My way:
“Art became my inspiration – painters and sculptors impressed me with their individual way of working.”

I’m a master dental technician and was born in Zagreb in 1978.

I learned the profession of a dental technician at a secondary vocational school for medical professions, the Zagreb Health School, and successfully completed my training as a dental technician in 1996. The idea to learn that profession came from my parents as they early realised my artistic and manual talent and that I was also interested in art and medicine. Probably I was also influenced by my father working with wood as a sculptor. After my training as a dental technician, I was determined to take the master class and enrolled at the Faculty of Dentistry in Zagreb. In 1998 I completed this further education with the master craftsman’s diploma. Like many young dental technicians, I earned only little money during my apprenticeship. To finance my desires and holidays I worked part-time in a McDonald’s restaurant.

After my master craftsman’s diploma I worked in several very good dental laboratories in Zagreb and gained further experience. In 2009 I furnished and managed a dental laboratory in a renowned clinic in Zagreb. In the same year I took part in a competition of Ivoclar Vivadent and was selected as the winner of the Ivoclar Vivadent Award 2009 in the category “best metal ceramic”.

From 2010 to 2015 I participated in many advanced training courses and dental symposia where I was able to learn from renowned lecturers and to further improve my manual skills. I would like to emphasize one person who has shaped my dental technical career and always supported me: Jerko Marzic. It was also through him that I became aware of the Creation ceramics in 2014. However, the processing of ceramics initially was a big change compared to the ceramics I was familiar with until then, because the materials and the layering concept were completely different. Inspired by the very natural-looking restorations of renowned dental technicians presenting their results on Facebook and YouTube, I wanted to master this ceramic at all costs. After several trials marked by success and failure my results became better and better and my restorations more and more beautiful. Then one day I posted a successful patient case on Facebook. The feedback was very positive and I was invited to the “Expert Days” course by Nando Aeschlimann working for Creation Willi Geller at that time, and I supported Creation Willi Geller as an opinion leader in Croatia.

In 2015, another wish came true and I opened my own dental laboratory, “D & D Dental Design Ltd”.

But my professional advanced training was by no means at its end. I attended further Creation courses with Thomas Singh (Oral Design), with Maki Tolomenis and Claus-Peter Schulz and took part in further Creation “Expert Days”. After a total of four course participations with different topics, I was awarded the title “Creation Willi Geller, International Instructor” personally by Mr. Geller in 2019.

Some courses I attended:
2010: “E.max press – live patient course“ – Robert Zubak
2011: “E.max abutment solution“ – Dieter Gruber
2012: “E.max esthetics“ – Gerald Ubassy
2014: “Dental Photography“ – Claude Sieber
2014: “E.max masterclass“ – Nondas Vlachopoulos
2015: “E.max masterclass“ – Thomas Sing
2015: “Creation CC and ZI-CT course“– Nando Aeschlimann

Another very important person in my dental technical career is Sascha Hein. I have been following him and his professional contributions on Facebook for a long time. As a member of the international bio-emulation group, he conducted scientific research and developed the eLAB Shade Matching Protocol. In 2016 I attended one of his courses near Manchester and have been using the eLAB system in the creation of my restorations ever since. In 2018 Sascha Hein called me into his team and since then I have been an official eLAB trainer.

Working as consultant at national and international specialist events

In 2017 and 2019 I appeared as a live demonstrator at Willi Geller’s booth at the world’s largest dental fair, the IDS. My subjects were “The power of illusion” in 2017 and “Young versus old tooth – how to reproduce!” in 2019. Further lectures followed at the SINERGIJA 1.0 Symposium in Belgrade in 2018 and at the international ESCD annual meeting, at the International Dental Fair DENTEX in Zagreb as well as appearances at other national congresses and fairs. In autumn 2019 I was invited as a lecturer to the second eLAB symposium in Marseille by Sascha Hein.

What does success mean to you – what is your definition?

For me success means to pursue a profession I love. This doesn’t mean that everything is easy because it never is. And it doesn’t matter what kind of job you do for a living. Pursuing a job you love means to me to go to work every day with motivation and passion, to accept the challenges, to continue and never give up. At the end of the day it’s exactly that which gives me joy and makes me happy. For me, being a dental technician means working in a profession where you can work artistically and live from the income. With dental technology I found a profession that combines my childhood wish: the mix of art, handicraft and medicine.

What is your inspiration and motivation? What drives you forward?

Art became my inspiration and passion. I really like to visit exhibitions of artists who exhibit paintings, sculptures or any other kind of handicraft. I’m very interested in three-dimensional presentations, optical illusions on flat canvas and colours. I’m trying to understand their secret.
I’m also fascinated by some painters and sculptors and their lives, such as Egon Schiele, Alberto Giacometti, J. M. W. Turner and some others.
It’s very interesting to learn more about these artists, what inspires and motivates them and how they face their daily challenges. I would like to know whether they are satisfied with their art, when they reached the point of being satisfied with their result and finished the work, and whether their work was adequately paid for. There are so many connections between a dental technician’s life and their lives. Just like them, I ask myself all these questions in my profession.

How did you become the person you are today?

The foundation of my professional way was laid by my parents as they recommended the profession of a dental technician and they were absolutely right. The constant desire to improve, role models like Willi Geller and Gerald Ubassy and people who encouraged and supported me were very important for my professional career. Dental photography played a decisive role in my professional development. With it I learned not only to look at the individual tooth or dental care but to analyse the whole person with the facial expression, smile and speech when creating dentures. All in all, it’s the harmonious overall result what matters. I couldn’t work without photography today, and I don’t mean smartphone photos.

Which recommendation would you give young dental technicians on their way?

If you want to become a good dental technician, work hard on yourself from the very beginning and try to learn as much as possible. Find a mentor, read the books of the great masters, get inspired and attend courses and lectures. It’s very important to understand the whole process from the dental treatment to the work of the dental technician in the laboratory.
Try to do your best at every work and try to improve with every further work. It’s important to train the manual skills but it’s equally important to know the theoretical basics of dental technology. Therefore never stop learning.

It’s an advantage of our time that a lot of information is accessible via internet and we can network with like-minded people via social media. This enables the rapid exchange of information and sharing of experience. It’s also nice to be a part of this community and to be inspired by others.

Tooth 11

Teeth 11 and 22

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More success stories of dental technicians …

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