LMT taps into the expertise of 20 laboratory owners and managers from all size labs who’ve successfully incorporated digital technology into their operations, offering real-life experiences and tips on what we all wish we would have known before taking the plunge.
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Nearly three quarters of respondents to LMT’s exclusive 2014 Wage Survey have taken cost-cutting measures related to personnel in the last two years, citing unpredictable workflows, pricing pressure from dentists and other low-cost labs, and an increase in business costs.
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Tra’ Chambers had no actual laboratory experience when he opened Express Dental Laboratory in Norman, OK in December 2012. Harnessing the efficiency of CAD/CAM technology, the lab touts a two- to three-day turnaround (or same-day for its mobile service) and generated over $300,000 in revenue during its first full year in business. Now, with a staff of seven, the lab serves 118 clients and 45% of its work is completely digital. Here’s more about the lab’s growth strategies:
LMT: What made you decide to open Express Dental Laboratory without any prior laboratory experience?
Argen Digital introduced its High Noble SLM substructures built from their popular Argedent Euro alloy containing 40% Au, 40% Pd and available in up to six units. “We are the only company in the world to offer High Noble, Noble and Non-Precious substructures fabricated with Selective Laser Melting Technology,” said Ashley Skitt, Marketing Manager.
The company also introduced ArgenPMMA Temps available in 16 Classic VITA shades, one bleach shade and five transitional shades. Precision milled from the lab’s supplied .stl file, these full contour temporaries are available in single...
Stratasys unveiled its new Objet Eden260V Dental Advantage 3D Printer designed for mid- to large-sized dental and orthodontic labs to fabricate models, surgical guides and orthodontic appliances.
It features a small, copier-sized footprint; custom-tailored materials package; fast printing speeds; and a large build tray, allowing users to print more models in a single build than with previous models.
The company also launched VeroGlaze, a new material that prints precise 3D models in the A2 tooth color shade. The material is used with the company’s Objet EdenV and OrthoDesk 3D Printers; can...
Jensen Dental announced two enhancements to the Preciso Digital Dentistry Solution:
All Preciso configurations with Preciso CAD Software now have the ability to export .stl files.
Using a patent-pending fixture, users of the Preciso M200 mill can easily switch from milling frameworks in the traditional 3M™ ESPE™ Lava™ material form to milling 98-mm pucks. Customers who purchase an M200 Frame Mill—the frame version of the Preciso M200—also have the option to upgrade to a puck fixture at any time.
“As digital dentistry continues to evolve, our goal is to empower...
Zirkonzahn’s new Milling Unit Compact Line M1 includes the M1 Wet Heavy. The 5+1-axis unit features a four-fold orbit for extra stability, a necessity for milling hard metals, a six-fold tool changer as well as a wet processing function. It can process zirconia, titanium, chrome-cobalt, PMMA, wax, glass ceramics and prefabricated titanium abutments (Raw-Abutments©).
For more information, call 800-989-8931 or visit www.zirkonzahn.com.
Zubler USA launched its new milling wax designed for pressing and casting. The wax has the reproducibility of a sturdy milling wax while retaining the characteristics of hand wax; it’s strong enough to maintain marginal integrity during milling, but is also workable for melting, spruing or sculpting. Thanks to the material’s translucent and contrasting characteristics, design detail is more visible. Because resin can increase burnout time and cause damage to pressing ovens and contamination, the discs contain less resin and more high-quality wax for better final results.
Roland DGA Corp. introduced two new optional accessories for the company’s DWX-4 compact mill:
An automatic tool changer (ATC) that supports up to four different tool sizes for highly precise unattended milling.
A multi-pin clamp that allows the machine to mill up to four different pin-type materials simultaneously, accommodating differences in material composition and color. As a result, prosthetics for up to four different patients can be produced in a single production run, saving time, labor and costs.
“The DWX-4 is an easy-to-use, precise, on-demand production platform for digital...
With Precise-Fit from Valplast International Corp., Valplast dentures can now be designed and blocked-out from any digital scan or .stl file and output to a unique printed base that can be tried into the patient’s mouth. All design is done digitally, eliminating duplicate models and traditional waxups with a trial baseplate printed using a proprietary flexible resin and 3D digital printer.
The Precise-Fit baseplate lets dentists evaluate jaw relation and tooth arrangement, as well as preview the fit of the final restoration before processing. The lab can process the baseplate without duplicating...
Zahn Dental introduced seven new products to its Zirlux line:
Zirlux ST1 is an esthetic, strong, high-translucency zirconia that can be milled for full contour anterior and posterior crowns, bridges, frameworks and inlays; it’s available in multiple sizes and thicknesses.
Zirlux Temp Multi is multi-layered PMMA material for milling esthetic temporary restorations.
Zirlux Temp is a pre-colored PMMA material for milling esthetic temporary crowns and bridges; it’s...
AD BLU Dental has added the EZMill 5.0 to its line of EZMill compact desktop milling systems. Combining high-speed production and precision, the system can be used to mill a variety of restorations in numerous materials, including zirconium, acrylic and wax. A wet/dry option is available.
The company also introduced the CAD BLU ProJet® 1200 3D printer. Costing less than $5,000, this desktop unit prints 10-12 units per hour with fine detail at an average cost of 50 cents per unit.
For more information, call 212-481-8700 or visit www.cadblu.com.
Are you ready to take the plunge and invest in your own digital equipment? Going digital was the name of the game at NADL Vision 21 in Las Vegas in January where speakers offered tips on how to incorporate new technology into the laboratory.
Owner: Warren Rogers
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...
In early February, LMT traveled to Panthera Dental in beautiful Quebec City to learn more about this new high-tech production center and its digital product offerings, including zirconia and PEEK double-structure bars.
The buzz at the Dental Laboratory Owners Association of California’s CAD/CAM Symposium in November 2005: rapid prototyping technology. First developed in the 1980s and used in the automotive and aerospace industries, the technology had laboratory owners enthusiastic about what was called the “next generation of CAD/CAM.” Advocates said the additive technology would result in increased efficiency and less material waste.
Those forecasts were spot on. The technology continues to revolutionize the way laboratories fabricate waxups and metal restorations. And, like CAD/CAM, it’s...
The phrase “Like father, like son,” has never been better illustrated than at last year’s American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) meeting in Seattle. At the event, Bill Brown, CDT, Owner of Brown Dental Lab in Issaquah, WA, and his son, Kevin Brown, DDS, became the first father-son team to simultaneously receive AACD accreditation.
A technician for over 40 years, Bill has always been close with his kids. While growing up, Kevin and his brother, Craig, spent a lot of time in their dad’s lab, learning waxing techniques and becoming familiar with anatomy. Craig...
- December 2013
LMT attends the DLOAC CAD/CAM Expo and Symposium to bring you
the latest developments in digital dentistry. The theme? Automation continues to streamline, simplify and improve...
Read More 5 minute read
- November 2013
DENTAL TEAM: Manfred Pörnbacher and Clemens Schwerin, Dentallabor Steger, Brunico, Italy and Dr. Lyndon Cooper, Professor and Chair at the University of North Carolina, School of Dentistry, Department of Prosthodontics
RESTORATIVE PROBLEM: A young female patient lost teeth #7 through #14 in a car accident and was already wearing a provisional restoration that had resulted in pronounced jawbone atrophy.
TREATMENT PLAN: The team opted for a fixed superstructure supported by six implants at sites #7 and #8 and #11 through #14. Due to inadequate bone structure, the restoration would be an occlusally...
It's a perfect storm heading straight for your bottom line: the economic crisis, new technology, profit erosion, offshore competition and the changing demographics among your dentist-clients...
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Whip Mixâs second annual Survive or Thrive Digital Forum was chock-full of advice and take-home strategies to help attendees make informed decisions about digital technology.
- October 2013
The subcontracting market is strong, thanks to the ever-growing demand for digitally fabricated restorations and steady demand for cast partial frameworks.
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- September 2013
A year ago, Whip Mix Corp. promoted its Vice President of Manufacturing, Jim Myers, to President of the company, succeeding Allen Steinbock, the grandson of Whip Mix Founder Edmund Steinbock, Sr. This promotion makes Myers the first non-family member President in the company's history. LMT travelled to Louisville, KY, to talk with Myers about his new position and where the company is headed.
LMT: As President, how has your role changed?
Myers: For 11 years, my priority was our manufacturing processes; now, it's more focused on customer needs and opportunities. I have much more interaction with...
Just like the Industrial Revolution and the arrival of the Internet, 3D printing is certain to be a game changer. With the lower cost of the equipment and an increase in printer speed, this technology is now being used for customized, on-demand manufacturing. In the same way that 3D printing is revolutionizing how laboratories fabricate waxups and metal restorations, this technology also has the potential to transform the way we make almost everything.
"Someday, perhaps, printers will revolutionize the world of medicine, churning out hearts, livers and other organs to ease transplantation shortages,"...