Heaeus refining donation

Feb. 14, 2012
Donation acknowledges role of Foundation for Dental Laboratory Technology in helping ensure adequate supply and skill sets of dental laboratory technicians.

SOUTH BEND, Indiana--Heraeus Kulzer, a leader in dental esthetics, has announced that its Precious Metal Refining Division donated almost $20,000 to the Foundation for Dental Laboratory Technology in 2011.

A nonprofit organization founded in 2008 with $200,000 in funding from the National Association of Dental Laboratories, FDLT’s purpose is to advance the profession of dental laboratory technology by developing educational curriculums and programs for dental technicians and other members of the dental team.

In May of 2011, Heraeus announced its commitment to make a charitable contribution to the foundation based on the value of refined scrap from all NADL/FDLT member laboratories that use Heraeus’ refining services. The company’s commitment remains in effect in 2012.

The FDLT, which is sustained by ongoing charitable contributions, is committed to addressing three main industry challenges:

• The declining number of educated dental technicians
• The gap between dental technicians’ expected knowledge and skills and the opportunities to acquire that level of knowledge and skills
• Enabling dental technicians to stay current and advise dentists on emerging technologies and materials

“Dental laboratories are an integral partner in Heraeus’ efforts to help dental practices transform the lives of their patients,” said Tony Circelli, Heraeus’ manager, refining division.

“We might produce the most innovative esthetic materials in the world, but if the dental laboratory technician has not been able to develop up-to-date skills and knowledge, those materials are of little benefit to anyone. That is why we are so pleased to be able to make this donation and support the extremely important efforts of the Foundation for Dental Laboratory Technology.”

Added Barbara Warner Wojdan, CDT, AAACD, foundation chair and president of Knight Dental Group: “Heraeus Kulzer is to be commended for their foresight in their commitment to dental laboratory technology education by providing consistent contributions to the foundation through linkages to customer sales. This is a win-win for the dental laboratory community.”

The foundation’s mission is to develop a body of knowledge for dental laboratory technology incorporating industry-driven needs that are derived from the NADL’s Competency Standards, the National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology's Job Task Analysis and workplace-based assessments such as NBC's Modularization Examinations.

Dental laboratories may use the latter to assess their technicians’ knowledge and skills in specific areas of dental laboratory technology.

While the FDLT has close relationships with the NADL and NBC, it remains its own entity. The foundation leverages its body of knowledge by developing education programs that will be relevant and accessible to dental technicians working in a laboratory setting as well as to dental laboratory technology students. It also provides scholarships to interested candidates for advanced education or certification, and it makes Keystone grants of up to $2,000 to accredited educational institutions that either have or wish to add a dental laboratory technology program.

One of the foundation's primary goals is to develop a web-based educational body of knowledge for dental technicians. Many dental laboratories that employ more than a few people struggle with how to properly train and educate their employees so that they have the skills and knowledge required to meet the quality and consistency expectations of their customers.

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The foundation's web-based education can become an important part of the in-house training and education for laboratories not able to develop their own. In addition, individual laboratory technicians whose employers do not have an education program can access these online resources on their own.

Heraeus operates a refinery in Newark, N.J. The facility receives more than 25,000 scrap shipments annually, 80% of which are from existing customers.

For more information about Heraeus, call (877) 431-1785 or visit www.heraeusdentalusa.com or www.heraeus-scrap.com.

For more information on the Foundation for Dental Laboratory Technology, call (866) 627.3990 or visit www.dentallabfoundation.org.

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