Kuwata Pan Dent, founded by Masahiro Kuwata, was one of the first laboratories in the U.S. to achieve ISO 9001 certification in 2000. Since ISO certification is an ongoing process, the Cedar Knolls, NJ, full service lab has been recertified five times since then.
The LMT staff is still on a high from LMT® LAB DAY® Chicago at the end of February. We had record-breaking attendance—4,163 people, up from 3,501 last year! Attendees came from 49 states plus Washington, D.C. and 58 different countries—that’s 15 more than in 2015—making it a decidedly international affair.
The mood was upbeat among exhibitors and attendees alike. With the bigger exhibit hall and clinic rooms and open lobby (and Big Bar!), there’s much more elbow room at the Hyatt. It’s conducive to meeting old friends, having meaningful conversations and learning about new technology.
LMT Editors were around the town to find out what’s on the minds of laboratory owners, managers and technicians. Many of the trends we’ve spotted over the last couple of years continue to play out; here’s an overview:
3D printing. As the technology evolves, printers are getting more affordable and material options and applications are expanding....
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...
ClearChoice Dental Implant Centers, a group of 29 practices around the country, is planning to double its network and hire up to 70 implant technicians in the next several years.
That’s the question on everyone’s mind these days, especially since the NADL released an alert on the in-house milling of custom abutments in November. Here are the details, including the NADL’s alert, the FDA’s heightened enforcement efforts, and responses from the marketplace.
- October 2015
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.
- June 2015
The grand opening of Panthera Dental’s U.S. office featured numerous announcements regarding the company’s growth, new restorative solutions and commitment to sleep apnea treatment.
The results of LMT’s State of Digital Technology 2015 survey are in! Eighty percent of respondents rate their all-ceramic workload as “good” or “booming.”
- May 2015
- April 2015
Fifty percent of the removable laboratory owner/manager respondents to LMT’s State of the Industry 2015 survey rate their current workload as “booming” or “good,” with another 38% saying it’s “stable.” And half go so far as to say removable prostheses are recession proof.
“There will always be that socioeconomical segment of society who won’t be able to afford implants or crowns and for whom dentures are the most logical solution; it’s that simple. Patients would rather spend their hard-earned money on other things,” says Tony Deangelis, CDT, Owner, Depot Dental Lab, Wood Dale, IL.
A laboratory owner from Pennsylvania agrees. “During my career, when the economy is poor, the amount of denture work has always increased. Patients still need teeth but can’t or won’t risk their savings.”
In the past five years, the removable prostheses for which there have been the most significant increase in dentist...
- February 2015
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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- January 2015
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.
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“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 to be looking carefully at your customers: the strength of your relationships, amount of turnover, their location, overlap between your two markets, proximity to retirement age, etc.
And remember the 80/20 rule: generally 80% of a lab’s business comes from 20% of its clients. As a seller, the more you can increase the percentage of clients from which most of your work comes, say to 30 to 40%,...
- 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.
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- 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 and adjust their schedules when they have appointments during the day. To encourage healthier lifestyles, the lab installed a new vending machine with healthier food options. In its annual walking challenges, employees receive a pedometer and win gift cards based on the number of steps they walk per month.
Employees are encouraged to showcase their artistic talents in numerous contests, including...
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 a systematic way of doing things and everyone is on the same page. There is an emphasis on continuous improvement and finding more efficient ways of working together, reducing waste and improving the customer experience.
“Because we adhere to ISO standards, our staff is very professional, artistically talented and geared toward achieving consistent quality. Working here is a pleasurable...