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November 17, 2011
Jim Thacker · Vice President at Utah Valley Dental Lab/UVDL
We've done our best to order smaller lots and send in scrap more frequently to minimize our exposure...See more and risk to price fluctuations. With the price setting on the second London fix, we order alloy only on days the market is "up" and delay orders when the market is "down" and allow the lower price to "fix" at the lower rate. Since we "flat fee" our metal-based crowns, we monitor the markets very closely and adjust our fees in $5 increments. Mostly however, we use pricing strategies to steer our dentists to more profitable monolithic restorations such as e.max Press or full zirconia. Its our goal to use as little alloy as possible in our restorations with the development of modern materials, we see metal being necessary in less than 15% of what we do.
Nick Azar · Managing Director at Azar & Associates
I find laboratories split on this issue. The oneâs who offered a fixed price product in the past,...See more find themselves forced to change that model to accommodate the ever changing alloy prices and stay profitable, while others who offered their products at labor plus alloy cost in the past, are turning to fixed pricing to attract those dentists who are accustomed to it. Many labs are marking up the products at far less than 25% profit margin, while others are just passing the cost through to their dentists. I find it interesting that laboratories are calling their customers with a price quote for the alloy on a case-by-case basis. The labs intention when making the call is to stir the doctor away from metal base restoration to a metal free restoration. Also, at the same time, to give the dentist heads up, so there are no surprises when they receive the invoice. I also see non-precious metal gaining some momentum, not much. I hope that helps with answering your question.