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Inside Dental Technology
June 2022
Volume 13, Issue 6

The Art of Operating and Managing a Successful Dental Laboratory

Executive Editor Daniel Alter, MSc, MDT, CDT | dalter@aegiscomm.com

Operating and managing a successful dental laboratory is no different than doing so for any other kind of business. Obviously, the nature of our work—the accurate fabrication of a patient-specific prosthesis—presents different perspectives, challenges, and benefits. However, understanding core business principles and harnessing proven tools and processes will greatly improve the service you can provide to your dentist clientele and their patients, as well as considerably benefiting your staff, your organization, and ultimately your own success and lifestyle. There are many opportunities to learn and grow as a business professional, and whether you own or manage a laboratory, a knowledge of sound business principles can elevate the value you provide to your business, and therefore elevate your personal value proposition.

Where can one grow their knowledge and elevate their problem-solving acuity in the business realm? There are many books written on the subject, and one can either buy them or borrow from the local library; however, there are also many digital opportunities, from YouTube channels, blogs, and vlogs to social media groups and online business influencers who share their processes when approaching business decisions. Being part of a collaborative working group, whether in or out of the dental space, can yield fresh and differing perspectives and encourage out-of-the box thinking when growing your dental laboratory.

A useful path, which I feel to be very beneficial for many in the dental space, is the use of open-source academia. There are higher education institutions that offer their courses digitally, many of which are free of charge or at minimal cost, so that a user can access the course, the content, and all the nuggets of wisdom—though without gaining any university credits for the effort. However, that is of no concern since the content itself is what has true relevance for your future and the future of your dental laboratory. There are free business courses presented by MIT, Harvard, and other prestigious Ivy League universities.1 MIT offers free online courses called Introduction to Financial and Managerial Accounting, Law for the Entrepreneur and Manager, Entrepreneurial Marketing, and Invention and Patents, to name a few, while the Small Business Administration offers similar online courses, podcasts, books, and other resources for entrepreneurs. A simple online search of free business courses will reveal a plethora of options.

Whatever your path to business knowledge, it is imperative for any dental laboratory owner or manager to elevate and enhance their business acumen in order to set their laboratory on a trajectory toward growth and development. The effort will be incredibly rewarding on so many levels, both personally and professionally, and your future self will be very grateful for the work you put in to become the best and most efficient dental laboratory technology business professional.

It is my honor and pleasure to Elevate and Inspire with Knowledge!

Reference

1. 15 free online business courses you can take from Harvard, Yale, MIT and other amazing schools. Entrepreneur. https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/326867. Published January 28, 2019. Accessed May 3, 2022.

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