An Interview with Modern Dental Laboratory
INSIDE DENTISTRY (ID): What makes Modern Dental Laboratory different?
Mike Girard (MG): We have a unique combination of immediate local access for the customer combined with global capabilities for production. Modern Dental is a full-service lab that enjoys a world-leading position, which allows us greater ability to access international production, materials, and personnel resources.
Our local Modern Dental Centers really become an invaluable resource right in the neighborhood. With the reality of fewer and fewer technicians in the industry, dentists feel pressure to implement chair-side milling but understand that it’s costly and complicated with a steep learning curve. Our Centers include digital production protocols and investment in state-of-the-art milling units, in essence bringing chairside advantages to customers risk-free.
Modern Dental Clinical Support Specialists are then available to assist customers in incorporating these new technologies, techniques, and products into their practice. Our Centers are the local resource for all forms of digital learning. We strongly believe that international resources coupled with highly personalized support create the ideal way to work in today’s environment. During 2014, you’ll see us continue to expand our centers throughout the United States and Canada.
The lab world is changing—patients and dentists are demanding increased value and so we’re building a network based on advanced manufacturing processes that put us in partnership with doctors all over North America. The result is quality products at a good value combined with predictable, consistent customer care.
ID: As dentistry continues to transition to digital, how does this fit your strategy for Modern Dental?
MG: Our team around the world has embraced technology, and coupled it with timeless, traditional lab processes that remain valuable. In addition to our digital processing center located in Hong Kong, we’re also building a world-class digital processing center in Troy, Michigan, to bring the Modern process closer to the US and Canadian customer.
Blending technology with tradition has its advantages. PFM restorations continue to set the standard around the world for strength and beauty. Many of our clients tell us our PFMs are the best in the world. Our newly engineered approach to the fabrication of PFMs combines the very best in digital engineering with the technical skill and artistry of experienced ceramists. The result is a strong, accurate, and beautiful crown.
All-ceramic crowns are also a significant part of our business, and Modern is leading the way with full-contour zirconia crowns—major brands like Zenostar® (Ivoclar Vivadent), Zirlux® (Zahn Dental), and Lava™ (3M ESPE). In fact, IPS e.max (Ivoclar Vivadent) is one of our biggest products. Add to that our exceptional house brand, Calypso™ multilayered FMZ and hand-layered PFZ.
ID: As one of Modern Dental’s customers, what is your experience with the company’s products and services?
David Garber (DG): Digital technology isn’t coming—it’s already here. In our practice, we have successfully integrated various forms of digital impressions implant treatment planning and restorations. Mike’s a pioneer in advancing digital design and manufacturing, and now that he has brought his expertise to Modern, I am experiencing significant benefits.
Traditional restorations are still a significant part of our practice, and the Modern approach effectively fits the way we work. As I meet dentists around the world and specifically through our educational programs on DentalXP, I often hear that many have moved away from PFMs because of fractured cusps and connectors and, more recently, cost. Modern Dental has helped solve this problem with digital frameworks designed for precision, consistent fit, and specific engineering to support the ceramics.
I think Modern Dental is at the forefront of technology. They seem to be setting and evolving a new standard for dental laboratories—offering education, dentist support, local neighborhood service, and centralized manufacturing to create a total solution.
ID: What is the one thing you expect most from your dental lab?
DG: With all of the advancements, there is one expectation that never changes. We require predictability with consistent quality from our lab partners. Patients are increasingly more sophisticated in their choices, demanding value, options, and information. I want them to experience all the benefits that a great outcome has to offer. Modern’s considerable resources and personalized expertise helps me deliver on that promise.