In 2013, frustrated by the changes he was seeing in the industry—mass digitization, commoditization, consolidation—Von Grow, Owner of Dark Horse Dental Studio in Pleasant Grove, UT, sent out a rallying cry via social media to his fellow technicians:
“I propose that we all band together in the name of high-end, handmade, esthetic restorations and do not let machines take over our jobs. …Instead of hoarding all of our secrets and techniques, we give the information away freely to other like-minded technicians and dentists,” proposed Grow. “…everyone within the sound of my voice who is feeling helpless, downtrodden, fearful of the future or just wants to get excited again about the work you do, let’s take a stand. Let’s get a worldwide network going that is so big, it cannot fail.”
His words struck a chord and technicians responded in droves. The result? The Dental Technicians Guild (DTG), a closed Facebook-based group where members...
By investing in a scanner and 3D printer, Al Ranger has nearly tripled his lab’s production. See the steps he took before making the decision to go digital and what he’s learned along the way.
Rick Peebles has come a long way since he began his career as a one-man removables lab in a prosthodontist’s office more than three decades ago. His laboratory, Peebles Prosthetics Inc., has grown into a 65-person, full-service operation and, in 2013, moved into a two-story, 19,500-sq-ft, state-of-the-art facility in Lakewood, CO.
Bonus: Video Tour! When it came to designing their laboratory, Matthew and Martha Martin, Co-Owners of 32-employee Triad Dental Studio in Greensboro, NC, knew exactly what they wanted: an open, efficient layout.
LMT’s Editor Kelly Carr and I teamed up this month to put together an LMT-based Q&A. After all, this is The Answers Issue: LMT’s guide to everything you need to know about the dental laboratory industry and those who are in it. I’ve been dominating this Publisher’s Page for over three decades and, though I still love my soapbox, Kelly has a lot to say, too. With over 30 years of excellence in spearheading LMT’s content, it’s about time she has space to air her own views about what’s going on in our community! In January, Kelly updated you on what’s happening with the FDA and custom-milled abutments. It was a prelude of more to come. Though I will still be putting in my two cents, this year you’ll be hearing more from our very well-seasoned editor.
How many issues has LMT published since it was launched in 1984?312, all jam-packed with business strategies for your laboratory!
Which LMT is the...?...issue with LMT’s...
Over the last half century, Dickerman Dental Prosthetics has made many changes, but one thing has remained the same: at age 83, Founder Myron Dickerman still comes to the laboratory every day.
- November 2015
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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- September 2015
In the last year, MicroDental has acquired four laboratories and is actively seeking additional laboratory members. Here, MicroDental President Len Liptak details what the company is looking for and the benefits it offers.
- March 2015
Fifty-five percent of our State of the Industry 2015 survey respondents have recently changed their business model to increase profitability, gain new clients and be more competitive. Five of our respondents share their stories.
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- February 2015
By taking risks, going outside their comfort zone and reinvesting in their laboratory, Greg and Diane Nash, Owners of Nash Dental Lab, have managed to thrive in an ever-changing laboratory market.
- October 2014
“It’s people who make the difference, so my business philosophy is based on taking care of the staff first. If you do that, I believe everything else will come naturally,” says Jayme Hong, CEO and Chief Rainmaker at IDOC.
- September 2014
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.
Read More 6 minute read
- May 2014
- April 2014
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 training programs for technicians, sending them to courses both locally and across the country depending on what skills they need to acquire.
Knight is also very supportive of technicians seeking a CDT designation. For instance, in addition to hosting CDT tests, the lab offers a CDT Study Group that meets during the workday for two hours once a week for five months. It also covers all expenses—projector,...
- March 2014
Owner: Curt Gardali
“I’ve been at this lab for eight years and am still excited to get up and go to work to try and make a difference in our patients’ lives. As an artist, it has been a great place for me to develop my skills and knowledge. The owner of the lab, Curt Gardali, is one of the most inspiring people I have had the honor to apprentice with. His knowledge in the field of dental technology continues to humble me.
We have employees who have been with us for over 50 years and still love coming to work. Our laboratory is very modern, clean, and comfortable and our patients love coming in for custom shading or photos. We love hearing them comment on our ‘Zen-like’ atmosphere! I hope to be at this lab for many years to come.”
~Jason Clark, Ceramist/IT Specialist
Owner: Jeff Paulen
“When I think ofall the reasons why New Image Dental Laboratory is a great place to work, it comes down to the Owner, Jeff Paulen, and his family. The Paulens are committed to helping us be the best we can be in our industry. They help us improve our skills by paying for all of our training at both on- and off-site courses and always make sure we have whatever we need to do our jobs in a healthy, clean, safe and secure environment, whether it’s new equipment, additional training or hiring staff. Working at New Image has enriched my life. And did I mention our amazing 25,000-sq-ft facility, employee luncheons, monthly birthday cakes, bonuses, Alaskan cruises for 20-year employees and parties for our families at their lake house? I couldn’t ask for more.”
~Fay Ashley, Director of Customer Relations
Owners: Barry Lampert, CDT; David Lampert, MBA; Steven Lampert
“From his early days as a lab owner, Barry Lampert, CDT, trained and nurtured his staff in a way that is quite unique. He respects his technicians and believes they are his greatest asset. The fact that the majority of employees have been here for decades—some for over 40 years—is testament to his commitment to them.
The second generation of Lamperts—namely Barry’s sons, David and Steven—have brought a new level of integrity, compassion and insight into business development. The environment they’ve cultivated is one of mutual respect and success—not only for the lab but for each of their employees.
Barry’s philosophy is to keep the lab in showplace condition; equipment is continually maintained and office and lab furnishings are constantly being replaced. Nothing is left unattended and it has created a great environment in which to produce quality...
Headquartered in Newport Beach
Owner: Jim Glidewell, CDT
2,375 employees at four locations
Working at Glidewell is like being part of an exclusive club: technicians get members-only, no- and low-cost benefits they wouldn’t have access to anywhere else.
Case in point: Health and wellness is a priority and, in 2012, Glidewell opened the GlideWELLness Center located on its campus in Irvine, CA. The center includes an 4,100-sq-ft gym with cardio equipment, weights, fitness classes and a meditation room; a private, walk-in health clinic that offers reduced co-payments; and massage therapy where technicians pay just $15 for a 30-minute massage. The lab also offers on-site vaccinations; monthly wellness “Lunch-n-Learns” on stress management, nutrition, yoga and more; and reduced-cost services from the lab’s four on-staff dentists.
The staffs’ other amazing perks include:
• A “Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies” program that offers one-on-one guidance...
Owner: Greg Thayer
Ever wish you had an extra day in the week to run errands, go to appointments, spend time with family or just chill out? The employees at Thayer Dental Laboratory have just that thanks to the lab’s four-day workweek adopted in 2005.
“Ninety-five percent of our technical personnel work four, 10-hour days and that provides them with a better balance for their personal life to enjoy hobbies, interests or time with children,” says Lab Administrator Robert Gitman. The laboratory compresses its turnaround times to meet delivery dates and just a handful of staff—like the lab manager, a few technicians and delivery people—work Monday through Friday to ensure clients’ needs are met.
As if a three-day weekend each week isn’t enough, Thayer’s benefits package is also the cream of the crop. In addition to covering 80% of employees’ healthcare and prescription premiums, it offers many benefits that...
- February 2014
Many laboratories create esthetic restorations, but some owners and their teams are lucky enough to work in facilities that are as beautiful as the work they create.
- 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