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I'm in on the lab side of such an endeavor. My 2 cents (and maybe that's what it's worth):I'm a 38yo DDS and in the depths of the pandemic, I hatched a plan to start a dental lab. I would like to start a mini dental lab and solely focus on implant planning, surgical guide fabrication (for fully guided surgery) and associated custom healing abutments/temporary crowns. Why? 2 reasons:
#1 - I have some health issues that are forcing me to decrease my time chairside.
#2 - I know that at least locally, the surgeons could get a lot better final result if they went fully guided.
I don't care to make this a big thing and I hope to keep just a few local clients. I can use my lab space in my existing office that I own. I have a 3Shape IO scanner and a SprintRay printer so I am familiar with the digital realm. I believe I will use 3Shape software for the planning and guide design, and I already have a souped up computer to handle it. I have a few burning questions:
What formalities are there to starting a dental lab business? Do I need to register with the FDA to sell a class I device? Do I have to register with the state?
I notice that a lot of labs are not doing this, what is holding them back?
1) Hire a skilled lab tech with experience running all aspects of the lab. It helps if they like your choice in software.
2) Give them extremely clear, written guidance on goals and how you desire things to be done, then listen to objections and work out the disagreements before hiring them.
3) Document the written guidance again, then hold them to the result while staying out of the way in every way that doesn't require your direct approval or participation. That said, don't neglect them- you could easily make cases late while waiting for your participation.
4) Set up a compensation agreement that benefits them in correlation to it benefiting your goals.
5) Set up incentives for lab growth.
Others will have more to contribute.