Consulting with Chris Gajewski

With over 30 years in the dental industry, 15 years as an orthodontic lab owner and the founder of a national association built to educate, I can help you navigate the technologies and develop the best workflows for your lab or practice.

  • Over 30 years in orthodontics, 15 as a laboratory owner.
  • Founder of the Association of Orthodontic Laboratory Professionals
  • JDT’s 2020 “Who’s Hot: The Educator”
  • Former Journalist
  • Helping labs and practices integrate the new technologies

From Lab Owner to Business Owner

Nobody really knew how to be a business owner. Nobody had to know. A good tech, or a good doctor, with an accountant, was all that we needed. Until the technological tsunami. It changed what we needed to know.

Marketing. Positioning. Education. Hardware. Software. What?!? Just give me a pair of pliers, a gypsum cast, my Netflix, and I’ll get it all done. Not anymore.

From Plaster Models to Scans

The new technology could be seen as just a new way to receive cases. That was a dead end with a $10,000 to $70,000 door stop at the end. A 25 cent model became $10,000 in software, $50,000+ in equipment, hundreds of hours in education and an entire new department with entirely new processes. ROI? Staying in business.

All lab owners hate resin models. Before all of the resin printers, there were gypsum printers. Using the same technology as dot matrix printers, they 3D printed plaster models using gypsum and salt water. Why did they never become popular? Because the market ignored them.

From the blog

The New Orthodontic Lab

My Mom told people for 25 years that I make teeth. I would like to point out that I don’t. I did not make teeth in the old orthodontic lab and I do not make teeth in the new orthodontic lab.

I would also like to point out that I did not want any parts of the new orthodontic lab. I am there, but I still don’t want any parts of it.

Aye, I was happy. I bought my lab in 2005 and my three year plan stretched into ten years, but I was finally there. I had the right people in the right places doing the right things. I had my flat screen television, my Netflix and I was even chasing 90 on the golf course—without cheating. … More The New Orthodontic Lab

More Money for Your Practice

I hate to sound like the commercial where the cows have signs that read “eat more chiken” but… Here is a novel approach to make more money for your practice: lower the cost of your nightguards and splints. Or not. But do I still have you? Good. Let me explain.

I brought two friends together. One is a physical therapist and the other is a dentist. The PT was telling me that he recommends nightguards to about 80% of his clients. A report on Web MD states that about 30% of the people leaving a dentist’s office should have a nightguard. I have read elsewhere, from lecturers, that approximately 30-50 potential nightguards are leaving your offices every week. … More More Money for Your Practice

“Talk to the Lab Guy. Work with the Lab Guy. Trust the Lab Guy.”

This is it: the final printed and mailed version of “From the Lab Guy.” Those stamps and envelopes taste awful. For any future columns, you will have to sign up on the website for an emailed version or just check out the website for new posts. –yes, I’ll be spending the next month trying to figure out how to create a subscriber list.

Aye, I know how this works. How many of these things never get opened and just get filed in the round file cabinet? … More “Talk to the Lab Guy. Work with the Lab Guy. Trust the Lab Guy.”

Invisible Retainers and Why I Don’t Treat Family

A nudge here, a little movement there, maybe a guard to keep from grinding or a series of trays to treat relapse. I get asked all of the time by family and friends to take care of them. I always do the same thing: I refer them to you, offering to make the appliances for free.

After 30 years in this business, I know enough about orthodontics to get me into trouble. I do not want the hassle or responsibility of really screwing up somebody’s mouth. I am sure that you will do a far better job than I can: it’s what that really big degree on your wall says. … More Invisible Retainers and Why I Don’t Treat Family


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