Dental Ceramics: An Interview With Spiros Chatzigeorgiou CDT

Dental Ceramics: An Interview With Spiros Chatzigeorgiou CDT


DentalTechTips is very excited today to have the opportunity to interview with distinguished technician: Spiros Chatzigeorgiou, CDT. Spiros recently published his book, Dental Ceramics: My Theory In Action. It is a book that includes basic knowledge of the properties of light, everything you must know about colour, the Matrix4all technique, demo and Matrix cases and clinical cases that were inspiration for this book.

Thank you so much for agreeing to interview with me. Your book has been making great impressions with some very big names in the dental lab industry worldwide. Congratulations, and even though I haven’t read it personally yet, it really shows that you’ve put your life’s passion and knowledge into the pages. I hope to get a chance to read it soon.

  1. To start, let’s have you tell me a little about yourself and your career as a dental technician, Spiros.

    I have been a dental technician for more than 34 years and for the last 28 I’ve been running my own laboratory. In the beginning I started studying without knowing anything about the profession. My favorite hobbies were painting and sculpture. So, you understand that it came as a pleasant surprise to realize that our profession was so closely related to what I already loved.

  2. How would you describe your book “Dental Ceramics: My Theory in Action” to someone who has not read any dental technology book?

    Someone who hasn’t read anything like that before, huh? OK, but I’m sure he’s taken part at some seminar, right? So your question helps me to talk exactly about the meaning and the value of this book. When somebody reads my book, it feels like participating in several of my books because they can read the theory and my philosophy about light properties that is maybe the most important thing for anyone using ceramic materials. Also they can see new layering techniques and demo cases created step by step with images.

  3. How did your inspiration for writing this book begin? Was it a certain restorative case, or a particular event that motivated you?

    Actually, I’m not really sure how it all started. I had a lot of demo cases and clinical cases with full documentation that I had been using in my seminars. Once I had an idea to include a few of those in a user’s manual, and after that I got the main idea.

  4. “Knowledge is the movement from darkness to light.” Could you expand on this phrase a bit further? How does it apply to dental ceramics?

    What can make us stand out in our professions, regardless of what we actually do, is knowledge; knowledge can boost our self-confidence, our status, our self-trust and helps us feel less stressed. So when I saw this phrase from the great American philosopher Alan Bloom what surprised me is that within 8 words he conveys the whole meaning. Now, how does this apply to dental ceramics? Forgive me for the answer, but I believe that the art we put on dental ceramics is the Mother of all arts.

  5. How long did it take you from start to finish to complete this book?

    Well, it took me about 18 months, altogether… a year and a half.

  6. Documenting a single case from start to finish is a time-intensive and labor-intensive task. Could you run us through what type of equipment and what mindset you had while going through and documenting an average case for your book?

    OK, let me give you an example. I have a fantastic case on my desk right now for lower teeth with roots and gums on implants. This is not a very common case. I’m trying to find time because this needs three times more time that usual as I would like it to have it step by step in my library. I’ll now tell you something most people don’t know. If someone works that way, they gain great knowledge and experience themselves.

  7. What excites you most about the dental lab industry?

    The answer to that question is, of course, ceramic materials and what excites me above all is challenging cases, discolorations, demanding works and all this adrenalin sensation which is created until I reach my goal. I obviously mean the try-ins and corrections with the patient present. In my protocol of custom cases I always start with color selection and photo-shooting. Even in those cases, in the try ins there’s always anxiety and things do not always turn out as well as we want them to so I need to have immediate solutions. All this game excites me so much!

  8. You have been in the industry for a long time and are a well-respected lecturer, specifically your hands-on courses with Heraceram 750. What is it about Heraceram that makes it your product of choice over other porcelain systems?

    Usually in my lectures, I try to talk about light properties such as fluorescence, opalescence, iridescence and phenomena like reflection, absorption, diffusion, scattering as well as, of course, explain their interaction on human teeth and ceramic restorations. This is the basic theory that every single ceramist should now about. All this has nothing to do with Heraceram, Ivoclar, Noritake, GC etc. but it has to do with the management of the material to get the light properties. Today, almost all companies create very good stuff. I’ve been working with Heraceram for the last six years. If I have to give a quick answer why, it is because Heraceram materials have the translucency that I need and which makes the result of my restorations look natural. The second reason which is also important for me when I work with companies is to trust both the material and the company.

  9. What do you hope that your book release will do to affect the dental lab industry as a whole?

    I’m not sure I can answer this question. What I believe about my book is that it is useful for somebody only as a tool…a tool of knowledge. I know very well that in every lecture on hands-on each participant perceives a few things depending on his level. I’ll try to make this clear: if the same technician is part of the same lecture several times, he will perceive different things each time, which means that he is developing. So, my book is like somebody being part of several lectures and every time discovering new things. The other part of this book is inspiration. This book includes clinical cases and a step by step approach to them. Most of my techniques are easy so anybody can work with those and see the results.

  10. What is your vision for the future of the dental lab industry?

    Oh… what I see is not hopeful. Please, allow me not to say any more.

  11. You demonstrate some very advanced techniques and high aesthetics in your book. This may be a bit discouraging for someone who is just starting out. What would your advice be to a new ceramist who is hoping to improve their skills?

    No, I disagree that I demonstrate advanced techniques. Now… let me find an easy way to answer. Let’s say every tooth, in order to be part of nature, needs ten details. The first one is brightness. This means that somebody can recognize the mistake from 15m away. The second detail is the form. It means that somebody can recognize the mistake from 7m away. The third one is the hue… 3m etc. etc.

    What I’m suggesting for somebody who’s just starting is start with those three and every period of his career add more details for his development. What I can say is that after the first six, the rest is not easily discernible from the human eye or it needs very special light sources.

  12. Do you have any plans to write more books in the future?

    If I have to say things, I’ll do it. I’m an active dental technician and every day I see different patients, different cases and I need to add new techniques or more skills. If this experience I feel can be taught, I’ll definitely do it because I firmly believe that knowledge that is not transmitted dies.

Spiros’ Book is available for purchase now. Check out his website: to order it!


Thanks for reading and stick with DentalTechTips for more great interviews!!

A New Staffing Solution for Dental Technicians, Dentech Direct Interview

A New Staffing Solution for Dental Technicians, Dentech Direct Interview

Hi Francesca,

Thank you for taking the time and agreeing to answer our questions! DentalTechTips is very excited to share some information about your new company with our readers.

To start, let’s have you tell me a little about yourself and also your role at Dentech direct Francesca.

I originally started out my career in dentistry as a dental assistant back in 1997 which really allowed me to gain a broad insight into the needs and demands of the profession. In the coming years I started to follow in many of my mentors’ footsteps in becoming a regional manager of a dental corporation. As time went on, my desire to continuously challenge myself grew stronger, so I decided to go out on my own and start a consulting company. It made sense at the time, especially based on my experiences of both working chair side and managing. Working directly with dental offices and labs throughout Ontario, I continued to build the company. Throughout this journey, I could sense there was a need and demand within the laboratory side of dentistry. The need for skilled and qualified technicians is always a factor within dental labs, especially with the fluctuation in production levels and employee absences and turn-over. After consulting with various technicians and RDT’s, it was at this point that Dentech Direct was both envisioned and brought to life! Bringing over 20 years of experience within dentistry, I plan to provide a service that will fulfill this need.

What excites you the most about your business and more specifically, your recruiting and placement methods?

What excites me most is that this is a whole different ball game for me and it is challenging me in ways that pushes me to grow forward. A lot can be accomplished when you’re working with people with common goals. Really we are all just trying to find a good and suitable job/work place, which can often be a very difficult task. This is especially an issue if you’re a part time employee, working as a free-lance technician or as a sub-contractor. I believe with Dentech Direct, it will allow us to connect to our candidates to an office and/or laboratory that is suitable for them. And vice versa from the laboratories side, we will be able to connect them with technicians that will fit their needs for that day, week or even month.

What was your inspiration/motivation for starting a recruiting business aimed at dental laboratories and technicians?

Our inspiration is from our experience in the field. Through consulting with technicians and laboratories, we are able to understand what daily problems each lab faces. We can understand the urgency of being a part time employee, freelance technician or subcontractor, and the need to keep your days filled. And we can also understand the massive issue of being understaffed at certain times, and how this can affect small businesses.

Dentech direct is a new company, this ‘jobs’ market segment is saturated with job listing companies like indeed, monster and simplyhired, classifieds from magazines, and specialty recruiters like DCS Smile Science. How does Dentech direct plan to differentiate itself and stand out in such a competitive landscape?

The difference between us and those other companies is that we can tailor to the needs of both the candidates and laboratories alike. For example, one common problem within laboratories is the fluctuation in the workflow. When production levels increase drastically, a laboratory can easily find itself short staffed with it’s current workflow. Having a placement agency to call up on an as needed basis can be a very easy and desirable solution to this. It is also no secret that employees have the right to take vacation and sick days. Being able to have technicians to cover these positions in these times will alow laboratories to continue their production seamlessly. Not having to commit to hiring an additional full or part-time employee is a huge factor in determining a labs bottom line, and also adds to the quality of life of the people within that company.

How do you expect your business to affect the dental lab industry as a whole?

I believe that our business will contribute to the dental lab industry tremendously. I look at companies in similar categories on the clinical side of things; Terri from Teledent (staffing for RDH, DA’s, etc.) was a mentor of mine, and she showed me the huge impact they can have on fulfilling dental clinics staffing needs. Being able to call up a company for staffing urgencies on an as needed basis (and also in time sensitive situations) is priceless for any small business.

What is Dentech directs’ vision for the future of the dental lab industry?

Our vision is to be able to take the hassle and ambiguity out of endless searching and posting of ads for long term, short term, or same day work demands.

What advantages does Dentech direct offer to potential clients?

Dentech Direct offers more than its competitors by not only placing candidates for long term positions, but we are also fulfilling laboratories needs for urgent staffing emergencies, and short term placements. And for our candidates, especially our part-timers and free-lance/sub-contractors, this means being able to have steady pay cheques, and not having days off work (unless that is what they require). It will give everyone involved the opportunity to maximize their efficiency and potential.

How will dental laboratories benefit from using Dentech direct?

In any scenario of being short staffed, not having to commit to hiring an additional full or part-time employee is a huge factor in determining a labs bottom line, and also adds to the quality of life of the people within that company. We pre-screen and review all candidate resumes to determine whether they’re a good fit for our company and/or placement. Having junior and senior technician candidates allows us to fulfill each labs needs individually, so that they can continue production in their workflow seamlessly.

How will dental technicians benefit from using Dentech direct?

Dental technicians and Denturists will benefit from using Dentech Direct by allowing us to take the stress out of sending numerous resumes to laboratories to try to look for work.

We are connecting our candidates with appropriate laboratories that will allow them to thrive and continuously work towards improving their skills.

How much do you expect your business to grow in the near future?

Exponentially! I see this as a niche market that is untapped and hasn’t been done before. We are also currently working towards producing a social platform for the dental community. Somewhere where all individuals within the dental field can join and interact on a daily basis. Being able to talk about new materials, technologies, techniques, showing videos or pictures of cases they’re currently working on or have completed, the possibilities really are endless. Being able to share your knowledge is a huge benefit to the industry as a whole, and ultimately the patient’s will reap the full benefits from this type of communication and education.

Is Dentech direct actively looking into opportunities and markets to expand into?

Currently Dentech Direct is focusing on dental laboratory, RDT and denturist placement within Ontario. There is definitely talk in the future to expand into all of Canada, and at some point North America, but we want to be sure to perfect this process of accurately placing candidates/labs in this market, before expanding to the national level.

How do you plan on leveraging social media?

We do have our Facebook page and LinkedIn pages but we are not focusing all of our resources on those right now. The site is first and foremost a placement agency, but we are continuously developing it into being its own social media platform. It allows the users to join and create profiles, share ideas, and blog about latest tech buzz etc. It’s pretty exciting!

About Dentech Direct:

Dentech Direct is an employment solutions agency located within the GTA. We are in the business of connecting the right people to the right solution. We aim to match our technician and denturist candidates with the laboratory that best suits their specific work needs. And likewise for laboratories, we match up their specific staffing needs with the candidates we have available for them, on an as needed basis. You can find more info here at:

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Interview With LDN President & CEO David Sklarski

Interview With LDN President & CEO David Sklarski

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions David! DentalTechTips is very excited about all of the recent distribution deals from LDN.

To start, let’s have you tell me a little about yourself and your role at LDN David.

First off, a little background on myself. I previously worked for 22 years in the Business Development/M&A area of the Cookson Group PLC. A U.K. based multi-billion dollar holding company specializing in three industrial segments:

  • Electronics
  • Ceramics
  • Precious Metals

It just so happens, SternGOLD (with the emphasis on gold) was owned by Cookson due to its long history in precious metals, not dental. I was asked to get involved (for numerous reasons) but it became apparent to me that the dental space was a very attractive business segment and was able to convince the Executive Board of that fact.

To make a long story short (and I can explain in more detail) it led to a management buyout of the Sterngold SBU (Small business unit) from Cookson in 2002. You know what they say, once you get in the dental business, you never get out! Well, here I am. I immersed myself into the dental space, with a particular emphasis in the lab segment. Sterngold was a charter member of the IDENTALLOY COUNCIL where I became secretary and, ultimately, President of this excellent non-profit Group. It also became very apparent to me how valuable and critical the lab segment was to the success of the Sterngold product line and success.

There were numerous milestones along the way during my tenure/ownership which I could elaborate on such as our association on the ERA Mini Implant with Zimmer amongst other matters. Let me know a good time to talk so we could get this story told. We at LDN are extremely excited about the acceptance in the field and the addition of carrying exclusivity on products from both Willmann & Pein and Thommen Medical are a testament to that. We have some other lines that we will be introducing soon as we are underway with due diligence on a few additions.

What excites you the most about your business and more specifically, your distribution model?

The excitement associated with LDN is that it is a unique business model that utilizes the dental laboratory as the key point of support. Which, by the way, is something that the laboratory technician does every day. A quick story, I was doing a lecture to an implant study club in New York and posed a series of questions before I started. I asked, if have a technical question/issue, how many of you call your implant sales rep (a few people raised their hands), how many people call the implant manufacturer (a few people raised their hands) and lastly, how many people call your dental technician and EVERYONE raided their hands. Case closed. That’s the exciting aspect.

LDN is a relatively new company, but you have quite a reputation in the industry with your previous experience, specifically Sterngold. How has this new venture differed from your past experiences?

Based on past experiences, it became apparent to me that the success of most products in dental (especially technical products such as attachments and implants, were tied to the acceptance and input from the technician involvement. Certainly, I experienced that first hand with the products I was previously associated with.

How do you expect this new distribution model to affect the dental industry as a whole?

In our opinion, the dental lab/technician is the biggest opportunity in dental. The level of technical expertise, product exposure, continuing education, familiarity with various systems and day to day problem solving and technical support is an underutilized resource. Our goal is to bring technical products to the market WITH the involvement of the lab/technician.

What is LDN’s vision for the future of the dental lab industry?

We will also be involved with numerous digital products which is a major focus of most labs. It is easy to point to that as a future opportunity but we also see other products that need to be supported by this proven source. This is a support function and not a sales function.

What advantages does LDN’s distribution model offer to your current as well as prospective customers?

The advantages we offer are great products directly from the manufacturer with the proper support from the lab. Most products require FDA 510k so we are shipping direct (in most cases) to alleviate FDA issues to the lab.

How will dental laboratories benefit from using LDN?

The major benefit we offer labs is that we are an organization that recognizes the value that the dental laboratory brings to the market and the need to offer high quality products to earn that support and expertise.

How will dentists benefit from using LDN?

Dentists/clinicians will benefit from having the proper technical support and involvement from a valued asset. In addition, there are numerous aspects that these products are utilized in the lab process as various stages. Having said that, both parties have a vested interest in providing the best possible result. They are not putting a “square peg in a round hole”.

How much do you expect your business to grow in the near future?

We expect tremendous results in the coming year which is off to a great start with our recent Corporate Sponsorship at the recent NADL Visions meeting in Las Vegas which included our introductory luncheon that took place prior to the meeting. Todd Fridlich, General Manager (and dental technician) of Thommen Medical was the Keynote Speaker.

Is LDN actively looking into opportunities and markets to expand into?

Right now, our business model calls for products distributed in North America as we have exclusive distribution rights to Willmann & Pein and the TST implant line of Thommen Medical. There will be additional products incorporated into the mix in the near future.

About LDN:

LDN (Laboratory Distribution Network) is an organization that is committed to the efficient distribution and product support for high quality, technical products.

Panthera Mastercup 2018: An Interview with Béatrice Robichaud, Co-Founder and VP of Marketing

Panthera Mastercup 2018: An Interview with Béatrice Robichaud, Co-Founder and VP of Marketing

Hi Beatrice,

Thanks you for agreeing to answer our questions! DentalTechTips is very excited about the 2018 edition of Panthera’s Mastercup competition.

To start, let’s have you tell me a little about yourself and your role at Panthera.

I co-founded Panthera Dental in 2012 with my brother. My role with Panthera is VP Marketing & Customer Experience. I am a daughter of a dental technician and I was literally born in the industry. I joined the dental world in 2006 with another company that was sold to Nobel Biocare in 2009 and I left that company in 2011.
With Panthera, I take care of everything related to marketing and communication. I also focus on our customer experience and how they conduct their business with us. This means training the customer service representatives and ensuring high standards and responses. I also work in project development and support our sales team.

Can we get a little background on the inspiration for the Mastercup competition? Who’s idea was it, and how did it all come about?

It was my idea. I wanted to find a way to give away something, but not with a random contest. I told myself that a challenge like this could be a nice window for us to show the industry that we care. We believe in our customer and we want to help them grow their own business by using our products.

What excites you most about the competition?

I am always thrilled to see who will register, some famous technicians and some unknown ones. I hope this year we will have some young technicians that will try to compete against the more experienced guys. I also hope to see more women joining in the contest.

Panthera has really positioned itself as a leader in the implant bars category. How do you expect the Mastercup competition to affect everyone’s perception of Panthera?

I think what has helped us most in the last 5 years for us to achieve our position in the industry is the fact that we listen to our customers. To further elaborate, I want to emphasise that 3 of our main products have been developed in partnership with 3 of our best customers. We are not here to force our customers to think our way, we want to think their way but using our know-how. The Mastercup is a reflection of this, the idea is to share the knowledge, we are proud of what we do and we want to share. With the Mastercup it is a nice platform to help the profession by showing to a wide audience how to complete a nice denture over implant bars.

The first Mastercup was launched last year, how would you gauge the success of the previous competition? Did it meet or exceed expectations?

It has exceeded what I was hoping in all my dreams. Not only have we had multiple registrations but we had very good registrations. There were some amazing presentations to choose from. The best part of the contest is the one I didn’t plan. Some of the participants (not even the winner) have used their Mastercup cases to make a full years plan of lectures around the USA to share with people how they made their case. That mean that the Mastercup has helped some technicians make a living from participating in a contest. This is just amazing!

What is Panthera’s vision for future competitions?

I hope to make it bigger, to attract more people outside North America, we even had a participant from France last year, I want more participants from around the world. Who knows, maybe in the future, Mastercup will have some regional contests.

Is there anything done differently for this year’s competition as opposed to last year?

This year will be similar to last year but way bigger! Prizes have doubled, we have strong partners and we want to make this event something solid. I think this year will be the opportunity to show to the industry that this is a serious contest and not just a “marketing trick”. It is a legitimate contest that we want to show gives back to the industry. This is why I made it free to participate and it will stay like that.

Partnering with Abutment Direct, Straumann, Ivoclar and LMT for this competition must have been quite an effort to co-ordinate. Were there any major challenges that stood out? Are there any other industry leaders that Panthera would like to, or already have in mind for the future to partner with?

It was not that hard since last year’s contest was a very good success. I have to admit it was even easy in some ways. All of our partners are more than happy to be on board because they have the same thinking as we do to share the knowledge with our industry.

In an effort to keep the competition manageable, it’s understandable that participation numbers need to be limited, if there is a greater demand in the future, would Panthera consider opening the competition up to a wider audience? What would that look like?

I am not closed to the idea, but we will see.

The main prize includes a trip to Quebec City. What would you, as a native of Quebec recommend for sights and activities that the potential winner should see/do to have a wonderful experience?

Quebec City is the oldest city in North America, with over 400 years of history. The city offers an amazing architecture, just walking the street is an attraction by itself. The boardwalk in front of the Castle Frontenac offers an amazing view of the St-Lawrence River. The name Quebec comes from the native culture meaning “Where the river narrows”, this creates the unique aspect of the city built on top of a cliff. Quebec is known for it’s high gastronomy cuisine, and french speaking in North America. Within 40 minutes of downtown you can be in pure wilderness and come back in the evening for a very Quebec style dinner.

Tell us about Panthera. A general statement:

You know I could write an amazing “marketing statement” about Panthera but I will keep it simple, we do quality for real and we care about our customers.

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Read our news story on Panthera’s 2018 edition of Mastercup registration Here