The catalyst for growth.
Successful companies are the ones whose leaders ask, “Is there a better way?” Pursuit of the answers is usually the key to success and growth. That approach to business has been the underlying theme for Protec Dental Laboratories, one of Canada’s largest dental labs.
Protec, located in Vancouver, is a full-service lab providing orthodontic, restorative, and fixed and removable prosthetics and implants. Since its start, Protec has made innovation and a healthy curiosity for new technology the bedrock of its own success and growth, with 3D printing at the heart of it all.
An evolutionary approach.
Protec’s journey to 3D printing started with the introduction to digital scanning technology. Scanners create a digital representation of dental models that are the basis for constructing dental appliances. Initially, Protec’s objective was to digitize the models to alleviate the need for physical storage. But as Jeff Player, Managing Partner of Orthodontics realized, “If we’re digitizing models then we should be able to print them, so we can make an appliance on the model.” That realization spurred the purchase of Protec’s 3D printers and the company hasn’t looked back since.
Leveraging technology for business growth.
For Protec, the benefits of 3D printing aren’t limited to just making more models in less time. The digital nature of technology lets Protec leverage its capabilities to grow the business. With the ability to print models from digitally generated intra-oral scanners, Protec sets itself apart from other dental labs, which provides a significant competitive advantage.
Jeff Player and Manuel Stanescu review the digital design of a splint.
Case in point: Within the last one to two years Protec’s digital workflow from intra-oral scans has increased 100%, from approximately 10% of their business to 20%. “It definitely brought us new customers,” said Stanescu.
A view of the lab at Protec Dental.
Because of this success, Protec has consistently grown its Stratasys 3D printing capabilities, adding a new PolyJet 3D Printer each year for the last four years. The capability, reliability, and capacity of PolyJet technology has enabled Protec to scale up its clear aligner business, maximizing production while maintaining precision.