It might not surprise you to learn that the first successful American dental lab was started by a partnership of a dentist and a tool and die maker. In Boston shortly after the Civil War, Dr. Stowe and Frank Eddy became highly successful at relieving dentists of the tedious chore of carving restorations. If you go to the intersection of Winter and Tremont Streets in Boston, you’ll see a plaque commemorating their first dental lab. In those days, either gold or porcelain crowns were being delivered.
Of course, gold restorations reached as far back as the Roman Empire. As fond as the Romans were of beautifully carved gold ornaments, this is hardly surprising.
In the 1700s in France, a goldsmith began accepting wax impressions directly from patients. He would make gold teeth and send them back. A gold spring clasp would hold the teeth in place.
Back in the US, even Paul Revere even got into the act, advertising that he could fix artificial teeth, and there are records that he provided high-quality restorations for dentists.
The next trend was dentures carved out of a single chunk of elephant ivory. This was followed by dentures made out of vulcanized rubber. And then Dr. Stowe and his friend Frank arrived on the scene.
Fast Forward to the Present
The technology of the dental lab has changed rapidly over the last hundred years. I have to tell you, the amazing changes that arrived on the scene with the successful development of the Sirona dental system have been revolutionary. The speed and accuracy of these systems is remarkable. (Compare the capability of a Sirona system with Paul Revere tinkering with gold or a goldsmith in France making a tooth from a wax impression someone bit into.)
Every time the technology in this industry raves forward, as it did when the Sirona systems began to be commercially available, we all have to retrain just to keep up.
This is just as true for Dental Ventures as it is any lab or dentist’s office. There are new dental lab supplies, new materials like e.max and zirconia. We provide a lot of different lab supplies, with a specialty in polishing. We have to know every new material as soon as it hits the market – well, preferably before, which is why we keep our ears to the ground, so to speak. We want to help streamline your procedures, no matter what materials you are using.
I think there’s a tendency for many of us to think that what we have now is the be all and end all of technology. The great minds out there continue to think far in advance of the dental lab products we have now. Those new developments are going continue to arrive at high speed and we are going to continue to keep pace with them. No matter what materials you are using, we’ll have the products you need to keep your production line running at speed. That’s our commitment at Dental Ventures of America.