Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Less Dentists in the U.S.A. ?

Recently many news reports discuss the future of American dentistry and come to a very sad conclusion: very soon the United States shall witness a shortage of dentists.

"Residents of the United States who need teeth extracted may soon have to do it the old-fashioned way — with pliers, whisky and elbow grease — because there may not be enough dentists to go around." These are the remarkes from today's news story:
United States faces dentist shortage by Roger Collier, CMAJ

"The number of practicing dentists is projected to start declining in 2014, which will likely exacerbate an existing problem: the unwillingness of many to practice in rural areas. Further compounding the problem are such factors as a continuing migration from general practice to specialties like orthodontics, the closure of dental schools, a decrease in the size of graduating classes, the forthcoming mass retirement of older dentists and the growing number of female dentists, who tend to work fewer hours than their male colleagues."

Dental technicians seem to be falling in this sad trend. However, we may provide some statistics on how are the things going on in the U.S.A. as compared to the rest of world.  ASMDT compiled this Selected Statistics on World Dental Laboratory Technicians - based on the data of the World Health Organization (WHO). Germany (with the number of dentists twice as low as compared to America) is the leader with the number of Dental Lab Technicians, and the U.S.A. is not far behind.  

We are not overall pessimistic - we still hope that somewhere around the people with "with pliers, whisky and elbow grease" Dental Lab Technicians might be standing with a helping hand???

Monday, October 19, 2009

MDT: Alternative Direction to Profitability

Going back in time in the lab industry, experience and trade secrets were always sheltered by technicians due to their insecurity and lack of education.
Education to the average lab owner or technician had always been kept at a minimum as long as they produced something resembling a gadget with a price on it – that was all that was necessary.
We have seen the transition take place in the past fifty years and education has become the primary factor.
Times have changed in the past twenty years and now the gadgets are being produced off shore and labor costs there are definitely affecting the livelihood of labs.
So in the past it was the lack of sharing knowledge. But now it is cheaper productivity with lower cost of labor.
It’s been our experience that labs refer 50% of work to other labs because they are unable to predict the end result of complex cases.
We recently did a survey of labs employing Master Dental Technologists and it was no surprise to find that labs indicated a solid 50% increase in income mainly due to the fact that all types of cases from prosthetic specialists and other difficult cases are no longer being turned away.

Employing MDT’s with their knowledge is essential to your lab’s function because they develop refined abilities in all technical and physiological aspects; they have increased understanding of occlusal principals and can design cases beyond full-mouth reconstruction through forensics.
With MDT knowledge, your lab is able to open effective communication on the dentist’s level and to save chair-time for the patient as well as the dentist; not to mention your increased income.
Labs usually guide and work with the dentist to enhance the outcome of each case they receive and enhanced communication naturally brings in more work to the lab.
The dentist’s partnership with your lab is vital because of securing the end result on the “big money cases” and to prevent the loss of time and money.
Our Home Study Program is designed to train your technicians in your lab as a continuing educational program. Upon completing our course, each lab technician becomes Certified as a Master Dental Technologist.
Visit our website, WWW.ASMDT.COM, for complete information on our Master Dental Technologist Programs.
We also welcome your telephone call (+1(718) 746-8355) to discuss discounts for multiple technician use of our Home Study Program.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

ASMDT Graduate in the News

Yesterday The Connecticut Post had a feature on one of the graduates of ASMDT Course. Also Mr. Askalsky made a tesitmonial on his studies at ASMDT, that can be read here

New partners to grow dental lab

By Michael C. Juliano
Updated: 10/13/2009 08:50:46 PM EDT

Alexander Askalsky of Trumbull came to the United States from Russia in 1976 with his family, unable to speak English.
A dozen years later, he opened Metropolitan Dental Laboratory in New York City, and then moved it to Monroe in 1998, Stratford a year later and then Milford, where his 4,800-square-foot laboratory with 12 employees has been on Oxford Road since 2006.
"I appreciate living in this country, having come from Russia, where I lived in a 'box' and was not allowed freedom of expression," said Askalsky, 52. "I believe it's the only country in the world where someone can make it if they work hard."
Askalsky received his master's degree in dental technology from New York University School of Dentistry's American School of Master Dental Technology. In 2007, he became a member of the American College of Prosthodontists and is working on becoming a technical fellow of the Northeastern Gnathological Society, dedicated to the anatomy and physiology of chewing.
His hope is to grow his business, which makes implants, dentures, crowns and bridges and has 60 clients, into one of the best dental laboratories in the world with the help of Michelle Bravo, his business partner for the past month, Askalsky said.
"Our expertise is a two-punch operation that will hopefully get us to where we're going," Askalsky said.
Bravo, who grew up in Fairfield and now lives in Easton, worked for 12 years as the communications manager for the Cambridge, Mass., office of Straumann, a Swiss dental implant company, before returning to Fairfield County seven years ago as a stay-at-home mother for her two children. After the end of her marriage, she started looking for employment six months ago, and after applying to more than 60 jobs online, she found a small ad in the newspaper that read "Dental lab sales" and included a phone number.
"I never imagined that this phone number would lead me to a hard-working Russian-Jewish man that owned a dental laboratory in Milford," she said. "I began working for Alex two weeks after an interview and it has been an amazing experience."
Bravo said she will use her marketing experience with Straumann to grow the business.
"I see amazing potential in this laboratory," Bravo said. "Alex has amazing technical ability and equipment."
As a way to give back to the dental community, Metropolitan Dental Laboratory has opened its Continuing Education Center free of charge to anyone in the profession, Bravo said.
"We understand and encourage the teaching of the rapid evolution of dentistry and would like to support the dental community in this capacity," she said. "It is our way of appreciating and encouraging the evolution of dentistry."
Many businesses in Milford are trying to improve to survive today's slow economy, said Kathleen Alongo, president and chief executive officer of the Milford Chamber of Commerce.
"Everyone's trying to find that special change they would make in their operations and business plan to bring them into a very positive cash flow," she said. "It's a story we hear quite a bit."
Milford dental business hungry to grow

Monday, October 12, 2009

ASMDT Course Testimony

Mariana Davidashvilly writes us:

         “There is no doubt, that education benefits you in every possible way.  It opens doors of competency in what you are doing and thus professional satisfaction of a perfect result, followed by gratitude and respect from the dentists.”
         “I would like to share what I am experiencing by watching my husband, Benny, taking the road of knowledge, aspiring to be a Master Dental Technologist.  I remember back, more than fourteen years ago, he was 22 when I met him, he was always referred to as ‘the talented one’ or ‘the one with the good hands’, but he was constantly searching for explanations to, How does this really have to be?; Why does this have to be this way?  Before he learned about the ASMDT Program, he would put his hands on every professional book he came across.  I saw him spending evening after evening studying books about ceramics and techniques of pioneers like W. Geller and J. Ubassy.  He read and reread them numerous times, would come home very late, trying and experimenting with new techniques in a lab, and so he mastered himself in Ceramics, Cosmetics and Esthetics.”
         “Needless to say, he was very excited to the find ASMDT in 1999.  And in the same year, he entered the M.D.T. Program.  I watched him being very passionate when he studied the course materials.  It was definitely not an easy period for all of us: for him dedicating almost all of his free time to studying, and, for me and the kids to understand and support him.  Benny finally graduated, being one of the best.”
         “Now, Benny is nearing the second year that he has been dedicating his time as a volunteer Instructor in the M.D.T. Program, helping students with everything he can.”
         “I can definitely tell that this acquired knowledge and expertise enabled him to be presented with the opportunity to become the Dental Lab Manager at Montifiore University Hospital.  In addition to performing as a ceramist, and due to his extended knowledge as an M.D.T., he was also able to advise and instruct in the Prosthologist Program.”
         “I see that today Benny is living a professional dream come true.  He has all the conceivable variety of prosthodontic cases, including full arch implant cases and so on.  I see that implementing his knowledge from the ASMDT Program, following all the steps and never taking the shortcuts had earned him a great deal of respect among the dental specialists in the hospital.  Just as it is in theory, but unfortunately for the patient, it rarely happens in real life. the technologist has to see the patient as the doctor does.  Benny was very happy to be able to see the patient as much and as often as he needed, to take the shades and to instruct the prosthodontic residents and other doctors in the steps needing to be done for his work.”
         “Without hesitation, I am happy to say, that every single case he now does is an astounding success and both the doctor and patient are extremely pleased.”
         “Last year, at a graduation party for one of the prosthodontic residents, Benny was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation for his commitment, service and support given to the Montifiore Prosthodontic Residency and I, as Mrs. Benny Davidashvilly, Master Ceramist, MDT, was honored with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers and a lot of handshakes of gratitude for the wonderful job being done by my husband.”


Mr. Davidashvilly graduated dental technology school in Israel (1987), followed by a 3-year apprenticeship. After leading European Ceramic Masters, throughout the years he developed techniques and ways of his own. He graduated from New York University, (American Society of Master Dental Technologists) in 2000, and since 2004 has been working closely with Mr. Vincent Alleluia, MDT, TFNGS (Technical Fellow Northeastern Gnathological Society), as an instructor in this program. He has worked at labs in Israel and New York and managed Monte-fiore Hospital’s lab (New York) in the prosthodontic department. Today, he gives lectures, presentations, hands-on courses, and writes articles. Mastering gnathology, morphology, aesthetics, and ceramics has enabled Mr. Davidashvilly to perform with superior excellence. He owns Art & Science Dental Lab in Farmingville, NY

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Dental Information on the Web

 In our previous post we talked about free dental videos on the Internet. And there are some of them that are very professional - covering many aspects of sental business. 
We are providing links to daily news on Dentistry via Twitter account. This is easy: in the SEARCH.TWITTER.COM page type #dentist and you will get  this page:

We have installed new Google gadget - look to the left and click on FOLLOW ME  

We suggest to watch this video from The WealthyDentist:


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Future Of Dentistry

Richard Bernstein,  
Senior Vice President
American Society of Master Dental Technologists - ASMDT
While it’s impossible to accurately predict the future of anything, it is possible to address possible solutions of need.

If dentistry followed the lead of organized medicine in the U. S. they would seek a solution similar to how medicine utilized the Physician Assistants  (P A’s) and Nurse Practitioner programs. P A’s have allowed medical doctors to expand their medical practices, treat more patients, spend more time on research,  spend more time on marketing, spend more time on paper work, and increase their patient revenues & services.

Some states have taken steps in recent years to expand alternative health care laws which includes expanding dental services. Some states allow Denturism by licensing Denturists. California has  Medical Denturity (see Mills Grae University web-site). These are licensed or certificated dental specialties allowing non dentists to provide dental services to the public independently in their own facilities without a licensed dentist on the premises.

New York currently has a legislative bill known as the Denturologist Bill scheduled for a vote this July. The bill would require additional education for dental technicians, dental hygienists and dental assistants. If passed, this bill will allow them to deliver removable dental appliances directly to the patients under the auspices of a duly licensed dentist. We believe this concept will mimic medical P A services, and allow dentists to the same growth benefits as physicians have had in recent years by utilizing P A’s.

Although we can’t predict the future, we can say, if there will be a need to address a future shortfall in dentistry, we Americans will find a solution. When America has a need - a solution becomes an opportunity, and American business entrepreneurs love and thrive on - opportunities.