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In the last year, MicroDental has acquired four laboratories and is actively seeking additional laboratory members. Here, MicroDental President Len Liptak details what the company is looking for and the benefits it offers.
Respondents to LMT’s 2015 Marketing Survey are using new as well as tried-and-true strategies to cement client relationships, boost loyalty and increase referrals.
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At the NADL’s Vision 21 meeting in Las Vegas, presentations and discussions focused on where dentistry is headed in the next 10-20 years; clearly this is the topic du jour. So much has changed in these last five years that we at LMT could hardly wait to collect and analyze the survey data you so generously provided us with this past fall in preparation for our 2015 State of the Industry series.
What the future looks like is not only the $64,000 question; it’s a downright rhetorical one! In other words, who knows? Bill Gates once made the observation that “most people tend to overestimate the rate of change that will occur on a two-year basis and underestimate the rate of change that will occur over 10 years.”
However, we know a few things that are constant, even in a continual state of flux:
Passion is powerful—enthusiasm, optimism and an enjoyment for your work are contagious.
Those who adapt most quickly and are able to ingest change will stay ahead of the...
The first part of LMT’s comprehensive, multi-issue State of the Industry 2015 coverage offers an in-depth look at the key trends impacting laboratory operators today.
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- September 2013
Although large, professionally managed group practices still only represent a small segment (7 to 8%) of the dental profession, their explosive growth in the last few years indicates that the trend will continue. That means there's also a growing opportunity for dental technicians at these practices' on-site or centralized laboratories.
Given the size of the companies, many of these practices offer comprehensive benefits packages, training programs and opportunities for advancement that are often difficult to find in small, independent laboratories. It's also a great opportunity for technicians and dentists to work collaboratively with patients. "Our lead technicians often have an opportunity to meet the patient to look at a try-in or help select a tooth shape or size, for example," says Mike Thomas, Vice President of Laboratory Operations, Affordable Dentures Dental Laboratories (ADDL). "We like our technicians to think of their role as a partner in service, working together with the...
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The changing demographics of the dental field could bode well for laboratories. There are more general practitioners and prosthodontists, more dental consumers and fewer laboratories. In other words, the potential client base per laboratory is growing.
Here's a look at the shifting demographics between 1998 and 2011:
The number of laboratories declined 12.5%, from approximately 12,000 to 10,500. The number of GPs and prosthodontists increased 17%, from 133,623 to 156,011. This means the ratio of dentists to labs increased from 11:1 to 15:1.
The ratio of adult patients (20 years or older) to dentists increased from 1,441:1 to 1,466:1.
Further analysis of patients 45 years or older—the most likely sector of the population to receive restorative work—shows an increase of 36% during this timeframe. In 1998, there were 686 patients for every dentist; in 2011, the ratio was 796:1.
And going forward, it seems these trends will continue:
The dentist population is expected...
The number of large dental practices has risen 25% in just two years, according to the ADA, and although many of them have their own on-site laboratories, they often work with independent laboratories as well. In fact, nearly one-quarter of respondents to an LMT survey say they work with at least one of these large practices.
Although the technical day-to-day routine of working with large practices isn't much different than working with smaller practices, there are some differences from a business standpoint. For example, while members of a group practice sometimes contract with one laboratory, other times it's up to the individual doctors to choose their own laboratory and this can be a valuable source of referrals for laboratories.
"It's almost like free advertising when we start working with one of these dentists; word of mouth spreads through the practice and we end up getting more work from others in the group," says Eric Bone, AAA Dental Studio, Omaha, NE. "As the office grows,...
- August 2013
Written by Erik K. Curtis, DDS, MA, MAGD and reprinted with permission from AGD Impact, October 2012. (c)Academy of General Dentistry. All rights reserved. On the Web at www.agd.org. License #37166
America loves big business. Never mind the warnings of philosophers and other naysayers. For every Occupy Wall Street curmudgeon huddling under a leaky tent to protest stratospheric CEO incomes, a million of his compatriots get in line at the local Apple store to purchase the company's latest and greatest products. For every crusader decrying the ethics of the bottom line, an army of analysts crisply counters that an entrepreneurial, creative private sector is what makes this country great. For every science fiction movie featuring an evil corporation bent on taking over the world, there is a corporate cinema screening that very film. Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Media, even Big Chocolate: For most of us, big organizations mean the security of efficiency, reliability, consistency, and cost control....
Read More 16 minute read
- June 2013
LMT explores the in-house business model which provides technicians with the ultimate opportunity to be an integral part of the dental team and experience the satisfaction of interacting with patientsâminus the challenges of business ownership. Plus: a dentist offers his perspective on the value of having technicians just down the hall.
- April 2013
All-ceramics, implants, profit erosion and other hot topics inspired dialogue during the biggest weekend of the year.
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- February 2013
Thereâs a 50/50 chance your clients will switch laboratories in the next five years. Want to know why they might jump ship? Read the results of LMTâs 2013 Dentist Survey conducted jointly with Dental Economics.
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- August 2012
At its Capital Markets Day event in Amsterdam in May, Straumann shared its Vision 2020 project with investors and the media. Using existing data, new research and numerous interviews with experts in the field, Straumann's management team outlined key demographic, restorative and technological trends the dental profession will experience between now and 2020:
•As the cost of equipping and running dental practices increases, more practitioners will join group practices and chains; single-dentist practices will become less common. Consolidation will be even faster in the dental laboratory segment as new technologies and larger competitors impact smaller labs.
•The number of newly trained dental surgeons might be insufficient to cover growing demand.
•The face of dental care will be increasingly female as more women are training to become dentists than men. It's also expected that a growing proportion of female dentists will work part time for family reasons, which may accelerate...
- April 2012
The 200 attendees* at How to Control the Future Before the Future Controls You, co-sponsored by Vident and Nobel Biocare, received a digital, handheld device so they could provide instant feedback to questions posed by Moderator Mark Murphy, DDS, FAGD. Their answers were immediately displayed on a large screen at the front of the room.
One striking statistic: 87% of attendees said an undue amount of pressure is keeping them from raising their fees. Given the price erosion trend in our field, this number didn't surprise panelist Richard Harrell, Vice President, DSG. "There is significant pressure across the industry on our average selling price," he said. "From the impact of offshore, new technology and dental group practices, there's a lot of constriction on what we can sell our products for."
Given that reality, the discussion focused on how to diversify in order to boost sales, increase efficiency and client loyalty, and cut costs. In addition to offering in-lab shade-taking services...
- April 2011
Five laboratory owners offer their strategies for keeping accounts receivable in check in this tough economy. Plus: red flags that should give you pause.
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LMT explains the valuation process and various methods used by professional appraisers. Also included: strategies for adding value to your laboratory if you are putting it on the market.
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