2014
In September, exocad America acquired the dental assets of SensAble Dental and can now distribute and further develop SensAble’s software for designing metal and flexible partial denture frameworks.
- November 2014
LMT taps into the expertise of 20 laboratory owners and managers from all size labs who’ve successfully incorporated digital technology into their operations, offering real-life experiences and tips on what we all wish we would have known before taking the plunge.
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Here’s a look at how using the split file technique and the digital, model-less workflow available from Core3dcentres—a digital design and manufacturing center with locations in seven countries that serves laboratories and dentists—met the needs of a time-sensitive implant patient.
- October 2014
Once she arrived in Arizona last fall, LMT Publisher Judy Fishman visited Scott Atkin, Owner of Creative Milling Dental Laboratory and CEO of Dental Lab Milling Supplies, LLC, in Scottdale, AZ, just as Bentley, Atkin’s massive Bernese Mountain Dog, was headed out for a walk with one of the staff members. Atkin “struck gold” in 2007 by adding a retail component to his business model to stay ahead of what’s trending and increase his revenue base.
“The focus for labs these days needs to be on creating win-win opportunities for themselves and their clients,” says...
- September 2014
Nearly three quarters of respondents to LMT’s exclusive 2014 Wage Survey have taken cost-cutting measures related to personnel in the last two years, citing unpredictable workflows, pricing pressure from dentists and other low-cost labs, and an increase in business costs.
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- August 2014
The R&E Tax Credit rewards companies investing resources in the development or improvement of its products, processes and techniques. If you qualify, you could receive a credit of $25,000 to $50,000 per year depending on your situation.
- May 2014
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...
- April 2014
“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...
- March 2014
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,...
- February 2014
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...
- January 2014
Zirkonzahn’s Georg Walcher, MDT, offers his step-by-step technique for rehabilitating an edentulous patient with implants and fixed Zirconia Prettau Bridges.