Inside Dental Technology
Mastering Industry Trends
Partnering with the Bego Production Center to maximize product offerings and optimize production workflow
Gail Perricone, CEO of GPS Dental Laboratory Inc., is as progressive as she is pragmatic, as artistic as she is business-saavy, and as concerned about her business as she is her clients. Inspired by her dentist father to enter the field, Perricone immersed herself in the field of dental technology. Throughout her 35-year career, she committed herself to a course of lifelong learning to perfect her skills as a ceramist and achieve certification in specific technologies and restorative materials that could broaden the product lines offered by her laboratory. This approach has kept her business competitive and on top of the trends impacting the industry. Within a 9,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility located in Orlando, FL, Perricone employs 28 employees and, along with her son, Andrew (who joined the family business six years ago), runs a progressive operation devoted to satisfying customer needs.
Over the 12 years it has been in business, prescriptions for the laboratory’s mix of metal- and non-metal-based products began the transition to all-ceramic. First came the demand for layered zirconia frameworks. To meet the demand, Perricone was an early adopter and investor in one of the limited number of closed-architecture CAD/CAM systems on the market. Then, as advances in the technology moved toward more open architecture options and with the demand for all-ceramic and full-contour products increasing, in-house milling became both less financially attractive and less practical. The solution was to outsource their zirconia-based products while still handling metal-based products conventionally. It was when CAD/CAM-produced selective laser melted metal copings came to the market that Andrew realized the laboratory’s potential to transition all cases to a digital workflow and completely eliminate the casting and waxing departments that were handling their metal-based crown and bridge cases. Not only would the decision to find an outsource provider that could handle all types of cases allow GPS to increase their volume of cases, but it would free up waxing and casting personnel to learn new skills. By finding a partner that could provide them with economically priced non-precious products, GPS could better meet the demand of the group practices they serve.
Over the past year, the decision to commit to a full digital workflow has increased GPS’s bottom line by more than 30% and they have expanded their business model by offering digital services to neighboring laboratories through their new division, Omni Digital Design Center. Andrew runs the new scan and design services division and can currently produce up to 60 units a day on his own. They are in the process of purchasing a second scanner and employing an operator to handle the projected increased throughput. Many of the local laboratories that have been sending their models across country to gain access to zirconia frameworks and zirconia full-contour products welcome the localized service and faster turn-around that Omni provides.
All GPS and Omni scan design files are sent directly to the Bego Production Center for processing, the majority of the all-ceramic orders being for posterior milled BruxZir crowns. The Bego File Generator makes the upload process extremely efficient. Rather than having to go through a third party website where case information has to be reloaded for each individual case, the Bego File Generator is synced with the 3Shape CAD software. Case information is entered only once and an entire batch of cases can be uploaded in a single operation. “The Bego File Generator is hugely efficient over the third-party methods used by other milling centers when it comes to digital workflow,” says Andrew. “Once I finish entering in all the case data and designing the cases, I simply highlight all those cases and upload them to the Bego server.” After uploading the cases, Andrew will get an email saying that the cases were received. If there is an issue with a case after initial inspection, Andrew receives a call from a customer service representative within 5 to 10 minute of the upload.
That is not the only time-saving efficiency the two have found using Bego’s production center, Perricone and Andrew also noticed a dramatic difference in processing the full-contour BruxZir crowns versus the generic zirconia crowns they were receiving through other milling centers. “The generic full-contour products were milled from a white zirconia block and then dipped to achieve the appropriate base shade,” says Andrew. “If you had to make an adjustment when that crown came back, the dipped shade would grind off and we were left with a white spot on the crown that had to be touched up. That took quite a bit of time.” BruxZir® full contour crowns, Andrew explains, are milled from a range of homogeneously pre-shaded blocks that have no show-through when recontoured or touched up at the margin.
The detail of the Bego BruxZir crowns is also far superior to those received from other production centers. “I don’t know if the milling machines they are using are of better quality or whether the burs being used are finer in nature, but the anatomical detail of the occlusal surface pops and the fit of the restorations we get back seat so much better on the model,” says Andrew. Over the course of the past three years, GPS has tested the quality of five or six leading milling centers in the country and finds the pricing, quality and turnaround that Bego affords to be far more competitive.
In addition, the ability to access both the latest metal-based and all-ceramic solutions from a single provider adds to their streamlined workflow efficiencies. “Today a laboratory has to be able to provide their clients with the latest products on the market,” says Perricone. “Most dentists are using at least three laboratories so if you can’t provide the services they want, they have no problem going to another laboratory to get those products. That’s why for us it’s so critical to find a production partner that offers the myriad product solutions that match the clinical challenges our clients face.”
Disclaimer: The preceding material was provided by the manufacturer. The statements and opinions contained therein are solely those of the manufacturer and not of the editors, publisher, or the Editorial Board of Inside Dental Technology.
BEGO Production Center
BEGO’s facility in North America has established itself as a premier laboratory sourcing center for metal and non metal frameworks, as well as full contour restorations fabricated through SLM, CAD/cast, or milled production techniques. From the proprietary file optimization process and knowledgeable technical support to the highly advanced equipment (Roeders, imes-icore 450i 5-axis mills, EOSint SLM), BEGO has the technology, knowhow, and equipment to help laboratories master frames within the digital workflow.
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