Lately, we’ve been keenly interested in trends that help offices earn more money. As inflationary conditions continue to put a strain on office finances, we’re always looking for ways to help you boost cash flow or reduce expenses. This week, let’s look at 3D printing.

While not a “new” trend in dentistry by any stretch of the imagination, 3D printing is still in a very unique spot. It’s viable. It’s readily available. And its usage isn’t as high as it should be. This isn’t AI or some new-gen technology. It’s proven, and it’s here to stay.

Today, we want to take a look at the role 3D printing plays in dentistry, and how it can help your office make some extra dough.

Savings Associated With 3D Printing

We know that 3d printing has been around for a while. And we know you 100 percent know about it. But just how transformative 3d printing will be for dentistry is hard to overstate.

Imagine this: cost-effective restorations and reconstructions.

The pricing difference between 3d printing and CAD/CAM is enormous. A CAD/CAM component (whether it be crowns, orthodontics, or restorative pieces) costs hundreds of dollars (at minimum) and weeks to create. A 3D-printed component costs a few dollars and a few minutes.

Back in 2015, Nature posted a lengthy article on the applications of 3d printing in dentistry. It’s relatively long, but we highly recommend that every dentist at least takes a quick look at it.

Technology has grown even further since. 3d printers (which at once cost an arm plus a leg) are now so cost-effective that it’s hard to justify using traditional CAM/CAD tools for most dental applications.

Across applications, you can cut your lab bill by around 75 percent for minimal investment. Right now, that means more cash in your hands. Eventually, it will mean cheaper solutions for customers, which will actually end up benefiting you more. Imagine being able to provide some of your highest-cost dental services to your patients for a fraction of the price — without impacting your payout.

It’s a win-win. And, from every conversation we’ve had with dentists, helping their patients is their number one concern. It beats cash. It beats growth. 3d printing is the best of both worlds.

Currently, 3d printing is an absolute cost-saving necessity for oral surgery, sleep dentistry, and orthodontics. In the future, we may see it seep into everyday practice — especially if it can create cost-effective disposable equipment and tools.

Choosing the Right Equipment

We would hope this goes without saying. But you never know these days. We are not affiliated with any 3d printing company, at all. We have no horse in this race. That said, we want to imprint the importance of choosing the right equipment on you.

Originally, we planned to make this section massive and provide breakdowns of pros and cons provided by manufacturers.

But, as it turns out, the 3d printing space is a little… “wild west(ish)” right now. There are a lot of companies in this space, and they have some crazy different price points.

Truthfully, this gets complicated. We reached out to some 3d printing experts. And, we’ll be blunt here: this stuff goes WAY over our heads. There just isn’t a clear-cut choice. And this is a large enough investment that we don’t want to go out on any limbs about products that we don’t honestly use.

According to those we spoke with, both Nature and FormLabs have good guides. Of note, FormLabs is a manufacturer of 3d printers, so there are some sales lines sneakily worked into the content. But it’s basically just an easier-to-digest version of the Nature guide (again, no affiliation)

Putting it All Together

3D printers are an easy win. But you know what’s an even easier win? Using WORKFORCE to find temp hygienists and assistants. Forget using temporary dental hygienists to put out fires. Use them to generate proven income. We have offices earning over $300,000 in extra yearly revenue just by using WORKFORCE proactively. Learn more about how WORKFORCE gives you the power to boost your revenue instantly.