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Seeing the impending boom of digital technology, Anton Woolf, CEO of Argen Corp., conceived a plan to reinvent the company and its product offerings to meet the needs of the changing marketplace. The result? The Argen Digital Center.
The first part of LMT’s comprehensive, multi-issue State of the Industry 2015 coverage offers an in-depth look at the key trends impacting laboratory operators today.
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Hosted by Quintessence Publishing and Henry Schein in October, the 1st International Symposium on Digital Dentistry: Technologies That Enhance Clinical Outcomes featured an exhibit hall and three days of lectures by digital dentistry experts.
The digital transition in labs is not just about fabrication processes; the operational side of the lab business is changing too. Speakers at the 2014 DLOAC Meeting look at the continuously evolving role of the technician. Also: new products announced at the show.
“In the U.S., dentists and labs tend to be divorced; they need to get remarried. We’re a team and we need to understand each other better,” said Gordon Christensen, DDS, MSD, PhD, during his keynote address at the Argen Corp.’s Future of Digital Dentistry event in November.
- December 2014
In September, exocad America acquired the dental assets of SensAble Dental and can now distribute and further develop SensAble’s software for designing metal and flexible partial denture frameworks.
- November 2014
GC America is the first dental company in the U.S. and only the fourth company in the country to receive the Deming Prize, the oldest and most widely recognized Total Quality Management award in the world.
- October 2014
Scan and Design Technician Barry Mahoney recently competed on Face Off, a reality competition show exploring the world of special-effects make-up artists.
After watching technicians drop one too many crowns and losing productivity, Ceramist Tom Greggs invented Stabiliner, which reduces the risk of slippage of milled restorations during contouring/finishing procedures.
- September 2014
In addition to technical support, marketing personnel and a scanner repair area, 3Shape’s new east coast facility in Warren, NJ, features training rooms for technicians to test drive and learn about 3Shape scanners and dentists to get familiar with the TRIOS Digital Impression System.
- June 2014
Over 40% of lab owners plan to retire within the next decade. With retirement on the horizon for so many, selling a laboratory is going to become an increasingly competitive situation. In this buyer’s market, operating a well-run, profitable lab, maximizing its value and standing out from your peers is going to be essential if your exit strategy is to sell your laboratory. Here are some key features buyers are looking at when considering a laboratory acquisition:
* Solid client base. Statistically, even if all goes smoothly, a buyer can lose 10 to 20% of your accounts so he’s going...
- May 2014
Just in the past six months alone, there have been a number of laboratory acquisitions by private equity portfolio companies. While private equity is not new to our community, portfolio companies are poised to make the most of our changing industry.
- April 2014
Owner: Dental Services Group; Area Vice President: Kim Jones
Twice named one of West Michigan’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For, DSG Davis has found numerous ways to create a work environment where employees feel excited about coming to work each day. “Even though we’re owned by a corporation, Dental Services Group, management has maintained a family-like atmosphere,” says Dan Smith, CDT, Crown and Bridge Supervisor.
For example, the lab promotes work-life balance by allowing employees, when feasible, to set their own start time...
Cedar Knolls, NJ
Owners: Yukio Otsubo, President; Yoshinobu Umeda, Vice President; and Ikuzo Enoki, Production Manager
In January 2000, Kuwata Pan Dent, founded by Masahiro Kuwata, became one of the first laboratories in the U.S. to achieve ISO 9001 certification, verifying that it has established and thoroughly documented a quality management system; the lab has been recertified four times since 2000.
Not only does ISO certification ensure consistent quality products and services, for its staff members it means responsibilities and accountability are well defined, there’s...
- March 2014
Owner: National Dentex; Lab President: Lynn Jenkins
“H&O Dental Lab valuescomplete honesty and trust; open, two-way communication; mutual respect; individual accountability; and total commitment. Management always acknowledges team member accomplishments such as first, fifth, 10th, 15th, 20th and 25th anniversaries; perfect attendance; and achieving CDT certification. We also have monthly themed events for various holidays and traditions.
To ensure open communication, we have morning huddles, a 15-minute meeting during which each section leader discusses the...
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.
- October 2013
To stay viable in today's increasingly price-sensitive, competitive market, 7% of respondents send work offshore—an average of 24% of their caseloads&mdashmost often using a U.S.-based broker. Overall, laboratory owners' sentiments on the topic of offshoring are still split; 55%&mdashup from 31% in 2005&mdashfeel it's un-American and unfair to their employees, and another 30% say it's just part of the globalization of our economy.
The subcontracting market is strong, thanks to the ever-growing demand for digitally fabricated restorations and steady demand for cast partial frameworks.
- 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...
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The changing demographics of the dental field could bode well for laboratories. There are more general practitioners and prosthodontists, more dental consumers and fewer laboratories. In other words, the potential client base per laboratory is growing.
Here's a look at the shifting demographics between 1998 and 2011:
The number of laboratories declined 12.5%, from approximately 12,000 to 10,500. The number of GPs and prosthodontists increased 17%, from 133,623 to 156,011. This means the ratio of dentists to labs increased from 11:1 to 15:1.
The ratio of adult patients (20 years or older) to...
Thanks to the advent of digital technology, many laboratory owners and managers are discovering new business models and finding ways to reinvent their businesses and reinvigorate their careers. Here are the stories of three lab owners/managers who have done so using Sirona Dental, Inc.'s CEREC Acquistion Centers, Sirona Connect.
- August 2013
DTI has 20 laboratories around the U.S., with the flagship laboratory—and centralized milling center for all its labs—located in Dublin, CA. During the past two years, the Dublin facility has transitioned to 80% digital, downsized and increased the productivity of the remaining technicians by 89%.
And now, DTI has taken its commitment to digital dentistry one step further: Under the direction of DTI Chief Technology Officer Lee Culp, MicroDental North Carolina opened in March with the goal of being a completely digital laboratory. In addition to establishing a DTI presence in the...
- July 2013
"Patients don't want implants, they want teeth. Nobel Biocare is deeply committed to patient care and the dental technology profession and making the technician's job as easy as possible," said Richard Laube, Nobel Biocare CEO, during his opening remarks to the 400 technicians at Dental Technician Day, part of the company's Global Symposium 2013 in New York City in June.
Moderated by Patrick Rutten, MDT, Dental Technician Day featured lectures emphasizing the partnership approach to implant dentistry by international dentist-technician teams including Dr. Tristan Staas and Michiel Wouters, Dr....
- June 2013
"Ten years ago, we could mill copings in five or six materials with inLab; now we can fabricate copings, crowns, bridges and abutments in more than 30 different materials. That's how far inLab has come!" said Norbert Ulmer, Director of Laboratory CAD/CAM at Sirona Dental, Inc., during his opening remarks to kick off the company's inLab Summit 2013 in Savannah, GA, on May 31 and June 1.
Featuring a dynamic group of lecturers and multiple hands-on sessions, the Summit offered the over 100 attendees an information-packed event and the opportunity to network and share business strategies and...
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