A dentist’s greatest expense is the time spent with the patient, known in the industry as “chair time.” One driver of chair time includes fitting patients’ restorations and dental appliances. Chair time is minimized and the patient benefits when little to no adjustment is needed. In contrast, ill-fitting appliances and restorations require “remakes,” meaning the lab must make physical adjustments or remanufacture the appliance. This results in another patient visit, more chair time and the additional time and cost for lab work. According to Iverson, one of the main benefits of 3D printing is the accuracy that’s achievable. “The models we were outsourcing were not as accurate as what we are getting from our Stratasys printers,” said Iverson. He continued, saying the accuracy of the Stratasys 3D printers “helps us maintain one of the lowest average remake (rates) in the industry,” because an accurate restoration starts with a precise 3D printed model.
As a result, Iverson Labs customers report that it takes less than five minutes to seat crowns and bridges due to the accuracy and overall quality of the restorations. Less chair time means dentists can see up to five more patients per day on average, adding revenue. Iverson said, “Doctors can actually make more money by having things more accurate, (and 3D printing) plays a key role in that.” This ultimately helps grow Iverson Labs’ business because of the customer-centric and quality-focused reputation it portrays within the industry. Patients are a dental firm’s greatest asset, and quality service usually results in patient retention and referrals. This same model applies to dental labs. As Iverson Labs has demonstrated, a focus on quality, combined with the accuracy of 3D printing means it can provide its dental practitioners a level of service that solidifies its reputation in the industry, leading to additional business opportunities. According to Cody Iverson, 3D printing helps the company serve their customers better, and that means improved accuracy, turnaround time and cost.