LMT: 5 Lessons Learned from the Global Pandemic

LMT: 5 Lessons Learned from the Global Pandemic

LMT Communications, Inc. recently posted an article featuring 5 dental lab professionals and their takeaways from operating during the global pandemic. Hearing what other dental labs have experienced through the coronavirus threat, and how they’ve learned to overcome the unprecedented  challenges that came with it, is very helpful in figuring out how to you can safeguard your lab from unforeseen circumstances in the future.

Atlanta Based Systems has lead the industry with our state-of-the-art dental lab management software for over 40 years. With Evolution, your lab can streamline your workloads and stay lean. The features available within the applications provided by ABS in our Evolution dental lab management software can give you tools to manage cases currently in production, as well as insight on what’s to come for your lab.

One of the dental lab professionals in LMT’s article mentions having to lay off his assistant and consolidate their department managers to one operations manager responsible for all of their departments. With EvoMGR from ABS, lab or department managers can keep track of the cases being processed through their departments and have the ability to change schedules, reassign techs, add notes/images and much more.

Evolution CRM

Another dental lab professional featured in the article talks about “cross training” employees so that “each department could operate independently.” In Evolution, User profiles can be created or edited easily giving access to different parts of the system allowing for certain employees to multitask their case management and customer service.

At the end of the article, Russellville Dental Lab Managing Partner, Lee Coursey, discusses watching the right metrics:

“We realized it didn’t make sense to base it on sales because—since that work is already done and out the door—we’d be making decisions five to 10 days behind. Instead, we focused on incoming workloads: how much there was and how long would it be in-house. Shifting our focus to the throughput—the number of units we would be moving through each department every day—helped us gain clarity.”

Mr. Coursey has been using Evolution and working with Atlanta Based Systems for many years. The tools and features that Evolution offers were able to help Lee extrapolate relevant metrics needed to help them develop a plan for layoffs based on historical workloads.

If you’re interested in ABS and getting a personal demonstration of Evolution, please give us a call or drop us a line.

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<1% Covid Positive Dentists Through June

In a study recently published by The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA), less than one percent of participating dentists had become infected with Covid-19 through June 2020. There were 2,195 participating dentists, out of which only 20 had confirmed or probably Covid-19 diagnosis.

Dr. Marcelo Araujo, the chief science officer of the ADA. said, “This is very good news for dentists and patients.” “It means that what dentists are doing – heightened infection control and increased attention to patient and dental team safety – is working.”

In March, The New York Times listed Dentistry as one of the professions at highest-risk of the novel coronavirus infection. In light of the study, the vice president of the ADA Health Policy Institute, Marko Vujicic, Ph.D., said, “The fact that dentistry was named one of the most at-risk professions for infection, but has a far lower prevalence of infection compared to other health professions, is not a coincidence. The profession has taken this issue extremely seriously, and it shows.”

Guidelines from both the ADA and CDC promote the highest level of personal protective equipment available, including masks, goggles and face shields. To reduce the amount of aerosols, the ADA recommends rubber dams and high velocity suction whenever possible and hand scaling instead of ultrasonic scaling when cleaning teeth.

Some other findings in the study were that over 1/3 of the dentists reported (at least mild) psychological distress, almost 10% reported symptoms of depression, with almost 20% reporting symptoms of anxiety. About 1/4 of them had at least one medical condition associated with a higher risk of severe illness from Covid-19.

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FDA Issues Dental Amalgam Warning to Certain Groups

On Thursday, September 24th, 2020, The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) issued a statement titled “FDA Issues Recommendations for Certain High-Risk Groups Regarding Mercury-Containing Dental Amalgam.” In their statement they issue “updated recommendations concerning dental amalgam and potential risks to certain high-risk individuals that may be associated with these mercury-containing fillings used to restore the missing structure and surfaces of a decayed tooth.”

The groups that the FDA states “may be” at a greater risk of negative health effects are:

  • Pregnant women and their developing fetuses;
  • Women who are planning to become pregnant;
  • Nursing women and their newborns and infants;
  • Children, especially those younger than six years of age;
  • People with pre-existing neurological disease such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease
  • People with impaired kidney function; and
  • People with known heightened sensitivity (allergy) to mercury or other components of dental amalgam.


Although the FDA defines these groups as ‘maybe’ having a higher-risk of negative health effects from dental amalgam, they don’t appear to provide any new evidence of this being the case. In fact, after the FDA released their statement, the ADA (American Dental Association) released their own press release reaffirming its position on dental amalgam.

The ADA’s press release did acknowledge that they agreed with the FDA’s recommendation of the patient discussing all treatment options with their dental provider, but pointed out that there is “little to no information” on whether or not anyone in these specific groups were at greater risk of negative health effects from the use of dental amalgam. The ADA stands by their assessment that “dental amalgam is a durable, safe and effective cavity-filling option.