Building Great Careers
How Aspen Dental Management, Inc. laboratory technicians play an integral role
Aspen Dental Management, Inc. (ADMI), one of the largest dental support organizations (DSO) in the US, provides administrative and business support services to more than 565 Aspen Dental-branded locations across 34 states, each of which is owned and operated by a licensed, independent dentist.
Seeing the increasing need for dentures among older and younger patients alike, ADMI introduced a laboratory technician training program in 2011 that is spearheaded by an experienced laboratory technician. The program has helped support the exponential growth of Aspen Dental practices, each of which has its own onsite denture laboratory in order to ensure the production of high-quality dentures.
Laboratory technicians are employed by ADMI but work side-by-side with dentists, hygienists, and assistants in Aspen Dental practices. The culture at ADMI and Aspen Dental practices is what differentiates the brand from other DSOs as well as the traditional private practice model that has characterized the dental industry for decades. The model supported by ADMI and Aspen practices has created a clear career path for team members, specifically laboratory technicians.
“The working relationship between a doctor and laboratory technician is paramount,” says Keena Brittingham, DDS, Lead Dentist in Utica, New York. “By having a laboratory technician in each office, we reduce the denture process to half the time. Doctors depend on their laboratory technicians to help them troubleshoot problem cases and gain a better understanding of how patients would like their prosthetics to look and feel, and it creates a deeper connection with patients that positively impacts everyone’s experience.”
Laboratory technicians are always encouraged to grow and develop as professionals, as demonstrated by the training program and newly created CDT reimbursement program offered by ADMI. Multiple opportunities for advancement are offered to laboratory technicians who are interested in managing other technicians or leading an entire territory of technicians. Laboratory technicians can grow and develop into larger roles such as Division Director of Lab Support or Territory Manager of Lab Support.
Since day one, the Aspen Dental brand has always been about breaking down the barriers to better care, better smiles, and better lives. Having an onsite denture laboratory in every office helps deliver on that brand promise, as not only is it convenient for patients, but it also gives them an opportunity to interact directly with the person who will be hand-crafting their denture from impression to insertion to ensure the best possible fit and comfort.
Since the program’s inception in 2011, close to 300 technicians have graduated and been offered full-time positions at ADMI. Laboratory technicians are an integral component to the success of ADMI, Aspen Dental practices, and dentists, and to patients’ well-being.