Showing posts from 2018

A call to get back to "good-old-fashioned" lab work

A call to get back to "good-old-fashioned" lab work.
(original contents repost from

Interesting read!
The call from the author (Paul Feuerstein, DMD) is to "step back" from running to digital, and improve your basic skills.

I believe that a solid analog foundation can be enhanced by digital - the 2 can live harmoniously...for now.

After reading, thoughts on either side of this?

Are PFMs Dead?

If you don't know the exact number off-hand, about what percentage of your fixed business would you guess is PFM work?  And how does this number compare to 10 years ago? 
Whether you're a dental lab or a dental practice, everyone knows that not all restorations are created equal. But to answer the initial question, I don't think it's fair to say that PFMs are completely dead. 
Like anything else, the constant development and involvement of science, information, and material has advanced dentistry.  With PFMs it appears that a stack-able bilayered restoration with a sometimes bulky margin has been improved upon by the development of 2 monolithic options - zirconia and all other ceramic options.
In a 2013 survey conducted by Lab Management Today, 40% of respondents reported a decline in PFM fabrications, although fewer than 10 years earlier, respondents noted that nearly 85% of all crown and bridge work completed was metal-based. Perhaps directly related, 60% of these same …

DTA's IRONMAN and Drake's CFO is Training for his 5th Race!

He's back at it again this year!

The Dental Trade Alliance featured our CFO, Robert Savage Jr., in a well-written tribute article about his IRONMAN journeys.

In the article, he mentions overcoming mental and physical barriers while training for and participating in the race. 
It's encompassing the idea of what he believes in - what the DTA is all about.
By showing discipline; by overcoming barriers, we can raise awareness and improve access to oral and overall health to those in need - no matter the struggle or difficulty!
"This year my goal is to raise $10,000 for the DTAF so that they can provide these scholarships to Dental School candidates who exemplify a commitment to community service to others and fulfill the mission of the DTAF Scholarship program.  Please help me reach my goal.  I am 4 weeks away from race day and need your support.  Donations can be made through the below link."   👇👇👇👇👇👇

Care for your pet's teeth too!

While it is best to begin home dental care when your puppy or kitten is between 8 and 12 weeks of age, it is never too late! The daily brushing process should be pleasant for both you and your pet!Many pets enjoy the added attention and many owners look forward to the close quality time spent with their companion animal.
The supplies you need are a finger or a soft bristled tooth brush and pet toothpaste.Most animals will accept brushing very well if they are introduced to the procedure in a calm and patient way.The best way is as follows: Day 1: Gently pet and scratch the muzzle, slowly lifting the lip for about 30 seconds.Reward with a treat at the end of the session. You can even give a taste of a flavored pet toothpaste.We recommend CET brand chicken flavored toothpaste! Day 2: Repeat as above, except gently run your finger over your pet’s teeth for 30-45 seconds.Reward and praise again. Day 3: Repeat Day 2, adding 15 seconds time running your finger ov…

Give us the scoop!

You know those relationships that end with "It's not you, it's me". 
Well, what if it is you?

Seems a likely choice to look yourself square in the eye and head back to the drawing board for some changes. Or maybe you figure that whatever didn't work out just wasn't a good fit, and you accept it as it is.

Either way, to know is to understand. So, we must have the scoop!
At work, our customers (or at home, our friends and family) are usually our best shot at giving us some sort of perspective. You can trust your customers' opinions to be mostly accurate based on actual experience, and you have the chance to engage in conversations via the convenience of reoccurred crossed paths. 

So what about the opinions of strangers?
As business owners and entrepreneurs, it's likely that this percentage is a heck of a lot larger than that of our current customers. So there goes that theory we learned as kids telling us not to worry about the opinions of strangers...
If they…

Are you TAP(ping) into sleep?

The Science of Sleep is not just a surrealistic science fantasy movie from the early 2000s! Its the process of studying what happens to your body when you aren't awake. More dentists are tapping into the practice of sleep apnea appliances, snore guards, and bruxism guards as a means toward trying to improve overall health and life quality. 
When it comes to the TAP Appliance, we found the below video to be a huge help with a lot of our repeated questions regarding protrusive bites, seating the appliance with the hooks, grinding down high spots for the patient's lingual, the AM Aligner, etc. 
Thank you to Airway Management for all of their knowledge in making this video, and their continued support of our fabrication of the TAP appliance.  We are honored to be a Laboratory Resource in any way we can! 
Rx a clear or custom-colored Drake Dream TAP today!

Resin Maryland Bridges

What types of conservative dentistry do you practice?

Let's talk about Maryland Bridges as one option. 
When an implant is contraindicated or rejected by the patient, it can be a great aesthetic solution.  (Ideally for a single maxillary or 2 adjacent mandibular incisors.) Whereas cases involving deep class II or tight occlusion, bruxism, or poor posterior support provide a potentially limited prognosis. 

The prep for these cases is also conservative and minimal!

Reduction is limited to the lingual (at least 0.5 mm.) from adjacent teeth, with 2% divergent of parallel in the Interproximal walls adjacent to the edentulous area being restored. The preparation should cover as much of the lingual surface as possible, terminating 1mm from the incisal edge and 1mm from the tissue.

Once the appliance is complete, the resin retainer wings are prepped for adhesion in the laboratory. After try in and adjustments, clean the retainers, silinate and bond to acid etched enamel with bonding agents and…

Giraffes & Humans

I was reading a little 'Fun Facts' list when I saw GIRAFFES ONLY HAVE BOTTOM TEETH.
I think somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew that from past visits to the Zoo, but had never really given it much thought.

Of course I had to research the validity of the statement; it's true(ish).

They only have bottom teeth up front.  That's how, if you've ever been to the Zoo and participated in the feeding, you haven't been bitten!  They have pads on the upper.
However, in the back of their jaw, they do have teeth on the upper and lower.

And although their entire jawbone is not filled with teeth, they still have the same amount as humans - 32!  Can you imagine the eating strength if we had molars just packed in the back like that?

This is where the part about nature comes in that is pretty fascinating. 
Most of the giraffe's dental anatomy takes care of itself and can be explained by it's eating habits. Their molars are a lot taller than that of a human -  theor…

magnets and hinges and dentures, OH MY!

A while back, we made a HINGE denture.
We were presented with a case for a patient with very limited jaw expansion as well as limited hand dexterity.  The combination prevented a conventional denture from being a workable solution.

Never give up though, right?

After research and teamwork from a few of our denture technicians and quality control members, our hinge denture was created.

The maxillary appliance opened and closed on hinges - allowing for a narrow path of insertion and full expansion once inside the mouth.
The mandibular provided a similar hinge and insertion experience with the anterior teeth sliding and anchoring on once in the mouth.

Needless to say, we were thrilled with the design and the opportunity for the patient!  

This is what we come to work for every day.

Each appliance helps in some way - even if it's just a sports guard.
We enjoy what we do!

Never give up, right?....

That's what we said when we heard back from the dentist shortly after delivery to say that the de…

Dentists Are Like Parents And Employees Are Kinda Like Kids (RE-POST from SWYP DENTAL)

Here's a little RePost Read for you this Friday!  (Brought to you by SWYP DENTAL). If you're not familiar with their site or app yet, you really should check it out... lots of interesting reads and feeds available as they get off the ground. I find myself jumping on the app just to find articles of relevance or conversations to follow.  
How does this article by Dr. Pham apply across all avenues of the workforce? If you're an Employee/'Kid' reading this, do you concur?

SWYP DENTAL Your favorite dental news delivered beautifully. POSTED ONAPRIL 20, 2018 BY DR. TUAN PHAM Dentists Are Like Parents And Employees Are Kinda Like Kids What do I mean employees are like kids? If you are parents or have nephews/nieces/etc, you know that kids test your limits right? Likely, YOU yourself have tested the limits. Did you always do what your parents told you? Don’t lie. I didn’t. I didn’t as a kid and I didn’t as a teenager. I pushed curfew be it when I was 12 playing video games do…

Communicate with the Lab...via Videos and Photos!

Use Your Phone to Communicate With The Lab About Dentures... and Not By Dialing Our Number.
How many times have you done a denture wax try-in that just was not how you or the patient wanted it?How do you go about communicating this to the laboratory? 
Often, it is difficult to describe or just takes too many words on a prescription.As many of you know, I am an advocate of using clinical photography for most of my cases.With dentures, it’s unusual to get clinical photography at the laboratory.Honestly, a picture is truly worth a thousand words for try-in evaluation.Our technicians are quite adept at studying a photograph and appreciating changes that should be implemented.

Your phones are typically in a convenient pocket so why not whip them out and get some photography?

This patient was very concerned not to show so much lower incisor, however, she did not want a great deal of upper incisor to reveal either.The photographs aided this case.The technician immediately knew that he would have…



NADL stands for National Association of Dental Laboratories. And the NADL has a pretty neat mission behind that name too.The NADL aggressively advances the dental laboratory technology industry and its members through advocacy, education, standards and services. The NADL is the dental laboratory industry’s respected authority, delivering the highest standards to ensure the members are viewed as valued professionals on the dental health team.
The NADL carries out so many wonderful things for the dental industry.  They have even launched the WHAT'S IN YOUR MOUTH campaign to highlight the role and value of a trained and educated dental technician as part of the dental restorative team.
We encourage you to check out NADL's homepage or the new campaign page (linked above) for tons of helpful tips and reads on the forward advocating movements taking place in the dental industry.
Happy Teething Everyone!

30 Awesome Things To Do in Retirement

Although completely random, today's blog is pretty appropriate.

We had a wonderful, kind, hard-working technician retire from the lab today.

He's worked at Drake since 1990.
Since I was in Kindergarten.

On the days that I feel exhausted by my young children and 15 year career, I can think about our retired friend who has put in many many more years than me. 
He's earned his time to venture on to slower things,
or nothing at all.

Congrats, Gary! Best Wishes.

If you're in the market for new adventures, check this article out!It's called 30 Awesome Things To Do in Retirement The rest of us will be here cheering you on for another few decades or so...
 29. Drive a Big Rig

m i l l i n g w i t h d r a k e

As dental technicians, we're so thankful to work in a laboratory that provides us with machines and technology to streamline and perfect our work - all while adding the glory of our hands and artistic skills that every custom product needs. Here's a little view into our world of milling zirconia!

Our Celtra Story

Check out our Celtra Story in this video by Dentsply Sirona !
See how our lab has begun to incorporate this new product into our workflow and is organically nurturing it's growth and welcoming it's unique characteristics and benefits.