Welcome to The BRIDGE, an online network from LMT dedicated exclusively for members of the Dental Laboratory community.
The Daily Bite
The number of dental schools and total enrollment has remained relatively steady since 1970. Currently, there are 57 accredited schools in the U.S. including Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona AZ which opened in the fall of 2008. However, the number of applicants has more than doubled in the last 20 years.
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Engineered specifically for the production of precision dental prosthetics, the DWX-50, combing advanced features with exceptional performance, is the ideal wax, PMMA and Zirconia milling machine.
>Respondents to LMT's Small Lab Survey speak out about the future of our industry. ###The Future Looks . . . Great My business has stayed strong through this terrible economy. If I made it through...See more this, I can make it through anything. My cosmetic workload dropped off a bit during the past couple of years, but has really picked back up as of late. My future looks incredibly solid. As the masses move toward CAD technology, I move in the completely opposite direction. I educate my clients on the shortcomings of this new technology and they're grateful for the insight. I work with dentists who appreciate what I can do for them, they trust my expertise and we love working as a team. The outlook is great. My philosophy has always been keep doing what I am doing. There is a huge demand for removable technicians due to the demand for dentures, partials, etc. I currently have a full workload most of the time; occasionally, a little more than I would prefer. I have been working with my clients for an average of 20 years and we have a good working relationship. I was feeling some pressure to invest in a CAD/CAM system but for the amount of requests I'm getting for those types of restorations, outsourcing is working well for me. I only fabricate dentures. The clients love my work. I see a solid future and possible growth. The demand for my artwork is high and I have been approached to lecture and produce instructional DVDs to be marketed to schools and private practices. There will be more work as more technicians are retiring. Great. I get clients on referrals and I've been doing well. I don't want to get too busy so things are perfect for me right now. The digital laboratory's future is going to be a successful one. We've been scanning for almost five years and we're installing a Roland 5-axis milling machine. Our next step in the digital market will be to incorporate digital printing for models and possibly install a second design station. We've taken these last slower years and invested time and money in technology to be prepared for the future. We're poised for growth. Although I'm "old school" and retiring soon, I think the future for dental technology is bright, marvelous and amazing. Our industry will remain interesting and challenging. I'm busier than I've ever been. I have young doctors and their practices are growing, thus I'm swamped. My business has grown tremendously in the past three years, and I don't see a slowdown soon. I am considering hiring more technicians. ###The Future Looks . . . Grim Outsourcing to China is taking market share. CAD/CAM technology and implant companies are taking profits away from labs. Digital dentistry will eventually kill much of the posterior work. Chairside milling machines will continue to take more work away from labs. Rising costs of materials and equipment, expensive technology and sky-rocketing precious metals are all killing profits. Bleak; my volume is 50% down so far this year. It's getting harder and harder to compete with the large laboratories because dentists are shopping for "cheap" more than I have ever seen in 42 years. Digital technology is going to price the small lab out of business. The machinery needed to keep up is too expensive and outsourcing costs make your profit margin too low to survive. In recent weeks, I've learned about two different CAD companies telling my doctors they will soon be able to bypass "those expensive technicians" and just deal directly with their companies. Many CAD/CAM companies don't seem to be a good match for small labs because of the high costs and learning curve. Large laboratories have a huge advantage here. Not doing very well; may be forced to retire. Not too good! Artistry is no longer valued! It seems that larger laboratories are surviving while small labs are price cutting and having difficulty maintaining a decent profit margin. Offshore labs are destroying our business. In my opinion, these labs should be taxed to compete with the local labs. I can't afford scanners and expensive equipment. I'm sure most other small laboratories would agree we're going to end up with very few large labs and the small to medium labs will be gone--yes, even the high-quality ones. Because entry-level wages are so low, I don't think young men and women will be interested in this field in the future. Competition in NY is fierce; it's 95% price driven. When I go into a new dental office to introduce myself, the first question the doctor asks is, "How much?" Small labs will go the way of the dinosaur. Increased regulations/compliance costs coupled with cheap offshore work that flows into this country unregulated will choke them out. Dentistry is getting more expensive. The supplies are costing more. Labs cannot increase their fees, yet the doctors are charging more to the patients and complain about lab fees. Read the results of the Small Lab Survey here: [The Future of the Small Laboratory: Grim Or Great?](articles/3130)
Partnership Announcement Sagemax announces a new partnership with Nabertherm to offer its high-temperature HTCT 01/16 zirconia sintering furnace. Equipped with SiC heating elements to avoid contamination...See more or chemical interactivity often experienced between zirconia units and molybdenum disilicide heating elements, the furnace can reach 1,550°C in less than 40 minutes with cooling capability back to 200°C within 120 minutes for a reasonable overall cycle time and can sinter a variety of different zirconia materials. The furnace augments Sagemax's CAD/CAM product line which also includes its NexxZr, a high-translucency full contour zirconia, and a range of zirconia and wax discs compatible with different systems. Last summer, Sagemax partnered with Roland DGA to sell its DWX-50 milling machine and Tanaka Dental to market its pre-sintered stains and other products. For more information, call 877-386-0389 or 253-220-5151, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.sagemax.com.
Three-quarters of home-based lab owners responding to LMT's survey are "very satisfied" with their decision to work from home. In addition to the financial benefits, they appreciate the flexibility, relaxed...See more atmosphere and their ability to balance work/home demands more easily.
The proliferation of digital technologies continued to flourish at the IDS, with more and more digital manufacturing solutions that enable users to address a greater number of applications and work with...See more a larger range of materials. In addition, the 3D printing market continues to expand.
In August, more than 20 dental product and software dealers from across the U.S. and Canada attended Roland DGA Corp.'s comprehensive training event on the features, operation and maintenance of Roland's...See more DWX Dental Milling Machines. Held at the company's Irvine, CA, headquarters, the three-day course also included presentations designed to help dealers supply their DWX customers with the highest levels of service and support, and provided extensive hands-on training in the replacement of key machine components that qualified the attendees as Roland Certified Engineers. "We bring value to our customers by helping our dealers become experts on Roland technology," says Tony Miller, Sales Manager, Strategic Accounts at Roland DGA. "This translates into a more informed sales process and better after-sale support and service." For more information on Roland's DWX Dental Milling Machines, or the complete lineup of Roland products and accessories, call 800-542-2307 or visit www.rolanddga.com.
Today there are numerous milling systems available for any size laboratory. Some offer 4-axis milling; others offer 5-axis capability. In addition, the features and pricing varies tremendously. This clinic...See more gives an overview of the CAM software, demonstrates the Roland DWX-50 Mill and shares some of the reasons why it is one of the industry's most popular mills.