Welcome to The BRIDGE, an online network from LMT dedicated exclusively for members of the Dental Laboratory community.
What's the number one thing most "singles" want in a potential date? Nice teeth.
How about a round of applause for one- to three-person laboratory owners? With almost another decade to go before...See more many of these operators feel "the calling" to retire, they are still very much engaged in the here and now and are clearly living the well-disciplined, well-balanced life. Bravo. The results of LMT's comprehensive Small Lab Survey give us the opportunity to celebrate some of the reasons you are all so deeply engaged in this field in the first place, highest among them: a shared passion for replicating natural dentition. When the first huge batch of completed surveys came through—both online and via the mail—the editorial department eagerly dove right in to get an early read on how you are faring and what you are thinking. We believe this report will help dispel any misconceptions about very small and/or home-based laboratories as a group. Our pairing of this survey with the latest CAD/CAM product and technology news is no coincidence. While everyone understands that most laboratory owners came into this field for the love of the craft, we also recognize that the tools and equipment used to create restorations have changed so dramatically that it's become hard for some to still call it "craftsmanship." To that end, Dan O'Rourke, owner of O'Rourke Dental Studio, a small, high-end laboratory in Bristol, NH, recently suggested a Man versus Machine challenge on The BRIDGE. Bridgsters enjoyed a rapid-fire discussion about CAD/CAM restorations versus those made by a pair of human hands. To date, it's the longest conversation thread on the site. (To join the discussion or simply enjoy the lively read, go to ["A 'Man vs. Machine' Challenge"](/posts/5854) ) Between The BRIDGE and this Small Lab Survey, it's clear that those who are fully engaged in this industry are engaged because they are doing what they really love, whether it's working at the bench, on a computer, on a phone, at a location outside or inside their homes. As a small lab owner, each of you is honoring your preferences, finding balance, beholden to none and thriving. How cool is that! P.S. Your participation in surveys such as this one is priceless; it helps us help you keep your finger on the pulse of your community. It enables us to point out strategic directions that may help align you with the best plan for your market niche. Thanks for consistently working with us so that our reports back to you can be so comprehensive. By the way, though we don't like to bombard you with too many survey requests in one period of time, please excuse the bombardment this one time as we gear up for our biennial Wage and Fee Reports. By now, you've hopefully completed and returned our Wage Survey—our report is scheduled for our September issue. The Fee Survey will arrive shortly and we are, again, hoping you will come through with your valued and much appreciated participation.
> Since everyone's been expressing concern about what will happen to our field when thousands of Boomers retire,...See more we've been taking a hard look at the new generation of dental technology leaders to get a handle on what will become of our community. As you can tell from this month's cover feature--40 Under Forty--we're looking at a community that is beautifully bright and has a glorious future. It is young, modern and brilliant just like the talented professionals who will populate it. Their passion for changing lives by creating natural-looking dentition--as well as building lasting relationships with clients--is robust; it's what drives the rising stars profiled in this issue. The idea for our coverage comes from Managing Editor Kim Molinaro who, like everyone in our editorial deparment, is regularly on the phone with laboratory owners and managers learning about issues that concern them and innovations that bolster their business. She recognized a palpable vitality shared by many younger readers; hence, LMT asked readers for nominations of up-and-coming, under 40 community leaders for this special issue that features 40 of those nominees. Many of our nominees have grown up in the lab environment and we might characterize them as a group of confident, team-oriented high achievers who are supremely optimistic, strongly driven by their ability to have a positive impact on the lives of their clients' patients. Many of them have been motivated by their parents or another mentor, are quite passionate about dental technology, are eager to share their knowledge and humbly attribute their success to their mentors and team members. They put a lot of energy into their work, have a great work ethic and like taking high-end courses, getting degrees, being involved and giving back. If you ever find yourself feeling overwhelmed or down about having to adapt to our changing, ever-more digital and global landscape, reread this issue of LMT; you'll be inspired all over again. It seems to me, when the time comes, the industry couldn't be passed on to more accomplished, enthusiastic hands. ###Moving Forward For every one committed industry maven you read about here, we know you know a few more --under 40, loving their work and moving our industry forward--and we invite you to tell us about them so they can also be featured in future issues of LMT. Contact Kim, kim@LMTmag.com or me, judy@LMTmag.com, or call us at our new phone number: 203-426-4LMT . Also, be sure to check out our [Job Board](/jobs) to look for and find those interested in being a member of your own thriving business. ________________________________________________________________________________ Interesting Tidbit: In many circles, and particularly biblical ones, the number 40 is deeply symbolic. For example, when Noah set off on his Ark, it rained for 40 days and 40 nights; the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years; Moses was in the mount for 40 days. You get the picture and there are lots more when you look it up. Biblically, you'll find 40 also represents a generation. Today it's half the average lifetime.