One hour left of LAB DAY Chicago 2015! We can't wait to share all the exciting products and news from this year's jam-packed weekend in LMT's April issue. Stay tuned!
Here's a sample price list from Rothstein Dental Laboratory, Washington, D.C., circa 1906, reprinted from our November/December 1999 issue:
Stone models: $0.50
Full dentures, including setup: $5
Veneer crowns, anterior: $7.50
Veneer crowns, molar: $8.50
Reinforced Lyfe-Lyke Bridge, each tooth or dummy: $12.50
Things sure have changed...to give you an in-depth look at restoration fees in 2014, LMT is currently conducting its biennial Fee Survey. Click here by Monday, June 16 to participate: www.surveymonkey.com/s/LMT_2014_Fee_Survey and watch for results in our October issue!
To celebrate our 30th anniversary, LMT wanted to take LAB DAY Chicago attendees on a walk down memory lane. We pored through our old photo files--going back to 1984--and put together a video using some of our favorite pictures. Many LAB DAY attendees told us how much fun they had watching the video and searching for old friends. If you didn't see it in Chicago, here it is for your viewing pleasure!
Our 2008 Digital Technology survey found that CAD/CAM-milled restorations made up 19% of respondents' C&B workloads. We asked respondents to predict what their CAD/CAM caseload would look like by 2013, and they predicted it would more than double in those five years, rising to 42%.
So how did their predictions pan out? According to LMT's 2013 Digital Technology survey, CAD/CAM-milled restorations made up 41% of their C&B caseloads! Pretty spot on!
For more statistics on the growth of CAD/CAM, watch for our May issue.
When the controversy over the possibility of lead in PFM restorations arose in 2008, the ADA conducted an independent study to determine the degree to which lead may be present in crowns. In 2009, it released the results of this study, which found only trace amounts of the naturally occurring element in 44 different porcelain powders and 102 finished porcelain-metal crowns produced by domestic and foreign dental laboratories. The results ranged from below detectable to 113 parts per million (ppm) in the 44 porcelain powders, and an average of 46ppm in the crowns.
"Based on all the information...See more to date, both from our own testing as well as reports of other analyses, we are confident that no measurable levels of lead are released from dental crowns made from dental porcelain typical of available sources," said Clifton Carey, PhD, administrative director, ADA's Paffenbarger Research Center (PRC), which conducted the study with the ADA's Division of Science laboratory.
Although LMT strives to offer you marketing strategies to build your business and encourages the practice of being flexible with your dentist-clients, we know the customer isn't always right.
That's why we periodically run articles that encourage you to take stock of your client base to evaluate those accounts that cause stress, minimize your profits and test your principles. When your attempts to resolve the problem fall on a deaf ear, then you have to decide whether or not the amount of time and emotional energy you expend on serving that client are worth the income he generates.
"You...See more have to be able to say to a problem customer, 'Look, I have employees to pay and a business to run. If you can't help me make a profit, then I can't help you,'" said Greg Thayer, CDT, owner of Thayer Dental Laboratory in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, in our 2002 article. "What you don't want to do is keep clients that you should get rid of; you'll only internalize the stress and end up hating what you're doing." — tagged Gregory Thayer, CDT
The number of large group dental practices increased 25% between 2010 and 2012, according to the ADA. Almost 30 years ago, Marcel Kapulica, Founder of Empire Dental Laboratory, predicted the growth of those practices and made several other right-on forecasts:
"I foresee an increase in the number of HMOs and PPOs; they are wooing dentists by trading advantages such as marketing and management services and the promise of generating more patients for the practices. The tradeoff, though, is discounted fees and it places even more pricing pressure on dental laboratories. In addition to HMOs and...See more PPOs, independent group practices and franchises are springing up in every community in America...
"However, solo dental practices won't entirely disappear. There will always be a certain market for the personalized, quality service of an individual dentist. So, too, will there remain a specific market for small labs. These labs, unable to compete with the large labs in volume or practice will continue to provide low-volume, highly specialized service. There will continue to be a shake out, however, with only the most talented labs surviving. It will be these labs that can afford the highly skilled technicians."
This weekend, LMT celebrates its 30th LAB DAY Chicago! It's hard to believe that this show--the largest gathering of dental laboratory decision makers in North America--began with just 30 exhibitors and about 275 attendees.
Prior to 1985, the Chicago Dental Society (CDS)'s MidWinter Meeting was housed in the downtown Hilton Hotel and a handful of companies hosted programs for the laboratory community across the street in the Blackstone Hotel. But in 1985, the CDS moved its meeting to the convention center, which left some companies up in the air about what to do for their technician customers.
...See more LMT President Judy Fishman--agreeing with some laboratory manufacturers who felt their companies would be dwarfed at the MidWinter--booked space at the Blackstone and offered exhibit tables to laboratory product marketers. The rest is history: this weekend, LMT will host 200 exhibitors, over 3,000 attendees and nearly 250 educational programs at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. See you there!
In 1986, LMT conducted its first dentist survey to find out which marketing strategies were most likely to capture a dentist's attention. Here's what they told us:
85% said another dentist's recommendation
40% said a personal sales call
24% said a laboratory booth at dental convention
23% said a lab-sponsored seminar:
23% said meeting a lab representative at a course
10% said direct mail
Today, referrals are still king; 80% of dentists-respondents to our 2012 survey told us they turn to their peers for a recommendation when switching laboratories.
So what has changed? For one thing,...See more dentists' opinion of laboratory sales calls: in 1986, 40% said sales call were influential when looking for a new laboratory; in 2012, only 8% said the same. On the other hand, dentists are now almost twice as likely--47% in 2012 vs. 23% in 1986--to work with a lab after meeting a representative at a study club or course.
In our first-ever State of the Industry survey, LMT asked readers to indicate the most significant technological advances that occurred between 1980 and 1985. Here's what they said:
• All ceramic crowns (Dicor and Cerestore)
• Laminate veneers/facings
• Computerized/automated porcelain furnaces, burnout machines and casting machines
• Light-cured resins
• Semi-precious and non-precious alloys
Looking at this list in hindsight, which of these five advances would you say had the most dramatic, lasting effect on your work?
Would you have imagined back in 1984 that digital technology would play such a prominent role in today's dental laboratory? In October of that year, LMT urged readers to be open to the "new" technology saying, "A computer is no longer an extravagance; it's an essential management tool which, when used with the proper software, can pay for itself in a relatively short span of time." In speaking with our readers back then, we noted a common theme: readers were interested in what a computer could do for their businesses, but were overwhelmed by the thought of really incorporating them...See more into their laboratories. Sound familiar? This is a sentiment we often hear from lab owners today who want to get on board with digital fabrication.
Given the rapid advancement of digital technology, what do you think dental laboratories will look like 10 or 20 years from now?