Real Time ROI: VITA VMK Master Porcelain

March 21, 2012

The Lab

The Lab

Master Ceramist Bob Passaro has been in the lab industry nearly 50 years and founded the Center for Ceramics in Charlotte, N.C. about seven years ago. The lab’s nine employees produce 70 to 80 units a day. This medium- to high-end, family-owned dental laboratory specializes in fixed dental restorations, and Passaro prides himself on staying up-to-date on the latest technology to provide his clients with high-quality, esthetic restorations.  

The product

VITA VMK Master Porcelain, distributed through Vident, A VITA Company in North America, offers exceptional physical properties and handling characteristics. Because of its fine structure, the porcelain features clinical wear characteristics that mimic natural tooth enamel. Its optimum firing temperature as well as chemical and physical properties make it suitable for veneering nearly all types of dental alloys, including non-precious. Other benefits include improved modeling characteristics, minimal shrinkage and accurate, esthetic results.

The Results

After nearly 50 years in the lab industry, Bob Passaro is having more fun than ever.

Not only that, the work he’s producing is the best it’s ever been. He’s excited about what he does again, and after three attempts, he has no plans to try to retire again any time soon. And he said he owes a lot of that renewed enthusiasm to VITA VMK Master Porcelain.

After using the material for five months, he said production at his lab has increased by about 25 percent, mostly because this material is so easy to use and doesn’t shrink. His lab makes 40 to 45 units a day with the material, and he couldn’t be happier with the results.

“I’m having a ball with it. I really am,” Passaro said. “Its ability to block out underlying colors is second to none. There isn’t anything better.”

So what are some of the material’s main benefits? The minimal shrinkage is huge-Passaro said shrinkage is about 10 percent, if that much. It doesn’t shrink on the third or fourth firing like other materials he’s used in the past, and the color stability and accuracy couldn’t be better. It can be stacked in as many colors as you want, and you end up with restorations that compete with what’s coming out of high-end labs, domestic or overseas, no matter what size lab you have.

“I can’t see any lab whether it be a boutique or commercial lab not use this material,” he said. “It’s just foolproof. I took one of my people who’s a waxer and within three weeks he was stacking porcelain. It’s amazing because of the ease of working with it. There’s no technique sensitivity whatsoever.”

Not only does he love the product, he loves the company that makes it. Center for Ceramics is a VITA lab, Passaro said, and over the years he’s been impressed with Vident’s level of customer service. When his lab first began using VMK, Vident sent master technicians to his lab twice to train and re-train his employees, making sure they’re all using the material correctly and achieving the best results. 

“They’ve taken their time with this product,” he said. “They spent a lot of time re-inventing this material. It is absolutely foolproof. There’s no way to make a mistake.”

And Passaro is all about telling other labs about VMK and encouraging them to give it a try. He’s talked the material up to his brothers who work in New York, and now they’re hooked as well.

And back at his lab, Passaro said this material has taken the stress out of his work. He no longer has to worry about the production or the material. There’s no more concerns about technique sensitivity. The system truly is a complete master system.

“It just put us over the top,” Passaro said. “It’s made my life easier, and I’ve been around a long time. This material makes me as excited as the first time I baked porcelain and metal, and 1962 was  the year I did that. I’m at the bench full time. I’ve retired but will never do it again. I’m telling you I was ready to give up again, but with this material I’m having more fun than I’ve ever had and I think my work is probably better now than it ever was. The stress over the production and material and technique sensitivity is gone. Just gone. Disappears. Doesn’t exist.”