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...
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.
“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...
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.
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....
LMT’s Editor Kelly Carr and I teamed up this month to put together an LMT-based Q&A. After all, this is The Answers Issue: LMT’s guide to everything you need to know about the dental laboratory industry and those who are in it. I’ve been dominating this Publisher’s Page for over three decades and, though I still love my soapbox, Kelly has a lot to say, too. With over 30 years of excellence in spearheading LMT’s content, it’s about time she has space to air her own views about what’s going on in our community! In January, Kelly updated you on what’s happening with the FDA and custom-milled abutments. It was a prelude of more to come. Though I will still be putting in my two cents, this year you’ll be hearing more from our very well-seasoned editor.
How many issues has LMT published since it was launched in 1984?312, all jam-packed with business strategies for your laboratory!
Which LMT is the...?...issue with LMT’s...
- May 2015
Industry icon Jim Glidewell shares his perspective on the future of our industry, including restorative trends, the biggest challenges you’ll face and strategies to ensure your laboratory’s success.
Read More 14 minute read
- March 2015
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.
Read More 6 minute read
- February 2015
With today’s focus on highly cosmetic restorations and appliances, patients want functional, natural-looking removable partial dentures. Proper material selection is a key part of ensuring patient satisfaction.
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.
Read More 11 minute read
- 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.
Read More 19 minute read
- October 2014
After watching technicians drop one too many crowns and losing productivity, Ceramist Tom Greggs invented Stabiliner, which reduces the risk of slippage of milled restorations during contouring/finishing procedures.
LMT’s 2014 Fee Survey respondents offer a mixed picture of their sales and profitability. On one hand, laboratory sales seem to be slowly improving. Profits, though, seem to be lagging behind.
A 2014 Fee Survey participant from the Midwest—who prefers to remain anonymous—offers a thoughtful take on how the rampant price competition on full contour zirconia restorations is negatively affecting the bottom line of many laboratories. Here’s what he had to say:
In the early 1980s, the price of gold skyrocketed and non-precious alloy showed up on the scene. Since it was a cheap metal, most labs didn’t even add the cost of the metal into the crown fee. However, they weren’t thinking about the revenue they had been making on gold alloys—or about the increase in labor because non-precious takes longer to finish—so their profitability suffered.
A similar trend is happening with FCZ. In many laboratories, FCZ is cannibalizing their PFM work and the labs are losing the alloy revenue. And, as the economy has declined, so has the price of FCZ: the $99 FCZ was born, quickly gained market penetration and the race to the bottom began. Many labs...
- March 2014
Since their introduction in the 1950s, PFM restorations have been the bread-and-butter of C&B and most full service laboratories. In fact, as recently as 2005, only 17% of C&B workloads were metal-free. However, with the proliferation of metal-free materials and technologies, we’re nearing the tipping point: 45% of C&B workloads are now comprised of metal-free restorations, according to LMT’s 2013 Porcelain Survey.
Foreign Dental Work Put to Test, an investigative report about lead found in restorations made in China was the talk of the industry when it aired in February 2008 on Ohio’s WBNS 10TV. The story covered an Ohio woman who had experienced pain and infection in her jaw after her dentist placed an ill-fitting, three-unit PFM bridge the previous year. After learning the bridge was made in China, she had the bridge removed and tested for hazardous materials, and lead (160ppm) was found in the restoration.
In addition, the TV station ordered eight PFM crowns from four labs in China and also had them tested; one of them tested positive for lead (210ppm).
The media coverage fueled objections to offshore outsourcing and even breathed new life into the debate about mandatory laboratory certification and registration. The ADA announced it would do its own independent testing and released its findings a year later: scientists analyzed 44 different porcelain powders and 102 finished PFM crowns...
- February 2014
Invented by Dr. Itzhak Shoher and Aharon Whiteman, CDT, first-generation Captek™ was introduced to the international dental community in 1993. The unique capillary technology took the PFM world by storm because it produced a high noble metal coping right on the refractory die without casting. Dentists and technicians alike were taken by its resulting thin, gold-colored copings and ability to maximize soft tissue health; Captek remains an ideal option for patients with any type of predisposition to caries or perio concerns.
In 2007, Captek Nano™—stronger and thinner than the original materials—was introduced. The technology was sold to Argen in 2011 and, soon after, the company introduced Digital Captek, a 3D-printing service.
Although PFMs were still considered by many to be the esthetic standard for clinical longevity, pressable ceramics—starting with IPS Empress and Optimal Pressable Glass (OPC)—began to drive the metal-free dentistry movement in the late 1980s. The improved esthetics and biocompatibility—coupled with soaring precious metal prices—quickly made the pressable technique a successful and cost-effective way to fabricate metal-free restorations. Later, the technique was adapted to create press-to-metal and press-to-zirconia restorations.
LMT took six impressions of the same prep and anonymously sent them to six different laboratories along with prescriptions for non-precious PFM crowns; one was made in the Philippines. In this ground-breaking experiment in 1985—with LMT Publisher Judy Fishman as the patient—we wanted to know: could a dentist tell the difference between the $35 crown and the $75 crown?
Among our panel of dentists, no one crown was rated head and shoulders above the rest. Although not uniform in their assessments, the dentists could not discern which was the most expensive and which was the least; in fact, several of them rated medium-priced crowns better than the higher-priced ones.
The Crown Experiment—an LMT tradition repeated three more times in our history—demonstrated that when dentists choose a laboratory, perception is as much a factor as the quality of the crown itself, proving the value of laboratory positioning and marketing.
In 2007, we kicked it up a notch and created...
- November 2013
Last year, Bob Iuliano, CDT, invested about $80,000 in CAD/CAM equipment—and he hasnât looked back since.
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 4 milling machine from Digital Dental Lab. After milling, Atkin infiltrated the non-colored zirconia with a combination of Tanaka Zircolor and Zirkonzahn's Color Liquids Prettau® Aquarell shading liquids using green micro-brushes to ensure uniform application of the shading liquids. The technique, based on the instructional Shading Techniques DVD provided by Dental Laboratory Milling Supplies,...
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. BruxZir™ Shaded Milling Blanks are available in four base shades that can be stained to match all 16 shades in Vident's VITA Classical Shade Guide range.
FABRICATION PROCESS: The case was scanned on the 3Shape D700 and milled with the BruxZir™ Milling System using a BruxZir™ Shaded Milling Blank 200 to achieve the base shade of A2. The pre-shaded blocks were sintered and finished...
DENTAL TEAM: Dr. William Roddy and in-house technician Steve Coles, Flow Laboratory, Fort Worth, TX
RESTORATIVE PROBLEM: A 62-year-old female presented with implants on teeth #3, #4 and #5 and a PFM bridge placed by another dentist. The implants had been placed too far buccally and the patient was unhappy with the esthetics and thickness of the bridge. The patient's occlusal planes were also uneven, and she had another large-span anterior bridge on teeth #6 through #11 that was starting to show signs of decay at the margins.
TREATMENT PLAN: The team opted to remove both bridges and the remaining natural teeth in the arch. Additional implants were placed on teeth #6 and #11 through #14, and immediately loaded with a temporary bridge. After integration, the patient's final restoration would be a full contour, full arch, implant-supported bridge. KEROX ZircoStar zirconia in Extreme Translucent (ET) was chosen for its esthetics and ability to match natural teeth. Because of its small grain...