Although Friendship Dental Laboratories, Inc.'s first case was fabricated in 1973, it wasn't until 2006 that it implemented the efficient, computerized tracking system by Labtrac. This October, it logged in its half-millionth case!
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....
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- November 2015
“We knew we could no longer build a value proposition around technology that can be procured by anyone,” says Lab Owner Mike Hill. Read about his strategies for engaging clients on a new level.
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- March 2015
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 dentists acknowledge that digital impressions are likely the future, those who aren’t ready to adopt the technology most often point to the high cost and what they say is a questionable return on investment.
“I believe there are benefits to digital impression systems, but like all of the amazing opportunities in digital dentistry today, a purchase has to be carefully...
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- February 2015
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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- September 2013
The number of large dental practices has risen 25% in just two years, according to the ADA, and although many of them have their own on-site laboratories, they often work with independent laboratories as well. In fact, nearly one-quarter of respondents to an LMT survey say they work with at least one of these large practices.
Although the technical day-to-day routine of working with large practices isn't much different than working with smaller practices, there are some differences from a business standpoint. For example, while members of a group practice sometimes contract with one laboratory, other times it's up to the individual doctors to choose their own laboratory and this can be a valuable source of referrals for laboratories.
"It's almost like free advertising when we start working with one of these dentists; word of mouth spreads through the practice and we end up getting more work from others in the group," says Eric Bone, AAA Dental Studio, Omaha, NE. "As the office grows,...
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- August 2013
Written by Erik K. Curtis, DDS, MA, MAGD and reprinted with permission from AGD Impact, October 2012. (c)Academy of General Dentistry. All rights reserved. On the Web at www.agd.org. License #37166
America loves big business. Never mind the warnings of philosophers and other naysayers. For every Occupy Wall Street curmudgeon huddling under a leaky tent to protest stratospheric CEO incomes, a million of his compatriots get in line at the local Apple store to purchase the company's latest and greatest products. For every crusader decrying the ethics of the bottom line, an army of analysts crisply counters that an entrepreneurial, creative private sector is what makes this country great. For every science fiction movie featuring an evil corporation bent on taking over the world, there is a corporate cinema screening that very film. Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Media, even Big Chocolate: For most of us, big organizations mean the security of efficiency, reliability, consistency, and cost control.
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- April 2013
The implant market isn't slowing down anytime soon. At Nobel Biocare's LAB DAY panel discussion, featuring laboratory owners and other industry experts, the company offered these statistics:
60 million people are edentulous in one arch or another.
The "nearly edentulous"—those with two or more teeth per arch—will grow to 39 million by 2015.
Projected growth for implant-supported restorations: 9.3% over the next four years.
The average lab produces about 30 implant abutments a month; 50% of them are done via CAD/CAM.
As the market grows and more and more dentists get involved, they're looking to their technician-partners for technical guidance. "The most exciting trend I'm seeing is how interested doctors are in communicating with us about complex implant cases," said Tom Wade, CDT, New Horizons Dental Lab, Broomfield, CO, one of the panelists. "They're really willing to sit side by side to discuss and plan cases and it's not uncommon for me to meet with both the restorative...
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