The Invisible Wall

I’ve been thinking about average lately. In my over four decades of dental laboratory “experience”, I’ve seen lots of average; average dentists, average patients, average dental technicians, and average dental work.

I can find no clearly defined borders to average. Is it the middle 50%, the middle 25%, the middle 80%? In 1977, in a forward to Dr. Peter Dawson’s book Evaluation diagnosis and Treatment of Occlusal Problems, Dr. L.D. Pankey said about dentists, “It has been said, ...

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How to Become a Dental Lab Technician

Dental technicians create crowns, bridges and dentures after receiving an impression of the patient’s teeth from a dentist.  There are three main departments in a dental lab: Crown and Bridge, Porcelain, and Dentures.  Many dental technicians work in one department.  This makes it easier to become a dental technician because you do not need to learn everything, only a specific skill or group of skills.

PTC has been training dental lab technicians for over 30 years.  Our training systems and ...

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Why Pursue Continuing Education?

Editor’s note:  This article was initially published as an email in January 2011. I decided to republish it on the blog after receiving this email from a lab owner.


The article that you e-mailed back on 1-28-11 was such an inspiration to us here that several of us have gone on to pursue their CDT. We have three new CDT’s here now with four more studying for the tests. I printed and passed out your article back then to everyone in ...

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5 Things Every Dental Lab Owner Should Know

As PTC’s Director of Training, I have trained hundreds of lab owners, and key  technicians over the past 10 years. I’m sure I learned as much from them as they did from me.   As I reflect back on the many concepts that we taught and learned, 5 concepts come to mind as some of the most significant in changing our thought process from stuck to successful.

1.  Productivity and quality go hand in hand and are not exclusive of each ...

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Increasing Skill with Precisely Defined Objectives: Primary Planes

Of the many unique concepts in PTC’s, I believe one of the most interesting is the primary plane.

I first heard of primary planes when I was introduced to PTC in 1983. I thought it was a very clever idea/concept, but I must admit that for nearly 15 years I really didn’t understand the true purpose of it.

Purpose of Primary Planes

Creating primary planes is one of the first steps in contouring wax or ceramic restorations.

On posterior anatomy, ...

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Business Principles from Successful Dental Labs

The New Year is typically a time when we reflect on the past year and, inevitably, thoughts go to what we wish we would have done better. The start of a new year is the Perfect time to put those thoughts into actions.

Success in 2010

This year, business is at the top of my list. Let’s not even talk about the economy. I don’t know about you, but I’m fed up with all the facts and figures and doom and gloom ...

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Preparing for the Unexpected in 2010

The end of 2009 is near. Have you accomplished your last year’s New Year resolution?

Actually, I don’t even remember if I made one, other than the usual, “try to be a better example to my kids.” That one I routinely renew every year…

The problem is that a new year’s resolution is a goal and studies show that 2% of us actually have written goals. Personally I think 2% is a little high but I’m not an “expert” in that area.

Preparing ...

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Getting Everyone on the Same Page

When I ask lab owners what the number one thing they would like to see happen in their labs they frequently say; “I would just like to see everybody get on the same page.”

What does getting on the same page mean? Group agreement and harmony? Everybody doing the same thing? Everyone creating consistent quality? Simply doing what you ask? How about everyone just stop making mistakes? I think it is all this and more.

Getting on the same page is obviously ...

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The Price of Genius

My Friends Thought I was Crazy

The year was 1983 and I was a one man lab living in the country on a 90 acre farm. I had a vision that I could build a dental dynasty in the wilderness of Willow Springs, Missouri so I purchased the PTC System. If I remember correctly the system cost somewhere near $24,000. Back then that was the cost of a brand new Corvette.

As I look back, maybe I was a little crazy, but ...

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