How Did You??

rc75

rc75

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I'm curious to see how most of us stumbled into the dental field. Here's my story...
I applied for a driver position online not knowing exactly what i would be delivering.
The company called me to show up the next day to an address so I went. It happened
to be a denture lab. I delivered 20-30 dentures a day to different doctors in the area. We
also did some lab work for one local lab as well. I was there so often I got to know the whole
staff pretty well. The owner and his son really liked talking and joking with me and ended up
offering me a job there doing random things office, deliveries, etc. so I happily accepted. My
boss now (James) was a tech in that lab and he had a side business selling dowel pins, c&b boxes
and a couple of other items. So, James asked me if I'd be interested in answering his business
cell phone and he'd pay me for helping him out...sure no problem. When the lab we were working
at changed owners heads started getting chopped really fast. I had only been there 2 years so I was
pretty sure I was going to get cut & I did. James offered me a full time position doing sales calls and
shipping orders so I gladly accepted. Most of you will be surprised to know that TD Dental Supply started
as a 2 man operation literally shipping orders out of James garage at his home. Him & I have worked REALLY HARD
to make this company what it is today! I think we've done a great job considering how this company
started out and neither one of us had any business experience.
 
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CoolHandLuke

CoolHandLuke

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similar. started at the bottom now i'm kanye north. edit: sry this is a drake song. forget i even said anything.

however i'm having issues finding a bank that doesnt laugh at my business proposal.

off topic slightly, i have a friend i met in 2012, 2 months a refugee from Croatia, and he got a business started all above board and he barely speaks english. why can't i ?

dont tell me you need to have cash to get the loan because you don't. clearly if a refugee who cant speak english can get one i'm doing something very wrong. he only wanted 40k and im not looking for more than 70 and the plan calculated a complete return with interest inside 20 months. am i supposed to want 7 million instead and be shackled to the bank till i die ?
 
RCKSTR

RCKSTR

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My ex wife was working for a dental outsourcing center, they needed someone with a mechanical aptitude to run their mills. I said goodbye to aircraft and started doing greenstate noon to midnight. 8 years later I'm managing a dental lab (not the same place I started). Never would have guessed I would end up in the dental industry
 
awhurst011

awhurst011

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After graduating from USC with a bachelors degree in music I didnt know what I wanted to do for a career. So with no ideas on what to do after applying for job after job with any company i found I asked my Dad ( a dentist) to see if the lab that did work for him needed any help. The agreed to take me in and started teaching me things. This was a 2 person lab. One guy handled the removable side the other did fixed. I started out doing pickups and deliveries, polishing, pouring models, denture wax ups and observing as much as possible. After getting some knowledge and skills in the lab I went to work for a larger lab in my state that only did removable. There I learned alot about running a lab, Processing acrylics and finishing dentures and partials. After my wife and I found out we were expecting we decided to move back closer to our family. The lab that I started at lost one of their techs and asked that I come back. Now I handle a little bit of everything. The other tech and myself both tag team removable and fixed. I handle all the CAD/CAM stuff. My story isnt as long as others but I have a long way to go in this field. I think its amazing to look at where I started and compare it to where I am now. The lab industry has done so much for me and my family and I look forward to many years of being in this field.
 
rc75

rc75

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After graduating from USC with a bachelors degree in music I didnt know what I wanted to do for a career. So with no ideas on what to do after applying for job after job with any company i found I asked my Dad ( a dentist) to see if the lab that did work for him needed any help. The agreed to take me in and started teaching me things. This was a 2 person lab. One guy handled the removable side the other did fixed. I started out doing pickups and deliveries, polishing, pouring models, denture wax ups and observing as much as possible. After getting some knowledge and skills in the lab I went to work for a larger lab in my state that only did removable. There I learned alot about running a lab, Processing acrylics and finishing dentures and partials. After my wife and I found out we were expecting we decided to move back closer to our family. The lab that I started at lost one of their techs and asked that I come back. Now I handle a little bit of everything. The other tech and myself both tag team removable and fixed. I handle all the CAD/CAM stuff. My story isnt as long as others but I have a long way to go in this field. I think its amazing to look at where I started and compare it to where I am now. The lab industry has done so much for me and my family and I look forward to many years of being in this field.

Great story! I can 100% agree with you and how this industry has done a lot for me as well. I chose to not go to college
and just work. I'm FAR from rich but I can proudly say I make more money than most my friends that did go to college.
 
awhurst011

awhurst011

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Great story! I can 100% agree with you and how this industry has done a lot for me as well. I chose to not go to college
and just work. I'm FAR from rich but I can proudly say I make more money than most my friends that did go to college.

This is exactly why I looked for work in a field other than music. I love music with every part of my soul but I could not make a career out of it. Something about being a starving musician didnt appeal to me. Little did I know after a few years of working in the dental field I would develop a deep passion for this work. I guess its in my blood.
 
2thm8kr

2thm8kr

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When I was a kid my mother worked in a denture lab. I used to fake being sick so I could go to the lab with her. (wasn't trusted to be on my own at 6 Hmmmm2)
After some time she took a gig in a dental office and I somehow completely forgot about the denture lab considering how enamored I was with it originally.
So after years of small part time jobs growing up and trying different things I had NO idea what I wanted to be when I grew up or if I even wanted to grow up.
Back then I did a lot of drawing and painting, an acquaintance of my family saw some of my drawings and asked me if I would like to try out working in
a C & B lab. I was bored with the job that I had at the time and decided to give it a try. Walking in to the lab brought me right back to being a little kid.

It was an in-house lab with some hotshot Pankey/Schuyler trained old doctor. Come to find out my grandmother used to run his front desk way before
I was born. I worked there part time after school in a vocational training program for school credit hours. My friends in the same program had jobs in restaurants,
lawn services, etc. That is when it dawned on me that this was a unique gig. Being able to work with my hands, use artistic vision, and be challenged mentally
every day was exactly what I needed. Since I had no idea what I wanted to do for a career I figured going to college would be a huge waste of time and money for
me. That was the day I decided I was going to be a technician. My friends that went to college had/have a lot of school loan debt. I got to hang out with them and live
the college student life without incurring the debt or mooching off my parents to live. I used a lot of the money I made working in the lab to travel to a few places around the world, but mostly to self educate myself in dentistry and technology through books, hands on courses and lectures. The techs that mentored me did everything they could to impress upon me the importance of education, not just the technical side, but what the dentists are learning as well. I took every Dr. Spear course that he offered when he used to come to Orlando as well as Dr. Dawson's courses in St. Pete.

One of the labs I worked at full time had a little trouble with an agency known as the IRS. I was asked to take some time off while the owner tried to get them self
straightened out with Uncle Sam. I didn't have time to wait around for that nonsense, so I started looking for some gigs elsewhere. I had some friends living in another part of the state. While visiting them for a few days, I decided to see if any of the local labs were hiring. Scored two part time jobs in less than 15 minutes. I had only planned on staying around for a year or so and moving on to some other place. While I was living there I was contacted by one of my mentors and asked if I though that there was an opportunity for a new lab where I lived. Since I worked at two of the four labs in the area and knew what the quality level and service was around the area I thought that it was a good place to try a new lab. We started a 50/50 partnership with a bunch of used equipment and a few thousand bucks. The lab really took off and was profitable, we had 6-7 employees and were really killing it, but I hated the direction we were going. That direction was mediocrity and that is what the labs that were already here provided. I was miserable! I worked with a few doctors closely on large cases and had built quite a rapport with them. A few of them asked me if I would like to work in-house for them. I passed on that and started a small quality driven lab that specialized in aesthetics and difficult rehab cases. That did great for several years and I constantly had a backlog of work up to 8 weeks before I even started the cases. We had a few hurricanes come through here and take out my source of income for several months and then the onset of CAD/CAM. I was feeling like a dinosaur, even though I could do every thing in a C & B lab with a great degree of competence I felt like I was about to be pushed out of the industry I had spent the better part of my life working at. The only other thing I am qualified to do is work the midnight shift at 7-11. One of my clients had already looked into Cerec and decided it wasn't what they were looking for but they did by an iTero scanner and started me into my journey into CAD/CAM. I had played around with Procera and Lava prior, but never really delved into it. I always had to do waxups etc. to get what I wanted from the labs that had the CAD equipment. Then another one of my clients scored a chairside system and all the gravy cases from that office were in jeopardy of going away. All I could think of was being wired on coffee trying to stay awake on the night shift a 7-11. I asked who would be running that chair side system and they had planned on possibly hiring someone to do it. I snatched that gig up and started my journey deep into CAD. It's been a wild and crazy run, I have no idea what I would do with out the challenges of dental technology and am glad that I have found a way to rejuvenate my passion for what I do (30 years into it) and stay off the night shift.
 
rc75

rc75

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This is exactly why I looked for work in a field other than music. I love music with every part of my soul but I could not make a career out of it. Something about being a starving musician didnt appeal to me. Little did I know after a few years of working in the dental field I would develop a deep passion for this work. I guess its in my blood.
90% of my friends are musicians it just happened that way. 98.5% of them have a regular full time job because MUSIC is a really hard
way to make good money unless you're at least semi famous. I truly have a LOVE FOR MUSIC myself even though I'm not a musician.
 
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2thm8kr

2thm8kr

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90% of my friends are musicians it just happened that way. 98.5% of them have a regular full time job because MUSIC is a really hard
way to make good money unless your at least semi famous. I truly have a LOVE FOR MUSIC myself even though I'm not a musician.
I love music as well, but figured I would never be a rock star. I have played in puck rock and metal bands, been a techno dj and offered residencies at some large clubs here and in other countries. I just figured that would be a short lived thing and I would be right back where I started if I took that direction. Probably would have been really fun though.
 
X

XxJamesAxX

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My grandmother broke her back daily working for a cleaning company until she was about 45 years old. Reading the paper one day she read an advertisement a local dental lab had in the newspaper. Something inside her told her to go apply and she got the job. Turns out the owner of the lab was well known for taking people that had for lack of better words very low class jobs and giving them a opportunity.

She worked very hard for him for many years and after he passed away a new owner came in and made her manager over the lab.

At 16 years old I was rebellious and walked my own path. Didn't want to listen to anyone that told me I "had" to do anything. I dropped out of high school and started working construction pouring concrete. A few months later my grandmother not wanting me to end up in a back breaking career much the same as she did for most of hers offered me the opportunity to come work at the lab she managed.

I agreed and the rest is history... I consumed myself in the field and learned all aspects of removables (reasonably well anyways) and even a little bit of management. I was 21 when she decided to retire and instead of staying there and being the manager over the removable dept. me and one other tech decided to leave and start our own lab.

We opened 2 months before I turned 21 and I turn 31 this month... Also about 2 years after opening my grandmother approached me saying she was bored and wanted to know if she could help out a few days a week....

She's still with us and pretty much comes and goes as she wants. Everyone knows she's the real boss in the lab because without her none of us would be where we are today...

To sum it all up and answer your question in one word.......

Mamaw.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Juko

Juko

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My mother was an in house tech after graduating from the dental tech program and eventually started her own small lab employing a couple techs. She burned herself out and closed shop to work for another lab a few towns over.
As a young lad I would polish pennies in her lab but never gained much else as she was busy to put time in a young child.
Fast forward a decade and a half and I found myself in another state with no college education and no real source of income.
I walked into several labs and eventually found one that was hiring. I told them I worked in a lab as a model pourer and spouted off the four Latin words we all use regularly and wallah, they hired me. Only they did not need another model tech so they through me on an old 'belt' driven headpiece and within a couple months had me metal finishing upwards of 60 units a day. Almost two decades later I'm trying to make a go of myself.
 
D

dborla01

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"Interesting replies here and an excellent topic of conversation. I joined the Navy and went to dental assisting school, after 3 years as an assistant and hygienist, I was introduced to lab work and decided to go to a two year dental technology program at college. After graduating, I worked at various labs, and eventually started my own business. Forward a few more years, and wife decided to progress past being my helper and went to an internationally recognized college for denturism, thus we have been primary providers the past few years. What a long, strange trip, it has been. Hmmmm2 LOL.
 
zero_zero

zero_zero

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I don't come from a dental background either...held a wide variety of jobs before landing a part time janitorial position at my girlfriends (now wife) place of employment. At that time I was doing stucco in the daytime then cleaned the lab after hours. That place had the model dept. working two shifts...it didn't take too long for me to befriend some model techs and learn some basics over their shoulder. Soon after they had an opening in the morning shift... sure enough I approached the HR manager about it, they tried me out and thanks to my so called "prior experience" I got the job. Kept the cleaning job for a while till I managed to get hired in the casting dept. for my second shift...did work very long hours back then. This was a big lab, the casting dept. handled all the metal and pressings what 60+ techs waxed through the whole day. A few months passed and the supervisors saw that I could do more and offered to train me how to wax, soon after I was placed in production doing singles. Fast forward three years and I was doing pretty much everything C&B, was only working one shift at that time and making decent money. Was quite contempt with my job technically speaking if it wasn't for the politics ruining that place...It was time to move on, tried to venture into a partnership with a coworker...it did start really well, however we couldn't agree on how to run things, so I left four months later. Went to work for a smaller lab for a year, learned a lot in that short time, challenged my RDT exam in the meanwhile...then it was time to go on my own. Been self employed ever since. At the beginning I didn't think of this job to define my career, was more like a temporary thing till I land something in my field...timing and location didn't help either and I kept evolving... and then, when I got a great job offer, I already had my own circus with three employees and my other half...I couldn't just leave that. Having said that, dental technology has been good to me, cannot complain...I don't have to work around the clock anymore, learned to manage stress (or my skin grew thicker ?) and able to take enough holidays to enjoy life and hobbies. Speaking of hobbies, on the side, timepermitting I do freelance on various projects...so never a dull moment...
 
Jenners

Jenners

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My mother worked in the dental field for quite some time. After a series of poor life choices, I was in a position to work wherever I could to get back on my feet. The lab she was working in wanted someone who was reliable and good with their hands. They took me on and I started pouring models. I learned a bit there before they laid a bunch of us off. I went back to retail for a while, but being creative, really missed working with my hands. My mother suggested looking into a lab that she used to work for that was local to me. I made a phone call and the owner invited me in and hired me on the spot. 16 years later (!) and I'm still here but I've progressed far beyond pouring models.
 
Toothman19

Toothman19

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I wasn't really doing to much after high school. I had no plan. Ended up going into the Air Force and took all the assessment tests and I pretty much could have gone in to any field at the time, but for some reason I chose to go into the lab program. Well 41 years later I'm still going strong and I can thank all the CAD/CAM for that. There is no way I'd still be doing this if it wasn't for that. Totally rejuvenated me.
 
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