2017 Winter Daze Videos Available on the Foundation Learning Library for FREE!

Posted on May 15, 2017

The Foundation for Dental Laboratory Technology understands that there was A LOT going on during the Chicago mid-winter meetings. If you missed the full day of courses at NADL’s Winter Daze, we’ve got your back. For the second year in a row, the Foundation is pleased to provide you with the Winter Daze videos FREE OF CHARGE on the Foundation Learning Library.
All of the courses listed below are available on-demand and NBC Approved for 1 Hour of Documented Scientific credit. 
  • We Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet – Mark Ferguson
    With advancements in hardware, software, and manufacturing techniques the digital dental lab has workflows never seen before. Mark Ferguson with highlight several of these workflows. He will walk you through the tools and techniques currently available to bring higher quality and production to your lab. 
  • Creating Vitality in Anterior Ceramic Restorations – Leon Hermanides, CDT & Heather Voss, CDT
    This course will consist of tips and techniques on how to create vitality while managing value and characterization to maximize esthetics. 
  • Complete Dentures: Tips and Tricks to Meet the Demand – Oscar Galvis CDT, MDT, BSHS
    The goal of this course is to touch base on all steps involved in fabricating a functional and aesthetic complete denture while reducing chair time for the clinician. The course will include but is not limited to the following: fabrication of proper custom tray; model analysis; occlusal rims; articulation with the absence of a facebow; choosing proper tooth molds and occlusal schemes; setting of teeth in a timely fashion; wax characterization; processing; selective grinding; and finishing and polishing. 
Visit and create an account using the login button on the left hand side of the page to see what NADL’s Winter Daze was all about.

National Organizations Support Dental Technician and CDT Appreciation Month

Posted on May 08, 2017

Tallahassee, Fla. – The National Association of Dental Laboratories (NADL) and the National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology (NBC) celebrate June as Dental Technician and Certified Dental Technician (CDT) Appreciation Month.

“On behalf of NADL and NBC, I would like to acknowledge and give recognition to all dental technicians for their hard work, dedication and commitment to providing quality service to the patient and the profession,” said Heather Voss, CDT, 2017 NBC chair and NADL board member.

Dental technicians bring considerable experience and subject matter expertise in the areas of dental materials, technology utilization, shade verification and restorative dentistry. Although generally operating behind the scenes of the oral health team, dental technicians are a crucial part of ensuring delivery of quality dental care.

“Dental technicians are the unsung heroes, working behind the scenes and not often seen by patients. The dental laboratory profession is largely unknown to everyday people, so with the support of NADL and NBC, it is up to us as dedicated, proud dental technicians to show the world what we do and the benefits of working with a formally educated, trained and/or certified dental technician.” said Voss.

NADL seeks to inform dentists and patients of the important role of the dental laboratory technician and dental laboratory through its “What’s In Your Mouth?” campaign. In the U.S., most states set no minimum standards for persons to be employed as dental technicians. In fact, only four states in the U.S. require either certification or continuing education for dental technicians.

The NBC was formed in 1955 as an independent certification organization dedicated to improving the quality of dental laboratory technology through voluntary testing and certification of dental laboratories and technicians. This is the only voluntary certification program for dental laboratory technicians recognized by the American Dental Association. 

The Certified Dental Technician (CDT) designation demonstrates a mastery of the knowledge and applied skills needed in dental technology. It illustrates a technician's commitment to the field of dental technology and demonstrates their knowledge in six specialty areas: ceramics, complete dentures, crown and bridge, orthodontics, partial dentures and implants.

The National Association of Dental Laboratories is the unified voice of the dental laboratory profession supporting dentistry and serving the public interest by promoting high standards. NADL accomplishes this by providing programs, services and networking opportunities to meet the evolving technical, educational, professional and business needs of dental laboratories.

The month of June is dedicated to dental technicians and Certified Dental Technicians. There will be a special insert in the June/July issue of the Journal of Dental Technology, honoring all dental technicians and CDT’s in 2017. 

NADL Response to Bloomberg Article on Dental Laboratory Imports

Posted on April 27, 2017

This brief report is intended to provide background information to NADL members on a recent article on imported dental laboratory restorations. This article was published online on and also appeared in the April 24th print version of Businessweek magazine.

Overall, NADL sees the publishing of this article as an opportunity.

It is the first time in many years, that a major media outlet has covered any aspect of the dental laboratory industry.  It provides a springboard for a broader and deeper conversation by other media outlets.

In early March 2017, the reporter that wrote the article contacted NADL to gather information about the dental laboratory industry.

The original story line of the article was going to focus on NAFTA and import trade tariffs and whether or not tariffs would reduce the amount of dental laboratory work coming in from Mexico.

NADL educated the reporter on the dental laboratory market and the larger issues facing dentistry. It was shared that although Mexico has some dental laboratories that provide work for the U.S. market, the percentage of work is very small compared to other countries. NADL shared U.S. government data with the reporter that countries like China and Vietnam represent the largest amount of offshore work.

NADL provided the names of nearly twenty individuals involved in the U.S. dental laboratory industry to the reporter that he could speak with to gather more information and diverse viewpoints.

The individuals recommended by NADL included owners of small, medium and large dental laboratories, as well as several supplier/manufacturers.  

NADL also recommended that the reporter post his interest in speaking with individuals on the Dental Laboratory Technicians Facebook page administered by Elizabeth Curran, CDT. The goal of this outreach was to identify individuals who have had to reduce their workforce or close their dental laboratory due to offshore competition.

NADL has maintained communication with the reporter on at least a weekly basis, and sometimes daily basis to share additional information as requested.

As with any news article, NADL had no control over the content of the story, nor the storyline.

NADL at the very beginning, and throughout the story development process, provided detailed government data to the reporter. NADL also provided the reporter specific elements of NADL market research. This research is compiled annually by a third party market research firm, Valmont Research. This information helped provide a clear and factual picture of the demographics of the industry.

NADL provided considerable background information on the importance of the dental technician and dentist relationship as that directly correlates to several issues that highlight the distinction between domestic and offshore business models.

NADL tracks import trade data using a public database available from the United States International Trade Commission. Bloomberg was supplied with the government website and product codes so it could verify the data points directly.

As the trade association representing the dental laboratory industry and profession in the United States, NADL would have preferred a focus on additional topics within the story.

The article, given the story line, did not provide information on the valuable role that dental laboratory technicians and dental laboratories play in dentistry:

Some of the areas of improvement included:

  1. Reference to dental technicians as cobblers. Clearly, it is known that dental technicians, based on third party data, are generally formally educated, have considerable job experience in the field of dental laboratory technology and provide a high level of consultation to their dentist clients on the most complex of cases. Dentists rely on the expertise of their dental laboratory partners to provide consistent and quality restorations for their patients.
  2. The story left the reader with unanswered questions. Most articles, especially when published online, prompt thinking and reaction and not an outcome. This article did not guide the reader to take any specific action; rather it provided information on market trends.
  3. The Article Title – News outlets seek engagement and the title used online was selected to spark engagement and click throughs by Bloomberg readers. It should be noted different titles were used on the online and print versions of the article.  The title of the print version article is “U.S. Dental Labs Are Gritting Their Teeth”.

It is important to note that Bloomberg, and specifically, Businessweek is a business news outlet with a circulation of 600,000. It is not a consumer publication. The readers are focused on macro business trends.

NADL’s board of directors has approved a media strategy that would encourage other media outlets to dig deeper on the offshore topic including transparency in the supply chain and standards.

Article Reference:

2017 JDT WOW! Product Nominations

Posted on April 26, 2017

The JDT needs your help to create the 2017 WOW! Products list. What qualifies as a WOW! Product? It's a dental laboratory product or service that wows you. It should save time and money while improving quality and be a relatively new product or service. So, wow us with your insight into the best services, materials, tools and equipment in the industry.

Your nomination will be reviewed by our WOW! panel who will determine the final list of WOW! Products. This is a blind review so the WOW! panelists do not know the identity of the person who makes the nomination. We ask for your contact information so JDT staff can ask a follow-up question if necessary. Anyone with ties to the dental laboratory industry can submit a nomination. Vendors are limited to two (2) self-nominations (products or services).

Nominate products online at

All nominations must be received by June 30. Please contact JDT Editor Kristi Spargo at with any questions.



Register TODAY - NADL Spring Daze

Posted on March 01, 2017

NADL is expanding their Spring Daze line-up and will be offering two courses in conjunction with LMT LabDay West. The 2017 NADL Spring Daze will take place on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Orange County in Garden Grove, CA. 
NADL will offer two important courses that you won’t want to miss:
Regulations vs. Best Practices, presented by Bennett Napier, CAE, will review key state and federal regulatory topics that keep lab owners up at night. The focus will be on areas that are most pressing in terms of risk management. As part of the course deliverables, Bennett will be reviewing a sample action plan/checklist to get your regulatory house in order.
We Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, presented by Mark Ferguson, will examine advancements in hardware, software, and manufacturing techniques. Mark will highlight several workflows the digital dental lab has never seen before. He will walk you through the tools and techniques currently available to bring higher quality and production to your lab. 
Click Here to Register
There is a discounted rate of $35.00 for CDTs, RGs, and CDLs to attend. This one fee gets you access to the entire day of courses on Saturday, May 20, 2017! Plus, all funds will go to the Foundation for Dental Laboratory Technology to help support grant programs for schools, education and certification. Please register online or complete the RSVP Form and return it to the NADL office by the registration deadline, May 12, 2017. This course is limited to 100 attendees.

NBC Announces Changes to Practical Examinations

Posted on September 27, 2016

NBC Announces Changes to Practical Examinations
NBC continues its efforts to maintain relevant and valid examinations as part of its commitment to serving the dental laboratory technology profession.  NBC recently announced updated references and an updated job task outline for its Certified Dental Technician (CDT) and Recognized Graduate (RG) examinations as part of the CDT program’s revalidation process beginning January 1, 2017.  
NBC is proud to announce that as part of the process of updating its certification program it will make changes to the Ceramics, Crown & Bridge and Implants practical examinations beginning January 1, 2017.  Based on the changes to the job task outlines, there will not be significant updates to the practical examinations for Complete Dentures, Partial Dentures and Orthodontics.
“We have announced some major changes in the last couple of months related to the updated job task outlines and new written examination references.  However, I am extremely excited about the changes we have made to the Ceramics, Crown & Bridge and Implants practical examinations.  This will be the programs’ first step towards integrating digital technology into the hands on portion of the practical examinations.” said NBC Chair Heather Voss, CDT. “With these changes, candidates will be able to use digital or analog fabrication techniques in their preliminary work and will have more flexibility with choice of materials.”
Some of the changes to the Crown and Bridge practical examination will include allowing candidates to digitally produce their metal framework as part of their preliminary work.  Additionally, a substructure will be added to the onsite requirements to better reflect industry practices.
For the Ceramics practical examination, candidates still have to produce a single unit PFM; however, the metal substructure can be cast or can be fabricated using selective laser melting.  Also, the bridge is no longer required to be a PFM bridge.  Candidates will be able to use the material of their choice and can fabricate the substructure using either traditional or digital fabrication techniques. The MOD onlay will be removed from the examination and a veneer will be added to the onsite requirements in an effort to reflect the trends in the industry.
For the Implants practical examination, candidates will be asked to fabricate a custom abutment as part of the preliminary work and can use either traditional or digital fabrication techniques.  The preliminary denture has been completely removed from the examination, but candidates will be required to do a 1 x 14 Set Up and Wax up over two attachments.  Additionally, the Hader Bar has been replaced with a Wrap-Around Bar to better reflect what we are seeing in the real world setting. 
For a list of the requirements on the practical examinations for exams beginning January 1, 2017, please visit
“I am so proud of the positive changes coming out of the CDT program.  This program is moving in the right direction to ensure that the CDT program remains relevant,” said Voss. “The updates to the practical examination better align our examinations to the actual work being performed in dentistry today and allow for more flexibility in fabrication techniques and material selection.  We will continue to advance this program to ensure that it provides a national standard that the industry can be proud of.”   
The CDT designation demonstrates a mastery of the knowledge and applied skills in dental laboratory technology. Individuals who obtain the CDT designation have demonstrated a commitment to dental laboratory technology and proficiency not all of their peers will achieve.
“I am coming up on my 25th year as a CDT and I am even more proud to call myself a CDT now, than when I first earned it,” said Voss. “For me, getting my CDT wasn’t about earning more or getting additional business.  It was and still is about pride, community and building up dental laboratory technology as a respected member of the dental team.  I am proud of this program and all the changes it is making.”
To view the practical examination requirements beginning January 1, 2017, please visit  For more information on the CDT certification, visit If you have any questions, please contact the NBC office at (800) 684-5310 or


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