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TanMan

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Scanning maybe, but setup and procedures can get confusing for the inexperienced.
I received a mx,md scan from a top surgery office the other day. The bite was open because the the assistant claim d she couldn't get the pt to close with the scan bodies in place.

I can definitely see that... for more advanced procedures, training is definitely needed. For basic stuff like single unit implants, crown and bridge work, it's pretty easy on the chairside/clinical side. I don't do any of the complex stuff since my hourly rate drops with them and assume more liability too.
 
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Notice how everyone and their dog has a design service now?
These companies are using the uber model and paying very minimum to their designers so there goes any sort of living wage.
and best of all they don't need to be responsible for actually making anything.
 
npdynamite

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Notice how everyone and their dog has a design service now?
These companies are using the uber model and paying very minimum to their designers so there goes any sort of living wage.
and best of all they don't need to be responsible for actually making anything.
Fortunately it's not a sustainable model, so it will eventual fail and if we are lucky we will see a return to people caring about quality. I feel like we could be on the cusp of that at the moment. Unfortunately on the flip side, if we are unlucky AI services get figured out fast enough that the full return doesn't happen and all digital techs are in a real tough spot
 
Andrew Priddy

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apparently Argen no longer offers design service
 
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Those using the Argen 3Shape Scan Box, the designs are now being done overseas then milled at and shipped from Argen.
 
Andrew Priddy

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im looking at that option to avoid having to buy a scanner for now. trying to avoid the 465 monthly though.. pair it with EXO
 
Car 54

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im looking at that option to avoid having to buy a scanner for now. trying to avoid the 465 monthly though.. pair it with EXO

My dad who uses Scan Box, says they do a pretty nice job with the designs on singles. I'm not sure of how bigger cases come out design wise though, as he mentioned he does a lot of singles, and then a lot of bridges in PFM. So I can't totally vouch for what overseas may design that way. Who knows, they may do a better job than the Argen US designers did?
 
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Affinity

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The AI is already here, thats only a matter of time before it gets applied to our software. Software already places a crown for you that is 90% there usually, if you create AI algorithms from pictures or scans of adult arches, it will fill in the gaps. 30 second crown designs.. Id be amazed if that isnt our reality in the next 5 years..
 
rkm rdt

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The AI is already here, thats only a matter of time before it gets applied to our software. Software already places a crown for you that is 90% there usually, if you create AI algorithms from pictures or scans of adult arches, it will fill in the gaps. 30 second crown designs.. Id be amazed if that isnt our reality in the next 5 years..
Great, AI can pay my yearly subscription.
 
bigj1972

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So let me ask...if everyone has the same mill, with the same software, the same AI, with the same library and the same puck......then won't the majority of clients just find the cheaper source since it will all be the same? Or who puts more money into calibration and maintenance? Sort of like crypto minors now?
Possibly even creating a sole mega lab that is publicly traded for the benefit of investment capital?
 
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So let me ask...if everyone has the same mill, with the same software, the same AI, with the same library and the same puck......then won't the majority of clients just find the cheaper source since it will all be the same? Or who puts more money into calibration and maintenance? Sort of like crypto minors now?
Possibly even creating a sole mega lab that is publicly traded for the benefit of investment capital?

You might be discounting the importance of service, turnaround times, and other subjective factors. There are some things that AI may not necessarily be able to pick up on, that require humans - especially on esthetic cases where patients may have specific demands.
 
bigj1972

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You might be discounting the importance of service, turnaround times, and other subjective factors. There are some things that AI may not necessarily be able to pick up on, that require humans - especially on esthetic cases where patients may have specific demands.
Well that importance is already factored into present day methods, I was just trying to understand how eventually this doesn't turn into that Twilight Zone episode : "The Brain Center At Whipple's"
 
Affinity

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Ok Obiwan, its the year 2022 and we have a dentist on DLN advocating for value-added service from a lab instead of cheap quick turnaround, quote of the year, so far!
You might be discounting the importance of service, turnaround times, and other subjective factors. There are some things that AI may not necessarily be able to pick up on, that require humans - especially on esthetic cases where patients may have specific demands.
 
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It's striking that balance that is going to be hard due to a lot of harsh(er) realities that dental offices are facing. Patients' disposable income are shrinking with the cost of consumer goods going up, so less discretionary income is used for dental procedures. Insurances are lowering their reimbursements across the board in certain regions. The cost of dental supplies are going up (and so are other variable/fixed costs). There is definitely some pressure for dental offices to cut costs and one of them would be lab costs. I'm not going to say that dentists aren't greedy, but not all of them are. Some have always been penny pinching everywhere even before SHTF. I've cut my own salary just so that I can make sure that my staff's salary goes up in line with COL even though reimbursements haven't really caught up. However, I do still see the value in paying extra in a quality lab that reduces the risks of remakes, back and forths, and maintaining a good line of communication for more complex cases.... there's a big but in there though, but, at certain reimbursement rates for any work that requires a laboratory, there comes a point where we may be losing money per unit. I've heard in some states, medicaid reimburses as low as 250 dollars for a crown, and have onerous requirements such as HN PFM or excessive documentation that make it not worth doing the crown or accepting medicaid.

That gets us then to access to care and the care that people should be getting and the financial realities of delivering dentistry at a loss. There are some medicaid mills out there that do game the system and only do things that would result in a net gain (such as some places that only edentulate and slap on a halfass prosthetic).

I guess the point being is that the financial realities will lead to a demand for lower cost equivalancies, but not always because of greed. Although I'll admit there's a lot of greedy dentists out there, the market pressures on dentists will require us to seek lower cost alternatives. I think it's important to highlight that if you can prove that you are more approachable than a bigbox lab with people who actually know something about dental prosthetics, have a reasonable turnaround time, a fair price (not the cheapest, not the most expensive either),and things that "just fit" with minimal adjustments, then it is easy to sell yourself to dentists and say hey, we may not be the cheapest, but we'll provide good customer service, we're made domestically, we use good materials, and that the time they save from sending a case back (and quick cementation times),they'll come out ahead with a better patient experience, lab experience, and help their local economy too. However, the price premiums will definitely have to go down until the economy recovers.

Anyway, sorry for the long rant, I just feel like dentists are painted with such a broad brush stroke, but I think it's important to know why there might be a race to the bottom. I don't think all dentists are greedy, but some are, some are in a position/bind where they can't afford to go past their breakeven point in delivering a service due to geographical/insurance restrictions, and some will accept ****ty results and deliver whatever they get. Just as dentists are facing a new financial reality of delivering services at X cost, I believe labs may have to do so at some point without compromising on quality. I hope that dental materials manufacturers lower their price points, but with supply chain issues, I doubt that will happen (or just use it as an excuse to raise their price).
 

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