Denture Entrepreneur !

Denturion

Denturion

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#1
I am doing my own research on this but I would like some input from you all professionals.

I am thinking about opening my own Removable Lab in the near future (2-5 years.) What do I need to know?

I would be working on my own. I will add more questions as they arise. Thanks in advance. I will also accept the answer “You are crazy!”

1.)How many doctor’s accounts would I need to have or how many Dentures would I need to produce to be making a basic income (60k and up.)

I would be working on my own from home.

2.) Is it a good idea to consider going strictly Digital? Would the startup cost be cheaper? I plan on designing and sending out to a miller for the time being until/unless Tech gets better with home printers. I do plan on Waxing up tryins for high-end cases.

3.) What is the start-up cost for opening a small denture lab? All I think I need is a wax boil tank, a lathe, handpieces, flasks, articulators The rest can be electric. It does not sound like it would run to far over 10k. Would there be other costs aside from marketing and utilities?

4.) …………………….
 
CoolHandLuke

CoolHandLuke

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#2
this is just the way i break it down

in order to make 60k the lab needs to be earning PROFIT of 120k/year. lets assume you want to work 5 days per week. thats 5x50weeks per year 250 working days. nice round number but we need to work in weeks for the 4 appointment technique so its the 50 week we'll be working with.

in order to answer how many accounts you need to work for, start by assuming each account will do the 4 visit denture, which is a minimum of 2 weeks work each. 4 visit denture helps mask the true cost of removable work, as each visit is charged for its component work. baseplate and wax rim try-in, waxup try-in, delivery. add a perliminary visit for custom impression trays but thats down to the clinician because sometimes thats done else where and sometimes in house. add a week anytime there needs to be a remake in that process.

what you charge at each of those stages is going to depend on your experience in the craft, lets assume a nice round figure of 2000 per denture per arch. thats a 400$ visit for 5 visits. 2k/arch and our profit is about 1k. target of 120k profit means 120 arches per 50 weeks. accounting for a 30% remake factor (1 visit remake) thats 180 arches.

now, is it a good idea to go digital, well the baltic system uses the same teeth and same setup for every patient and you dont get a say in whether or not you want a different setup so theres that. if you were wondering more about doing the stuff in house thats another can of worms; there isnt a definite workflow yet from the CAD CAM side about how to approach digital denturism, some places want you to use stock teeth, some let you freehand, and almost all of them are the kind where you glue teeth into sockets in custom baseplates, waxups be damned.

so you tell me if thats what you want to do.

the system you pick for manufacturing will dictate your requirements for lab equipment. an all hand work setup will have most of the overhead in fuel for your burners, and no that doesnt mean you can replace the wax pots with electric pots, because often you need a flame to soften a sheet of wax, to flash a baseplate, or to heat a tool. the adding wax during setup, maybe you can get away with it, but you still need a flame, portable or otherwise and thats a gas bill. monomers also have regulations about where they can safely be stored. cant be just in any old cupboard.

if you are planning on using brass flasks, and brass articulators count on your well of work drying up very soon. this method tends to ignore crucial design characteristics that anyone with as simple artifulator as a Denar/hanau would be able to account for. anyone who has been through a Kois session will not work with you until you buy a Panadent. people who do LVI also tend to stick to Stratos or SAM. then when you buy any of them you need to calibrate them together because no 2 are exactly identical. trust me on this.

then you have the actual bureaucratic overhead like legal fees of setting up a lab and accounting paperwork.

if it were me, i'd look to gainful employment rather than the 50-60k in startup money it would take to get the lab going and buy digital things. because while it may be 15-20k for a waxing and handwork lab, you'll have to get a second loan for downpayments on digital equipment which can (and currently do) run into 6 figures.
 
Flippercentral

Flippercentral

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#3
It will be a learning experience everyday, nobody here can fully prepare you. Your lab won't be like the lab you worked for, you also have to put on a business hat and make hard decisions about what is and is not profitable, then get rid of the unprofitable and or figure out a way to make money off it. The same goes with your clients, you can't be all to every dentist, you will need to make hard decisions which to keep and which to let go. Not as many dentists are into digital as you would think just yet, but my gut says in the future you should be ready. I've been on the forums (this and others) for over 10 years now, and while they can be helpful, I wouldn't completely listen to those who say you have to have the mostest to be the bestest... it's all mind games... Be prepared for anything, including what are you going to do if the lab isn't successful and or you become extremely bored with it, make a business plan (I place my legal stuff right on the labslip the dentist signs) and an exit plan all at the same time...
PS... Speaking for the removable side, as for fixed then yes digital is already here :)
 
Last edited:
Denturion

Denturion

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#6
this is just the way i break it down

in order to make 60k the lab needs to be earning PROFIT of 120k/year. lets assume you want to work 5 days per week. thats 5x50weeks per year 250 working days. nice round number but we need to work in weeks for the 4 appointment technique so its the 50 week we'll be working with.

in order to answer how many accounts you need to work for, start by assuming each account will do the 4 visit denture, which is a minimum of 2 weeks work each. 4 visit denture helps mask the true cost of removable work, as each visit is charged for its component work. baseplate and wax rim try-in, waxup try-in, delivery. add a perliminary visit for custom impression trays but thats down to the clinician because sometimes thats done else where and sometimes in house. add a week anytime there needs to be a remake in that process.

what you charge at each of those stages is going to depend on your experience in the craft, lets assume a nice round figure of 2000 per denture per arch. thats a 400$ visit for 5 visits. 2k/arch and our profit is about 1k. target of 120k profit means 120 arches per 50 weeks. accounting for a 30% remake factor (1 visit remake) thats 180 arches.

now, is it a good idea to go digital, well the baltic system uses the same teeth and same setup for every patient and you dont get a say in whether or not you want a different setup so theres that. if you were wondering more about doing the stuff in house thats another can of worms; there isnt a definite workflow yet from the CAD CAM side about how to approach digital denturism, some places want you to use stock teeth, some let you freehand, and almost all of them are the kind where you glue teeth into sockets in custom baseplates, waxups be damned.

so you tell me if thats what you want to do.

the system you pick for manufacturing will dictate your requirements for lab equipment. an all hand work setup will have most of the overhead in fuel for your burners, and no that doesnt mean you can replace the wax pots with electric pots, because often you need a flame to soften a sheet of wax, to flash a baseplate, or to heat a tool. the adding wax during setup, maybe you can get away with it, but you still need a flame, portable or otherwise and thats a gas bill. monomers also have regulations about where they can safely be stored. cant be just in any old cupboard.

if you are planning on using brass flasks, and brass articulators count on your well of work drying up very soon. this method tends to ignore crucial design characteristics that anyone with as simple artifulator as a Denar/hanau would be able to account for. anyone who has been through a Kois session will not work with you until you buy a Panadent. people who do LVI also tend to stick to Stratos or SAM. then when you buy any of them you need to calibrate them together because no 2 are exactly identical. trust me on this.

then you have the actual bureaucratic overhead like legal fees of setting up a lab and accounting paperwork.

if it were me, i'd look to gainful employment rather than the 50-60k in startup money it would take to get the lab going and buy digital things. because while it may be 15-20k for a waxing and handwork lab, you'll have to get a second loan for downpayments on digital equipment which can (and currently do) run into 6 figures.
Thank you so much! Very insightful. I am working as an in house tech for 7 doctors. I work on my own and am happy with my job. I feel appreciated. I may open something at home and do some work for doctors on the side for extra income. I may just plan on buying used equipment.
I was wondering if going full on business is doable at this time. Thanks for the information and roughbreaking it down.

You mentioned brass flasks being an issue.
What is a Kois session is it something I should take? Are you recommending processing with injection methods? I will look into the items you listed. I am very eager to learn new techniques. Working solo I don't get much of that. But this forum helps Tremendously.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 
Denturion

Denturion

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#8
It will be a learning experience everyday, nobody here can fully prepare you. Your lab won't be like the lab you worked for, you also have to put on a business hat and make hard decisions about what is and is not profitable, then get rid of the unprofitable and or figure out a way to make money off it. The same goes with your clients, you can't be all to every dentist, you will need to make hard decisions which to keep and which to let go. Not as many dentists are into digital as you would think just yet, but my gut says in the future you should be ready. I've been on the forums (this and others) for over 10 years now, and while they can be helpful, I wouldn't completely listen to those who say you have to have the mostest to be the bestest... it's all mind games... Be prepared for anything, including what are you going to do if the lab isn't successful and or you become extremely bored with it, make a business plan (I place my legal stuff right on the labslip the dentist signs) and an exit plan all at the same time...
PS... Speaking for the removable side, as for fixed then yes digital is already here :)
Hi, thanks As excited that I am about digital and would like to get into it. I love working with my hands. I don't see wax try in going away. That is great idea on the legal side of things.
Working in house I have gotten comfortable telling doctors No.

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JMN

JMN

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#10
I am doing my own research on this but I would like some input from you all professionals.

I am thinking about opening my own Removable Lab in the near future (2-5 years.) What do I need to know?

I would be working on my own. I will add more questions as they arise. Thanks in advance. I will also accept the answer “You are crazy!”

1.)How many doctor’s accounts would I need to have or how many Dentures would I need to produce to be making a basic income (60k and up.)

I would be working on my own from home.

2.) Is it a good idea to consider going strictly Digital? Would the startup cost be cheaper? I plan on designing and sending out to a miller for the time being until/unless Tech gets better with home printers. I do plan on Waxing up tryins for high-end cases.

3.) What is the start-up cost for opening a small denture lab? All I think I need is a wax boil tank, a lathe, handpieces, flasks, articulators The rest can be electric. It does not sound like it would run to far over 10k. Would there be other costs aside from marketing and utilities?

4.) …………………….
The future is unclear. Ask again later.

Seriously. Many things may change between then and now. One of the things that will need to change is you. Not suggesting in the least that there is a problem with you, just that you need to be at a point where you are comfortable making *and* reasonably defending your actions and decisions. It gets lonely when there is no one to turn around and ask what they thing of this idea or solution.

Learn everything you can. Read every thing you can.
Being a lab owner is not for everyone, not by a long shot. Being a good tech is far from all you need.
@CoolHandLuke & @Flippercentral both have great points to consider.

I'll add @Affinity 's E-Myth books and @sidesh0wb0b 's NXLEVEL kit with the need to build a business plan.
 
CoolHandLuke

CoolHandLuke

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#11
Thank you so much! Very insightful. I am working as an in house tech for 7 doctors. I work on my own and am happy with my job. I feel appreciated. I may open something at home and do some work for doctors on the side for extra income. I may just plan on buying used equipment.
I was wondering if going full on business is doable at this time. Thanks for the information and roughbreaking it down.

You mentioned brass flasks being an issue.
What is a Kois session is it something I should take? Are you recommending processing with injection methods? I will look into the items you listed. I am very eager to learn new techniques. Working solo I don't get much of that. But this forum helps Tremendously.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
https://www.koiscenter.com/

basically the Kois approach is to deprogram the jaw before doing any work. then you can accurately put the patient into the right bite by training the jaw in a new position

trouble is, no 2 dentists ever agree on exactly the position to restore to. and its a several-thousand-dollar course.
 
kcdt

kcdt

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#12
https://www.koiscenter.com/

basically the Kois approach is to deprogram the jaw before doing any work. then you can accurately put the patient into the right bite by training the jaw in a new position

trouble is, no 2 dentists ever agree on exactly the position to restore to. and its a several-thousand-dollar course.
Not to mention that without taking time in an orthotic, you usually wind up opening a can of worms when you restore in CR straightaway.
 
CoolHandLuke

CoolHandLuke

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#13
sure and thats what these guys try and sell you on, the idea of different planes with different offsets for different things. sounds really scientific until you realize its all koolaid.
 
Denturion

Denturion

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#14
For retraining a patients bite, my doctor has them train with a temporary quality denture for a few months. Then they come in for a final.

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TomZ

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#15
Start buying up any used removable equip. you can find. That's how I did it.
I worked in house 8 years. I also built my separate business there.
You can outfit a removable lab rather inexpensively and your return on investment
is really quick.
Best part is you wont have that monkey on your back when you go out on your own.
The benefit of course is you can be selective on who you work for if you don't have
a note to pay on.
The latest statistics from JDT and LMT indicate less than 10% of dentures fabricated in 2017
were done digitally. And of that number, most were labs who already had the equipment because they fabricate crowns and didn't know shinola about denture fabrication or couldn't find anyone to employ that does.
 
kcdt

kcdt

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#16
Start buying up any used removable equip. you can find. That's how I did it.
I worked in house 8 years. I also built my separate business there.
You can outfit a removable lab rather inexpensively and your return on investment
is really quick.
Best part is you wont have that monkey on your back when you go out on your own.
The benefit of course is you can be selective on who you work for if you don't have
a note to pay on.
The latest statistics from JDT and LMT indicate less than 10% of dentures fabricated in 2017
were done digitally. And of that number, most were labs who already had the equipment because they fabricate crowns and didn't know shinola about denture fabrication or couldn't find anyone to employ that does.
They'e going to have to expand landfills to take all the failed crap that mills are going to churn out for the forseeable.
 
Wade Bognuda

Wade Bognuda

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#17
The marketing is and has to be so good that those who can't make dentures will be led to believe that they can. I never really liked Kool-aid. I want to attend one of these digital denture courses in Chicago but am afraid I won't be able to keep my big mouth shut. I just can't stand BS.
 
I

Inna-Hurry

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#18
The marketing is and has to be so good that those who can't make dentures will be led to believe that they can. I never really liked Kool-aid. I want to attend one of these digital denture courses in Chicago but am afraid I won't be able to keep my big mouth shut. I just can't stand BS.

If you go I want to be sitting next to you..... Sounds like a very good time.
 
Denturion

Denturion

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#19
They'e going to have to expand landfills to take all the failed crap that mills are going to churn out for the forseeable.
Thanks Tom's! That sounds like the plan.

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Denturion

Denturion

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#20
Start buying up any used removable equip. you can find. That's how I did it.
I worked in house 8 years. I also built my separate business there.
You can outfit a removable lab rather inexpensively and your return on investment
is really quick.
Best part is you wont have that monkey on your back when you go out on your own.
The benefit of course is you can be selective on who you work for if you don't have
a note to pay on.
The latest statistics from JDT and LMT indicate less than 10% of dentures fabricated in 2017
were done digitally. And of that number, most were labs who already had the equipment because they fabricate crowns and didn't know shinola about denture fabrication or couldn't find anyone to employ that does.
Thanks Tomz, that sounds like the plan!

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