With the recent advancements in both technology and materials, I have come up with a list of what I will be looking for while at Lab Day Chicago as well as IDS in March. By the way, if you have never attended IDS, it takes place late late March in Cologne, Germany and is the largest dental show in the world. Over 120K people attend and this is the show of all shows for dental. Here is what I really am looking forward to seeing:
1. Digital Dentures
Digital dentures immerged 2-3 years ago from several companies. None of the workflows at that time seemed to strike my fancy. I think I was probably correct as none have really caught on. I believe with added time for additional R&D in software, materials and workflow development, this may be the year we see a real viable solution.
2. New Advancements in Scanning
I will be looking for advancements in scanners. This market is flooded with so many players (over 30 manufacturers in desktop alone) and to remain competitive requires almost constant new advancements. I hopeful this is the year for accurate, dependable impression scanning. I’m also very interested to see the latest in IOS devices as well.
3. 3D Printers with a Great ROI
3D printing has been around in the dental industry for about a decade. For most labs, the price to enter has been set too high to obtain a decent ROI. In addition, many of these expensive printers have come with issues of dependability. Like all other technologies, improvements and pricing should adapt to market needs. I’m hoping to see less expensive, more dependable 3D printers.
4. Efficiency Gains in Mills
Mills are so abundant. We are already using 3rd and 4th generation products. Prices started at well over $100K just 15 years ago and are already much more reasonable. So how much opportunity for improvement is really out there? Great question. I’m not sure I have the answers for next generation mills. How about a milled full contour zirconia restoration in 10 minutes instead of 20? Why can’t we mill e.max in under 30 minutes? I’m not sure we will see this, but I will be looking for it.
5. New CAD Indications
New CAD indications lead to new opportunities for labs. The best way to grow your business is introducing new products. That said, it seems as though we see needed new indications every year and I’m excited to see what the CAD companies have in store for us in 2017.
If you are not coming to Chicago nor taking the trip over the pond, I will certainly keep you posted. I am looking forward to both of these meetings. If you are attending, perhaps we can get a cup of coffee or a beer. Feel free to reach out and as always please share with a friend.
Thanks for reading,