2840 Clark Ave
P.O. Box 7212
St. Louis, MO 63177

Where We Came From, Where We Are Now, Where We Are Going


STRUTCOMy name is Kevin Ohlendorf, and I am the third generation owner of the Ohlendorf Appliance Laboratory.  The lab was started in 1933 and my grandpa started working at the lab soon after it opened. In 1943 he purchased the lab, and it has been in our family ever since.  My dad took over the lab from my grandpa and I took over from my dad. It has been a real honor for me to carry on this tradition, and be a third generation owner.

I decided to start writing a Blog so I could pass along specific information on topics that I think you will find helpful and things that come up at the lab that have a wide range of interest.    Everyone likes to receive information in different ways, and many people prefer a written Blog instead of the Video Blogs that we do.


When my grandpa started working at the lab in 1933 we mainly made full arch braces with custom bands on every tooth.  This was before bonded brackets and preformed bands. Our technicians spent most of their time making custom bands to fit every single tooth, not just the molars, and welding tubes on to those bands for the wires to go through.  Straightening teeth was difficult and required a lot of metal.

This went on until the early 1970’s when bonded brackets started replacing fully banded cases.  My grandpa Howard and my dad, Mark, saw this new technology eliminating a major portion of the business.  They realized some major changes were needed for the business to survive.

In the late 1970’s Functional Appliances were starting to be introduced and taught in this country.  My dad saw the incredible results that were being achieved with them, and knew Functional Appliances would be the future of our business and began the process of transitioning our lab to be one of the leaders in Functional Appliance Fabrication.  Thank goodness he had the foresight to do this. Many labs that did not embrace this new way of doing things, lost a ton of customers and many went out of business.


About every 30 years the industry has made a major change.  So what will my legacy be? While we still make braces and we still make Functional Appliances, the major change that I see happening is Digital Technology.  My role is to guide the lab from traditional models and hand-made custom appliances to digital impressions, model printing, and Cad Cam appliance design and construction.

It is a very exciting time for us.  For the last few years we have started seeing more and more cases being sent to us digitally instead of doctors sending in physical models.  The day is soon approaching when the scales will tip, and we will receive more cases digitally than through the mail. We have been working hard to keep up with the technology and modifying our processes to take advantage of the benefits that are available.  If you are taking digital impressions of any kind, we can accept them. We are certified with all the companies including Itero, Sirona, 3M, 3Shape and many others. If you have questions, please email me or give me a call.

Once we have the scans, we can print your models and fabricate your appliances just like we do with stone models.  We also have the capabilities to do more of the appliance fabrication process digitally than ever before and this is where the future is headed.

Our CAD CAM software allows us to move teeth to create Inman Aligners, Clear Express and Clear Force Aligners, remove brackets from the models before we make retainers, and produce a variety of reports for IPR and before and after comparisons.  This is just scratching the surface of what can be done.

Shortly, we will be ready to go with Digital Indirect bracketing, Perio Protect contouring, and many other exciting advancements to help us provide you with the best fitting appliances, made to the highest quality standards and delivered on time to your office.  We are making the investment isn time, training and resources to continue to be the premier lab for all your dental appliance needs. Count on us to stay on top of the fast-changing technology just as we have since Grandpa made his first set of braces.


I hope you have enjoyed my Blog.  I plan on posting a new one at least once a month.  Please check our website at OhlendorfApplianceLab.com for new Blog posts.  You can also be notified by following us on FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram at Ohlendorf Appliance Lab.  You can search for us, find us and then follow us. It’s that simple to stay up to date.

If you enjoyed this Blog, please share it with a friend that you think might enjoy it.  I would appreciate your help to spread the word about our Lab to as many people as possible.

Please let me know if there is a specific topic you would like me to address.  Your input on the content of the Blog would be very helpful.

Kevin OhlendorfThanks
Kevin Ohlendorf

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