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Though first developed in the 1950s by Arpad Nagy of Valplast, flexible partial dentures didn’t take off until the 1980s; as the cosmetic wave hit dentistry, dentists and patients alike looked for solutions that were both functional and esthetic.
Today, flexible dentures make up 20% of the average workload for full service and removable...
- November 2013
Brand Your Restorations
Creating your own brand of restorations helps you stand out in the marketplace and conveys exclusivity. To distinguish their all-ceramic products, D&S Dental Laboratory, Inc. in Waunakee, WI, has created its "ZR" line of zirconia restorations including ZR Crowns, ZR Plus, ZR Fusion and ZR Micro. "We brand our products to differentiate our laboratory and reinforce that our products aren't available from any other lab. When doctors start to learn your brand and your name, they start asking for it," says Travis Zick, President.
Many laboratory owners have experienced...
Read More 6 minute read
- May 2013
Zirconia-reinforced materials are a new trend, and expanded options for pre-colored zirconia and ceramics for full contour restorations offer both efficiency and esthetics. Plus, a new type of material: a biocompatible, millable resin on which the final restoration can be built; there's no need for casting or pressing.
Schütz Dental's new millable Tizian Zirconia Reinforced Composite is 80% composite reinforced with zirconium dioxide, combining the advantages of both materials: high stability and excellent esthetics. It can be veneered with composite and indications include up to 14-unit...
- September 2012
Forty-five percent of respondents to LMT's exclusive 2012 Removable Survey rate the market as good and 35% classify it as fair. The majority say their removable business in the first half of 2012 is level or just slightly up or down compared to all of 2011.
At one end of the spectrum is the 9% of survey participants who say the market is...
- August 2012
Sponsored by the California Dental Association Foundation, CDA Cares is a series of dental clinics that provides the state's underserved population with free care. The most recent event, held in May in Modesto, provided $1.2 million worth of cleanings, fillings, extractions and even dentures and partials to over 1,600 people in just two days.
For Kris Feichtmeir, a first-time technician-volunteer, the experience was both exhilarating and overwhelming. "We didn't really know what we were getting into," says Feichtmeir, Owner of QRP Dental Lab in Modesto. "We set up and thought we were OK, but...
- June 2012
Small laboratories—those with one to three people—are the backbone of our industry, representing more than 50% of the U.S. market. LMT's Small Lab Survey offers an overview of who they are, how they work and their outlook for the future of their own businesses as well as their market segment as a whole.
For years, we've been hearing about the decline in the number of small labs and yet, to date, LMT's circulation data shows little attrition; the percentage of one- to three-person laboratories has remained relatively consistent during our 28-year history. However, more than 60%...
Read More 5 minute read
- May 2012
Eleven years after purchasing and successfully operating Choate Ceramic Laboratory in Conroe, TX, the Co-Owners Jimmy Durham, David Fitch, CDT, and Alton Trotter, CDT, moved out of their ceramic comfort zone and added a removable department in January 2010.
They knew the demand for removable prosthetics was growing and saw going full service as a way to keep the 19-person laboratory as profitable as possible. Also, as a result of the economy, new technology, a dramatic increase in precious alloy prices and overseas competition, they projected their C&B workload would decrease and that...
87 Partials in 20 Hours: Annual Labor of Love for Connecticut Lab
Every year since 2008, the two-day Connecticut Mission of Mercy (CTMOM) event, sponsored by the Connecticut Foundation for Dental Outreach (CFDO), has provided free dental care to underserved and uninsured state residents with the help of hundreds of volunteer dentists, hygienists and assistants--and just one dental laboratory: Murray Kaizer Dental Laboratory in Farmington, CT.
For the past five years, Owner Jerry Kaizer, CDT, and his 20-person staff have donated their time to fabricate hundreds of free partial dentures--a...
Read More 3 minute read
- April 2012
"For the next 20 years, 10,000 people will reach the age of 65 on a daily basis," said Max Sturm, President of Candulor, during a press conference at LAB DAY. "In addition, 12% of all dentures are now implant supported and we expect to see 6.5% growth in this area next year."
To meet this increasing demand and help laboratories fabricate...
- October 2011
(1) Free, Interactive Webinars
Webinars offer a convenient way for you to provide information to--and interact with--your clients without leaving the comfort of the laboratory or dental office.
Arrowhead Dental Laboratory, Sandy, UT, began offering free monthly webinars in 2009. While initially its webinars were geared to potential clients as a way of giving them a taste of the laboratory and its philosophies, the webinars now include topics for current clients as well, such as how to file insurance claims for oral appliance therapy, practice management and digital occlusion. The...
Read More 13 minute read
- September 2011
Part 1 Introduction
Not a month goes by where one or more dental technology publications write about the state of education or more precisely the decline or inadequacy of our educational system. Historically, dental laboratory technology education has been, for the most part, over-the-shoulder apprentice type of training. As we now know, the development of dentistry has evolved in a non-systematic path since before recorded history. Those who have been in the profession for over 30 years remember the "good old days" where education, training and development were kept secret and not readily shared...
Read More 22 minute read
- April 2011
It was standing-room-only at DLOAC's annual CAD/CAM Symposium and Expo as nearly 300 laboratory owners and managers, outsourcing centers and manufacturers turned out for two days of lectures, demonstrations and exhibits.
"The only thing I can tell you for sure about CAD/CAM is that it's constantly changing. In fact, by the time I get off this stage, some of the information will likely be outdated," said Dentsply's Arlo King, a presenter at the Dental Laboratory Owners Association of California's (DLOAC) annual CAD/CAM Symposium and Expo held in November in Pasadena, California.
With a record-breaking 115,000 attendees and almost 2,000 exhibitors, the IDS show in Cologne in March was upbeat and chock full of new products, materials, manufacturing solutions and systems. LMT's Kelly Carr and Jessica Fila attended the five-day show to give you a sneak peek at what's coming down the pike for the U.S. market.
Digital Manufacturing Equipment
The proliferation of digital technologies continued to flourish at the show, with more and more digital manufacturing solutions being introduced, including printing and laser sintering. Another trend: milling units that can...
Read More 9 minute read
Q: Why do most dentists use plastic teeth instead of porcelain teeth for dentures and at the same time prefer porcelain over acrylic for C&B? The only reason I can think of is that they do not know how to take a proper vertical registration. The esthetics of plastic teeth are as good as porcelain teeth, especially over time. Also, the rate of plastic tooth breakage is equal to that of porcelain. What is your opinion?
A: Your perceptions are absolutely correct. A few decades ago, porcelain denture teeth were practically the only prosthetic teeth used. In the early 1960's, great improvements...
Read More 41 minute read
Industry analysts have long predicted that developments in fixed prosthetics and better overall dental care would spell the demise of the removables market. But if you're worried about the future of this specialty, don't be.
Thanks to a growing demand from an aging population, an increasing consumer awareness of esthetic dentistry, and product and technological developments, the market is thriving. "It's a wonderful time to be in the removables market and there are many reasons to be optimistic about the future," says Tom Zaleske, owner of Matrix Dental Lab in Bensenville, Illinois and a technical...
Read More 6 minute read
It's been a decade since OSHA issued its Bloodborne Pathogens Standard (BPS) outlining procedures to protect employees from occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens such as HIV and hepatitis B. In addition, the American Dental Association, Centers for Disease Control and National Association for Dental Laboratories have issued protocols for infection control procedures.
Despite these recommendations and the fact that it's best to eliminate cross contamination at the source—the dental office—labs report that although more clients have been disinfecting over the last several...
Read More 11 minute read
By bringing fixed and removable technicians together in one department, industry leader Glidewell Laboratories has streamlined combination casework and dramatically enhanced communication.
Two heads are better than one. That simple axiom is the foundation of Glidewell Laboratories' combination case department, formed in 1996. Since then,...
Read More 3 minute read
The specialty once considered to be the least glamorous is thriving. According to initial results of LMT's 2008 Fee Survey, 58% of our denture lab respondents report an increase in profitability in the past two years, largely due to increased sales, greater productivity and higher fees. For instance, the average fee for a complete maxillary denture charged by removable labs has jumped 25% in just two years, up from $259 to $323. Click here to view the chart
Driving this growth is an aging population of educated dental consumers who are seeking more stable, comfortable dentures. For instance,...
Q: When casting a full palate with 3/10" thick stippled pattern, is it possible for the investment to expand and stop the alloy from fully casting?
A: In theory, if the mold were heated to an extremely high temperature, the expansion could cause the top of the mold cavity to touch the bottom. However, if the investment were to survive, the casting would be useless because over-expansion would make the fit unacceptable.
If you're having trouble casting a full base, the real problem is probably the spruing technique. The most common mistake technicians make when casting full bases is trimming the...
Read More 28 minute read
Over the years, one of the laboratory procedures that has created stress and required extra time has been investing and divesting partial dentures, especially because there was always the possibility of damaging the frame or breaking a clasp.
I've developed a technique that makes this process easier. I use a putty matrix made from Heraeus' Palapress vario, a rapid-cure acrylic for partial and full dentures. It has the technical properties of heatcuring acrylic, and color stability thanks to an ammon-free acceleration system. When cured, the material has less residual monomer than heat-cured acrylic...
I'm no longer the lowest on the totem pole! A new class of freshman has started school and I'm now a sophomore. As I transitioned to my second year, I felt like a battle-weary soldier watching replacements fresh out of boot camp joining the fray--but wearing new scrubs instead of camouflage.
Looking back at my first year of dental school, I see that my lab background helped me greatly. Dentistry was a second language for me; I was rarely lost in my classes. On the other hand, I knew almost nothing about operative materials and preparation techniques. With more knowledge about the...