LMT Magazine

Business Strategies, Dental Laboratory News, Education and More

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  • KATANA Zirconia ML From Kuraray Noritake Dental

    DENTAL TEAM: Kazunobu Yamada, RDT, Cusp Dental Supply Co., Ltd., Nagoya, Japan and Dr. Yoshihiko Mutobe, Mutobe Dental Clinic, Osaka, Japan

    RESTORATIVE PROBLEM: The patient had a full cast crown on tooth #30 but wanted a more esthetic appearance.

    TREATMENT PLAN: The dental team opted for a full contour zirconia restoration using the new Katana Zirconia ML, a gradational multilayered zirconia disc with four layers of color--35% enamel, 15% of the first gradation layer, 15% of the second gradation layer and 35% dentin--that offers the look of layered porcelain.

    The pre-colored multilayered shades provide esthetic results without manual dipping or staining and eliminate additional material costs. KATANA Zirconia ML discs are available in three shades: A-Light, A-Dark and B-Light (KATANA HT--a high translucent mono-colored zirconia--is also available in three shades: HT10, HT12 and HT13).

    FABRICATION PROCESS: Since KATANA ML is a brand new material, the technician chose to fabricate...

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    JL Ozawa, DDS recommends this
  • KDF Launches New Casting Machine, Sintering Furnace

    KDF introduced two new products at the show:

    Cascom SE Casting Machine offers high-frequency alloy induction heating and vacuum and pressure casting. It doesn’t use flame during the melting process so the alloy doesn’t absorb gas, minimizing porosity and creating a smooth surface. The unit is user-friendly, simple to operate and offers a fast casting for various types of alloys.

    Zircom Sintering Furnace features a molybdenum disilicide heater that provides clean, reliable and consistent results. Compact and user friendly, the unit works with a variety of zirconia materials and features an LED display with 100 programmable courses (20 steps).

    For more information, call 310-320-6633, email info@kdfus.com or visit www.kdfus.com.

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  • Keller Laboratories: Team Spirit, Empowerment

    St. Louis, MO

    Owner: National Dentex Corp.; President: Larry Weiss

    235 Employees

    Open communication is a core value at Keller Laboratories. Every other month, President Larry Weiss holds “A Forum with Larry” where team members are chosen to join him for lunch and encouraged to ask questions or discuss any lab-related concerns. The unfiltered interaction and feedback keep Weiss in touch with the team’s needs and concerns and lets them know their voices are being heard. “Team members like having access to the decision maker and to know I’m listening,” explains Weiss. “I answer all the questions I can and for those I can’t, I promise to do my homework and get back to them as soon as possible.”

    The lab also holds an annual State of the Lab Meeting—complete with dinner and drinks—where management goes over sales and unit growth, profitability and plans for the coming year. During the event, they also celebrate the successes of...

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  • Kelley Dental Laboratory and Whip Mix: a Synergistic Relationship That Spans Generations

    For over three decades, two industry families--the Kelleys of Kelley Dental Laboratory and the Steinbocks of Whip Mix Corp.--have been business partners and friends.

    When Pat Kelley founded his dental laboratory in 1977, he was committed to a simple plan: make quality restorations and take a personal approach with his customers. Now, more than 30 years later, he attributes his growth to the fact that he started with that simple premise. "We have always focused on our clients as individuals and stay responsive to their needs; we truly work to become part of their teams," says Kelley, owner of 32-employee Kelley Dental Laboratory, New Albany, Indiana, just across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky.

    Maybe that's why Pat Kelley and Allen Steinbock, president of Louisville-based Whip Mix Corp., hit it off when they met shortly after Kelley Dental Laboratory opened. Whip Mix, a family-owned, now fourth-generation business, has always been known for its close customer relationships....

    Maribeth Marsico
    April 28, 2011

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  • Ken Becker, CDT: Turns Family Laboratory Into 'Slim, Trim, Debt-Free' Business

    In 2007, Becker Dental Lab was doing well, but the business was about $170,000 in debt, including delivery cars, an equipment loan from a supplier, a business renovation loan, credit cards and a line of credit. Ken and his two brothers, Dan and Ryan, all worked at the lab—owned by their parents—and planned to buy it from them in two years, so they wanted the business in top financial shape.

    Ken, who oversees the lab's finances, set out to eliminate that debt and the stress that went along with it. Using strategies endorsed by financial gurus John Cummutta and Dave Ramsey, Ken put large purchases on hold, made some other minor internal cost-cutting measures and then itemized and prioritized what they owed. He then got his brothers to agree to reserve about 10% of the lab's income—by reducing their own salaries and using excess cash generated from higher-than-expected revenues—to pay off the debts in order of priority. It took discipline, but within two years, everything...

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  • Kids With Working Parents

    At D&S Dental Laboratory in Wisconsin, President Dick Pilsner, CDT, has extended the idea of a family-friendly work environment to include an on-site daycare center for employees' children.

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  • Knight Dental Group: Employees are a 'Precious Resource'

    Oldsmar, FL

    Owner: Warren Rogers

    87 employees

    Knight Dental Group considers its employees so valuable, they’re included in the company’s mission statement: “Our employees are one of our most precious resources; we will treat them with respect and provide a state-of-the-art facility with continuing education and a quality-centered environment.”

    True to its word, the lab provides the latest equipment and materials in its sparkling, 23,000-sq-ft facility as well as top-notch training. In addition to bringing speakers in house eight times a year, managers create individualized training programs for technicians, sending them to courses both locally and across the country depending on what skills they need to acquire.

    Knight is also very supportive of technicians seeking a CDT designation. For instance, in addition to hosting CDT tests, the lab offers a CDT Study Group that meets during the workday for two hours once a week for five months. It also covers all expenses—projector,...

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  • Knight: Doing It Right

    Thanks to a number of strategic decisions over the past few years, Oldsmar, FL-based Knight Dental Group's annual output per technician has nearly doubled!

    Kim Molinaro
    March 12, 2012

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  • Komet Launches Expert Kits to Improve Dentist/Lab Communication

    Debbie Kiser (left) and Steve Kaufmann (center) of SK Dental Arts in Imperial, MO, discuss Komet’s product lines, including the company’s new Expert Kits with Komet’s John McCoy.

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  • Krista Hartley, CDT: a Standout in the Removable Specialty

    "Most of the other students were taken by the 'glamour' of ceramics, but I was drawn to dentures," says Krista Hartley, CDT, referring to her experience at Indian River State College's dental technology program. "I love the challenges of the denture specialty, setting the teeth and establishing the vertical so the patient can enjoy the things that most of us take for granted, like chewing and smiling. Doing everything just right restores the patient's confidence and self-esteem."

    After graduation in 2006, Hartley's first boss took her under his wing and allowed her to immerse herself in denture fabrication; five years later, she was chomping at the bit to do even more. "I really wanted to work closely with dentists and get involved with treatment planning," says Hartley, who joined DDS last January precisely for that reason.

    As Head of Incoming Quality Control, she spends the majority of her day on the telephone with clients, emailing photos back and forth, and sometimes sitting at the...

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  • Kuraray America, Inc.: a Synergy of Art and Science Strengthens Product Line

    In April 2012, Noritake Dental Supply Co., Ltd. integrated with Kuraray Medical Inc. to form Kuraray Noritake Dental Inc.; the U.S. representative of Noritake products is now Kuraray America, Inc. Both headquartered in Japan, Kuraray Medical is renowned for its dental adhesives and cements--including the Panavia, Clearfil and Majesty lines--while Noritake Dental Supply is distinguished for its high quality ceramic technology, having introduced its dental ceramic line in 1987.

    "Historically, Kuraray has been known as a scientific- and process-driven company and Noritake is celebrated for its artistry. With each company drawing on the strengths of their different backgrounds and cultures, they are now an integrated force that's evaluating, identifying and addressing market needs as one entity," says Larry Zeno, Senior Sales Manager, Kuraray America.

    The established laboratory product line includes the Noritake EX-3 porcelain line; Cerabien ZR Porcelain for zirconia; and CZR PRESS, a pressable...

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  • Kuwata Pan Dent: ISO Certification Puts Staff on Same Page

    Cedar Knolls, NJ

    Owners: Yukio Otsubo, President; Yoshinobu Umeda, Vice President; and Ikuzo Enoki, Production Manager

    41 employees

    In January 2000, Kuwata Pan Dent, founded by Masahiro Kuwata, became one of the first laboratories in the U.S. to achieve ISO 9001 certification, verifying that it has established and thoroughly documented a quality management system; the lab has been recertified four times since 2000. 

    Not only does ISO certification ensure consistent quality products and services, for its staff members it means responsibilities and accountability are well defined, there’s a systematic way of doing things and everyone is on the same page. There is an emphasis on continuous improvement and finding more efficient ways of working together, reducing waste and improving the customer experience.

    “Because we adhere to ISO standards, our staff is very professional, artistically talented and geared toward achieving consistent quality. Working here is a pleasurable...

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