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- April 2013
The 3Shape clinic room at LAB DAY was bustling as the company made several key announcements and offered a variety of product demonstrations. Show attendees got the first look at 3Shape's latest scanner, the D900, that offers four high-res 5MP cameras and blue LED technology for excellent speed, high accuracy and color scanning using 3Shape...
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- August 2012
For me, one of the greatest highs of our LAB DAY shows is returning home afterwards, brim-full of new ideas, juiced with the energy and creative strategies I pick up from you—our participants and clinicians—when I hear your presentations or we meet on the show floor.
One thing I noticed this year in particular is that the level...
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- June 2012
Miriam Olsen, Dental Esthetics, Okemos, MI
Years in industry: 21
Lab opened: 1991
"When it comes to having a home-based lab, I've heard others say 'you never get away from your work,' but this has never bothered me. I've always looked at it as an advantage. When you love what you do, you don't need to get away from it," says Miriam Olsen, who has owned Dental Esthetics in Okemos, MI for over 20 years.
Olsen prides herself on her customer service efforts—like being available to her clients via phone during evenings and weekends—and fabricating cosmetic cases, and she's promoting...
- 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...
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- September 2011
The number of ADA-accredited dental technology programs has dropped dramatically since the 1980s. Now, with just 20 accredited programs left, LMT visits two thriving schools on opposite coasts—Los Angeles City College and New York City College of Technology—to learn their secrets of success. In large part, that success can be attributed to the programs' hard-working faculties, steadfast in their commitment to education. In fact, the two schools work cooperatively, frequently sharing ideas on how to keep their programs vibrant and best educate the technicians...
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- July 2011
Heraeus now maintains a state-of-the-art YouTube channel, located and easily accessed at http://www.youtube.com/user/HeraeusKulzerLLC. This resource for live instruction, education, and mechanism of action videos is chock full of more than 30 clips covering a selection of timely, relevant, and current topics. Impression techniques, posterior restorations, and live demonstrations of whitening procedures are all covered, as are animations and brief documentaries showcasing the many charitable oral health initiatives that Heraeus underwrites and supports.
- April 2011
In addition to Glidewell Laboratories, Newport Beach, California, and three other U.S.-based laboratories, Jim Glidewell owns Smith-Sterling Dental Laboratory in Cartago, Costa Rica and Pacific Edge in Tijuana, Mexico. Smith-Sterling was opened by a dentist from Florida in 1995 and Glidewell purchased it in 2004; however, the Mexican facility was built from the ground up and opened in June, 2005. In Part II of our interview with industry pioneer Jim Glidewell, he tells us what led to his decision to open laboratories outside the U.S. and the effects of this business model.
LMT: Why did you...
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How Lab Owners are Responding to the Economy
2010 National Average Hourly Wages
How's Business: Q1 2010 Compared to 2009
2010 Average Hourly Wages By Laboratory Size
Average Hourly Wages for Non-Technical Positions
How Respondents Pay Their Technicians
Wages for Beginner Technicians Are Up
More than Half of All Lab Owners Gave No Raises in 2009
Over-the-Shoulder Training Still #1
Digital Technology: Impact on Personnel Needs
Rising Healthcare Costs in Past Two Years Prompt Coverage Changes
Larger Labs Offer Better Benefits Packages
Read More 5 minute read
You know the old adage, "if you're going to do something halfway, don't do it at all"? Bruce
Bonafiglia, CDT, certainly took that advice to heart when designing and building BonaDent Dental Laboratories' new, 35,000-sq.-ft. facility in Seneca Falls, New York. The shiny steel building, set in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, has it all—for technicians and dentists alike. "My objective was to attract and retain the best—and that means technicians and dentists," says Bonafiglia, owner of the 93-employee laboratory. "This facility was built with both in mind."
Read More 8 minute read
LMT is saddened to report the sudden death of John Ness, CDT, founder of Productivity Training Corp. and Blue Dolphin Products. A friend to LMT and many in our industry and a pioneer in dental technology education, Ness developed the PTC Skill Learning System, a series of videos, manuals, models, and tools used to teach step-by-step fabrication procedures and provide a technical foundation for technicians.
Donations in John's honor can be made to the Children Diabetes Foundation: http://www.childrensdiabetesfoundation.org/index.html
Thanks to television shows like Extreme Makeover, The Swan and A Makeover Story, consumers are more aware than ever about ways they can enhance their appearances, including the esthetic possibilities of their smiles.
Da Vinci Dental Studios knows firsthand what a dramatic impact makeover television can have on business. Due to the West Hills, California-laboratory's affiliation with ABC's Extreme Makeover, "da Vinci veneers" have become a household name and patients are requesting this specific brand from their dentists. "We're fortunate to have been included in the show and that the public...
Read More 9 minute read
Owner's gross personal income in 2000 versus 2004
Owner's work weeks: 2000 versus 2005
Most common technical problems in laboratories
Restorative systems and tools
The dental laboratory community is a five-plus billion dollar industry and with 75 million baby boomers in the U.S.—many of whom are prime candidates for dental work—the future looks bright for innovative laboratory owners who know how to take advantage of market trends. Dental laboratory owner/manager respondents to our Trends 2005 survey agree: 32% rate the economic health...
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When an employee is "caught" doing something right--like handling a customer call really well--laboratory owner Larry Borman, Tetra Dynamics, West Babylon, New York, recognizes it on the spot and hands him movie tickets or a gift certificate to Home Depot or a local restaurant.
To recognize improvements such as fewer remakes, employees at Ottawa Dental Laboratory, Ottawa, Illinois, are surprised with make-your-own-ice-cream-sundae events and submarine sandwich luncheons.
In addition to a quarterly drawing to recognize good attendance, Town & Country Dental Studio, Freeport, New York, also...
Over one-third of respondents to LMT's 2008 Fee Survey say their profitability has increased in the last two years. Here are the top five strategies they're using to boost their bottom lines:
1. Streamline internal operations. Respondents are looking at their daily procedures with an eye on maximizing efficiency, enhancing productivity and improving the final product. For instance, one owner-respondent has eliminated unnecessary steps from production, allowing him to take on more cases. "By converting from the submerge to the steam method to cure my acrylic appliances and pouring up groups...
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Troubleshooting at Frontier Dental Laboratories just got easier. The laboratory has implemented a new on-line video conferencing service, VideoScript, that allows the laboratory and the dentist to have a live, face-to-face meeting on the Internet. While the service may be used for general case planning in the future, for now it's proving to be a valuable tool for when the laboratory has a specific question or concern on a particular case.
"Verbally explaining a problem with a case has always been difficult," says Garrett Caldwell, vice president of the 100-employee operation. For instance,...
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Since opening in February 2010, CAP milling center is already servicing more than 200 laboratories, mostly from the New England area, and has broken sales records every month. One key to its success: an array of informative, step-by-step videos that help customers make the transition to digital technology.
CEO Rob Nazzal has turned his long-time hobby--video production--into an invaluable educational, customer service and marketing tool for his business, CAP (Custom Automated Prosthetics). Located in Stoneham, Massachusetts, CAP is a milling center dedicated solely to laboratory...
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When technician Derrick Gaddis and his band, Midnight Clear, entered CBS' Living Room...LIVE! Battle of the Bands contest last June they did it just for fun. But about three months later, the rock-and-roll group found it was the last band standing. "We hoped it would go well and we remained optimistic, but we didn't expect to win," says Gaddis, who is a technician at Dental South Inc. in Gainesville, Georgia, holds a music degree and teaches guitar lessons at a local music store.
In order to compete in the competition, the band submitted a three-minute music video of its original song, You...
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