The frontline of innovation
Established in London’s Harley Street area for more than 20 years, Nimrodental are one of the UK’s largest orthodontic laboratories. We speak to Managing Director Nimrod Tal about their use of cutting edge dental technology to provide specialist appliances and services
Can you tell us about the history of Nimrodental?
I graduated in dental technology in Jerusalem, Israel where I then went on to manage the orthodontic dental laboratory at the Hadassah University Hospital. Upon Moving to London, I undertook a second degree in Orthodontics and Maxillofacial dental technology and established my own company in 1991. I set up my lab in the centre of London serving orthodontists initially in the Harley Street area and now I have clients from all around the world. I have more than 30 years’ experience in orthodontics and I am always involved in developing new appliances and techniques while keeping ahead with the latest technologies.
How many staff and technicians does the company employ?
We are 40 strong, 30 of which are technicians.
What kind of work does your laboratory carry out, and what do you feel sets your work apart from the competition?
I don’t believe there is one appliance that can treat all malocclusions and this is why I always provided a full service orthodontic lab with a full range of orthodontic appliances. We provide expansion appliances, functional appliances, digital bracket indirect bonding, snoring appliances, clear aligners, sports guards, the Inman Aligner, a variety of retainers, including our newly launched NimrodRetainer and the NimrodAligner. What sets us apart? We always keep ahead of technology together with a dedicated customer service. I know how important it is for a dentist to pick up the phone and speak to a technician right away. In addition, our clients value our ability to provide rapid turnaround times at short notice.
How do you stay on top of the latest developments in products and techniques, and at what stage do you decide to integrate them into your lab?
I keep in touch with all the key players who provide innovations in the orthodontic world. I work together with companies who develop new products, giving practical advice and my opinion on the likelihood of their success. In addition, I read many magazines and journals covering different areas of technology and medicine.
How has the work changed over the years? Do you see trends with the type of work you carry out?
The industry has become digitalised on a mass scale. The rise of the internet has changed our work flow dramatically and has been very beneficial as we can send and receive scans, photos and treatment plans electronically. Digital photography has improved dramatically which has helped us a lot too. In addition, there is a trend of general dentists who started providing short-term orthodontic treatment.
How can technicians’ best develop an effective relationship with their dentist clients?
As technology has advanced there is a mass digitalisation is dentistry, we have been able to make our processes easier and quicker, in turn making our communication with our clients faster and much more effective. The development of our online portal has simplified and quickened the communications with the practitioner. However, we are always available on the phone too which our clients greatly appreciate. Dentists also have a chance to meet us at exhibitions where we exhibit our new products and can meet technicians face to face. They are also always welcome to visit our lab in central London.
With enhancements in dental technology, is there still a heavy ‘creative art’ element to the job?
The creative side in my lab comes more from the research and developmental department and new ideas we come with to create new products and services.
Professionally, what are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the way I transformed my lab to be at the forefront of technology, using 3D printers, 3D scanners and specialised software. This together with moving to our new premises two years ago which matches the image we want to portray. I am also very proud of our new aligner which is coming out now called the NimrodAligner which is fully made using CADCAM technology.
What has been the lab’s biggest challenge in its history?
The biggest challenge would probably be moving the lab to its current location. It was a huge investment in people and machinery.
Where do you see dental technology going in the next decade or so?
Dental technology is in the process of moving to digital CADCAM technology and will continue to do so in the next decade. It is a huge investment for both the clinicians and the labs, the costs of running such operation reduces the marginal profits and will make it quite difficult for smaller labs to keep up.
What are your top tips for maintaining a successful laboratory?
In order to allow your business to be successful and grow, be very careful and selective when employing new people as the work will be delegated to them. Identify the things you are good at and enjoy doing and delegate the rest. Invest in training your employees and in their work conditions as this is crucial for providing a high quality work and loyalty to the lab. Let go of bad clients as they take your time, energy and block the way for good clients to come. Finally, do not waste time and energy in competing with other labs. Try and be unique and creative and do not under value yourself and your service.