I've been traveling around the country this season and have visited a number of laboratories, manufacturers and educational institutions. As I was passing through Pennsylvania, I stopped to visit Strategy Milling. ~Judy Fishman, Publisher, LMT
LMT Publisher Judy Fishman talks with Tim Thompson, President and CEO of Global Dental Science, LLC in Phoenix AZ about the AvaDent Digital Dentures system.
LMT: I understand you’ve cracked the code for digitizing the denture fabrication process. Can you fill us in?
Thompson: For the past four years, Global Dental Science has been developing an exclusive digital platform for the design and manufacture of AvaDent Digital Dentures. It’s the result of a comprehensive process called Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) used in conjunction with CAD/CAM; CAE uses sophisticated, scientific algorithms to aid and control the bulk of design and automated manufacturing tasks.
Currently, the end product is a digitally designed and milled denture base with milled pockets into which conventional denture teeth are set. However, at LMT LAB DAY Chicago, we’ll be introducing a new generation in which the entire denture, including the base and teeth, is milled to full contour from a patented,...
I've been traveling around the country this season and have visited a number of laboratories, manufacturers and educational institutions. As I was passing through the Pittsburgh area, I stopped to visit Nick Hayden at Partial Foundations Dental Lab. Watch for more stories in my Road Trip series throughout the 2014 issues of LMT. ~Judy Fishman
The bucolic town of Central City, Pennsylvania lies five miles down the road from the site of the Flight 93 memorial and not far from the Quecreek coalmine that trapped nine men underground for four days in 2002. It’s also home to Curt Morgese, owner of a one-person, high-end C&B dental laboratory. As of last November, he’s also the district’s borough councilman.
“Making teeth has been a life-long passion,” he says. “I am always on a quest for knowledge in my daily profession.” He is also keen on politics.
He relocated his lab to Central City from Greenburg, a Pittsburgh suburb, a year and a half ago and is now only a stone’s throw from his home. If he gets his casework done by three on any given day, he still has time for a quick, late afternoon fly-fishing trip to one of the local trout streams.
He opened Oral Renaissance Dental Laboratory in 1983 and says he’s grown his business in good company: “The Pittsburgh area is home...
Established in 1983, 55-technician Van Hook Dental Studio in Tempe, AZ, specializes in full mouth reconstruction and implants and is taking the lead in the surgical support arena.
Since a large percentage of its dentist-clients are specialists, Van Hook is a complete dental imaging center facility that serves their surgical needs. The facility has a state-of-the-art I-Cat CBCT scanner that’s used for surgical and orthodontic scanning, implant planning and surgical guides.
“Starting with only a CBCT scan, we’re able to combine multiple files to design and fabricate a final restoration,” explains Don Van Hook, Co-Owner of the laboratory, with his wife, Kim. “Keeping a foot in both the surgical and restorative process, we are able to streamline and control the communication to all parties involved, which is critical to the success of these large, complex implant cases.”
With clinical advisor Dr. Leonard Gordon and his certified dental assistant on...
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In October of 1979, Oscar Mendoza fled for his life to California in the trunk of a car after his uncle was killed in the Salvadoran Civil War.
At the same time 19-year-old Oscar arrived in the U.S., Martha Rico Aguilera arrived from Mexico, 16 and pregnant. Mendoza got a job in an auto detail shop; she in a balloon factory, printing balloons for Disneyland. They met on the bus to their respective jobs and soon got married.
Though they applied for citizenship in the early 1980s, it was a long and ardous path to get there. “We kept meticulous records,” says Oscar, “and that sealed the deal for us. The INS tried to deport us in 1981 but our recordkeeping helped prove our case. We got amnesty in 1986 but we weren’t actually granted citizenship until the late 1990s.” Their story was picked up by a Washington, DC correspondent and, in 2013, made national news. (For the complete story, visit http://bit.ly/QvGT0i.)
Their American Dream began to materialize in 1985...
Once she arrived in Arizona last fall, LMT Publisher Judy Fishman visited Scott Atkin, Owner of Creative Milling Dental Laboratory and CEO of Dental Lab Milling Supplies, LLC, in Scottdale, AZ, just as Bentley, Atkin’s massive Bernese Mountain Dog, was headed out for a walk with one of the staff members. Atkin “struck gold” in 2007 by adding a retail component to his business model to stay ahead of what’s trending and increase his revenue base.
“The focus for labs these days needs to be on creating win-win opportunities for themselves and their clients,” says Scott Atkin, Owner, Creative Dental Laboratory, in Scottsdale, AZ. “We know we’re moving evermore toward automated—and more commoditized—processes so, to me, that means we need to expand our services.” That’s exactly what Atkin did; in his case, offering products not to dentist-clients but to other laboratories.
It happened in one of those “meant to be”...
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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...