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Handler Mfg.’s Kevin Foley (left) and LMT President Judy Fishman congratulate Duane Carlson of Liberty Dental in Jackson, MI, the grand prize winner of Handler’s giveaway who took home the Pro Tech Lite PTL-211 bench. Other winners included: Brian Nagle of Renstrom Dental Studio in MN who won a 52CSU Etcher Catcher and Art Uribe of Precision Dental Castings in Skokie, IL who won a Chicago Bears hoodie.
During the "boom" years of the late 1990s-2008, lab fees made significant gains; in a number of cases, they caught up with or even exceeded the Consumer Price Index. It's not like the lab community has ever measured its fees against cost of living increases but, for the sake of observation, when LMT began tracking lab fees back in the 1980s, we sometimes looked at the rate of inflation as a sort of measure to record growth.
We are now on the cusp of year five since the economy went bust. As you will read in this issue's biennial Wage Report and next month in our Fee Report, the sense of being squeezed is making our headlines. Many laboratories report they are holding tight to old fee schedules and have also had to cut back on technician work hours. Once again, we are hearing a familiar story. Here's an excerpt from LMT's 1991 Wage and Price Survey Report:
" . . . Many laboratories can't afford to pay higher salaries because their price schedules are too low—in fact, many prices...
Harvest Dental introduced a new polychromatic cross-linked acrylate polymer for producing natural-looking, long-term provisional restorations in the anterior region. Composed of a nano-hybrid composite structure, ZCAD Temp Esthetic is a multi-layered machinable block that harmoniously distributes light, opalescence and fluorescence. For details on the material, call 714-674-7400 or visit www.harvestdental.com.
Heather Pear grew up with a lab in her home and knew from a young age that she wanted to be a technician. At age 15 she worked with her mother—Carol Ruset, CDT, MDT—helping with model and die work and learning every aspect of the lab. "I remember watching her build up a crown and longing to do that part of the job!" she says.
After gaining more experience as a technician in an in-office laboratory in Naples, FL, Pear opened her own one-person C&B lab. But when she became the mother of twins five years later, the responsibilities of both became overwhelming. So in 2010, she switched gears by closing her lab and joining AR Dental Lab in Toms River, NJ, as a ceramist or, as she calls it "her dream job."
There, Pear is building a reputation as a custom shade specialist and sees at least one patient a week, a service the lab is now pushing because of her. "If you're just seeing the prescription, you can't see the whole story. I like to see how the teeth look in the patient's...
The staff and clients of Albert Tassi Dental Studio in Elmhurst, IL, recently contributed boxloads of donations to support a medical teamâs trip to Haiti.
After meeting at LAB DAY West 2013, Sully Samartzis invited LMT’s Judy Fishman to visit his laboratory when she arrived in Arizona later that year. The laboratory is a pristine addition to a gorgeously appointed home, designed by wife Debbie, a professional interior decorator.
In 1999, Sully Samartzis had a toothache on #13. Treatment meant a root canal procedure followed by a crown. Of Greek descent, he’d only been in the U.S. for three months, arriving here from Germany with a degree in electronics and $1,400 to his name.
Intent on being self-employed and, ideally, working from home once he settled down, he determined that the way to pay for his dental work was to learn how to fabricate the crown himself. He got an apprenticeship at the dental laboratory down the hall from the dentist’s office and learned how to opaque crowns. He then took it upon himself to learn complete porcelain build up and, though a metal finisher made the post and coping, he built the porcelain...
A supporter of educational initiatives, Heraeus offers instructional videos free to dental teams and patients, teaching effective techniques and procedures.
The Pala Digital Denture System from Heraeus Kulzer uses CAD and 3D software to fabricate dentures with an ideal fit and esthetics with a processing time of 10 days or less. Here’s how it works:
The dentist uses the Pala Digital Denture tray system which enables him to take the impression, vertical dimension and centric relation in a single visit.
The lab scans the impression and uploads it to Heraeus Kulzer’s Pala Digital Design Center. The try-in is digitally articulated, the teeth are setup and customized, and an anatomically correct try-in is printed.
Once the try-in is approved by the patient and doctor, the lab sends it back to the Pala Digital Design Center to be processed by Heraeus Kulzer’s proprietary injection process.
Labs must become a Pala Partner to offer Pala Digital Dentures. “As dental practices come to appreciate how powerfully our digital dentures can enhance both their productivity and their patient satisfaction, they’ll want to...
A collection of Faster, Smarter, Better CAD/CAM Strategies
It was standing-room-only at DLOACâs annual CAD/CAM Symposium and Expo as nearly 300 laboratory owners and managers, outsourcing centers and manufacturers turned out for two days of lectures, demonstr
Owner: National Dentex; Lab President: Lynn Jenkins
“H&O Dental Lab valuescomplete honesty and trust; open, two-way communication; mutual respect; individual accountability; and total commitment. Management always acknowledges team member accomplishments such as first, fifth, 10th, 15th, 20th and 25th anniversaries; perfect attendance; and achieving CDT certification. We also have monthly themed events for various holidays and traditions.
To ensure open communication, we have morning huddles, a 15-minute meeting during which each section leader discusses the upcoming day; weekly department meetings; and quarterly lab-wide meetings. To encourage people to share their ideas, the lab recently installed a suggestion box and conducts team surveys and focus groups to measure the effectiveness of communication strategies and discuss ways to further encourage open-door policies. Everyone’s voice is valued, and that makes me feel like a part of the team...
Hollie Spencer joined New West Dental Ceramics shortly after high school graduation and has climbed through the ranks, from the training department to her current position of Production Manager in just 10 years.
She oversees the scheduling and metal departments; assists the General Manager, Terry Town, with production; and regularly interacts with and mentors the 130 technicians in the lab. "Hollie has great business sense. She has the ability to focus on production and quality while at the same time balance relationships between technicians and support staff. She has a business maturity that is usually acquired after many more years of experience," says Town.
Spencer attributes that business sense and her work ethic to her father, a single parent who is also a successful businessman. "He has always been in leadership positions and takes great pride in his work. I always strive to achieve the same sense of professionalism, drive, success and commitment to my work as he has displays....
Since cosmetic dentistry marketing was typically an appeal to emotions, it was the perfect time for laboratory owners to take their message directly to the public. By all accounts, DenMat Corp. was the first: in the Fall of 1984, the company placed ads in consumer magazines—Reader’s Digest and McCall’s—saying, “Give a Smile for Christmas.” The ads elicited a tremendous response and the company’s telephones were jammed.
By February of 1985, Dr. Robert Ibsen, then president, told the crowd at a Cal-Lab meeting that DenMat was making over 1,000 Cerinate laminates a month for laboratories and dentists. “There are plenty of disposable dollars available for dentistry. But we have to go out there and get it. And marketing is our tool,” he said. “It happened to optometry when soft contact lenses were advertised directly to the public. Now it’s our turn.”
Later, during an ADA meeting in Atlanta, DenMat made another appeal to...
Not much, according to LMTâs poll of dental consumers across the country. Itâs no wonder that dental technicians often feel like silent artisans. LMT's poll offers fascinating insight into the perceptions of dental consumers.
Sixty-eight percent of the larger laboratory respondents to LMTâs latest Howâs Business? survey are optimistic about this year, compared to only 42% of labs with five or fewer employees.
While not everyone sees their sites as a new-business generator, many owners are taking a âbuild it and they will comeâ approach.
Andrea Hegedus, CDT, Owner of Great Lakes Smile Design Studio, shares the case that won her second prize for Best Digital Documentation in Candulorâs 9th KunstZahnWerk Competition.
An effective business partnership can help your laboratory flourish. Together, you have a larger pool of talent and resources. But when a partnership sours, the results can be devastating. Laboratory business partners share what makes their alliances
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Nearly 50% of respondents to a recent LMT e-survey say they plan to invest in some type of cad/cam equipment within the next five years. If you're one of them, but are daunted by the options and don't know where to start, LMT's done your homework for
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If youâre caught in the quagmire of digital technology, LMT offers 10 tips to help you with the shopping process:
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