How the denturist profession was created by the creator; The dentist

Monday, December 11, 2006

As I said earlier, I finished a two year associates degree in dental lab technology in dentures and crown and bridge with the honorable instructors, Cliff Redinski (sp) and Jim Lincoln both dedicated to their profession and their students. This happened at Seattle Central Community College and I graduated in 1980. It was a good time of learning. I worked part time at SS White Dental Supply and made my way through the Medical Dental Bldgs downtown Seattle talking to anyone I could regarding the dental profession, mostly dental technicians, denture, cr. and bridge, frameworks and a few prosthetist here and there.

I always had a love for dentures. I’d spend hours watching the guys working dentures. It didn’t mater if they were a doctor or technician. If they had a denture in their hand I was all eyeballs and ears.

I had the background at this point to communicate with them. Prior to this I was in the Navy from 1971 through 1975 and I finished “A” school as a dental technician and was stationed at Parris Island, S.C., with the Marine Corp doing dental work on the recruits. It was good duty as far as experience in the dental profession.

A number of denture technicians tried directing me into cr and bridge because the professionalism from the dentist and money was better. I heard all the stories both good and bad of being a denture technician and working with dentist. Most of the stories weren’t good, low pay, remakes (most due to error on the dentist part), long hours and the big one, if you complained or asked for the account to be paid then the dentist sent their work to another dental laboratory for awhile. Some would leave with a balance due and wouldn’t send you anymore work.

I was pretty well set on being a denturist at an early stage of my profession as a dental technician. I worked for a few dental labs and saw things happen that I didn’t like. Remakes at the labs expense. Low pay. It was always the talk how dentist abused their, ” lab man”.
Don’t get me wrong. Yes, there are some good professional dentist, but they were and are few.

I ended up going to Montana and starting a dental lab and trying to work through the pit falls of having your own business. The tough part was the economy at that time and having very little business experience. It didn’t take me long to understand that bushwhacking was a part of being a denture technician. For those that don’t know what a bushwhacker is; it’s was a term given to a denture technician ( way back when, I have no idea when and where it originated) that works directly with the patient providing denture care and at the same time in most cases works with a dentist. Yes, you had to be careful. If the dentist found out, you wouldn’t get any more work from them. That’s why a number of people with denture labs can’t come forward when a state works to regulate denturist. If they come forward the dentist would quit sending work to them and they would loose their income and all that they’ve worked for.

Denturist organized in Montana and I come out in support of the denturist and ended up closing my denture lab and headed back to the west coast to work and eventually graduated from the Oregon State Denturist College.


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