Today we are celebrating our lab team!
Our office has an in-house lab located in the basement of our Dupont Road location. Having an in-house lab has MANY benefits! It allows Dr. Aron and Dr. Ketcham to speak directly to the person making our appliances; giving special instructions and working closely to ensure the quality needed to fabricate individualized appliances for each patient. It also allows us to have quick turn-around time for our appliance deliveries; sometimes even SAME DAY!
The lab techs start their mornings in the “wet lab”. This is where they trim all of the models that were poured the day before and mount any models that need mounting (mounting models shows how the bite fits so they know how to create the appliances). The techs also continue to work in the wet lab throughout the day as impressions are taken in the clinic and brought down to the lab.
In the “appliance lab”, the lab techs bend/solder wires for all the orthodontic appliances (expanders, retainers, etc.), put acrylic on appliances, and cut out all retainers to make them nice and comfy for our patients. The final step is to pumice the retainers with a super fine sand and water to make them smooth and shiny. The lab also makes splints for Dr. Ketcham’s TMD patients who suffer from jaw joint disorders/discomfort.
Another responsibility of the lab is assembling our Magnetainers™. The Magnetainer™ is a fixed (glued-on) retainer that is flossable and an appliance that is patented by Dr. Aron and Dr. Gene Dellinger. The lab also 3D prints our Suresmile® models and then make the aligners from those models. Suresmile® is a similar product to Invisalign® and allows us to use clear aligners for our patients who are looking for something less visible than braces.
Another thing the lab does that you may not be aware of is they make obturators for babies born with a cleft palate. An obturator is an important appliance that covers the opening in the roof of the mouth; allowing the baby to be able to eat. Our lab also makes ortho appliances (space maintainers, etc.) for referring dentists.
Another important part of our Lab Team is our Sterilization Techs. We have a specific person for each office who handles sterilizing all of our instruments each patient day! That’s a big job!!! There are 6-7 clinic techs continuously working on patients throughout the day and only 1 person to sterilize, put away instruments, run the needed tests for our sterilization equipment and pour models!
Now let’s meet our Lab Team members!
Team member since 2016. Alaina covers the sterilization area as needed at both of our locations. Alaina also works as a Clinic Tech at both of our locations.
Team member since 1990. Becky is our OSHA guru. She makes sure our offices stay up-to-date on all OSHA policies and procedures. She also works in our lab creating appliances for our patients. She said that she enjoys the variety of duties that working in the lab offers. There are always new techniques being developed by Dr. Aron or updates in technology in the lab field. Whether it’s bending wires to help move a tooth or being creative with acrylic; she said she enjoys it all.
Team member since 2017. Joelle heads up the sterilization area at our Warsaw location on Mondays. The other days of the week she works as an expanded duties dental assistant at a general dentist office.
Team member since 2001. Kristy primarily works behind the scenes in our lab at our Dupont Road location. Her favorite part is the creative aspect of her job. She likes making fun designs with the retainers.
Team member since 2008. Lynn has the important job of making sure all of our instruments get sterilized. She works primarily at our Dupont Road location on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. She said that she likes that she is busy all day. There is never a dull moment and there is always a challenge. She likes knowing that at the end of the day she has done her best to keep the patients safe and the techs equipped.
Team member since 1995. Sandi heads up the sterilization area at our Warsaw office on Thursdays. Sandi also works as a Clinic Tech primarily at our Dupont Road location.
Team member since 1991. Whendy started out her career with our office as a Clinic Tech, but she has since transitioned to our lab. She said she loves a good challenge, and loves being able to design special appliances that Dr. Aron designs to meet our patients’ needs. Whendy is also our Lab Team Leader.
We are so grateful for our lab team members and the expertise they bring to our office. Their skills and work go above and beyond each and every day.