Dr. Alan Paradis: Well, prosthodontics training requires the dentist to make all of the prosthetic work that they are going to install in patient’s mouths during their three-year residency training program. So as you can Imagine learning the actual how to’s of any given skillset are what allow you to judge the quality of work that you’re going to be dealing with actually for the rest of your life and process. The reason that there is such a thing as prosthetic dentistry training is because the laboratory industry needs supervision by dentists that understand what it takes to do proper treatments. Think of a lot of people even dentists think that a laboratory industry has some form of training that allows them to know how to design prosthesis for patients. Actually the laboratory industry is a some set of dental profession where the skills and methods are taught actually by dentists that know how to do these procedures.
Dr. David McFadden: But I think the public probably thinks that dentistry like medicine if you send your blood work into the lab, there’s trained professionals who tests that blood, if you are more sick and you have to have blood gases where you have to have an MRI. In medicine it is still a formal training program to become the person testing your relative health. In dentistry we have 56 schools that taught dental technology training up until about ten years ago where you could go to these schools and receive a certificate of training. The last I heard there were two of them left and tell, comment on how our dental laboratory technical field gets too actually become an employee in a laboratory.
Dr. Alan Paradis: Well it’s important to retrace the history of the lab industry and these numbers that you mentioned are actually inconceivable. SO what you’re saying that 30 years ago there were 50 or 60 technical schools that train laboratory technicians and these schools incidentally usually were supervised by some level by prosthodontist. Prosthodontist are the ones that wrote the books on how to make dental prosthesis. Over the years like all technical education in this country, the quality of education has declined as more and more students with the intelligence to learn these skills have gone off to college. So like many of our technical fields, the best qualified technicians that could have been trained to do dental laboratory procedures are now going to college. In other there are other more desirable professions for them to go into and so we have no one entering dental technology schools so who’s doing the dental laboratory work now? Well anybody who wants a job can get into doing the dental laboratory technology.
Dr. David McFadden: The problems multifactorial. I have to blame our industry on the problem, there’s been a downward economic trend in dentistry where the average dentist will not pay a premium for good quality prosthesis anymore so when you remove the incentive for talented people to get into an industry by removing their ability to make money then you are going to attract a different calibre of person and without a formal organized training program, it becomes an apprenticeship so that your non-qualified people are teaching your new non-qualified people on how to do something that most of the time is an inadequate level of quality.
Dr. Alan Paradis: So there’s been a true breakdown of the educational system that had been in place to train dental laboratory technicians.
Dr. David McFadden: It’s been decimated so we have a very few formally trained technicians so that’s why practices like ours take control of the laboratory component themselves and we do that at the expense of our personal lives, we end up setting up our own teeth and making our own prosthesis much of the time because we are not willing to settle for the average level of quality hats out there in the industry.