Prior to COVID-19 the first quarter of 2020 was phenomenal for most of the dental industry. The economy was strong and had no signs of slowing down. However, the pandemic shutdown dental completely for two months. This has left all dental professionals reorganizing their businesses in an attempt to reduce overhead and be profitable as revenue will undoubtedly be down for 2020.
There are several ways to reduce overhead, such as reduce payroll or use more cost-effective products. Reducing payroll is hard to do because as a business owner you naturally and rightfully feel obligated to the financially well being of your staff. If you use cost-effective products you may have to compromise quality, which you may not want to do.
The most predictable and effective way to reduce your overhead is to limit the outsourcing of your restorations, surgical guides, ortho appliances and more. The monthly payment and material cost is a fraction of what a lab pays a milling center or a dentist pays a laboratory.
Plus the technology is so advanced that it can virtually “do the work” for you after you learn the software and implement a workflow. Dental CAD softwares such as 3Shape, Exocad and Ceramill Mind allow you to do standard crown & bridge design with the ability to select the modules you use as an Add-on. You can now fabricate everything from a simple crown to a full denture in-house without outsourcing for the fraction of the cost.
Amann Girrbach, Roland, VHF and Ivoclar all manufacture proven high-quality milling machines that have differing levels of capabilities. These are proven manufactures with a track record of success that can fabricate restorations beyond 3 unit bridge “Same-Day” dentistry. Furthermore, they all are open platform systems and have a sizable customer and distribution base in the United States which ensures they are futureproof.
If you purchase from an experienced and knowledgeable distributor your business will be able to produce some amazing work. Your monthly payment on a five year term will be $1,100 to $2,300 depending on the equipment and capabilities you choose. Capabilities to choose from are Crowns, Bridges, “All on X”, Hybrid Zirconia/Titanium Implant Abutments, Titanium Implant Abutments, Long Span Relignable Temporaries, Bite Splints, Dentures, Partial Dentures, Smile Design, Surgical Guides and more.
In addition to milling you can add a printer to your CAD/CAM system. There are affordable printers that range from $2,500 to $25,000 that can be added to your system for a slightly higher monthly payment. Depending on how much you would like to budget, you can get a printer to complement your milling machine to product Models, Surgical Guides, Bite Splints, Temporaries, Ortho Models for Appliances, Dentures and more.
The advantage of printed versus milled is that the material costs less to print. However, the technology has yet to produce a final restoration so printed items are for temporary use. It is best to have both a milling machine and printer if you would want to get the maximum ROI when producing models and surgical guides. After you select your CAD/CAM options, here is the list of 8 ways to reduce your overhead:
CAD/CAM technology allows your business to offer many services in-house that you previously could not. Time saved, reduced material cost and a predictable equipment payment will reduce your overhead and allow you to plan your finances more accurately for years to come. When you add your monthly payment with your material cost you will see your overhead drop significantly. Plus, this does not include the time that you saved by less redos and quicker turnaround times.
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