In late 1996, Robert Ratliff and Jamie Bartley left the U.S. Air Force with a new mission of service in mind. The determined pair cofounded Gator Ceramics Dental Lab in 1997 with the goal of changing lives one smile at a time by partnering with the dental community.

“In the Air Force, Jamie and I were trained by some of the best Board Certified Prosthodontists in the world,” said Ratliff. “We also had the rare opportunity to actually assist them as they did procedures on their patients. This gave us a unique clinical perspective of the restorations we were producing and allowed us to gain invaluable experience about how restorations need to be produced to look their best in the oral environment. We were trained in a culture focused on excellence, and we wanted to offer that level of skill in a civilian setting.”

Ratliff and Bartley have a passion for partnering with clients through education and communication. “We communicate often with the dentist, the oral surgeon, and the patient so that all members of the team are clear about the process and desired results,” said Ratliff. “We also learn from our clients as they share their dental experiences and customization needs.”

In 2012, Jeff Thomas merged his company, Thomas Dental Ceramics, with Gator Ceramics. After 30 years in operation, Thomas had developed a reputation for producing some of the most esthetic restorations around and had become the area’s leading expert on CAD/CAM technology.

Thomas, Bartley, and Ratliff have pooled experience and technology skills to operate one of the most revered dental labs in the nation. “We have been successful because we operate as an extension of the dental practice, working as a team with dentists and oral surgeons to create exceptional results,” said Ratliff. “Our products speak for themselves.”

Robert Ratliff,
Owner/Lab Technician

Robert is originally from Gainesville, FL, but has lived in Louisiana since 1988. After training in the Air Force to become a Dental Laboratory Technician, he was stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base from 1988-1996. He has over 30 years of experience in the dental industry and works very closely with the many doctors we serve to ensure our work exceeds their expectations. He attends Dental Symposiums regularly, always looking for ways to serve our partners and help to grow their practices. He and his wife, Brenda, currently reside in Benton where they attend Cypress Baptist Church.

Jamie Bartley,
Owner/Lab Technician

Jamie is originally from West Virginia, but moved to Louisiana in 1986 with the U.S. Air Force. He served at Barksdale Air Force Base for 11 years where he worked as a Dental Laboratory Technician before leaving the military in 1997. He is an honor graduate from the U.S. Air Force Dental Lab Training School with an associate degree in Dental Laboratory. He also has an associate degree in Business Personnel Management from Bossier Parish Community College. With his extensive knowledge and experience in the dental industry, he provides management to our Quality Control team and manages our work flow and production. He makes sure that all cases are completed correctly and efficiently before they leave our lab to ensure they exceed our client’s expectations. He has three children, Brittany, Seth, and Jake, and currently resides in Benton.

Samantha Bergeron,
Office Manager

Sam is a retired Master Sergeant from the Air Force and has been with Gator Ceramics since 2015. She is originally from Chicago, IL, but spent seven years stationed in Louisiana at Barksdale Air Force Base from 2004-2011. She returned to make Bossier her home in 2014. She has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Jones International University. Staying true to her military training, Sam keeps our office organized while managing our shipping and reception departments to guarantee a strong and efficient communicative relationship with doctors’ offices. She and her husband, Don, have a daughter together and welcomed their first grandson in early 2020.

Dana Darnell,
Implant Coordinator

Dana has been a part of Gator’s team since 2015 and began overseeing our Scan Department the same year. Her team and the CAD/CAM Technicians work closely together daily to ensure all scan cases are received and completed on time. Dana has an associate degree from Southern University in Shreveport as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS) and has many years of customer service and healthcare experience. She is able to provide knowledge and organization in many areas of the lab to keep us and our Scan Department running smoothly. She has two daughters, Hannah and Hailey, and they currently live in Mooringsport, LA.