Is in-office CAD/CAM hurting your bottom line?

March 21, 2012

CAD/CAM dental offices have the opportunity to use the system’s excess capacity and the practice’s existing dental staff to develop another revenue source. With the pieces already in place to produce state-of-the-art dental restorations, it is possible-through a boutique commercial dental lab-to profit from those underachieving periods during a normal day. These doctor labs can operate within the existing dental practice without disrupting patient treatment.

CAD/CAM dental offices have the opportunity to use the system’s excess capacity and the practice’s existing dental staff to develop another revenue source. With the pieces already in place to produce state-of-the-art dental restorations, it is possible-through a boutique commercial dental lab-to profit from those underachieving periods during a normal day. These doctor labs can operate within the existing dental practice without disrupting patient treatment. Revenue generated from the accounts the dental lab takes on adds benefit to the practice’s bottom line.

That’s exactly what we’ve done in our office through The2thDox Dental Lab. This boutique lab helps us make full use of our time and technology, which motivates both doctors and staff members. This excitement translates to our patients, who are impressed and comforted that their doctors provide this service to other doctors. 

How it all began

Our decision to purchase a CAD/CAM system was based on the return on investment with our existing patient load. At the time, we had no intention of beginning an outside dental lab. Like many dental offices we immediately saw increased revenue in our restorative practice after we purchased our E4D CAD/CAM system from D4D Technologies. Our patients were impressed and the staff was excited as we worked our way through the CAD/CAM learning curve. We quickly gained confidence and comfort with our new technology.

The process of fabricating and delivering a crown to a patient became so enjoyable we told all our dental friends about it, including a relative who wanted to see the result first hand. We made him a single-unit crown for his hygienist. She was thrilled, he was hooked and we secured our first account.

Today, we have a handful of accounts and we’re growing through word of mouth. We have had the E4D system in office for about 18 months and have been doing crowns, inlays, onlays and implant crowns for outside accounts for almost a year. Starting slowly, we have now completed more than 500 units for our clients. As we have developed efficiency and comfort in this venture, the number of units we produce continues to increase each month.

Quick turnaround

With our current case load, we can complete a single unit in 48 hours or less. Our clients also can schedule in advance for Same Day Service. For a nominal fee doctor clients can provide their patients a crown in a single day as if they had in-office CAD/CAM themselves. This service allows our dentist clients to compete with the growing number of “Same Day” dentists, while at the same time energizing their own patient base. If there is a need for an “emergency crown,” we normally work it into our schedule. We know how valuable this can be for the doctors and their patients.

The advantages dentists have over a lab

We can deliver a product that is equal to what a commercial lab can do. Typically, a dentist who invests in CAD/CAM technology is innovative and educated. The type of dentist who has chosen to practice in-office CAD/CAM dentistry likely has the knowledge and skill to accept this new profit stream into his or her office. If the dentist is already successful with in-office CAD/CAM dentistry, the foundation is in place to accept “outside work.”

Dentists have the unique ability to understand what the client doctor struggles with. In our 26 years in practice, we likely have experienced most every situation. We can advise our colleagues and help them make it work for the patient. As professionals ourselves, our client doctors can be assured we have their best interests, and ultimately the patients’ best interests, at heart.