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“Laugh and the world laughs with you; snore and you sleep alone!” ~ Anthony Burgess, author of Clockwork Orange
Not everyone who has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) snores and not everyone who snores has OSA, but if you snore—or reside with a snorer like I do—you’re probably not always getting the best quality sleep.
Sleep deprivation contributes to a decline in cognitive processes, creates anxiety and depression and can lead to a myriad of serious heart-related and other medical conditions. So, clearly, that’s simply not acceptable. Sleep we must!
So Andy and I have sought treatment for his very loud, irregular snoring and that landed us in the world of sleep studies and CPAP machines. Since OSA is a medical condition, diagnosis and treatment must be left up to physicians but there is a definite and strong medical/dental connection.
Quite a few years ago, former Lab Owner Alan Barnes became fascinated with the field of...
Michael Suris fabricates a three-unit monolithic zirconium bridge using Sirona’s new inLab SW15 design software and one set of impressions.
“We knew we could no longer build a value proposition around technology that can be procured by anyone,” says Lab Owner Mike Hill. Read about his strategies for engaging clients on a new level.
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In 2012, CAD/CAM hit the sleep apnea appliance market and today there are three appliances fabricated via digital technology:
ResMed’s Narval™ CC was the first digitally fabricated sleep apnea device. Manufactured with laser sintering, the device is made of a durable, flexible, lightweight biocompatible polymer material and fabricated at ResMed’s facility in Chatsworth, CA. Eight labs in the U.S. are authorized to distribute the appliance and the company may consider additional laboratory partners. Call 858-836-6281 for more information.
Panthera’s D-SAD™ (Digital-Sleep Apnea Device) is printed in Polymer 12, a flexible, lightweight organic surgical nylon. Panthera is the exclusive manufacturer; it provides the appliance directly to dentists and also subcontracts to laboratories. For details, call 855-233-0388 or email email@example.com.
MicroDental Laboratories’ MicrO2™ Sleep and Snore Device is the only milled device. It’s designed...
In 2009, one of Charles Lloyd’s dentist-clients asked him if he could make a patient demonstration model to explain obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) treatment. Nine months later, the Airhead™ was born. The 3D model of the patient’s head and airway rotates to clearly illustrate the effects of OSA and the benefits of an oral appliance.
“It’s a very niche item and I won’t be getting rich or famous with it,” jokes Lloyd, Owner of TMD Technologies, Inc. in Snellville, GA, who has been involved in the sleep appliance market for over a decade. “But it attracts the attention of TMD/sleep dentists at the sleep conferences I attend and gives me the opportunity to then talk about my expertise in the field.”
Lloyd invested $17,000 to develop, patent and manufacture the product—which he has made one at a time in a resin material and then handpainted. So far, he has sold 400 Airheads which retail for $385. “Sleep dentists who explain...
The sleep apnea market presents some unique challenges for labs. LMT explains what you need to know to navigate this niche.
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In patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most common type of sleep apnea, the mandible falls back as the brain approaches the deepest stages of sleep and the muscles of the airway fully relax, which is what causes the obstruction. When the brain senses breathing is compromised, it forces the body out of the deepest stage of sleep in order to regain control of the jaw muscles and reopen the airway. This can occur over and over during the night and, as a result, the patient’s sleep is extremely fragmented.
Left untreated, sleep apnea can have serious and life-shortening consequences: high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, automobile accidents caused by falling asleep at the wheel, diabetes, depression and other ailments. A major symptom is extremely loud snoring; other indications are persistent daytime sleepiness, bouts of awakening out of breath during the night, and frequently waking in the morning with a dry mouth or a headache. OSA most commonly affects middle-aged...
An estimated 25 million adults in the U.S. suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Oral appliances have proven to be a viable option for treatment and a huge opportunity for dentists and labs, but there are numerous complexities in the market.
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. . . to be Jolly, yes, but not because the Christmas holiday is two months away. ’Tis because it’s show season and it’s off to an outstanding start with over 1,000 attendees for the first time ever at LMT LAB DAY East! This, despite the fact that there were three other key industry programs the same weekend (Nobel Biocare and Sirona events in Las Vegas and the National Denturist Association’s 9th Annual Conference in nearby Washington, DC)!
Though we had a good feeling about leaving our former location in New York City for the resort town of Atlantic City, NJ, we couldn’t have anticipated a more wonderful weekend experience. The Convention Center Exhibit Hall was bright and airy and enabled us to provide a comfortable and spacious environment. Attendees drove into the area from all directions and, once there, were greeted with balmy weather and the smell of the ocean; a calming departure from the hustle and bustle of midtown Manhattan.
In comparison to years...
Using his Scoop Technique with IPS e.max Press MT from Ivoclar Vivadent, Rafael Santrich, CDT, restores teeth with the natural value, chroma and translucency demanded in the anterior region.
How to Fabricate Anterior Crowns Using KATANA Multi-Layered Zirconia with the Stain and Glaze Technique
Jean Chiha, CDT, shares his step-by-step CAD/CAM process for fabricating four anterior crowns using Noritake KATANA STML (Super Translucent Multi-Layered Zirconia) combined with his own highly successful conventional techniques.
“Retirement can be amazing if you plan ahead… ” Former Lab Owner Jim McDermott shares his after-lab life takeaways.
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DTG celebrates the sharing of knowledge and techniques among its members to enhance everyone’s skills. This philosophy was palpable at the second annual DTG Symposium in August, which included the first ever World Mixed Dental Arts Championship competition.
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Henry Schein’s Labnext is a cloud-based lab management software specifically designed for digital dentistry. The open system integrates with a variety of scanners, design software and practice management software packages and is tightly integrated with the company’s DDX (Digital Dental Exchange).
DDX is a HIPAA-compliant, web-based digital portal that helps labs accept digital files, manage casework digitally and create new lines of communication with clients. The dentists can submit all their digital scans, X-rays and photos via DDX. The laboratory can customize the case submission form and require the dentist to enter specific information, eliminating the need for data entry in the lab and minimizing errors and follow up.Streamline WorkflowWhen a dentist submits a case, the lab receives a notification in the DDX or Labnext software or via email and logs in to start the case. “When I get a case via DDX, an email pops up on my phone and I know right away that I have a...LMT Communications, Inc. · October 21 at 5:10 pm
Evident software helps the laboratory streamline its production workflow, from enabling dentists to submit cases and photos through the lab’s website, coordinating scheduling to maximize production capacity, to shipping and billing the final case.
“With so many details to keep track of in the lab, if you miss even a small detail, it can easily lead to a larger problem. Using Evident, our workflow is error-proof because it has numerous flags to indicate when something starts to go wrong,” says Jayme Hong, CEO, IDOC Dental Lab, Orange, CA.
For example, if a case gets delayed in production, the software has an internal alert system that immediately sends a notification to the designated person. The software can generate a “to do” list and email reminders for each technician so tasks don’t slip through the cracks.
Another aspect of Evident that Hong likes: it generates packaging lists including the patient’s name, ship data and the contents of the shipping...LMT Communications, Inc. · October 21 at 5:03 pm
This month, Glidewell Laboratories is upgrading its CloudPoint System to expand the indications; in addition to full contour crowns, bridges, inlays and onlays, you can now fabricate copings, bridge frameworks and split files.
The system features the CloudPoint FastScan scanner with CloudPoint FastDesign software and the CloudPoint Web Portal, all of which were developed by Glidewell Laboratories’ R&D department. The system can be purchased two ways:
The Closed System includes all of the above and your restorations are milled exclusively by Glidewell: full contour crowns, bridges, inlays and onlays are milled in BruxZir® and BruxZir Anterior Solid Zirconia; copings, bridge frameworks and split files are available in Prismatik CZ™ as well as printed in castable resin. Designed for the small lab getting into digital technology, this is the lower-priced option and there is a one-time fee of $11,399+.
The Open System also includes the scanner, software and portal but allows...LMT Communications, Inc. · October 20 at 3:03 pm
Launched this month, Crownbox is an online marketplace where any laboratory or milling center can connect to buy and sell dental milling and printing services. “Crownbox is like an eBay for our industry, connecting buyers and sellers of dental CAD/CAM. It’s a venue for companies that have invested in CNC milling and 3D printing equipment to sell these services and for labs that would like more options when it comes to outsourcing partners. We’ve created a platform that improves access for everyone,” says Alex Frangadakis, Crownbox Founder and CEO.
Crownbox enables laboratories to order milled abutments, bars, crowns, printed models and partials, etc., from multiple milling centers simultaneously. Users can drag-and-drop .stl files, enter case details, submit orders and track cases at different locations and order status all within a single platform.
For sellers, Crownbox offers a new marketing opportunity and distribution channel. Milling centers can set up a free...LMT Communications, Inc. · October 20 at 2:14 pm
The latest version of Evolution Software from Atlanta Based Systems (ABS), released last month, has expanded the existing communications features, adding more automatic notification options to further facilitate and track digital communications.
Automatic notifications can be sent via email or pop-up windows in the software to multiple users at the lab when, for example, a case has arrived or the dentist has added a new image or note to the case file. Likewise, users can set up automatic email alerts so dentist-clients know when a case is received or shipped.
“I'm all about automation, and we use these emails to make sure our customers are receiving updates from us on our cases. For example, if we need a new lower impression, we send the dentist a case ‘hold’ notification and type a note regarding what we need. Automatically, an email is sent to the primary contact for the account and a record is saved in the file,” says Lee Coursey, Managing Partner,...LMT Communications, Inc. · October 19 at 5:23 pm
FullContour Design Center’s new online platform, DropDental.com, is a custom, cloud-based, drag-and-drop file transfer system that gives its customers a one-stop source for uploading, ordering and managing all their digital restorations. Launched in September, the platform features two key changes to help streamline laboratories’ digital workflow:
Manufacturing partner integration. Previously, FullContour would receive a lab’s scan file, design the case, and send it back to the lab for fabrication; the lab would either process the case in house or submit it to a third-party. Now, the user can have the finished design automatically sent to the manufacturing partner of his choice at no extra charge via DropDental.com.
“Some of our customers were logging into as many as eight different manufacturer websites a day to get their cases fabricated,” says Brandon Camping, CTO, who spent seven years at Apple. “DropDental.com consolidates all of a lab’s...LMT Communications, Inc. · October 19 at 5:12 pm
Three years ago, CAP (formerly Custom Automated Prosthetics) began developing software to make its milling center as efficient as possible. Its goal: to automate many of the steps between each process of the CAD/CAM workflow and eliminate duplicate data entry into their lab management software and again in the scanning department.
The result: CAPZilla, a workflow automation platform that streamlines many functions within the digital fabrication process. For example:
A barcode scan of the work ticket at the model and die scan station adds all essential information into all the appropriate data fields, saving time and eliminating human error at this step.
Once scanned, a designer can scan the work ticket or select the case in the CAPZilla case overview list. The prescription and customer design preferences are displayed and then the order is opened in 3Shape Designer. After the design is complete, CAPZilla automatically moves the case to milling or prompts the designer to produce...LMT Communications, Inc. · October 15 at 2:52 pm
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Based on extensive customer feedback, LabStar released an upgrade that includes over 200 new production line management features. “Small changes in workflow can yield great changes in production efficiency. We’ve done a complete overhaul to further simplify manufacturing processes and ensure consistent, on-time manufacturing in the laboratory,” says Jeff Noles, CEO of LabStar and a former lab owner.
Released in August, the upgraded cloud-based software includes a tablet-friendly interface so technicians can scan material barcodes to log them into cases, view and add file attachments, and record case notes from their tablet.
Other advantages of the upgraded software include:
Flexible scheduling: You can easily schedule and reschedule tasks, technicians, ship dates and due dates. The combination case logic allows scheduling for different restorations on the same work ticket. It also gives you the option to designate specific tasks as “incompressible,” meaning...LMT Communications, Inc. · October 15 at 2:38 pm
Argen Digital’s ArgenLink is a new cloud-based, drag and drop file transfer system customers can use to order SLM, printed and milled restorations, temps and digital models. It streamlines the ordering process by allowing laboratories to export cases directly from 3Shape’s Dental Manager into ArgenLink in seconds, without any data entry. (It will soon be available for exocad and DentalWings.)
All the order information—from lab customer details to manufacturing preferences and material selection—is dynamically populated in the system. A dashboard offers real-time updates throughout the manufacturing process, including case status, package tracking, case reorders and cancellations. Laboratories also have the ability to batch upload files of various material types and restoration sizes concurrently, including split files.
“Previously, we had to do a lot of data entry and upload the files one at a time. Now, we just enter the case numbers, drag and drop the...LMT Communications, Inc. · October 14 at 11:31 am
LMT profiles nine software innovations—many of them new or recently upgraded—that are helping labs upload files faster, reap the benefits of the cloud, increase efficiency, track metrics, accept digital impressions, outsource more easily and enhance their customer service and communication efforts.LMT Communications, Inc. · October 14 at 10:28 am
For years, members of my family—as well as of our staff—have wanted to duck under the table whenever they’d go out to dinner with me. It is so widely known among my friends that I can be, well, a “difficult customer,” that when my sister wrote and sang a song about my restaurant escapades for a surprise birthday party years ago, it was met with uproarious laughter and praise.
There are two very good reasons for my “difficult” behavior: one is that I have dietary restrictions that require me to ask a lot of questions before I order. But the other is that, like everyone else, I work hard for the money I earn and therefore, when I spend it, I expect a certain level of customer service. When I don’t get it, I am vocal when it isn’t delivered.
I speak up because my intention is to help bring the concerns to light so they can be corrected. I think that’s what makes me particularly captivated by the TV show, Undercover Boss. I respect...