Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran
Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran
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1226 Lee Culp CDT, CEO of Sculpture Studios : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

1226 Lee Culp CDT, CEO of Sculpture Studios : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

8/9/2019 3:56:52 PM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 160
Lee Culp, CDT is the CEO of Sculpture Studios, Sculpture Academy, and is a recognized pioneer in Digital Dentistry and advanced functional aesthetic dentistry.  He holds true to a belief that the attainment of perfection in restorative dentistry can only be harnessed through a unique combination of skillful application coupled with superior knowledge.  As a world-renowned innovator and educator, he maintains an unparalleled focus and commitment to understanding the revolutionary, often complex, changes that continue to influence modern aesthetic dentistry.  Thus, he lends his vision and talent to developing, throughout dentistry and within his laboratory, the related materials and communications standards necessary to ensure the most realistic opportunities for success and gratification for those discriminating dental professionals who maintain a higher profile, cutting-edge practice philosophy.


VIDEO - DUwHF #1226 - Lee Culp


AUDIO - DUwHF #1226 - Lee Culp


He is a leading resource/inventor for many of the materials, products, and techniques used in dentistry today, and holds numerous patents for his ideas and products.  Lee writes many articles per year, and his writing, photography, and teaching style have brought him international recognition, as one of today’s most exciting lecturers and innovative artisans in the specialty of digital dentistry, dental ceramics and functional esthetics.

Lee’s life is all about two things, his wife, Dr Lida Swann (Prosthodontist, Implant Surgeon, and recently named head of Digital Dentistry at UNC) and Dentistry, well, kind of the same thing. He has three children, one of which is also a dentist.



Howard:  it's just a huge honor for me today to be podcast interviewing Lee Culp: CDT he is a CEO of sculpture studios sculpture Academy and is a recognized pioneer in digital dentistry and advanced functional aesthetic dentistry he holds true to a belief that the attainment of perfection in restorative dentistry can only be harnessed to a unique combination of skill application coupled with superior knowledge as a world-renowned innovator and educator he maintains an unparalleled focus and commitment to understanding the revolutionary often complex changes that continue to influence modern aesthetic dentistry thus he lends his vision and talent to developing throughout dentistry and within his lab the related materials and communication standards necessary to ensure the most realistic opportunities for success and gratification for those discriminating dental professionals who maintain a higher profile cutting-edge practice philosophy he is a leading resource inventor for many of the materials products and techniques used in dentistry today and holds numerous patents for his ideas and products Lee writes many articles per year and his writing photography and teaching style have brought him international recognition as one of today's most exciting lecturers and innovative artisans and the specialty of digital dentistry dental ceramics and functional esthetics Lee's life is also about two things his wife Lydia Swan prosthodontist implant surgeon and recently named head of digital dentistry at UNC and Dentistry well kind of the same thing he has three children one of which is also a dentist's 2003 recipient of the National Association of dental laboratories excellence in education award in 2007 recipient of the Kenneth Rudd award from the American side of prosthodontics he's a 2007 there's at beyond the AACD President's Award for Excellence in dental education 2013 recipient of the American College of prosthodontics dental technician Leadership Award 2014 recipient of the spectrum publishing Lifetime Achievement Award 2016 recipient of the Peter Dawson Dawson Academy distinguished lifetime service award sculpture Studios is an FDA compliant dental laboratory education research product for new and innovative digital dental technologies and they're applied applications to diagnostic restorative and surgical dentistry you are a legend and I've been trying to get you on the show for 12 in fact I got the late Peter Dawson he came on the show episode 500 you were 1,200 so before we start he just passed and you're a distinguished award from that man any any thoughts or words for the great Peter Dawson 

Lee Culp: yeah so and it's a perfect start off but thank you for allowing me on the show and allowing me to start by talking about Pete so peep was literally the person who has guided me through dentistry I saw I took his similar when I was 21 and have been in close ties with dr. Dawson for the last 40 years he my whole life philosophy in dentistry and my laboratory has been based on everything he's taught me and it's  it was a sad day when I got that phone call but he went peacefully I'll be down there later this month for the final services but he was my true guiding light in dentistry so thank you for allowing me to say that 

Howard:  what an honor just an honor I I think I met you first down there I listen to your lecture I think it was in Florida it was an IVA Claire event but I think it was Florida I think it was a Disneyworld yeah and you you were the first dental laboratory lecturer I ever went to where I just realized my gosh we're never gonna understand all this in our lifetime it was changing so fast I mean when you started and in in dental laboratory did you ever think you'd see the extinction of the pfm I mean that was the new thing when we got out of school sure and now it's it's went with the tyrannosaurus Rex so it's

Lee Culp:  it's I was kind of cell division of digital dentistry and what might happen really early on when I saw Francois day at the Henman meeting literally 30 35 years ago but no I didn't ever think we'd see what we see today and then but I've always really wanted to be on the cutting edge so I was the technician who ran to Zurich not away from Cyrik can help them develop the lab system but all the things we're doing today in dentistry and digital I mean it's it's amazing what we can do today but as a side note we were talking about Pete a little bit earlier so I wrote a chapter in his last book my chapter in his book is the only one that's basically totally obsolete at this point because it's almost difficult to write about digital dentistry because it changes so quickly today in which book are you talking about I saw his last textbook TMJ to smile design okay so I've got a chapter in there and like I said it's basically obsolete at this point 

Howard: um I want to start with um TMJ - smile design yes by Peter because the last book I read by him was um his uh his memories um oh yeah the memories here the memories was an excellent book also what was on come on Amazon don't do this to me oh so functional occlusion from TMJ design yes and that came out in December due date when is it when did that come out it was in the 2000s I don't remember the exact date well it's um you know I call this dentistry and sensor because my homies are all smart they've all had eight ten twelve years of college I mean they all know the difference in a derivative integral Y is occlusion so difficult controversial why do they why can they figure out the area of a soccer ball in their head but they but they get all caught up on occlusion and specifically hold your feet to the fire the first question they're asking on dental town is do I go CR like Dawson or do I go neuromuscular like lvi 

Lee Culp:  I think like all things Howard there's  an answer in the middle I'm not really dogmatic about anything I do in dentistry I mean I may have been really in the beginning but you know you get older you learn to not really be dogmatic about anything in life because things change so I think somewhere in the middle is proper whether it's CRC oh you don't change anything it's neuromuscular I think you should learn all and try to apply the right one to the patient but I I just can't sit there and tell anybody that you've got to commit to one thing any longer 

Howard: well she just got out of dental kindergarten school um two months ago and so I know what she's thinking her head yes sir what is the basic difference between CR neuromuscular

Lee Culp:  CR is joint bone based and then neuromuscular is muscular based you know basically putting the joints in a in a muscular position based on input from electrical devices and again I'm certainly no expert on neuromuscular so hope I didn't get any of you give that wrong 

Howard: well I hope you did because every time it's controversial that's when the views explode if someone says something crazy and it's never from me it has to be from a guest cuz I've never been crazy so then the next big go ahead I'll try to say something controversial later I'm trying to think of controversial things and come up with well because I think the right answer is um you're gonna the most successful done is take a hundred hours of CE a year their entire career if if I can get on that path I don't have to worry about you everything's gonna fall into place the ones so so when it's controversial the I just grin because if it got your mind running and and something was said and you had to run out the front door for five miles full speed that's awesome that's all good next thing is very controversial they walk out of school they average two hundred eighty four thousand dollars of student loans and they think they think to be this digital dentist and be in your league they got to go by a hundred and fifty thousand dollar Cerek cad/cam machine right and it's

V absolutely wrong if we're talking about Dennis I think you've just got to decide what you want to do there are some really excellent CErek three shape plan Mecca dentist out there and and that's great I've never really had a problem with that but you've gotta decide what you want to do if you want to just send it to the laboratory and that's really where we've evolved and specialized in is almost a service bureau for diagnosis and treatment planning so we get as much data in as we do work now so see T's face scans intraoral scans model scans and what our basic business is at the lab now is building a virtual patient and then getting the information from the specialist what they'd like to do basically kind of doing all the heavy lifting whether it's ortho P Rio surgical restorative and then presenting that to the team and let them tweaking things but it's it's funny we're we've evolved from a lab who makes things to a lab who produces virtual patients so we can diagnose better and then eventually we'll make something but we've really gone to the front end and put ourselves in a position to take all that data and create virtual patients and so um 

Howard: you know the entire you know the first big wave and you know III feel like my life at home plate my first base hit was the first base became a dentist best move I ever made love it my second base hit was that 94 to 2000 realizing that the internet was gonna be a game-changer and we did dental town at 99 that was my second base hit now it looks like now all these pieces are coming together it looks like now we've gone from the the internet revolution to the digital transformation it's gonna be about they data it's gonna be about artificial intelligence the Internet of Things and AI are you so if some so that's gonna that's what's gonna change the world of the next ten year so we look at those things big data AI let's start with AI are you starting to entertain AI are you using AI what is your digital platform

Lee Culp:  so as my favorite one of my favorite topics to talk about so we're slowly seeing the introduction of AI into dentistry but not even close yet but if you it and it depends on how you define AI I mean if we look at Zurich or plan mecca and the ability for the software to look at the opposing tooth and the adjacent tooth and propose a tooth I mean that's  AI we can take it so much farther now we get to we get really controversial and when I start talking about this it's usually the technicians that hate me so the software will get better and better and better and one of the things that I think that will really CAIM fastest is I've been doing most of my work digitally in research and development has been with digital dentures and I'm not a denture technician not a conventional technician I could I couldn't even make a denture if you paid me to make one conventionally because I just don't know how but I was able to learn it really really quickly on digital because the tools are the same my real education came from learning how to learning how to make a denture you know the anatomical landmarks and what goes on and that was my teachers dr. Linden Cooper who was one of my closest friends and a researcher and a prosthodontist my wife dr. Lita Swan but I've come to realize through a lot from dr. Cooper that dentures is a mathematical proposition based on geometry so if there's I think anything that could be automated really quick with a would be digital dentures not that you don't have to have human interfacing and will evolve but I think pretty much everything we do on computer today whether anybody likes it or not will be done by the computer right now the computer is a tool I think the computers will be doing what we're doing 

Howard: well I don't think it's that far away well what's the most amazing is Amazon started you know their cloud computing Amazon Web service in 2004 and it's level the playing field because now small punk dentists like me can rent some cloud storage and I have the same tools available to me that you know the biggest fortune 500 companies um so are you gonna do you base all of yours on the cloud already are you using your own server I mean a cloud only means someone else's server are you gonna do this on are you gonna have people uploading files to your your place where you're in you know Cary North Carolina or are you doing cloud-based – 

Lee Culp: we're doing both right now so I've got a I've got some really talented IT people working here so we've got some massive servers right now that run our entire program but we're gonna have to move off of that as these big data sets more and more and more come in because we just we just can't we won't be able to handle it in the future so yes we will move to the cloud also

Howard:  um there's only like four people doing there's Amazon Web Services there's a Microsoft Azure there's Google cloud and then IBM's got Watson have you picked one of those four I'd have to ask Matt that's above above your paygrade and that isn't saying and of course if your kids are in school or your kids going to college the whole future is gonna be AI and they've already chosen language to program in Python what I would give to be a Python programmer or you are you gonna learn that no probably not I'll keep my specialty - taking all this and helping companies to put digital in there but there are P a whole lot smarter than me out there I'm just I'm moving into an assistant role

Howard:  it's really neat with Amazon Web Services because they have all these tools and and the studies we're talking about AI from a lab point of view you say dentures what's really amazing is radiology they can diagnose a radiograph better than anyone and and also this is frightening but in emergency rooms the person who sits down at the desk and answers and tells the AI what's going on their diagnosis is like six or seven percent higher psych it's like AI gets like a 96 percent and then the human gets like a 91 but the biases fall all apart if like I'm a boy and you're a girl where I'm Vietnamese and the patient's from Brazil you know as you start getting because I a dozen um US and you know they don't have any biases they don't have any different framework um so what would you um your market what is the true sizer there's two hundred eleven thousand Americans who today have a license to practice dentistry what percent of them are just insurance driven PPO what percent of them are in your league and going is it is that one person is it two percent what how small is the market of the mercedes-benz dental laboratory 

Lee Culp: so it's actually I mean it's actually pretty big again the other majority is unfortunately the way it is with insurance driven and some lower cost stuff but that market needs to be served so I don't have any problem with that I in it's funny Howard it's the older you get the more the more you like to step down out of your perceived ivory tower which I've always battled my entire career so we're here to help a dentist and help a patient so that's what I mean and that's why we've moved into the area we have because there's so many really good technicians out there today that can do really beautiful work really beautiful veneers or whatever but there's not a lot of laboratories out there kind of moving into the support role of diagnosis and treatment facility where we are I'm taking the information creating a virtual patient getting the input from the specialist on what they'd like to do and in one data set looking at the period the ortho the restorative or the surgical or the implant so that's what we've been working on hard for the last five years is to move into that area which is a laboratory you know having all that information and you don't have three specialists trying to do three different things we're all doing it together which will lead to finally making something but our laboratory is 50% designing and working with the clients and 50% making things at the end 

Howard: yeah I remember and whose fault is all this you know everyone likes to blame everyone oh they never blame the man in the mirror and the man in the mirror is responsible for 99% of everything goes right around your life when I heard about the you know going back a couple of decades that all these labs were losing business to China well the first thing I did you know and wasn't too long after that I got a lecture in Hong Kong and Shenzhen and when I went to the only dental school in Hong Kong the dental laboratory class was three times larger than the dental class so I asked I asked the Dean I said why do you have three dental lab techs for every dentist they said because America closed down all their dental laboratory schools big demand and we had labs like modern dental that are crawling up and me every day saying I need a thousand graduates a year and then so then I went to modern dental and he said it's like shooting fish in a barrel because when these countries close down their dental laboratories you know what look at hygiene what if they just closed down all the hygiene schools I mean would you really have to be Sir Isaac Newton 20 years from now to say you know it's really hard to find people that are really trained in dental hygiene psyche so so what are your thoughts on that huge decision forty years ago - just start closing down all the all the dental labs 

Lee Culp: I'm not sure why they closed them but it did open us up to a lot of a lot of international dental laboratories and it's funny you know this is I'll get into something else controversial I really don't have a problem with them and I don't think anybody can honestly if they look at themselves because my clothes are made offshore my car is made offshore my computer is made offshore my iPhone is made offshore everything pretty much in my life is made up offshore and I don't think we can look at all that and then go oh well we can't send dental restorations I'm sure because it's not right there's a market for that and just if we just look at it from a business standpoint if they can do exactly the same thing I can do if the quality I can do it and do it for cheaper then I've got a problem you know I've got a real problem so I think we're gonna see I don't think we're gonna see that change anytime soon people go well with digital it kind of levels the playing field I have not seen that happen at all I think laboratories really have to look at what they're doing what their competition is where their competition is coming from and are they actually doing better than the competition and if the competition is offshore and you're not doing something they're not then you are gonna have a major problem and that's

Howard:  what we try to do but I'm gonna hold your feet to the fire what percent is low-cost like Southwest Airlines Walmart IKEA and what percent of this dental crown and bridge market is high-cost like Mercedes BMW

Lee Culp:  so we know for I mean it's estimated that we've got thirty to forty percent of work going offshore now the rest of it is obviously staying here but if we look at that high tier area I would say eight to ten percent okay now that so - eight to ten percent so we'll just my brain small so we'll go with 

Howard: ten percent so you think so you think tempers I want the high-end luxury and 90% are shopping on price yes and again high-end luxury or just better work you know we're not talking about just huge huge fees here but yeah 

Lee Culp: I would say you're probably looking at a temp to 10% who were looking for at least looking for that work for specific patients again I don't I don't really have any clients that I work for that send me everything because you just don't need to pay what we charge for a second molar okay you know 

Howard: what is your average case I mean are you doing you know the majority of all crowns are a single unit on a six year molar is that a big portion in your lab or is you're mostly doing bigger complex cases hardly anything

Lee Culp:  pretty much everything in our laboratory is all on X implant work so full arch whatever how many however many implants you want to put under that based on your belief but 80% of the work in our laboratory we do do work on teeth but most of it is full arch full mouth with 80% being full arch implant work and we do a lot of surgical planning here to ensure that's right but we figured out ways to immediate load with proprietary things we've created here and again helping to plan in the beginning allows us to do that work at the end and do it very very very nicely because it's pre-planned and

Howard:  everybody needs a dentist so there's nothing wrong with committing to all on none and in many venture world and you know in Parsons Kansas everybody needs a denture I love the way you said all on X let's go to right to the controversial most controversial all-on-four of them seems like and you even you even preface it with what you believe it and it's funny because when everybody says that I always think okay well you don't have to believe in geometry geometry doesn't care if you believe in it or you don't mean geometry science just is so on for some people say well you lose one now you're you go from all on four to all on none so what do you think about all on four do you like on four would you 

Lee Culp: yeah I mean if as a as a partner supplier to dentist you know if they want to do all on four that's okay logically I can't I kind of have to go with what you just said if you lose one you got a major problem especially after you've paid the dentist the surgeon the laboratory bill to create something that only works on those four implants because there's no way to really retrofit implants at this point so I really well and again when we do full arches there's  a whole lot of complications based on that but if we're splitting things up into bridges in the back bridges in the front if we've got six one two three four if we've got six implants then it allows the case to be simpler it allows the case to be broken up into three pieces potentially and it also if we do have failure than we're not losing the whole arch 

Howard: now I'm clear choice on is big and when they came to Phoenix it was kind of funny because a lot of Perry dollars you know because nobody likes competition in their field right but they want everybody else competing for their the best product but what I noticed when clear choice came in to Phoenix they did so much television advertising that the number of patients coming in asking about it just skyrocketed marketing for everybody yeah a rising tide lifts all boats um but are they still primarily all-on-four 

Lee Culp: as far as I know we do work for clear choice when they're looking for something a little higher level so we do work for clear choice and yes I would say pretty much everything coming to us from clear choice is all on for now um we did a pallet is that paulo melo paulo melo on episode 571 a lot of people think he's the inventor of all on 4 is that is that a fair assessment or not really in my mind he at least gets credit for the invention whenever I hear all on for Paulo Malo is is the man I think of yeah so I agree yes yeah 

Howard: yeah and you go anywhere around the world a lot of people call on for pay little yeah doctor Paulo Malo out of Lisbon Portugal and  do you think clear choices I'm getting bigger and bigger I mean how do you think that business is working out 

Lee Culp: from what I can tell from friends that are associated with clear choice they're doing actually quite well so yes because they do market so much like you said it helps everybody because they do market but I think clear choice is actually doing quite well yeah and we're seeing clear choice copies popping up all over the place –

Howard:  yeah and they're doing quite well because what's the the reverse of that the dentists aren't doing well on the average new car price in America is thirty three thousand five hundred sixty dollars according to two different sources Kelly Blue Book and USA Today and on average the average America by 13 new cars by age 76 years old source Anthony Pratt Polk director of forecasting yet 95% of dentists will never sell one case for thirty three thousand five hundred and I'm always talking to some dentists and he's always telling me yeah but that guys in New York City or Palm Springs or he's where the money is I'm not here no were Vilnius like dude were we're at a bar in Glendale look at look at those cars in the parking lot yeah it's just filled with 30 40 50 thousand dollar cars and then I'll say okay you've been practicing in this town for 20 years how many cases have you ever done for thirty thousand right oh so it's it's whose fault is it again whose fault is again so sorry I sure would have you noticed cuz you know when I when I saw you lecture first time for me there was every legend and dentistry was in the rooms and I have a clear abandon I mean it was just the biggest wigs and you had us mesmerized for years of working with these dentists why do you think they can just sell an average American an average new-car dental case for thirty three thousand five hundred and the other ninety five percent will never do it once in their lifetime 

Lee Culp: confidence period just that one word and and I would totally disagree with people assuming nobody's gonna pay I mean I still remember one of the first Dawson seminars I I went to Pete was talking about this very thing and he said do not diagnose what you perceive their pocketbook to be you know they maybe come in wearing jeans and a t-shirt and you immediately get an idea but it's just not true and and we don't know what their values are we don't know anything else but I mean my wife so I'm married to a dentist I'm married to a surgeon and we are in North Carolina and you know once you get out of Raleigh it you know kind of gets rural really quickly and she just tells me stories and I know the amount of work she does about the patients that come in and you give them their options and patients who you wouldn't think would go for implants and surgery and expensive restorative work are some of the first ones to go for that because that's what they want well 

Howard: I mean I I don't get it you go to the poorest parts of Phoenix and that kid is driving a fifty thousand dollar Ford 150 pickup truck with a Raiders emblem and decked out wheels and I mean I mean he didn't cut back on anything and then the dentist tells me well I don't like to sell dentistry and I said well what are you most passionate about well you know cars well they sell cars right I mean these Americans by 33 I'm a meek I mean I  just I want to say this I just want to end the whole podcast just repeating they buy 17 of these cars for thirty three thousand five hundred you live in the richest country in the world and they're gonna buy thirteen new cars for thirty three thousand five hundred and sixty and you think the problem is dental insurance and PPOs and your don't have any money I mean it's just it's just you said it's just confidence they don't have this so seen so um um what do you think so  I feel like an idiot to talk to the number one legend and dental laboratories and then ask you to dumb it down for my homies but my homies a quarter of them are still in dental school and when I tell them to send me their questions Howard dental town calm or leave a comments after the youtubes they're all under 30 and if you look at my when I sit there with my insurance friends and you look at like a bar graph of a hundred million insurance claims it looks like we only treat for teeth I mean where's their every mo D filling first molar where's every crab for smaller wares every root now for his law where everything's done on the four first molars and she's driving to work right now and she's just got out of school and she's got a crown on a first molar well you just dumb it down and just start right there how would how would you what would you tell her cuz she's wondering you know Pratt bird material you know I'm

Lee Culp:  so for for all all the students out there because my wife teaches students cuz she said UNC so she's on faculty there Plus has faculty practice my daughter graduated a couple of years ago so if I can if I could to tell a story so Tamra when she graduated and she's ready to start practicing she goes dad here are my four things I could do so she I said well tell me about him she goes well this one and this one in this woman they were all very similar and basically it was going to a practice and kind of build your client base and you get a percentage and you get a base and you know what I said so you know what do you get you know how do how do we add all this up and I said how long is it gonna take and she gave me all the details and I said okay this is what I would do you're not gonna like my answer and she goes oh okay and I said I would take the Aspen position I said she's like really why and I said because you really think you know what dentistry is and you've got a great grasp on it but you've never done dentistry you've never worked with assistants you've never worked with a front office you've never had a line of patients I said you don't have to stay there forever but she had a great experience and she did more Dentistry in a year and a half than she would have ever done with any of these other practices and she got good she got confident and then she started looking for something a little different along the lines of what she wanted to do but it's education so the difference between a successful dentist and one who doesn't want to sell which is wrong I mean selling education whatever you want to do whenever you bring up the word sales and dentistry everybody runs out of the room and it's it's wrong because we are everything we do is selling everything we talk about whether it's dentistry or anything we sell constantly to get the things we want but you know I told Tamra this and now she's  doing big cases she's got the confidence that she needs she can look at a patient and confidently go I can do this for you and we're gonna have a successful result and I think that's the one big difference between a lot of times success and not success is having confidence to do what you want to do 

Howard: I mean no one walks out of their house and joins the NFL they start in Little League and then they go to high school it's a journey and when you come out of school you need to learn you know when you serve football it's a blog it's a tactical it's a pass it's a reception and you get our dentistry it's  again it's a it's a numbing the MOPP it's learning how to proper tooth it's a handling patience I mean and so now they've passed that and now they want to be this digital dentistry they  hear a lot about a digital smile design in fact that's even a company are you is are you with that company or you totally separate or  you work with digital smile design 

Lee Culp: yes we work with digital smile design so we work with a different company but yeah we do a lot of that because it helps a dentist give a patient a pretty good realization of what they're going to be achieving but yeah I think all those tools are incredible tools to get patient engagement because a lot of the things we've seen with courses over the year and academies and things like that is they teach you how to do everything other than get the patient excited about what you want to give them or what the possibilities are so I think a tool like smile design is an incredible tool and if you look at even some of the virtual reality today with the you know the kappa know ivo smile my wife thought it was just gonna be silly it was she was not into it at all and I gave her an iPad with the software owner I said just  take it just take it and try it you know just tell me what you think and she thought it was very cool the patient's thought it was very cool as long as everybody knows up front it's  the possibility it's not exactly what you're gonna get but that's  there's so many cool tools out there today 

Howad: so what tool was the one you just had was that smile virtual consultant

Lee Culp:  no so that is so there was a company called CAPA know and I require bought them so it's now called Evo smile so Howard if you haven't seen this you just got to go get it and look at it though so it's on an iPad it's it takes a video of you you're looking at yourself in the mirror but when you smile teeth literally jump up into your mouth and place themselves now the coolest thing about this is as you move and talk the teeth are in your mouth so the new teeth are in your mouth as you move and talk to really see where smile design software is  two-dimensional it sits on a picture it's really cool it's before and after but the eye bow smile software is the new teeth in your mouth while you're moving speaking looking at you know looking at yourself in the mirror it's very very cool 

Howard: and when are you gonna make an online CE for dental town on the I will smile I will start that right now are you serious you just tell me how to do it cuz I haven't done one but I would love to do it well not a whole lot of seee because all you do is it's kind of kind of does it itself but 

Howard: I would be loved to do it and who did you say that the founder of this that they bought it from IVA Claire bought it from so if I've got my facts right it was a Swiss company they had Disney backgrounds the company was Kappa now but how do you smell like Cap'n L cats ka kappa ka PA in a you may be haha um yeah you know the Millennials they come around school with a lot of money they see these weekend courses for three or four thousand dollars and they got a three or four thousand dollar suit loan payment actually we put 401 our courses on dental town and they're 18 bucks and they've been viewed almost a million times and everybody late late like Dawson Academy and panky and they said it's great marketing because you gotta give this kid to come spend a whole week with you so they put up like a one-hour summary of their their course kind of like the greatest hits album of and it's kind of an intermediate base like they're interested and then they watched an hour okay and then that converted lots of people to go take the class so I I see the CEOs I'm it's nice it's easy it's an hour and then you can determine okay is that all I need to know or am I really into this and I want to go further so so that um that I bow smile app is on that's uh that's really really interesting and you think is that more to sell dentistry is it more to present the dentistry so they can see more what it looks like

Lee Culp:  it's more to get the patient excited because it's virtual reality it's immediate and it's real I mean you can I think I'm almost positive you can download kind of trial version for free just I mean you can do it right now I will smile Wow the first time you do it and put that phone or iPad up to your face it's very cool yeah it sounds it sounds very cool okay 

Howard: so I'm what is what is your you know I go to McDonald's it's a Big Mac for any coke what are you doing what is your Big Mac frying a coke of your lab what is your average client sending you at the sculpture studios do you call it sculpture studios sculpture Academy or sculpture studios well what do you call it so we are sculpture Academy sculpture studios sculpture line

Lee Culp:  so studios is the lab Academy is education line is products so so what I'm so your Lee Culp CDT CEO of sculpture then or sculpture studios Academy line would you call that without saying sculpture three times [Laughter] sculpture studios is the umbrella okay sculpture studios the umbrella so what would our people what is your basic dentists contacting you for surgical guides and so are the case we like is starting from the beginning where we're doing the surgical surgical guides immediate low temporaries if needed so we have a surgical package where we design everything we let the you know everybody looks the surgeons the dentist so there's a surgical package of surgical guides dentures if needed or immediately low temporaries the second phase is restorative where we do a pmma trial restoration than a final zirconia restoration that is eighty percent of our work right there 

Howard:  Wow so now let's go back to I'm I remember when I got when I was in school  the oral surgeons in the universe in Azzurri placing member they were subperiosteal their blades and Ramos frames and all the other eminent instructors UMKC refer to them as the butcher and then I got out here in 87 and this these guys were doing dental cripples and turning into the subs and they were just miracle persons and then one case goes south and then a right-wing crazy board would take away their license sure and so I just look at some of those guys I mean I know one guy I don't want to say his name he was flying around three different rural cities and they took his license away and he went out to a trailer park in Apache Junction just drank himself to death and now these kids are like oh this is great so I would remind the kids um if someone's on the cutting edge you're gonna be the first one to eat them in dentistry so I I don't I don't want to hear I don't want to hear that but um man implants have come a long way um well so what what is your thoughts on the implant market now what do you see in that works real well and what do you see in that you wish you didn't see 

Lee Culp: so much of so and maybe it's gonna continue to grow because people are getting more comfortable with it everybody has confidence that it works I mean you've got excellent implant companies with years and years and years of success and research and even though we do it so we are we're we do it we offer that surface there's a whole lot of bone reduction going on out there we do offer the service but I just see bond reduction bond reduction bond reduction bone reduction and I look at some of the cases and I'm like oh okay I don't know that I would have done all that bone reduction so if I had to pick something that I personally think might get over down a little bit it's just bone reduction to placing implants because there's a lot of that going on out there and we do it too but I think there are other options and I think a lot of people are just that's just the tunnel they go through now bone reduction and implants and stackable everything which we certainly do but it's  not the majority of our guide business at this point 

Howard: are you implant agnostic or do you like one implant system better than the other because she doesn't want to go out and buy six implant systems is there an all-purpose implant system I'm gonna hold your feet to the fire she says I gotta buy my first system go ahead just piss off all the implant companies and in the world it's a question and

Lee Culp:  I don't mind my feet holding to the  fire but I honestly really don't have an opinion on which one might be better because you know we get them all so and again I'm not not trying to evade the question I've just I don't really have a preference restorative lis you know they leave they're also similar now Howard I mean they're there's so many and I mean you've got a billion of them out there and they're basically still based on five implant designs and types for restorative purposes I'm not educated enough to get into the thread designs and all that but restorative lis they're all kind of the same at this point yeah 

Howard: I mean when Lee Iacocca came out with a minivan it was just a economic bonanza for John year and the following year the other 10 out of 11 international car companies all had a minivan right of course so they got one year of I was first look at my minivan and so the implant all I see on the all I say on the implant system is that if it does go south and you end up in court and you bought your implant from some other country that no longer exists and there's nothing published in the research about any of their implants you're gonna settle so you need to pick an implant company that's going to be around in ten years and that if you googled that implant somebody has done some research I think really when it comes down to somebody getting in implants having a really supportive good rep is going to be almost number one because you know you've got the top five rate implants that are researched back and forth but if you don't have somebody local who's there to support you  got a problem okay 

Howard: more controversies my gosh articulate errs there are dentists what percent of the dentists in the United States did not use an articulator last year 99 maybe okay so yeah okay so that's the real world what who are the 1% used as when does Lee Culp CDT think that you need to break out an articulator so 

Lee Culp: so we're talking about big anatomical articulate errs so we're not we're not so I mean an articulator is is differences of vert  acts little plastic one or a bigger anatomical so pretty much everything in this lab goes on an articulator whether the dentist wants it or not that's just this just how we work but it's  funny if you look at the digital world and if you look at articulate errs you know you have dentists and technicians fighting over well we need this we need this we need JA simulation we need all these other things that are coming and they're getting better and then most dentists don't use an anatomical articulator in the first place they don't have one in their office they don't send the model work to us so it doesn't matter I mean we have some vertex articulate errs if I'm doing some work for my daughter but she does some singles she's about the only one we do singles for she'd also those big cases but I mean we'll put it on a vertex that's okay but everything else in our laboratory goes on a large anatomical articulator and is vertex your articulator is that your recommendation if she was gonna buy one articulator would that be done so vertex is the little little plastic oh okay oh yeah okay for an articulator i mean we use i mean everybody knows you know i'm very tight with i have a car we use i have a car shadows articulate errs are kind of articulate errs i mean there's there's not a whole lot of difference there's a blue one there's a red one there's a purple one there's a yellow one but they all basically do the same thing so so you like the strattice 300 I liked Stratos yeah they were one of the first ones that came with magnetic dismounts so you don't have to you know have it screw and unscrew and screw and unscrew and all that but really only gonna buy one what which one would it be for me I would buy a car Stratus you'd buy that one yep the Stratus 100 200 or 300 actually I have a whole lot of 100's it's a fixed condyle we're not doing a whole lot of fully adjustable articulator work here so in my world there's no reason to have a two or three okay we fixed the condyles at 25 degrees and keep on going 

Howard: but it's very confusing because um it's like we're contradicting yourself because we just talked earlier about digital dentistry and and so now it's like well aren't these how are you gonna do a virtual a virtual bite I mean if it all goes digital what and you know is there a virtual articulator for scan cases is there software okay let's talk about that virtual articulator so within so we use three shapes so everything we do is based on three shape software

Lee Culp:  so in the three shape software there is a virtual avec lar Stratos articulator so whether I'm on the screen or whether I'm holding the articulator I'm using the same articulator and we can actually mount the models in the same position on the physical articulator and the virtual articulator okay so you're saying in the three shaped software there's a there's an eye of a flower Stratus articulator Wow and as well as others but we use that one so um so it's a it's an icon on the oral scanner there is an IVA Claire virtual there's an IVA Claire Stratus her old circulator yeah so in the design software if we're designing whatever we're designing a bicuspid but that would be in the three shape software in the three shape okay in the three shape design software there are virtual articulate errs okay and you can choose obviously we choose that I have a car status because that's what we use and  what do you think of that what do you think of the virtual Stratus articulator versus a real one that you can hold in your hands so in our research so one of the nice things we do here is we lot of we do a lot of internal research to support companies and then we do a lot of research in association with a lot of universities that we work with so we did research on checking occlusion on the physical and the virtual opening the vertical doing excursions and we found very accurately the virtual articulator transferred to the physical articulator now one of the cool things where I've been using the articulator more is in digital dentistry our disgust me digital dentures because and when we're making a digital denture we're not using denture teeth anymore we're mailing our own denture teeth so the things we used to have to do to make sure all the teeth were set up perfectly and balanced and in all you know a lot of tedious work to get everything perfect now we get the teeth where we want them to be and we let the articulator go through the movements so to get perfect balancing contacts on all movements of the articulator the dentures are only articulator and anything that's in the way actually just gets removed so you get really perfect occlusion and dentures and that's where we've really been using the articulator more than we ever have is with dentures so you started off with that that that's a big thing so what percent yeah 

Howard: so what so what percent is of your cases are coming in scand versus old school vinyl poly sock same I would say it's a little less funny because we're a digital laboratory but

Lee Culp:  I would say probably only 20 to 25% of our cases come in scanned with an iOS because everything in our laboratory is an all on X case and we're still working on making the scanning of that really  predictable and our research it's getting better and it's getting better but still not seeing so much predictability that I could just tell the whole world to start scanning with scan flags on full-arch all on whatever okay so we still get a lot of impressions coming in and we work for a lot of universities too so we do a lot of work for profs students so they're doing a lot of their own model work and sending it to us –

Howard:  so how so see see once she thinks she's done the Aspen gig she's done it too you know three four years and I think that's good and by the way life is just an attitude it's all it is an attitude I  see people like get done working for Steve thorne who I think is an amazing guy and they work from two years and I'll say well you know Steve's not a dentist his dad's a dentist but he's not a dentist but he runs 500 offices and tell me what you learned the most about the business of Dentistry the marketing the HR the people to tell me what you learned and they just look at you like a deer looking in headlights and I'm like yeah you couldn't learn anything from a non dentist who owns 500 dental offices and you're a dentist I mean oh my god I would have walked out there with every forum advertiser flyer I mean I would copied everything I'm copying you know I'm so I'm so now she wants to start and become a dentist like your clients where would she start 

Lee Culp: education well so I mean you've got I mean the ones I know and  the clients that I work with the most would be Dawson number one panky spear quois so those four or where most of my clients are or they're prosthodontics resident C's at universities 

Howard: okay fair enough so I put them in order Dawson pinkie pinkie spear of course Dawson panky spear boys and all I say is I in I'm in Spears backyard just don't do it in August it's a hundred and fifteen degrees they do it when your town is under snow and it's 75 degrees out here yeah and I love God I can't believe that Pete's gone Mike I never did get to my LD pinkie boys oh my god I love that guy he is such a he is such an amazing man I mean every time you go to dinner with John cuase you just you know just laugh the whole night he laughs and learn um but he is a hundred percent Greek so he'll he's gonna try to get you to use Windex to spray on your crowns before you see them and I sort of watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding so so start with education what would you then the main software is just gonna be all from for digital design when you're working with your digital lab are they all the software's is gonna be from the three shape oral scanner 

Lee Culp: well so I mean you've got go for the clinically based programs like plan Mecca that office you know that offers a full does scan design mil and Saric if you want to do your crowns in office those are excellent systems the two main laboratory softwares are three shape and exocad they're both good I don't want to work with two software so I work with three shape and three shape I've been working with three shape since three shape was around um I'll go to Copenhagen in two weeks I'm on their board and we have we have great meetings in Copenhagen good company and what was the other one the other one the other world scanner you said the exocad so design software yes is exocad another really good software they have they sell the software and then they private label the software too but good software good design so they private label it for other companies yes like CAD star and GC and medet and all those you mean so and we're talking design software so among Urbach zircons on are probably the two biggest I  don't remember which implant company also pulled their software in but they do private label so there's a lot of software's out there in systems that are exocad they're just private label for whoever wants to sell it

Howard:  yeah I am I love on three shape and my gosh I've been that Copenhagen and my theory is it's so dang freezing cold my dentist friends down there and I let you down there they say you know in the winter there's only two strategies you either work ten hours a day six days a week or you come out of the other end of the winter and alcoholic so those are two choices so I I think their environment I think all the colleges all the universities should all be in in Antarctica because I Drive by ASU and it's 70 degrees and all through skateboarding and all that sounds like I remember when we were at Creighton we would we would wake up Saturday morning with the worst of intentions just go play all day and you look out the window it's like freezing drizzle overcast and you would just slide over - oh god I guess we'll just study all day and and that just would not happen in ASU so um Josh so um so back to diddle gonna get a carton I'm she's doing that first molar there any materials you like I mean um you know mine are all gold I love gold the most but I can only get men with liver spots to go with gold the the PF or the pfm is extinct are there is there ever reason for you to do a pfm or are they dead mm-hmm they're

 Lee Culp: dead in my laboratory so about the only time we do pfm is when we're working with a prosthodontics student and they want to do something for their boards that would just require pfm so like I said we do we work with a lot of universities so we will do it for board cases but otherwise we do not do pfm and it's even changed for me a little bit so I was mr. impress and then mr. Emacs so 90% of the work going out of this laboratory is zirconia so we do Emacs if a doctor wants Emacs we certainly do it and we do Emacs if it's a veneer or it's a bonded restoration but the zirconias are so beautiful today I mean I started in the beginning of zirconia I mean I started way back with CEREC zirconia and the DENTSPLY zirconia with some of them some of the zirconia is back then so I've been doing xur County as long as you could do your County and watch this evolution going from white opaque to some of the most beautiful materials we have today to work with so if we look at some of the more translucent multi-layered I mean they're they're absolutely exquisite in the mouth and aesthetics and name-brand what what the cony are using who use I have a klar Emacs xur CAD I've Eclair Emacs xur CAD yes you like that one and by the way I'm you and 

Howard: I both idolized I've eclairs on Greg Robert Bob Stanley I mean I mean just an amazing man and you know I was hope we I was hoping we talked about Bob yeah I had him on the show I mean he is just an amazing man and when you're in Germany and you go to the German conventions the CEOs are in their booth yeah all the dentists want to talk to the CEOs then you come to American they're like I don't want to talk to CEO he's trying to sell me something I'm like well what are you a volunteer dentists working in public health I I thought you were as you know had this million-dollar practice and why what is the weird culture I mean who would know more about an IVA Claire product then Bob then Bob Stanley I mean I mean right how does that how does where did we get that weird culture from it's basically a culture based on no trust oh so your patients are supposed to trust you but you don't you don't want to trust a CEO of a company so then you go listen to people on the lecture circuit who are feigning expertise and are you know experts in everything where's the CEO so to talk about that

Lee Culp:  I remember the first time I went to 80s right that's it yeah yeah so I mean I don't know got 30 30 35 years ago and Howard the same thing so it's it's weird if you go to the IDs nobody is trying to sell anything they're just showing you your products I mean there's some subtle sales going on but it's not like the US where if you go to a u.s. meeting and you work for a corporation because I've worked for corporations you get together before the day you figure out your sales strategy you figure out the strategy to get somebody out of the aisle feed them to the next person feed them to the next person to try and get a sale and there are budget sales budgets that you're trying to meet at the meeting in it the IDS and I'm sure it's changed over the years but I remember the first IDs that I went to and they were serving friggin beer and I'm like there's a bar there's a bar people are just talking getting to know their customers relationship showing their products but the meat I mean at least the IDS because I haven't been to a whole lot of international or German dental meetings but it's  different here its sales there it's showing new products and creating or renewing relationships and they serve beer it's incredible 

Howard: yeah rubber Ganley was on the 94th person we did on this show and I mean every time I ever told him you know what I was hearing on dental town or this say he already knew it he he was the first guy to hear about it yeah and he was just trying to build a great company now he's no he's no longer the CEO right he retired

Lee Culp:  he retired in the beginning of July but so  there's people that have influenced me greatly so Pete Dawson number one Linden Cooper Dean of research at you should interview also dr. Linden Cooper who's now at UIC very close friend and we've done lots of research and lots of workflow stuff together so but then Bob he has just led dentistry through so many eras through so many phases and he's also just been a phenomenal friend to me he's if I ever need anything Bob's a person I go to he you mean in it same thing I mean it's sad to see him step out of the CEO role but he is still very involved without a Clark but he's just been that person that I could always ask from business questions philosophy questions marketing questions or if I just needed to ask him something you know he was he would always answer that phone and was always there for me during my entire career and 

Howard: you mentioned Lyndon F Cooper DDS PhD - I'm talk about him I mean he's why was he so major in your journey so little background I do not mind and love being in front of 3,000 people you put me on a stage because I've been on stage my entire life I'm doing something so stage and being on stage has never bothered me but where people have stage fright I have cocktail reception Frank if there's one thing that's like being in hell to me it's being in a cocktail reception holding a glass of wine and having nobody around me that I know because I just I just clean em up I have nothing to talk about so I was speaking at the Astra World Congress many many years ago and kind of knew Lyndon you know by reputation he kinda knew me by reputation from the Astroworld I'm sitting there doing what I normally do is I'm in the corner with a glass of wine sitting there just in agony and he comes over to me and it says almost exactly that he goes you're Lee Culp right and I said yes I am he goes you look like you're in agony and I said I am I said Linda and I'm just I'm not a cocktail person I don't I don't know what to say and he goes will you come with me you're gonna be with our group for the rest of the night and we became almost close friends from that day we've done a lot of research a lot of work together we're doing a big research project on digital dentures now but again just another guiding light for me in dentistry you know just any time I've got questions on biologics or surgery or anything he's he's a wealth of information both on research clinical surgical and just almost anything you can think of

Howard:  he has a neat guy in Chicago so you always see them when you go to Chicago you say you I see that's the College of Dentistry Department Illinois it's funny because I always get emails all the time saying Howard I just want to help you buddy you put dr. so-and-so the initials you put doctor you don't put the initials and you put the national dump at the doctor it's like oh how American of you I'm do you know how to read Arabic these guys and all these other countries and in fact the Asians always put a Mr or an MS infirmary because they don't they know that when you see that name you don't know if that's a boy or a girl so when you're talking to international and half our views are non-us know and Americans also the only ones that you go to if you pull up a hundred American dentist websites none of them will put USA on there because you're supposed to know where Parsons is and then you read eight the state Kansas two KS cuz yeah sure everybody in Asia Africa and South America knows what that means and only the American doesn't put a country on their website my gosh I can't believe I've had you for an hour I would should I have been smart enough to ask you about what was I am what do you wish I would have asked you that I wasn't smart enough to 

Lee Culp: would I do it all again so quick  story so I was off to I was always art when I was young I was off to the University of Georgia for architecture because I was smart enough to know I would not ever make it as an artist I took this job as a summer job between high school and college as a pickup and delivery driver did half of a semester at University of Georgia went back to the laboratory to help them out at Christmas and never went back to the University of Georgia I was no prodigy when I first got in in fact I was horrible just a young kid and it just kind of clicked one day and I realized I actually had a little talent and then peeped Osun had a lot to do with that but I think what I want to know when I talk to people is would you do it again hell yeah absolutely 100% I love what I do that is hell yeah absolutely man this dentistry in Center you say anything you want

Howard:  I just think that that's amazing and a lot of these kids come out of school and they say you know Howard I graduated $285,000 long do you think that's a bad bet and I'm like well do you think a is gonna eat your job it's gonna drive us um you know there's there's three million people who just drive a truck and they already have the first semi drive Iten from LA all the way through Phoenix El Paso Houston New Orleans all the way to Texas and guess what they're not gonna they're not gonna crash and kill 30,000 people a year there's so many jobs that are gonna be eliminated by AI and in dentistry at the end of the day we're surgeons the dental operatory is a surgery you're gonna still be working with your hand you're an artesian my two oldest sons are cell phone tower welders and I just spent the last day with them and I don't think anybody realizes I mean these guys are a thousand feet up in the air welding verizon boxes and we all tease we all work with our hands and I say yeah well at least my two feet are on the floor I I couldn't even imagine doing what they're doing and the artesian x' in dentistry are going to be augmented by AI ya know and if you're not an artesian you're gonna be replaced by AI just look at real estate if all these retail centers and there has to be a human involved if you don't need someone cutting your hair fix your teeth making a sandwich if you're just buying a pair of shoes something that could fit in a box yeah you're dead and you don't even know it agreed yeah so go out there seriously I asked you to come on the show before Bob Stanley and Peter Dawson and you were you're just immense 'full you're the you're the first guy in my world that made me rise my gosh is dental laboratory stuff if you just focus on that only you would never figure it out in your lifetime and the sign of a good teacher is someone who can explain it to an idiot and the best teachers can even go further and explain it to me and you did and you were always there you're everywhere savored dental lab technician how do they contact you if they got a big case they just go to sculpture studios net or do they email you or what do they do

Lee Culp:  so we're we're redoing our website right now so it's kind of under construction but if they can email me directly Li le e dot Culp see you LP hat sculpture studios than s dot net nice Li thank you so the continued education horse my gosh 

Howard: the best thing I've Eclair could do is to get you to go on there and explain that app for an hour I'm Howard at dental time comm the guy in charge of the C is Howard Goldstein so he's hope go h OG o at dental town comm he's in Bethlehem Pennsylvania I don't know if they how close that is but I'm they they're all age D approved they're all you know they all get Cee but um everybody wants to know about digital digital that's the whole future if you could make an online C course on that that would just be epic Donna ah my god just made my day thank you so much for coming on the show I hope you have a rockin hot day yeah Thank You Howard enjoyed it let me know if I was anything I can do we'll be in touch will do see thank you so much alright a good day all right.  

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