Many laboratories create esthetic restorations, but some owners and their teams are lucky enough to work in facilities that are as beautiful as the work they create.
In 2008, Dr. Sonny Torres Oliva was profiled in the New York Times for his services and the spa-like environment in his mid-town Manhattan, NY dental office. Dubbed the "Zentist," his operatories feature...See more soft lighting, gently vibrating dental chairs and New Age music. Patients—some of whom are celebrities—are routinely treated to hand and foot massages, hot towels, hand lotion and lip balm during their hygiene appointments. Two floors down from this stress-free office is his in-house laboratory that employs five technicians, including Dr. Oliva's father, Sergio, a former lab owner, and his father's cousin. Oliva grew up in his father's laboratory and worked as a technician for years before earning his dental degree in Manila in 2000 and his prosthodontics degree from New York University in 2003. Because of his background, he's passionate about creating the most lifelike restorations possible. He spends much of his day between the office and the laboratory, checking on work and consulting with the technicians. "My goal is to practice 'Artisinal Dentistry' and to perfect handcrafted works of art uniquely specific for each patient. I put my heart and soul into every single step," says Dr. Oliva. Oliva and the technicians look at each restoration as a team effort and the office and lab are networked so Dr. Oliva can take a picture and call a technician's extension to have him look at a contact, for example, and decide if it needs to be adjusted while the patient is still in the chair. The technicians do all of Oliva's work—mainly high-end esthetic cases and implants—as well as casework for about 10 other dentists. This arrangement greatly benefits Dr. Oliva's practice. "Having a laboratory within arms' length of my dental operatory gives a unique dimension to my practice. It spurs creativity and gives us the ability to provide a much more personalized result and quick turnaround time that's essential to a lot of our busy clients," he says. "And having a team who understands these principles is key to earning my patients' trust." Click here to read Partnership and Patient Interaction: The Payoff for In-House Technicians
Furniture manufacturers and distributors offer a wealth of design and renovation strategies. Here, seven companies share how they helped their laboratory customers realize their vision, whether it was...See more an intimate 600-sq-ft training laboratory or a bustling 83,000-sq-ft operation. Nobilium (CMP) Installs 33 Workbenches in Louisiana Laboratory In 2011, Custom Dental Arts in Shreveport, LA, wanted to expand from its 2,500-sq-ft space so it purchased a 6,000-sq-ft facility located across the street. Lab Owner Ben Hart wanted to renovate the space, customize its layout and purchase new benches, so he worked with Nobilium (CMP) to develop a functional, yet economical solution. Nobilium helped design the lab's layout to ensure its benches would fit the space and recommended where to place equipment in order to maximize efficient workflow. Hart selected 33 adjustable-height Nobilium Single Benches with a stainless steel work surface. The benches also feature built-in dust collectors, compressed air hoses, overhead lighting, arm supports, a shelf for case pans and electrical outlets. To create a more interesting look, he chose blue benches for one half of the lab and red benches for the other. The Nobilium field technical rep installed all 33 benches on-site in two days. Two months after the renovation began, Hart and his 27-person staff moved into the new facility. 800-833-2343, 518-434-3147, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.nobilium.com NevinLabs Creates Functional, Esthetic Lab at Ivoclar Vivadent Training Center Ivoclar Vivadent purchased a new training facility in Toronto, and asked NevinLabs to design the workstations and layout for the 600-sq-ft laboratory. From initial design to installation, the project took eight months. During that time, Nevin prepared various layout options for Ivoclar to choose from--highlighting the pros and cons of each design--and worked closely with the architect to ensure the workstations fit within the space and the appropriate utilities were provided at the proper locations. Once the design was selected, Nevin manufactured the workstations and shipped them to Canada for installation; assembly took about 10 days. Nevin's ergonomic ErgoEZ benches--set up in a classroom style to maximize space--provide a functional area for training and offer a sleek and modern look consistent with Ivoclar Vivadent's image. The benches and stainless steel-topped cabinetry are crisp white and blue in keeping with its logo. The nine technician benches and one instructor bench feature variable-speed dust collectors with automatic or manual settings; removable dust hood with shield; motor-control panel with lighted power switch and indicator lights; stainless steel scrap drawer; and a gas valve and retractable air blowgun with regulator. 773-624-4330, email@example.com, www.dentalez.com Dental Arte Inc. Helps Design Bonadent's New 83,000-sq-ft Facility Bonadent Dental Laboratory, a 42,000-sq-ft lab in Seneca Falls, NY, needed more space for production, equipment and other technical areas, so it purchased an 83,000-sq-ft facility. During the 12-month renovation project, Dental Arte worked closely with Owner Bruce Bonafiglia to help design the laboratory and made several recommendations, including switching from linear to corner benches to maximize space and to create short, T-shaped walls between workstations to help contain dust. The company furnished the laboratory with 220 of its top-of-the-line, fully equipped Penta workstations with bagless vacuum, color-corrected lamps and spacious shelving on wheels. It also installed 270 Lab line cabinets and 80 Penta line cabinets including specially sized chemical hoods in the denture department, fume hoods for sintering furnaces, enclosed sandblasting cabinets with vacuum systems and a casting ring rack with a cooling fan. Both the cabinets and workstations offer all-metal construction and a powder-coated and liquid paint finish. Dental Arte also customized the benches in the lab's CAD/CAM department. For instance, the benches were made wider to accommodate a computer monitor and keyboard and allow technicians to easily adjust the height of the monitor. The workstations also include wider drawers and built-in air nozzles. 866-998-0807, 858-486-5484, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.dentalarteinc.com Freuding Labors GmbH, Germany Offers Variety of CAD-Designed Layouts In 2011, Dental Laboratory WOLF in Mainz, Germany moved into a 2,475-sq-ft facility and renovated it to fit its production needs, choosing Freuding Labors GmbH, Germany as its design partner. Based on floor plans and feedback from the lab, Freuding interior designers used 3D-CAD drawings and detailed views to provide the lab with a variety of layout and furniture options. Owners Juergen Wolf and Hussein Beydoun chose Freuding's two- and four-seater F20 and F40 workbenches with air and gas connections, suction units and funnels, workplace mats, lighting, instrument cabinets, bench pegs, shelves for worktrays, handpiece holders and arm rests and had them customized to fit the lab's requirements and layout. Special features include integrated PCs, a stainless steel suction hood and special work preparation area, backsplashes to contain messes, and cut-outs for gas hoses and soldering guns. Some cabinets in the lab are illuminated for easy visibility and others are equipped with wheels, making them movable for flexibility. To create a hygienic, clutter-free space in the treatment/shade-taking area, Freuding also incorporated a wall-mounted cabinet with dispensers for gloves, masks, disinfectant, towels and cups. From planning until completion, the project took about four months. 0049 8261 7676-0, email@example.com, www.freuding.com Handler Mfg. Co. Furnishes Laboratory for Growing Technician Training Program As the dental laboratory program at Georgian College in Ontario, Canada grows, the school wanted to create an improved area that could accommodate a larger number of students. Over six months, it renovated a 1,700-sq-ft space, including a main student lab and two processing rooms. Handler was given the space requirements and worked closely with Sinclair Dental, a Canadian dental supply dealer, to create a training laboratory suitable for 35 technicians and a variety of procedures. Handler and Sinclair worked with the college to select the proper pieces of furniture for maximum efficiency, workflow and comfort of the students and instructors. In the main student lab, 18 new Handler Model 215WS double-pedestal workstations were installed for the students. For the instructor, a Model 311 Master Technician bench was customized to be 4" taller at his request, a back panel was added for esthetics, and a false safety bottom was incorporated to conceal gas and air lines. In the processing rooms, Handler installed its plaster and casting benches and, since it also manufactures its own equipment, it incorporated its high-volume denture processing units, fume hoods and high-volume complete polishing units. All of the school's benches include lighting; storage; air, gas and electric hookups; and dust collection, water and waste systems. 800-274-2635, 909-233-7796, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.handlermfg.com Lista International Offers Modular Bench and Cabinet Solution Peebles Prosthetics, Inc. was located in a 4,500-sq-ft space spread over three levels and it wanted to better streamline production and workflow. During a 14-month project, it redesigned and renovated a new, 20,000-sq-ft building to better meet its needs. Completed in December 2012, the new Lakewood, CO, facility features an 11,000-sq-ft production area on the main level, with a training room, break room and offices on the second level. Lista worked with Owner Richard Peebles, AAS, CDT, and his architect to select and lay out the furniture. The goal was to increase the number of technician workstations, allow the lab to easily adjust and move furniture, increase efficiencies, and allow room for growth in the lab's technology and education areas. Lista's modular Technician Workstations and cabinets in light gray with burgundy accents were used throughout the lab. The workstations allow easy reconfiguration and tool-less repositioning of accessories. They also include high-output, color-corrected lighting; multiple case pan shelves; and Lista's unique downdraft system for dust collection that integrates seamlessly with the lab's central suction system. The cabinets feature stainless steel work surfaces and multiple drawer, door, shelf and sink cabinet configurations. 800-722-3020, 508-429-1350, email@example.com, www.lista-dentallab.com Fusa Dental LLC Designs Bright, Ergonomic Laboratory Seeking additional space, Nova Oral Design moved from an 800-sq-ft facility to a new, 1,200-sq-ft building with a lot of natural light. Owner Ken Shapiro's goal was to create a laboratory in which technicians felt comfortable and enjoyed working. He also wanted an open space that wasn't cluttered with benches and utility cabinets, an ergonomic workflow, and an area for shade taking and working closely with dentist-clients. Fusa Dental supplied a turn-key solution for the Calgary, Alberta, Canada laboratory, from planning drawings to plumbing and electrical support. Shapiro chose a design that features six rooms: two production rooms, a contemporary reception area, a shade-taking room with a dental chair, an office and a small kitchenette. The main production area is furnished with six blue and gray FUSA Bench 1 workbenches that feature maple butcher-block tabletops, retractable armrests, built-in suction units, 55-W daylight-corrected tabletop lamps, Werksitz ergonomic swivel chairs and several utility cabinets. The plaster/casting room features FUSA Bench 2 workbenches, stainless steel countertops with a marine edge to contain spills, high-heat-resistant cement tabletops and a welded-in double sink. Fusa technicians installed the furniture in three days, working over a weekend to minimize disruption to the lab. 310-922-8102, Lothar@fusadental.com, www.fusadental.com
From consistency and good service to referrals and successful seminars, these tips and techniques help you maintain the relationships you have and find the customers you want.
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Jack Garcia, CDT · June 5, 2013
In this game called âLIFEâ, is not really about how you fall down, is more about how you are picking up yourself without touching the ground and continue with the so called âprocessâ,...See more until the pieces are together once more. Until then, just make room for little mistakes, deceptions, ups and downs; no matter how far you see the shore, there is always a shining star lighting up your path and faith, in yourself, who else? Jack Garcia. For us technicians, our passion is recognized by those who benefit from our products. Iâm not talking about financially, but LIFE itself. Those patients that we donât know, those cases that give us gray hairs and sleepless nights but most importantly, the known fact that one person that we donât even knew existed smiles again because of us. Ok, we have to give some credit to our GPâs, OSâs, PDâs, etc. We just have to remember that if we always do what we have done, we are always going to get what we always got.
Ivoclar Vivadent Inc. · July 19, 2012
In January, dental professionals joined forces for Heaven D.E.N.T., providing 20 uninsured individuals with free dentures over the course of a weekend.