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Then and Now: How a Dental Lab Became So Much More

Hollie Taylor, CDT

Over 40 years ago, New West Dental Lab opened its doors to serve the local dentists of Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Today, it’s become a full-service lab of over 100 employees that serves the entire nation with specialty products, personalized customer service and educational resources.

How did such a drastic transformation happen? The “Dental Compass” blog staff sat down with New West general manager, Hollie Taylor, CDT, to find out.

From Humble Beginnings

A lifelong Lake Havasu City resident, Hollie holds her neighbors and the surrounding communities in high regard. From a young age, she knew she wanted to remain in her hometown and help the people around her. That meant following a different path than others. It meant pursuing a professional career that matched her values and provided meaningful benefits to the people she loved most.

In 2002, she began her professional journey with New West. At first, Hollie started in a hands-on role as a metal-finisher, later transitioning to the ceramics department. Then, she joined the team as a production manager of the BruxZir® Zirconia department and the quality control department. Later on, she oversaw all production processes on the lab floor. Now, as general manager, Hollie makes it her utmost priority to pursue better dental care with her many customers.

Adapting in an Ever-changing Industry

The needs of dentists and their patients are always shifting, year after year. So, why wouldn’t the dental lab shift too? Hollie shared the answer with “Dental Compass:”

“At New West, we refuse to stay stagnant. Change is never easy, but our ability to adapt has been vital for dentists looking to stay relevant in a competitive environment. I’ve learned that dental labs that want to adapt to the changes of the industry need to do more than make promises. They need to take action. That’s why New West offers unique products and educational resources to help dentists and their patients in a tangible way.”

New West offers products like dental sleep appliances and migraine prevention devices because they can help dentists gain a competitive edge, increase practice growth and transform more patients’ lives. Even for dentists who are trying to grow their practice in a small town, these specialty products are vital for distinguishing themselves as specialists in the field.

Sleep products
For patients struggling with obstructive sleep apnea or snoring, New West offers dental sleep appliances like the Silent Nite® Sleep Appliance, EMA® (Elastic Mandibular Advancement) appliance, TAP® 3 TL and dreamTAP™. Similarly, patients who suffer from tension-type headaches or migraines can greatly benefit from the NTI-tss Plus® or NTI OmniSplint® migraine prevention devices.

New West has distinguished itself as more than just another dental lab. Adding educational resources to New West, enabled the lab to provide a whole new level of support to customers. For dentists who want to learn more about new ways to help their patients or grow their practice, the “Dental Compass” blog is a great resource. Subject matter experts from all around the country contribute to “Dental Compass,” making it a comprehensive foundation for dentists searching for information.

Hollie’s ability to help New West adapt to change has also positively affected case accuracy and delivery times at the lab. Employees are trained to operate some of the newest equipment in the industry – equipment that enables the team to deliver cases on time with superior accuracy.

Adapting to the changing dental environment means going digital. Hollie has implemented cutting-edge dental technology like 3D-printing to make sure that New West team members have what they need to quickly deliver cases with precision.

Behind the Scenes

The consistent growth that New West has experienced over its 40 years of service creates a firm foundation upon which existing employees and new employees can rely on. There is a sense of comradery that comes from knowing that the lab’s services are designed to meet the needs of dentists and improve the lives of their patients. 

Jennifer Behmer: Quality Control Specialist
Jennifer Behmer is a quality control specialist at New West and uses her almost 15 years of experience to ensure that every restoration meets the highest standards.

In some cases, this comradery stems from long-lasting friendships. Hollie explained that, “because of our tightly knit community in Lake Havasu City, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a lot of employees who I went to high school with. That already existing bond is instrumental in helping us to better solve problems together and bounce new ideas off each other.”

Kristen Heckart: BruxZir Finisher
Kristen Heckart has worked at New West for over 17 years. As a BruxZir finisher, Kristen polishes and adjusts crowns that are then sent to the quality control team.

Combined, the employees at New West have well over one hundred years of dental experience. Not only has Hollie strengthened her team with experienced, knowledgeable employees, she also has strengthened her community by offering new career paths.  

Lonny Matzdorff: Hi-tech all-ceramic technician
Lonny Matzdorff, a dental technician in the all-ceramic department at New West, has 33 years of experience. “New West,” he said, “offers its team constant change, innovation, the ability to learn many avenues of career choices, and the benefits and support that comes from a well-established company.”

The Key Takeaway

Although New West began as a small lab serving local businesses, it has grown to where it is today because of the team’s vision to put customers first. When provided with the materials and products they need most, dentists across the country are able to treat more patients and grow their practice. When customers grow, the lab grows.

With a healthy lab partnership, trust also grows. “I am honored to have earned the trust of so many dentists all across the country,” said Hollie. “Dentists face challenges every day in their practices, and their lab relationship shouldn’t be one of them. My goal is to help dentists succeed with the selection of specialized and traditional solutions, personal experience, and educational resources that New West offers. And that is the key takeaway here.”

Interested in partnering with New West or learning more? Visit newwestlab.com today.

EMA is a registered trademark of Frantz Design Inc. TAP is a registered trademark of Airway Management Inc. dreamTAP is a trademark of Airway Management Inc. NTI-tss Plus is a registered trademark of Boyd Research, Inc. NTI OmniSplint is a registered trademark of Boyd Research, Inc.

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