Sterling Ceramics (Dental Laboratory) Ltd
Sterling Ceramics is a thriving dental laboratory located in Halesowen, West Midlands, serving both NHS and private dental surgeons in the Midlands, Northeast, Wales, and throughout the UK. Sterling Ceramics vision is to become one of the nations leading dental laboratories and despite recessionary conditions the business continues to grow and progress towards its goal.
Led by director and co owner Neil Atkins, the laboratory was purchased in 2005 and moved to its current location in 2008. Neil was originally attracted to a career in dental technology because he felt he would enjoy a vocation involving artistry, craftsmanship and technical competence. In 1980 he joined Sterling Ceramics, a small crown and bridge laboratory that had been set up the previous year. He then spent many years learning, enhancing and perfecting his skills as a ceramist and also training other technicians in all aspects of dental technology. When the opportunity arose to take over the business he was well-prepared for the challenge.
Today Sterling Ceramics employs eleven people, including four registered technicians and a soon to qualify trainee, a model maker, and additional support staff including three drivers that make daily deliveries. Sterling Ceramics employees are capable and industrious and the lab is able to attract the best technicians because of its friendly and progressive working environment. The laboratory holds Platinum Approved status with Straumann and, as a member of the Dental Laboratory Association (DLA), has completed the Dental Appliance Manufacturers Audit Scheme (DAMAS) accreditation, which ensures that Sterling Ceramics products conform to national standards and current legislation.
Staff and customers alike are impressed with the renovated Sterling Ceramics building, a local landmark with an ultra modern frontage and sky-blue façade, and internal refurbishments are almost complete. Its spacious reception room leads to a dental surgery that can be hired or used for training purposes. The ergonomically designed crown, bridge and implant laboratory, located on the first floor, is equipped with modern island benches and cabinets and is surrounded by natural light. There are further rooms for model making and casting, and accessories throughout the building have been carefully selected for their refinement and elegance.
The speed of technological advances in aesthetic dentistry has changed the nature of the industry. Today’s leading laboratories are knowledge centres, gathering, evaluating, implementing and passing on information and know-how to the dental surgeons that they serve. In this respect, Sterling Ceramics serves its clinicians well. Membership of Terec brings real benefits to the laboratory and its customers. Terec members, who are considered to be at the forefront of dental technology, meet regularly to share information about the latest products, techniques and machinery; travel abroad together to source the world’s leading edge technologies; test out innovative equipment and materials; and support each other to find solutions to technical challenges.
Sterling Ceramics and its customers also benefit from the on-site location of Zfx Birmingham, a state-of-the-art milling centre staffed by expert digital technicians, and Toplabs Prosthetics, a specialist denture laboratory. This arrangement enables Sterling Ceramics to perfect its crown, bridge and implant work, while collaborating with these complementary businesses in order to deliver a fast, efficient and complete service that clinicians appreciate.
Sterling Ceramics has a sound business model, an excellent professional network and honest, affable and detail-minded directors who truly enjoy what they do. It is not really surprising that the company is flourishing during economically difficult times.