Ryan Johnson Chief Technology Officer of DT Technologies, a Division of Dental Arts Laboratories, Inc.
01. In your opinion, what makes DT Technologies unique? What was it that led Dental Arts Laboratories to form DT?
DT is unique because it was developed as an internal division to support Dental Arts Laboratories’ CAD/CAM growth. We saw the need to adapt to the changes in the industry by embracing and mastering CAD/CAM technologies and skills.
Although we started DT with a focus on our needs, we quickly found that other labs faced the same challenges as we did. Our solution has worked for these labs also, allowing our customers to continue to grow.
02. Why should a lab consider partnering with DT Technologies for their needs?
A lab should use us because we daily utilize the technology we sell, train and support. We have the experience and expertise to help out in most any situation. We have staff pushing the limits as a lab first, not just a feature to sell. Therefore, we focus on real world performance and results that help labs be efficient and successful.
03. What makes your BioZX2 different in the sea of other zirconia products?
BioZX2 stands out because of the quality of the product and the Dental Direkt team. They have developed a highly esthetic product from shading to translucency. They use only the top material suppliers and consistently move toward improving their products. They also have a pre-shaded, dip technique and paint on shades for any laboratories’ preference.
04. What new product categories are helping you and your customers grow in this economy?
Premium products and the ability to do more complex cases in-house. The big drivers for us are implant abutments and bars, zirconia bridges for implants, chrome cobalt and fixed rate noble PFMs.
05. What new technologies are you excited about?
We are very excited about SLM and print technologies. We’re also excited about hybrid milling, printing and advances in design and scan technology to speed up workflows and add to our in-house product lines.
06. Besides the purchase cost, what should a lab consider before getting involved with CAD/CAM?
A lab should definitely look for a partner in CAD/CAM with a good aptitude to help them achieve their goals. If you have a large lab, your needs differ from a small lab and vice versa. Ask to see the equipment in production and also invest in education and talent.
07. How should a lab get started with CAD/CAM?
A lab should have a solid plan of action. It is best to ease into CAD/CAM and set development goals. Find an outsource partner to lean on for tough jobs and allow for margin for training and development.
08. What should a lab look for in a CAD/CAM partner?
Find someone you like working with. Find someone that can do the kind of work you want to put your name on. Make sure their goals on development match your own needs and make sure they are stable and investing for the future.
09. How is dental technology changing?
Teeth remain the same but the materials, techniques and technologies are evolving rapidly. It is great for skilled technicians that embrace the change and offers leverage for implementing their knowledge. I also see dental technicians embracing a role of empowerment and going farther for their customers.
10. Where do you see dental CAD/CAM going in the next five years?
I see CAD/CAM blurring the lines of manufacturers, dentists and technicians to where all are collaborators in patient treatment. I see printing and digital imaging taking a more prominent role. Also, we anticipate the price of materials and equipment going down, and the introduction of next generation materials, bio-metrics, nano resins, imaging and bioengineering.