Paul Simpson turned his life around after he discovered dental technology at age 20. Still trying to shake off the consequences of growing up in a bad neighborhood and dropping out of school a few years earlier, he applied for a job at a local laboratory. "I had no car, no high school diploma and was struggling to pay my rent," he says. But soon after I started that job, my whole perspective changed. I enjoyed it—and was good at it—and knew I had a chance for a future."
The job was in a large laboratory with over 200 employees; he started out painting dies but was designing pressable waxups within a year. "Although it was a production environment where everyone just did one thing all day, I looked for any opportunity to learn. When something went wrong or someone was working on a difficult case—even in another department—I always paid attention."
His next position at a small, quality-oriented laboratory gave him the opportunity to really blossom: he got involved in all aspects of C&B and even custom abutment design. Soon he was managing the laboratory, overseeing workflow and troubleshooting with dentist-clients. "Not only is he a genius with a waxing instrument and with implant design, he's a superior artist and a savvy businessman. He's the total package with a great work ethic," says Pam Rotert, who worked alongside him at the laboratory.
Just recently, he conquered his latest challenge: laboratory ownership. His business, Simpson Dental Trendz, specializes in anterior pressed ceramic cases and is already growing through word of mouth. "There are so many different kinds of patients out there," says Simpson. "My plan is to focus on giving my dentist-clients a few different tiers of quality so they can accommodate every need while still delivering a quality restoration."
And what about starting a new laboratory in this challenging economy? Simpson is confident; after all, he's overcome enough obstacles in his life. "I'll be ok," he says. "I'm not scared of it."