Question from a wanna-be lab tech

T

tandob

New Member
Full Member
Hey everyone,

New to the network, love what you guys have got here. I'm a dentist from Canada that has a solo practice in a small town of 1500 and I love dentistry. I have decided that I want to start making my own fixed lab work for a variety of reasons; lower cost to patient, increase speed of delivery, quality control, and I also just love the craftsmanship aspect of it.

I am looking for ideas and opinions on what would be the most practical and economical way to do everything in-house. I'm not looking to go super high tech.

My idea so far is to get a porcelain furnace and feldspathic porcelain starter kit and just start layering and firing crowns and bridges.

Is all-porcelain crown and bridgework a viable option? If not, what is going to be the most practical way to make a metal or zirconium frame in my humble office? If it is a viable option to start out, does anyone have advice on which products to look at (brand and type of porcelain, furnace, and any auxillary tools and materials required).

Thanks everyone and looking forward to my dental lab tech journey and sharing cases with you guys,

Tanner
 
CoolHandLuke

CoolHandLuke

40% titanium
Staff member
Full Member
Practical? Economical? get a scanner, send all your work to Argen, let puro handle the rest.
 
OP
T

tandob

New Member
Full Member
Practical? Economical? get a scanner, send all your work to Argen, let puro handle the rest.
I guess I mean practical from a standpoint of doing it all myself with as little fancy equipment possible. I don't mind if it's labor intensive and time intensive.
 
zero_zero

zero_zero

Well-Known Member
Full Member
If you really like the hands-on aspect of it, get a porcelain furnace and do you own custom staining/ contacts / small adjustments etc..... leave the rest to a good lab. Your time is way more valuable than the lab fee you'd save doing your own work... trust me
 
OP
T

tandob

New Member
Full Member
If you really like the hands-on aspect of it, get a porcelain furnace and do you own custom staining/ contacts / small adjustments etc..... leave the rest to a good lab. Your time is way more valuable than the lab fee you'd save doing your own work... trust me
Humor me though. I just really want to be able to say that I do everything myself. Another thing is that I do very little indirect work as it is because I'm really able to push the limits of what's possible with direct composite. I do a lot of direct composite bridges and what are essentially direct composite crowns. As soon as my direct work starts failing (knock on wood) then I will start doing more indirect work routinely. I can generally count my monthly fixed pros lab cases on two hands.
 
zero_zero

zero_zero

Well-Known Member
Full Member
I do a lot of direct composite bridges and what are essentially direct composite crowns
Might want to look into indirect composite stuff with ceramic fillers and such...it doesn't require much to invest equipment vise.
 
OP
T

tandob

New Member
Full Member
Indirect composite with my Filtek and curing light had crossed my mind. I'm unsure of the exact steps involved (any guidance would be appreciated). I was kicking around the idea of just prepping one of my lower premolars and experimenting.

I know that you can get some wild bond strengths with resins. I use RelyX Ultimate for my glass fiber posts. I've restored teeth broken off at the gumline with those and a direct composite that are still going strong.
 
OP
T

tandob

New Member
Full Member
Might want to look into indirect composite stuff with ceramic fillers and such...it doesn't require much to invest equipment vise.
ZeroZero, would you mind helping me out with how you might go about fabricating a resin crown?

Here are my thoughts so far; PVS impression --> pour up with die stone --> mount and pindex --> apply die spacer to prep --> start layering composite...

I'm sure there are more technical details in between but is this a decent general overview? Forgive my ignorance; we didn't learn much about labwork at my dental school.
 
John in Canada

John in Canada

Member
Full Member
Hi. You guys are missing the point here. Doc wants to do his own lab work. The same as if we do our own construction projects, renovations, car repairs, etc. Its because WE CAN, and its not about the money. It brings us enjoyment.

So to answer your question Doc, if you're trying to keep your costs low AND do the work, then you'll need a broken arm casting machine, a burnout oven, torch with gas and oxygen, a porcelain furnace, and a sand blaster. Likely, you have a vibrator to pour up impressions and a vacuum spatulator. Bench suction and appropriate burs to trim dies and a die saw. Die spacer, thin super glue, a RED pencil to mark margins. Wax, a wax pencil, or flame source to heat your waxing instruments. I assume you have articulators of some kind, the plastic disposable ones are great for most C&B work. Casting rings, and investment, and the special liquid that goes with the investment properly diluted. Debubblizer. Then you will need to decide what sort of alloy you want to use. Precious alloys are FREAKIN expensive right now. About $2,000 per ounce for some of the better alloys. But then theres non precious, carbumperum, lol than can be used. Not as forgiving to cast, Higher temperature required to cast, hard as nails to finish. So you better be a good waxer or you're going to spend hours grinding and polishing metal. Don't forget about the stones and e cutter type burs, diamonds for the porcelain, etc. Then you'll need a porcelain kit. You're in Canada as I am, and I have an extra full kit that works well if interested/necessary. Likely, I have forgotten something.
If you're in Manitoba, I can assist more one on one. I am not a dentist but I do run a full service lab, and I do all the work except as noted next. I do all necessary preliminary work. I wax my C&B work send it to a trust worthy lab for investing and casting, I finish the metal work, and apply the porcelain and finish. I send my RPD frames out to an appropriate lab, then I do my own set ups and processing/finishing.
Hope you find this helpful

Economically and as part of a sign of the times, CAD is likely the better way to go. The technology is not going away, and gets better every year. I think your better bet would be to pick up a used 3 Shape scanner. There was one on Kijiji from Toronto last week. You'll need to get the rights to operate it, but VERY likely you could purchase the hardware and software and be up and running for under 10K. Way cheaper than trying to do things as I outlined above, in my opinion. Then teach yourself how to do it virtually, send the files to Argen, and when it arrives at your clinic 3 days later, apply porcelain, or not depending on your design/preference, and glaze. You could even custom stain everything when the patient is in the chair. I don't have a scanner. So I do all the prep work, send it to a trusty lab, they design, send me the file to approve, mill and send back to me to finesse and glaze. Most of my zirconia work is anterior stuff.
 
OP
T

tandob

New Member
Full Member
Hi. You guys are missing the point here. Doc wants to do his own lab work. The same as if we do our own construction projects, renovations, car repairs, etc. Its because WE CAN, and its not about the money. It brings us enjoyment.

So to answer your question Doc, if you're trying to keep your costs low AND do the work, then you'll need a broken arm casting machine, a burnout oven, torch with gas and oxygen, a porcelain furnace, and a sand blaster. Likely, you have a vibrator to pour up impressions and a vacuum spatulator. Bench suction and appropriate burs to trim dies and a die saw. Die spacer, thin super glue, a RED pencil to mark margins. Wax, a wax pencil, or flame source to heat your waxing instruments. I assume you have articulators of some kind, the plastic disposable ones are great for most C&B work. Casting rings, and investment, and the special liquid that goes with the investment properly diluted. Debubblizer. Then you will need to decide what sort of alloy you want to use. Precious alloys are FREAKIN expensive right now. About $2,000 per ounce for some of the better alloys. But then theres non precious, carbumperum, lol than can be used. Not as forgiving to cast, Higher temperature required to cast, hard as nails to finish. So you better be a good waxer or you're going to spend hours grinding and polishing metal. Don't forget about the stones and e cutter type burs, diamonds for the porcelain, etc. Then you'll need a porcelain kit. You're in Canada as I am, and I have an extra full kit that works well if interested/necessary. Likely, I have forgotten something.
If you're in Manitoba, I can assist more one on one. I am not a dentist but I do run a full service lab, and I do all the work except as noted next. I do all necessary preliminary work. I wax my C&B work send it to a trust worthy lab for investing and casting, I finish the metal work, and apply the porcelain and finish. I send my RPD frames out to an appropriate lab, then I do my own set ups and processing/finishing.
Hope you find this helpful

Economically and as part of a sign of the times, CAD is likely the better way to go. The technology is not going away, and gets better every year. I think your better bet would be to pick up a used 3 Shape scanner. There was one on Kijiji from Toronto last week. You'll need to get the rights to operate it, but VERY likely you could purchase the hardware and software and be up and running for under 10K. Way cheaper than trying to do things as I outlined above, in my opinion. Then teach yourself how to do it virtually, send the files to Argen, and when it arrives at your clinic 3 days later, apply porcelain, or not depending on your design/preference, and glaze. You could even custom stain everything when the patient is in the chair. I don't have a scanner. So I do all the prep work, send it to a trusty lab, they design, send me the file to approve, mill and send back to me to finesse and glaze. Most of my zirconia work is anterior stuff.
John, thanks for the comprehensive response. Wow that really makes going digital seem like the more logical choice if I wanted a metal or zirconium substructure... I'll have to think on that. Is there any way we can get in touch? I can't seem to find a way to send a DM.

What are your thoughts on a fully layered porcelain product? To me this seems to be the most efficient choice choice...is it that this material is too fragile? Do they have porcelain powders that are intended to be used without requiring a metal or zirconium frame?
 
CatamountRob

CatamountRob

Banned Member
Full Member
Hi. You guys are missing the point here. Doc wants to do his own lab work. The same as if we do our own construction projects, renovations, car repairs, etc. Its because WE CAN, and its not about the money. It brings us enjoyment.
I know right? These guys just don’t get it. Geez.
I’m planning on doing my own root canal soon, because I CAN.....
 
user name

user name

Well-Known Member
Donator
Full Member
When things matter, like plumbing, electrical, roof over my head, livestock to eat, refining fuel for my ride...
I hire it done because it matters.
Get a scanner if you must, and get it done by pros that know how to do it. We all like to tinker, but in a patients mouth isnt the place to do it. Like @CoolHandLuke said, out source.
Would you want some guy to install a new knee in you with the lowest cost hinge just so he could say he did it all himself?
Have fun with hobbies, but take your profession serious.

You wouldnt want any of us practicing Dentistry on the side. Give us more respect please.
 
Last edited:
CoolHandLuke

CoolHandLuke

40% titanium
Staff member
Full Member
all in one solutions like the Planscan-Planmill Schein sells is a 6 figure investment, that draws power equal to a whole dentist chair, and needs shop floorspace and still limits you to materials done in cubes (not zirconia)

you want to do zirconia you are talking another 60-75k in equipment from Schein. at least.

i mean its either that or take a look at Axsys dental inc, (who is incidentally a sponsor here) they outfit dentists with mills.

hey @brayks, help a brother out.
 
A

A. M.

Member
Full Member
Last time I saw a bill from a dentist, it was not the lab fee that was "high"... but sure let's save money on that...
I absolutely encourage you to invest a lot of money... so at the end you can figure out that is not all that you need!!! Knowing what to do or experience won't come with the equipment.
As a Cad/Cam person who doesn't do anything all day, just sits in front of the computer and press a couple button (as a lot of people, even some technician thinks) I might be wrong...
 
aidihra

aidihra

Active Member
Full Member
Your better off just getting a scanner, porcelain oven, porcelain & stains. If you really want more, go buyout a small one person lab. You'll be losing money doing lab work. But, if money is not an issue, have at it.
 
Private conversations
Help Users
    You haven't joined any rooms.
    Top Bottom