Although Friendship Dental Laboratories, Inc.'s first case was fabricated in 1973, it wasn't until 2006 that it implemented the efficient, computerized tracking system by Labtrac. This October, it logged in its half-millionth case!
Dena Lanier started The Lab 2000, Inc. on a bet with her husband, Dennis. Today, through unique and persistent marketing techniques, Dena has grown the laboratory to a successful 30-person operation.
What I love most about LMT’s Buyer’s Guide is that it is truly comprehensive. We do not require participants to pay a single cent to be included in this annual directory. (Of course, some do choose to enhance their listing visibility with advertising options.)
This year’s Guide includes 373 manufacturers and suppliers, 85 subcontractors—pretty much on par with last year’s numbers—and includes over 1,600 product trade names which makes us feel pretty good about your ability to find the resources you need to run your laboratory, right here in this one issue.
However, these resources are ultimately only as good as their users. All the materials and equipment in the world won’t compensate for a job poorly done. Unfortunately, I am on the receiving end of experiencing this truth firsthand and it’s one of those “shoulda,coulda, woulda” stories.
The thing is, I’m a real sucker for being a willing guinea pig for the sake...
Sometimes one poor decision turns a routine restoration into an expensive, time-consuming series of additional procedures and discomfort. I think there were two poor decisions made in my case. Check one for the practitioner and one for me.
This is my story and it pretty much dominated my summer.
Lately, Iâd noticed some pain when chewing, but I wasnât sure whether it was coming from that tooth or the opposing PFM crown. Though #19 had a root canal [the one from LMTâs second crown experiment, 1987], there was a chance that the tooth had cracked.
Decision day. I went in to have the filling removed to see what was left of the tooth. Even this standard procedure is one that separates excellent dentists from just okay dentists. Unfortunately, this dentist is "just okay."
After the decision was made, I learned that there were several things she might have been able to do to better stabilize this tooth. But none of these things were on the table.
Take another look at the X-ray. [And, by the way, take a look at the bitewing to note the occlusion.] Note that there is a good amount of natural tooth surrounding the filling. From her perspective, replacing the filling didn't seem like an option. There was some decay underneath; my fault for letting things slide so long.
Should she have more adeptly and promptly been able to assess the source of my pain? Should she have been able to see this decay before removing the filling? Should she have been more assertive with me when I deferred taking action by letting me know what...
The Night of June 6
A bunch of us were sitting around the fire pit on my patio, protected from the rain by a covered pergola. It was a Thursday night. We—LMT staff members, Andy and I—were enjoying our visitors from the Chicago LAB DAY setup team. Without warning, my laughter was replaced with a yelp; what started as a low-grade ache suddenly turned into a searing pain in my mouth.
I knew in that instant that #14 was saying it's time for that root canal procedure.
But we still had another day of scheduled activities with our visitors, so ibuprofen and I coexisted until Monday morning when I made a beeline to the endodontist, a friend I trust implicitly. He attached the rubber dam and tackled part one of the pulpectomy.
I was really surprised he drilled right through the crown. He was really surprised the crown itself wasn't fully polished and was such a "lump."
"What were you thinking?" he asked, wondering why I accepted "the lump." I told him I assumed I'd have had...
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After the Fall
After finally finding my fallen crown, I gently ran my tongue across the prepped area. It felt like a wizard's hat: thin, tall and pointy.
We headed for home but made a stop for lunch along the way. That's when the wizard's hat came loose. I now held it in my hand. It didn't look or feel like a piece of my tooth. I stashed it in the plastic bag that held my crown and called my once husband/dentist Rob.
Since my appointment with the prosthodontist was over a week away, he said, "Stop by my house on your way home, I'll cover the exposed root with cement for added protection. You don't want any bacteria there."
When we arrived, he asked our son Eric to assist but Eric promptly handed over his responsibility to Andy and left the room. (We always knew he didn't have the stomach for medicine,) So there I am lying in my ex-husband's lap while my current spouse shines a flashlight into my mouth. [Not as awkward, really, as it may sound; we all socialize quite often.]
The following week, the prosthodontist confirmed that, indeed, the next step would be the crown lengthening procedure followed by six weeks of healing time before he would insert a post to further support the crown. And, as Bill Mrazek, CDT, recommended, the best restoration in this case, would be a PFM. He and his office are the cat's meow when it comes to professionalism and patient care and I'm fortunate to become their patient.
The periodontist he recommended was the same one I'd already called so that added to my feeling of being in the right hands. I've since had the crown lengthening procedure. The stitches are out and I'm on the mend.
I couldn't be any more impressed with the periodontist and his operation! He gave me arnica, with instructions to start taking these tiny natural remedy pills for quicker healing two days before the crown lengthening procedure. I love that he takes a holistic approach to his work and plan to have my dental cleanings there in the future.
This week I was scheduled to have two posts placed in my crown-lengthened tooth. That didn't happen.
Instead of feeling no pain in the tooth, it became increasingly sensitive to pressure. Then, a few weeks ago, I couldn't tolerate anything cold in that quadrant of my mouth. So I went to see the prosthodontist who tapped the teeth in the area. The cold sensitivity was coming from #15, not #14 and he thought it would go away. It did.
But he also acknowledged that #14 should not be sensitive to touch. He sent me back to the endodontist. He considered for a second the possibility of a fourth canal but the X-ray gave no such indication. He thought it more likely that I had a microscopic fracture that could possibly be found via an apicoectomy.
That would have further compromised my bone. He consulted with the periodontist and prosthodontist about the best course of action.
I realized, at long last, that the long-term solution was an implant after all.
The periodontist took a cone beam...
B&D introduced ORIGIN® LIVETM Multi Zirconia, pre-shaded, multi-layered discs; each layer mimics the inherent gradations of natural teeth, including chroma, value, incisal effects and translucency. Since there’s no dipping or drying involved, the pre-shaded disks streamline production and are less technique sensitive than the coloring liquid method, according to B&D.
The company also demonstrated its new ORIGIN-Haas 5HD milling machine with improved milling strategies (ORIGIN CAM Plus+ powered by hyperDENT) for fabricating custom abutments, implant bars and implant bridges. The machine offers 2.5-micron repeatable accuracy and processes all types of CAD/CAM materials. Laboratories that purchase an ORIGIN-Haas 5HD are also eligible for discounted pricing on B&D’s materials, including zirconia and coloring liquids.
For details, call 800-255-2839 or visit origincadcam.com.
At LMT LAB DAY Chicago, B&D presented its three latest innovations:
The Origin Proteus 5x is a five-axis milling machine for dry milling zirconia and wax/PMMA and wet milling titanium, CrCo, glass ceramics and implant blanks. It has a small footprint, features highly accurate servo motors and has a one-disc holder. Also available: a four-axis model with a two-disc holder.
The Origin SmartCrown™ System (previously known as ProActive Crown), a cavity-fighting crown. A zirconia crown is milled and pockets are created in the mesial and distal sides of the crown while in the green (soft) stage. The pockets are filled with resin-modified glass ionomer that releases cavity-inhibiting fluoride ions into the interproximal areas. B&D is working with multiple laboratories in order to establish them as certified SmartCrown partners to provide this patents-pending technology.
ORIGIN Beyond zirconia offers a translucency similar to lithium disilicate. It has esthetic qualities combined...
Shawn Holmes, a ceramist at Becker Dental Lab in Herculaneum, MO, had been going to physical therapy in an attempt to relieve lower back pain and discomfort, which was only exacerbated by long hours at the bench. So when a co-worker made a novel suggestion—sit on a stability ball during the workday instead of a regular chair—he decided to give it a shot. After three weeks of alternately sitting in his chair and on the ball—which allowed his core muscles to acclimate to the new sitting position—he now uses the exercise ball all day. "It relieved my lower back pain and the fatigue in my upper back, shoulders and neck," says Holmes. "I'm also not as tired at the end of the day as I was when I sat in a chair."
Unlike most chairs which keep your body in a single, static position, stability balls promote what's called "active sitting." The ball's unstable surface forces your body to constantly adjust its position to stay balanced. This helps engage and strengthen the...
BEGO USA and EOS announced an exclusive North American partnership focused on using a proprietary laser-melting, 3D metal printing process to fabricate removable partial dentures and fixed crowns and bridges.
“We have a long-term collaborative relationship with EOS and we see the positive impact for our dental laboratory partners from this cooperation,” said Axel Klarmeyer, Global Chief Sales Officer at BEGO. “EOS is a manufacturing innovator across a wide spectrum of major industries. This know-how combined with BEGO’s dental expertise will assist our laboratory partners to meet the competitive demands of today and tomorrow.”
During the start-up years of LMT, I read several articles about how product life cycles are bell curves; they typically peak and then decline. I also subscribed to the Harvard Business Review (HBR) and it featured a series about why most startups fail within the first five years.
Between the image of the bell curve and the HBR stats, the message loomed large that I needed to remain on high alert to recognize when LMT might peak and start to decline. I also decided it was important to have more than one product. We created LAB DAY.
Our fourth year was exceptional; I knew then that we were going to beat the all-important first-five-year odds. Nevertheless, my mantra remained that I’d never rest on my laurels. That was never an issue for our team anyway, because rather than being numbers oriented, we’ve always remained focused on challenging ourselves internally to continuously up the ante on what we deliver.
So we introduced Synergy—a magazine designed to appeal to technicians...
Billy Goddard once met a man and helped change his life. The man&mdas;who drove from western Tennessee to a Mission of Mercy (MOM) event in Virginia—had lost his job and, with several decaying and missing teeth, knew his prospects for getting a job interview were slim.
When he left that event, he had a complete denture in place and felt like a brand-new man. "The change was immediately obvious. He was totally confident he could go out and find employment and take care of his family," says Goddard.
It's patients like this that keep Goddard going back to volunteer at MOM events in Wise County, VA and other rural locations. Sponsored by the Virginia Dental Association Foundation and the Virginia Health Department, MOM holds free weekend dental clinics in underserved areas.
To participate, Goddard closes down the removable department at East Tennessee Dental Restorations so he and several staff members—including his father, Laboratory Owner Royce Peters, CDT, and his brother,...
Biodenta North America launched its DentaSwiss PreFAB-4 system, an open CAD/CAM system with a price point below $30,000. Using the system, that includes the DS1300 wet milling unit and 3Shape scanner and design software, laboratories can produce CAD/CAM custom abutments in compliance with FDA regulations provided they establish a quality management system fulfilling the QSR requirement; register with the FDA as a Biodenta (contract) manufacturer; and follow Biodenta’s device master record (DMR) and specifications for production, quality check and labeling.
The company has worked closely with FDA consultants for the past six years and attained FDA 510(k) premarket notification clearance on the final product—custom CAD/CAM titanium and hybrid abutments—rather than on a closed system. “By offering transparent and university-validated CAD/CAM products and solutions, we have become a key dental laboratory industry partner who will support labs in achieving their long-term...
A 45-year-old female missing maxillary right central incisor was wearing a removable partial denture but was not pleased with its esthetics, phonetics and function.
“Something different happens when you’re able to physically hold a case and learn from it instead of a book,” explains Anthony Calonico, CDT, in his article about his unique strategy for teaching occlusion to his staff members.
Headquartered in Seneca Falls, NY
Owner: Bruce Bonafiglia, CDT
200 employees across three locations
Striking a work-life balance is a constant challenge for many of us. How can I squeeze in a workout? Who will watch the kids? When will I fit in a haircut or get the laundry done? And what’s for dinner tonight? If you work at BonaDent, all of those answers can be found within the four walls of its new, state-of-the-art facility in Seneca Falls, NY.
BonaDent’s unique amenities truly make employees feel valued and taken care of: the in-house fitness center, onsite daycare, comprehensive wellness program, weekly visits from a masseuse, and a modern hair and nail salon. Angelo’s Café (named after Angelo Bonafiglia, Founder) provides convenient and healthy choices for breakfast, lunch and take-home dinners, and the coffee shop, Brew C’s (named after Bruce Bonafiglia, President) serves up gourmet lattes and coffee daily. Employees can even use the lab’s...
In just two years, Brad Stevenson has made significant changes at Stevenson Dental Technology, Inc., a full service lab in Crystal River, FL, owned by his parents, Tim and Linda Stevenson.
He's established a CAD/CAM department and stepped up the lab's marketing efforts, including creating a Facebook page and website, through which the lab gained three new clients; updating its promotional materials; and enhancing its sales effort with face-to-face sales calls.
"Recently when I stopped by a new dental office to pick up its first case with us, the office manager mentioned that my wonderfully friendly son stopped by so the dentist decided to give us a try," says Linda. "Brad has brought new life to the lab. His youth and fun personality add so much to our work day. The profession needs more young people like him!"
Having grown up in the lab, the family business is close to Brad's heart. He earned a degree in geology from the University of Florida and returned to the lab after graduation....
Brandon Dickerman never planned to join the family business, Dickerman Dental Prosthetics which was started by his grandfather, Myron Dickerman, CDT, nearly 50 years ago. "Everyone outside my family always assumed that's what I was going to do so, naturally, I decided to go the other way," he recalls with a laugh. But when he graduated from the University of Vermont in 2009 with a degree in geography and didn't like his employment prospects, his grandfather reminded him he always had a place at the laboratory; Brandon took him up on the offer.
He started as a trainee in the removable department, learning about tooth morphology and fabricating bite blocks, custom trays and denture waxups. Then, after a year, Brandon got a special project: learning Straumann's new guided surgery software—coDiagonstiX software and gonyX hardware—and implementing a new digital process in the lab. It sounds like a tall order for a new graduate with little laboratory experience, but computer-savvy...
Bredent has extended its BioHPP® system with new options:
BioHPP, a PEEK-based, ceramic-reinforced, high-performance polymer, is now available in two shades, white (dentine shade 1) and tooth color (dentine shade 2).
BioHPP elegance hybrid abutments with BioHPP elegance titanium base are now available in three processing forms: a conventionally modelled abutment, a preformed abutment and a BioHPP elegance prefab hybrid abutment for digital processing.
The for2press 2 device now offers the option of using a large 10-lt muffle for secondary and full-arch restorations in the model over-pressing technique.
For more information, contact XPdent Corp, the exclusive U.S. distributor, at 877-328-3965 or visit www.xpdent.com.