Change is in the air
Dentistry is changing. There is constantly something new to try, cutting-edge technology to learn and previously unfaced challenges to overcome. For dental technicians and lab owners, embracing these changes and keeping up-to-date with the latest thinking in the profession is essential.
Steve Campbell, President of the Dental Laboratories Association (DLA), explores why he feels this is such an important time for UK dental technology:
“The industry is experiencing what will be the biggest transformation in its history. We only have to look at other manufacturing sectors that have already been transformed by the technology and digital workflows that are now starting to dominate our sector in the same way. This will bring both threats and opportunities to the dental lab community. It is vital that we prepare ourselves to successfully transfer the knowledge, experience and talents we have over to these new workflows and market landscape. Only then can we ensure that we have the capacity to meet the needs of the patients we serve and successfully restore their health in collaboration with our surgery partners and their teams.”
Steve shares what he considers to be the biggest challenges in the profession right now:
“The industry is, quite frankly, on the verge of a crisis that will have implications for the whole dental team, as well as our ability to provide medical devices for patients – if action is not taken now. We are already seeing recruitment and retention issues across the profession, and these are only likely to get worse in the short-term. The next obstacle to overcome will be training and accelerating the transition of skills as we look to build a viable workforce for the future, despite recruitment deficiencies. Everyone in the dental lab community will need to adapt to the new marketplace in order to seize the opportunities and overcome all the challenges we are about to face.”
It is crucial that technicians and lab owners find solutions to these and the many other tests that lie ahead. Though answers to the big questions may be slightly different for everyone, there is merit in sharing ideas and advice so that the wider profession can learn from collective experiences. This is what the Dental Technology Showcase (DTS) is so good for. It brings together individuals, teams and businesses from across the UK profession, offering diverse networking opportunities for all to utilise. The lab-dedicated programme also provides two days of world-class education, presenting a line-up of exceptional speakers to share their extensive expertise and personal journeys for the benefit of colleagues.
Steve will be speaking within the DTS Lecture Theatre programme for 2023. He outlines the key topics he hopes to cover as part of his session:
“The presentation will be an update on the challenges and opportunities that lab owners and dental technicians will soon face. The difficulties of the past few years have tested laboratories, but they have also given way to new innovations, outside-the-box thinking and a renewed drive among individuals and businesses alike. I hope to share some of the good and the bad to help others prepare for the future.
“I have attended DTS for many years now and always find it to be a great event. I would recommend it to colleagues as a means of growing their support network and discovering opportunities to enhance their knowledge and understanding of a rapidly changing industry.”
The DLA has collaborated with DTS for many years now, helping to create the relevant and motivating programme the event is now so well-known for. Other speakers supported by the DLA for the upcoming conference include James Neilson, Ashley Byrne, Steve Taylor, Darren Kelsey and Dr Stefan Goniszewski. They too will discuss pertinent topics and disclose their own thoughts about everything from new technologies and materials to workflows, team relationships and business management.
The next few years look set to mark a turning point in UK dentistry and professionals must be as ready as they can be for whatever comes their way. Many will agree with Steve that challenges are ahead for dental laboratories, but there are also opportunities for growth, prosperity and success for those who prepare well. Don’t miss DTS 2023 this May to get up-to-date with the latest news, techniques, products and services that you may need for the future.