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LMT's LAB DAY EAST—the largest dental laboratory trade show on the East Coast—was the place to be to research digital technology. This year, of the 93 exhibitors, over 40 companies offered...See more the latest scanners, milling and rapid prototyping machines, wax printers, software, materials and services, allowing attendees to see products up close and personal and comparison shop. "We're looking to invest in a scanner and milling system—we'll be 'newbies'. Since I own a one-person lab and want to expand, I've been doing a lot of reading and research on new systems but it's key to be able to come to LAB DAY East and see them in person," said David Soto, Accurate Dental, Middletown, NY. The show—held April 6 at the Grand Hyatt in the heart of Manhattan—also attracted seasoned digital labs that are looking to expand their existing digital portfolio. "Over the past two years, we've switched our clients over to full contour zirconia and now it's 95% of our business," said Ron Mottola, RDT, J&B Dental Studio, Danvers, MA. "We have the Origin machine now and are looking to add another scanner and mill." Another draw of the show: well-known technicians like Peter Pizzi, MDT; Joshua Polansky, MDT; and Richard Pavlak, MDT. All three were on hand at the Harvest table offering hands-on demonstrations, creating a stir on the exhibit hall floor with attendees crowding around the area for a better look. "I'm here to see my mentor, Peter Pizzi," said Heather Pear, CDT, a ceramist at AR Dental Lab in Toms River, NJ. "I try to connect with him whenever I can. I love coming to LAB DAY East because all of my peers here are always so enthusiastic the atmosphere is energizing." Pear and the 900-plus attendees also had the chance to learn from 27 other educators—including Luke Khang; Bill Mrazek; and Alek Aronin, RDT—at the show's 36 continuing education courses, on topics ranging from dentures and implants to esthetics and full contour zirconia. Known for its smaller, more personal feel, LAB DAY East also provided attendees with a prime networking opportunity—they reunited with old friends and shared tips and ideas on everything from digital technology to marketing to the future of the industry. "It's great coming to LAB DAY East because all of the lab owners and technicians are from this region, so it's the perfect place to reconnect with people who work right around here," said Jim Redden, Lab Manager at Watchtower in Brooklyn, NY. "I love the local networking part of the show." Join us for LAB DAY East in 2014. The show will be held April 5, once again at the conveniently located Grand Hyatt, adjacent to Grand Central Station. LAB DAY East® by the numbers: Over 900 laboratory owners, managers and technicians from the tri-state area and from as far away as Texas, Virginia and California. Over 300 manufacturer and supplier representatives from 93 companies. 33 educators at 36 continuing education courses.
Many in our community have been inspired by Christian Scull and his remarkable combination of technical, teaching and business skills. For example, NaRae Free, Model Technician and Stain and Glaze Specialist,...See more who worked with him at Esthetic Alliance in Las Vegas for two years, says "Besides fabricating some of the most beautiful, artistic ceramic work I've seen, Christian has an amazing ability and the patience to streamline, simplify and bring each technician to his highest potential." Laboratory Owner Brian McMillan credits Scull with giving him the know-how and confidence to start his own all-ceramic lab, MIR Image Dental Lab, in Guam. "He has a great understanding of the industry and modern dental technology. Not only is he able to create amazingly esthetic restorations, from single tooth restorations to full mouth, he has the ability to teach the 'how to's' and 'why's' with great patience and skilled direction," says McMillan. Scull says his love for teaching and patience was literally "beaten into him" as a child, referring to his martial arts training, a practice he still continues today. "When I learn something new, I'm eager to share it," he says. As for his business expertise, that comes from reading books, taking as many marketing and business courses as he can and from his father. "Growing up, I watched my Dad operate his contracting business and really take care of his crew. When he said he would do something, he did it. He stuck by his word, and I've tried to emulate him," says Scull, who received his Associate's Degree in Dental Technology from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Dentistry in 1994 and has worked at the Las Vegas Institute and several high-profile laboratories. He has recently joined DSG as a Ceramics Technical Manager. Also on the horizon: he is in the process of obtaining his AACD accreditation and will be starting to lecture on IPS e.max for Ivoclar Vivadent next year. Like so many technicians, the most rewarding aspect of Scull's job is the impact he makes on patients' lives. "Working chairside with dentists and being a team member is an awesome experience," he says. "Seeing the patients' reactions and the change you make in their smiles and personalities is an affirmation that we do something great."
For me, one of the greatest highs of our LAB DAY shows is returning home afterwards, brim-full of new ideas, juiced with the energy and creative strategies I pick up from you—our participants and...See more clinicians—when I hear your presentations or we meet on the show floor. One thing I noticed this year in particular is that the level of competitiveness among vendors at the show has ratcheted up several notches. It was Show- and-Tell in all its glory. For example, all of the vendors on the Ballroom Level had elaborate displays, fantastic videos, excellent presentations and mouthwatering spreads. For sure, no one went hungry at this LAB DAY. Sirona doubled its impact—its 27-1/2-year Cerec Anniversary event in Las Vegas is this August—by featuring dressed-to-the-hilt Las Vegas showgirls complete with peacock-like feather headdresses (if you were there, you couldn't miss them)! Core3D brought us the ever-so-sleek-and-sexy Women in Black. Banners hung from walls and jockeyed for positions in corridors and every now and then we had to remind other various company representatives that handing out literature apart from an exhibit space was not permitted. And, throughout the day, on the Exhibit Hall Level, one or another attendee mentioned that we should hold a competition for the best display because this year they were really wonderful. I could say the tight economy has something to do with vying for your attention but I also think displays are more elaborate because LMT loosened its exhibitor guidelines a couple of years ago and now exhibitors are spreading their wings. I must admit I love it. Actually, I would be disappointed if it was anything less. Thinking ahead to 2013, numerous vendors asked Laurie, Jessica and me to meet with them onsite. They asked for more prominent locations, larger space, help with additional options for capturing your attention and ways in which spaces could be reconfigured, maximized, made more dominating. It was amazing. Our community is hot, hot, hot! How does it feel to know that so much energy, consideration and investment dollars are being spent on YOU? Everybody's clamoring for your vote of approval. Though this issue is your LAB DAY WEST pre-show issue, you saw from our front cover that it is ALSO your Chicago Post-Show issue, packed with show news, product launches, announcements, key-opinion-leader forecasts and more. I thank you for making this show season one of the strongest turnouts ever and for giving us the opportunity to bring you face-to-face with our advertisers—those who supply your laboratory with the products you need to create your restorations. It is a wonderful partnership we have with one another. Think about it: you don't just read about industry news in print, in LMT; you get to create and experience it first-hand at LAB DAY, in person! Now you can also meet your peers on The BRIDGE. Join in! In addition to some great conversation threads, there's also a great new photo competition from Heraeus (http://www.lmtmag.com/articles/774)!