Thursday, January 10, 2008

More Dental Labs Outsourcing Custom Crown and Bridge Production


According to Millennium Research Group's Global Markets for Dental CAD/CAM Systems 2008 report, US and European dental labs are increasingly outsourcing crown and bridge computer-aided
design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) production to milling centers. Accordingly, in the US, unit growth for scanners used in the outsourcing process will reach nearly 20% annually over the next five years. In Europe,this annual unit growth will exceed 20%.

Many laboratories outsource CAD/CAM crown and bridge production in order to keep up with demand for CAD/CAM restorations. Outsourcing only requires laboratories to invest in a scanner, the cost of which is sometimes as low as 25% that of a complete CAD/CAM system. Accordingly, many labs view outsourcing as a more viable and profitable option than purchasing milling equipment. As
this trend continues, the volume of scanners sold will grow across both the US and Europe.

"The more labs that can offer CAD/CAM restoration, the better" says Chris Shutsa, Senior Analyst at Millennium Research Group. "This will allow more dentists to meet the increasing patient demand for custom-milled crowns and bridges." The Global Markets for Dental CAD/CAM Systems 2008 report includes coverage on US, Europe, and Japan. Coverage of industry competitors includes
Sirona, Dentsply, Wieland Dental Systems, KaVo, 3M ESPE, etkon, 3Shape, Nobel Biocare, GC, WOL-DENT, and U-Best Dental Technology Inc.

About the CAD/CAM Production Process
To create CAD/CAM crowns and bridges, dentists create an impression of the site to be restored. The mold of the site is then sent to a lab, where a technician digitally scans the model. Using computer-aided design software, the technician will design a 3D model of the restoration. Using the digitized 3D model and CAD/CAM technology, the technician will mill the restoration
directly in the laboratory or send the data to a production center for milling. The latter method is commonly referred to as outsourcing.