How Did You??

Affinity

Affinity

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#21
I started at 16 years old doing sandblasting/opaquing as a summer job at the lab my mom worked at. Stuck with it through high school part time. I was interning in the OR/ER, urologist in high school, and thought that I wanted to be a surgeon. After a semester at USF on a 75% ride, I decided that I was done with school and thought Id rather create with my hands and maybe eventually have my own lab, you know, make the big bucks, have total control... :banghead: So I dropped out. I cant say it was the worst decision of my life, but hindsight is 20/20. I got my CDT in C&B in 02, and left FL to partner a lab. That lasted a couple years before I realized our agreement to own half the lab eventually was a lie. So, I purchased a full lab of equipment from a former employer who had passed away unexpectedly, moved back and met a denture lab owner willing to share space and accounts and basically started my own lab in 05. Within 6 months, I discovered he wasnt paying me the money he owed me, basically stealing from me and lying about it, and when he was confronted I was threatened with 'having my legs broken, and my brains blown out' .. seriously. So within a day or two, I was gone. Lost close to $8k there, then they filed bankruptcy. I ran my lab for several years after and eventually as life would have it ended up being in a position to take over a lab in Switzerland and even had a handshake agreement to do so within 6 months. By the time I was ready to move there, the deal had fallen through but the owner was lying to me, as I moved my whole family overseas. Within a few months the lab was sold to someone else, who was a newly hired employee and I was left renting a small workspace in the lab that was supposed to be mine.
Its been a rollercoaster ride, with another huge loss due to a Drs bankruptcy to follow a few years later. After 21 years, I like what I do but like zero said, its all about finding a way to manage the stress that comes, and Im not sure I will ever be able to do that without leaving the industry. I love the freedom of being the boss, but it has worn on me. The thing about making all the decisions is that many times they are the wrong ones, and you cant go back in time to change things. The things I regret are not spending more time and money on education because I spent many years just getting by yet working ALL the time, and being too humble in my approach to Drs and lab owner/partners that are anything but..
 
JMN

JMN

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4,327 61
#23
Ad in the newspaper "Entry level lab tech needed. Call for interview appointment."
Started pouring models, kept adding skills.
After a while, the owners left and took the lab with them. The poured concrete foundation was rough to get onto the truck.
Had enough skills to do things I had enough money to do. Bootstrapping still. Probably forever. You're always building towards new possibilities in materials and equipment.
 
Mrs.galfriday

Mrs.galfriday

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880 19
#27
Me: A friend asked if I would like to take a delivery job in a dental lab. It was August and I just turned 18 (1974),I said I'd love to. It was my first job. I also did some invoicing. The first lab closed/split and I was contacted for the new lab in the capacity of office and delivery. I then switched places with the old office woman (she was training in the plaster room) as I was more suited for the plaster work position. I was very good with my hands (sewing, drawing etc.) so this was a logical step. I am a clean worker and my plaster and die trimming work was appreciated, one dentist loved my trims to much that he stopped demanding to look at all trimmed dies. A year later I was asked to join the porcelain dept in the capacity of glazer and was to learn porcelain as well. I learned at an accelerated pace. It was ridiculously easy for me, to follow instructions. Thus I became a builder, with glaze, opaque, office skills. Five years later I added grinding skills to my resume. These were all mid size labs.

Unfortunately, I developed pain in my hands while grinding procelain. I was also commuting by bicycle so I determined it was NOT The injury de jour - carpel tunnel - besides I was not one to follow that route. Old school builders did not even try for accuracy. For them, not having to add-on was an achievement. I never berated them for the garbage they produced but, I became increasingly alienated. The good news, I met my future husband (the H) at California Dental lab. I left to give my hands a break. Took a 15 year hiatus in the office of a Court Reporting firm (actually 2, as the first one was sold to my next boss). Loved that too. I always loved to work. Loved my Fridays too. haha. Then my mom became ill, died a few years later and I returned to the laboratories.

Meanwhile my husband chugged along as an increasingly skilled and knowledgeable dental technician. 7 years with his Uncle, 20 years with California pioneering the implants in the 80s-90's - full mouth back then with superstructures, (Marty has a photo album with his work) He translated the doctors imagination into the physical reality. Helped with 3 start-ups along the way. Finally became disillusioned by two years (yes, it was extended by 6 mos) with Federal Jury Duty and a boss with ADD (a screamer). aHEM. Meanwhile I had signed up with Ivoclar for the Las Vegas training. So, we took the class together. We then found a spot for out lab, which I documented at this site. It took three months to clear and build because of a mildly crazy/cranky hoarder. We opened October 2013.
 
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M

Mike2

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#28
Heard job pitched to another student, after school polishing dentures....no wkds. I was at McD's so no wkds, thought that guy was lucky. Next day, as job counselor knew I was interested, called me in. The other kid was 15 and by law had to be 16, which I was, so good by McD's. The rest is history, college major offer no more opportunity or pay, military service had me forgetting all the calculus for engineering school ....that was 1985.
 
ND2020

ND2020

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#40
I’ll bite...

Originally had my eyes of going into IT/computer science, but my best friend was going to dental school to take over the family practice. He turned me onto the idea of becoming a dental hygienist. Went through a dental assisting school program in which we toured our local dental lab, thought it was pretty cool because the thought never crossed my mind and it was right up my alley. D ealing with the public was always kind of a turn off to me. During the assisting program, did several externships one at a GP and the second an ortho office. Spent a year at the above mentioned friends family practice, the dad retired and the friend uprooted and moved out of state leaving me jobless. Luckily I had made a good impression (no pun intended) at the ortho office previously and they offered me a job. Spent 3 years working there prn as I was going through the dental hygiene program. M ade it a full year into the program and decided it wasn’t for me.

Applied to the lab after that, it was a good 6 months before they called for an interview. Meanwhile I was working at a metal-forming job to pay the bills. Local lab offered me a job into their ortho department and I’ve been here since. Started as a model person and now I’m a supervisor.

Love what I do, but sometimes I wonder if I should have stuck with IT....:rolleyes:
 
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