Inside Dental Technology
August 2015
Volume 6, Issue 8

Research Indicates Further Decrease
in Laboratory Numbers by 2017

The number of dental laboratories in the US is expected to continue to drop over the next 2 years.

A report released in June 2015 predicted that the number of dental laboratories operating businesses in the US is expected to continue to drop over the next 2 years.

The National Association of Dental Laboratories (NADL) released a market research study predicting that the percentage of dental laboratory businesses in the US will have decreased by 39 percent from 2006 to 2017. The research was compiled by Valmont Research and the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In 2006 there were 12,250 dental laboratories doing business in the US, a number that includes all 1-person-or-more laboratories with a payroll. Between 2006 and 2014 that number decreased to 7,732 indicating a 36.9% decrease. The study predicts a further drop of approximately 3.6% by 2017.

NADL Executive Director Bennett Napier, MS, CAE, noted that the news is not all bad.

“Gross sales in the dental laboratory industry are ticking upward, so there is an opportunity for those dental laboratories left in the market to grow their businesses,” Napier says. “In addition, the average annual pay since 2010 for dental technicians has risen by 7.5%, with a 2.4% increase between 2013 and 2014. This is largely based on a competitive market wanting to retain trained technicians.”

However, Napier warns that the number of laboratories could continue to drop after 2017.

“Most industry consultants believe the next wave of major constriction will occur in the 2018-2020 timeframe, given the numbers of smaller laboratory owners reaching retirement age,” Napier says.

As domestic options shrink for dentists utilizing laboratory services, a major concern for the NADL is the prospect of dentists using restorations produced in other countries.

“Everyday American patients depend on their dentists to place long-lasting to permanent dental restorations but have no knowledge where or how that restoration was produced,” says Gary Iocco, co-chair of the NADL Public Awareness Committee.

The NADL is promoting transparency in dentistry and the role and value of trained dental technicians by promoting public awareness of the issues affecting many dental patients in its “What’s in Your Mouth?” campaign.

Zimmer, Biomet Complete Deal

The new Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc., highlighted a series of mergers and acquisitions recently.

Zimmer Holdings, Inc. announced that, following the receipt of U.S. Federal Trade Commission clearance, Zimmer has completed the acquisition of Biomet in a cash and equity transaction currently valued at approximately $14.0 billion. In connection with the combination, Zimmer has changed its corporate name to Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc.

“The coming together of Zimmer and Biomet is a momentous achievement. We are excited to move forward as one company and to pursue new opportunities that benefit patients, healthcare professionals, and employees around the globe,” said David Dvorak, President and CEO of Zimmer Biomet. “Over the past several months, our integration planning teams have been working to ensure that we capture the best of both companies and create a seamless and efficient transition. I look forward to continuing to work closely with our employees for the benefit of all of our stakeholders.”

More Mergers, Acquisitions

Elsewhere, MicroDental Laboratories announced the acquisition of Rock Creek Dental Ceramics, Ltd., in O’Fallon, Illinois. Effective immediately, Rock Creek will merge with MicroDental’s Donnell Dental Laboratory with the goal of forming one of the leading laboratories in the greater St. Louis metropolitan area.

G&H Dental Arts, in Torrance, California, announced the acquisition of Cushman & Associates Dental Lab and Buttress-Wilshire Dental Laboratory, augmenting its capabilities with additional removables technicians.

Cornerstone Dental Labs, in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, announced the acquisition of Jaslow Dental Laboratory, Inc. Cornerstone also acquired Goodman Dental Lab in November 2014.

Benco Dental to Distribute Amann Girrbach Products

Benco Dental announced a distribution partnership agreement with European manufacturer Amann Girrbach. While the companies have enjoyed success for years, they said in a news release that a combined focus and alignment of synergies will allow for one of the best offerings available to the market at the right time.

“In meetings over the past several months, we have realized that we have the right people in both organizations, with the right expertise, to deliver a robust set of open solutions to our diverse customer base,” says Paul Jackson, VP of Marketing for Benco Dental. “Our agreement with Amann Girrbach affords both companies the chance to meet the needs of the dentist and the laboratory with leading-edge equipment and materials.”

Marco Ratz, CEO of Amann Girrbach, adds: “I’m thrilled about the Benco Dental and Amann Girrbach partnership. Benco Dental and Amann Girrbach have been in discussions for quite some time. Both companies have grown and evolved at such an accelerated rate in the past few years, and we feel this is the perfect opportunity to focus our combined energies on delivering the right set of solutions to the market. The technology is ever-changing, and we have seen a shift in the market; we are well equipped to mutually support it.”

Straumann Becomes Majority Shareholder in Dental Wings

Dental Wings announced that Straumann has increased its ownership position in the company from 44% to 55%, with an option to increase to full ownership by 2020. Although Straumann is now the majority shareholder, the founders and executive management of Dental Wings will remain with the company and retain operational control. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We are delighted that Straumann has further increased their ownership position in Dental Wings as an affirmation of the work we are doing to advance digital dentistry for professionals and patients alike,” says Michael Rynerson, CEO of Dental Wings. “In Straumann, we have a world-leading partner that embodies technical, operational, and sales excellence, from which we and our customers will benefit greatly.”

Marco Gadola, CEO of Straumann, adds: “This deal secures our access to leading-edge technology and supports our strategy to become a total solution provider. Dental Wings covers the full digital workflow – from treatment planning and guided surgery to final restoration. It also has an exciting development pipeline, which complements our current technology platform and will enable us to offer customers central, in-lab, and chairside milling possibilities in addition to state-of-the-art intraoral scanning. In addition, I am delighted that we have been able to increase our ownership without losing the entrepreneurial vision and genius of its founding shareholders, who will help us to drive innovative technologies and cost-effective solutions that make life easier and more predictable for dentists and laboratories.”

We Need Your Voice – The NBC JTA National Validation Survey

The NBC is in the process of conducting its 2015 Job Task Analysis (JTA). The analysis aids in identifying the current knowledge, skills, and abilities that a professional in a particular field should possess in order to be credentialed. The tasks derived from the JTA analysis form the construct of the CDT examinations and identify the areas on which candidates will be tested. The JTA has several components to ensure that the process is valid and meets international standards for certification programs. One important component is a National Validation Survey, and that is a step in the process where we need your input.

The NBC has already completed the JTA revalidation phase. In this phase, a group of 13 subject matter experts (SMEs) meet to review the content outlines for each CDT examination to determine if new processes need to be added, tasks clarified, or outdated tasks removed. The review was completed May 14-16 in Orlando, Florida.

The next step will be to verify the SMEs’ work on a national level through a National Validation Survey. This survey will be conducted by NBC’s third-party testing partner, Professional Testing, Inc. Individual responses will be kept confidential. We are excited to announce that the survey is open and ready for your input.

Please visit surveymonkey.com/r/CDTJTA2015 and make sure your voice is heard. Participants in the survey will earn 1 hour of Documented Scientific Credit and will be entered into a drawing to win 1 of 5 $100 cash prizes. The winners will be drawn at random by Professional Testing, Inc. The deadline to complete the survey is Friday, October 9.

Following the compiled results of the National Validation Survey, the NBC has several additional steps yet to completed before the full scope of work is concluded and the new JTAs launched. Some of these steps include:

• Realignment to the Item Bank: In this phase, the NBC will require a team of SMEs to reassign/revalidate written examination questions for any task areas that require updates and changes.

• Practical Examination Review/Linkages/Updates: Based on the changes to the content outline, the NBC will work with SMEs to update the practical examinations to ensure they are valid and link the practical examinations back to the updated JTA.

• Passing Score Studies: If extensive changes are made to the construct of the examination, the NBC may have to hold passing score studies to identify new cut scores associated with the updated JTA.

The process to update the CDT examinations is a long and tedious process. However, it is necessary to ensure that the examinations remain relevant to the profession. The NBC will continue to update constituents throughout the process as we get closer to completion. Updates will be provided on the NBC website at nbccert.org and through the Journal of Dental Technology.

Please take a moment today and complete the National Validation Survey at surveymonkey.com/r/CDTJTA2015 and help shape the future of the CDT program.

IDT Remembers T.G. Hornischer, Tom Mays

The dental laboratory community lost 2 valued members recently with the passing of T.G. Hornischer CDT, and Tom Mays, BSC, CDT.

Hornischer, a member of Inside Dental Technology’s Editorial Advisory Board since the journal’s inception in 2010, owned the Prosthetic Group and Paradym Dental Arts in Tyler, Texas.

“T.G.’s vast knowledge of dental technology and his enthusiasm in sharing it were remarkable,” says Tay Harvey, Director of US Operations for anaxdent, one of the companies with which Hornischer worked closely. “Working with him was such a blessing. Had we had more time, I’m pretty sure we could have changed the world, and we would have had a blast doing it.”

Mays, a member of the IDT Editorial Advisory Board from 2010 to 2014, owned Denture Seminars USA in Forth Worth, Texas.

“It has been a great ride,” Mays wrote in a letter to IDT last year about his retirement. “Teaching and being an educator has been a great experience.”

Ivoclar Vivadent Central Regional Manager Herbert Baird remembers Mays as having “a passion for better removable dentistry.”

“Tom was a class act, one to remember, hard to follow, much less beat, and never forgotten,” Baird says.

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