May 20, 2015
5
0
Pasadena
Status
Dentist
I found a milling center that will do Solid Zirconia Crowns for $22.00. I am currently paying $49.00. They require the models to be poured and trimmed. Not only would I be saving money but also saving time because I will be dealing with the manufacturer directly.

I know some doctors would say, just let the lab take care of it, and pay a little extra. I personally don't think saving more than 50% on your lab bill equates to a "little extra".

If I switch to this milling center, I could be saving as much as $2500 a month or close to $30 grand a year by trimming my own dies.

My question is if I am doing 3-5 preps a day, would it make sense to pour and trim my own models, or will I be better off hiring a lab tech that would do that for me?
 

CanaDMD

2+ Year Member
Jun 4, 2015
261
115
Status
Dental Student
I found a milling center that will do Solid Zirconia Crowns for $22.00. I am currently paying $49.00. They require the models to be poured and trimmed. Not only would I be saving money but also saving time because I will be dealing with the manufacturer directly.

I know some doctors would say, just let the lab take care of it, and pay a little extra. I personally don't think saving more than 50% on your lab bill equates to a "little extra".

If I switch to this milling center, I could be saving as much as $2500 a month or close to $30 grand a year by trimming my own dies.

My question is if I am doing 3-5 preps a day, would it make sense to pour and trim my own models, or will I be better off hiring a lab tech that would do that for me?
You could try pouring and trimming your own models to see how long it would take you. Then calculate how much time you would be working doing that, and see in your normal day how much you would usually make per hour not pouring/trimming models, then compare it to the 30 grand you're making extra! :)

If you want to just make 30 grand extra a year, you could pour/trim those models outside your hours or during any dead time you have?

PS: I haven't done this yet, just starting dental school, but those are my thoughts/impressions! :D
 

oralcare123

7+ Year Member
Apr 13, 2010
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It takes time and accuracy to do the job properly. You would have to invest into proper gypsum for that and a vacuum mixer. I would not do that, you would get sick and tired of it eventually
 
Oct 24, 2012
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Resident [Any Field]
Do you already have the equipment necessary to do it properly (ie, vacuum mixer, vibrator, model trimmer)? If so, I would calculate the cost of materials, subtract that from $81-$135/day, and see if the time it takes you to do this properly and clean up the lab is worth it compared to your normal production rate per hour.

Do you have a current employee you could pay to do this for you? It might be hard to hire someone part time just for this task , and I would think after a day full of patients, pouring up and trimming 3-5 casts yourself would get a little tedious.

The quality of the less expensive zirconia crowns compared to your current lab would also be something to consider.
 

DrJeff

Senior Member
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Nov 30, 2000
2,840
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Brooklyn, ct
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Dentist
It's all about how much YOUR time is worth to you vs. what your saving would be. And that's an answer that will be different for just about everyone.

Personally I know myself, that when I'm done with my treatment and business responsibilities of the day, I'd much rather leave my office and get some personal/family time rather than measuring out stone/water ratios, pouring models, trimming dies, marking margins, etc.

Secondly, for what you think you'll be saving per year, you could buy yourself a digital scanner and then just e-mail the lab the scans of your preps/opposing teeth, not have to worry about any model work, and the labs typically discount you the cost of the inbound model/impression shipping and also model work if you feel comfortable enough to go full digital and not request any model/die work for the final restoration to sit on just prior to cementation.

This has taken my cost per unit for full, layered zirconia down from about $120 a unit to about $80 a unit. I tried the lab that my partner uses for full Zirconia, who charges him about $90 a unit (about $70 now that we went to digital impressions) and frankly the esthetics that lab was delivering were very monochromatic wit limited anatomy, and didn't look up to the standards that I want to give my patients. Lab fees vary lots. Personally I have yet to find a lab, who's fees are in the lower 1/2 per unit, who consistently over time produces quality, highly esthetic restorations that I'd feel comfortable with in my mouth, let alone my patients mouths. That's just my personal preference though.....
 
Apr 7, 2014
10
5
Status
Pre-Dental
Why do YOU have to pour and trim the models? Is there a reason your assistant can't do it? And to what standard do they have to be poured and trimmed? If you don't have to articulate the models yourself, why not just have your assistant pour up everything in a large batch at the end of the day and trim them.
 

oralcare123

7+ Year Member
Apr 13, 2010
1,677
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Assistant will not adhere to the proper mixing technique, they will rush, because they are very busy. They do not understand why things suppose to be done certain way. As a result you will get a poor quality job
 
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tooth knockn

Treat others how you want to be treated
5+ Year Member
Dec 2, 2012
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Assistant will not adhere to the proper mixing technique, they will rush, because they are very busy. They do not understand why things suppose to be done certain way. As a result you will get a poor quality job

If the doctor treats their assistants as slaves, then how could such assistant produce quality work with extra work a doctor is try to slave on to the poor assistant.

Some assistants are probably more committed to things like this than the dentist.

Not many doctors want to work with stone.

And actually some doctors don't know how to mix and poor nice models !
 

oralcare123

7+ Year Member
Apr 13, 2010
1,677
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Status
If the doctor treats their assistants as slaves, then how could such assistant produce quality work with extra work a doctor is try to slave on to the poor assistant.

Some assistants are probably more committed to things like this than the dentist.

Not many doctors want to work with stone.

And actually some doctors don't know how to mix and poor nice models !
Just trust me, it does not matter how dentist treats his assistants - they just do not have enough education and understanding to take things seriously. You can kill yourself trying to explain the importance of adding stone to water, they will still do the other way eyeballing the ratio. Forget about accurate trimming of the dye
BTW most of the assistants I met, when I worked as an assistant, think that they are treated unfairly, underpaid and overworked
 
Dec 6, 2012
341
139
Pennsylvania
Status
Dental Student
Pouring stone models and trimming them is a very tedious and time-consuming ordeal. I think you would save more time and money if you did not have to do it in your office.