Industrial Milling of IPS e.max CAD

Dental laboratories across the USA and in Canada can now access an industrial milling partner specializing in the precision milling of IPS e.max CAD and Empress CAD restorations. Using Roeders industrial milling equipment including RC3 robotic automation , Diadem Digital Solutions partners with laboratories who forward their digital scan information and restoration designs. With their industrial precision milling equipment, Diadem and its lab partners can now achieve marginal fits of less than 10 micron accuracy.For more information go to :
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  • Mike - Check your inbox and let's play phone/email tag until we connect. Thank You.
  • Thanks for the wonderful note Steve! I love your enthusiasm and I love that you "get it" ! I will call you Monday to discuss. I will move mountains if I have to to help you get this new venture off the ground ! Sincerely Mike Girard
  • Mike ~ I would like to thank you for your outlook on the future. I am a Removable technician with 40yrs+ in the field who has been following the cad/cam growth in our business for 9-10 years, anxious to get onboard, but wondering "how". I read your article in LMT the very same day the suite next to me came open. I immediately called the landlord and committed to expanding my small laboratory - with the intent to become the local scan and design center I have been imagining in my mind for a while. I would love to pick your brain regarding pitfalls, realities, etc., if possible. By the way, I have done Curtis Jansen's removable work for about 13 years, and he says you need to make a trip out here to visit Spanish Bay! I would gladly fly to you . . . Thanks for the inspirational boot in the butt - - - Steve Geib
  • Hey Mark ... no worries at all !

    I didn't take anything negatively! I love following your energy, passion and your blogs and I loved how you "couched" the story in the previous email. You are very good at telling a story !

    You didn't hurt my feelings , on the contrary, I agree with you and I think you make some good "wake up call" points for lab owners across the country! Unfortunately , what I am seeing everyday is that many lab owners are frozen. They are getting bombarded with so much CAD/CAM stuff , many have been burned in the past and now do not know what decision to make , so they make no decision. I'm not sure complacency and indecision is a good place to be right now either!

    I really do hope there is a place for precision milling in the "new lab world" ... I'm committing my last energy and years to this project. ( and money ... YIKES )

    I too feel blessed that after 40 years in this business I'm still engaged and they haven't pushed me in the home yet :-)

    Best Regards

  • I'm sorry Mike, I don't mean to paint an ugly picture, but I do wish to make people understand the potential changes that lie ahead. You and I have both worked for big dental companies, and I don't think my little drama is paranoid or far fetched.

    We are enjoying the most glorious days in dental technology. I'm blessed to be part of this sea change, right here and right now. I like to think I'm forward thinking enough that my company will position itself to take advantage of all the opportunites this technology presents. Our CT sanning/planning center and other projects reflect a shift awat from some of the challenges that I see (and described).

    In the old days, we had fixed labs, we had removable labs, and we had full service labs. What we are seeing is a whole new schematic being drawn with commercial milling/fabrication (I'm not a big fan of milling), engineered prosthetics and clinical techncians being added to the mix.

    My outlook is very bright Mike, I don't mean to cast a dark shadow on your blog :) Sorry of you took it that way.
  • Yikes - sounds like a lab nightmare Mark !

    While I agree "change is coming" , I'm going to still hold on to some hope for a "silver lining" for labs who "get it" . Despite the doom and gloom , I still believe dentists like to deal locally with their local lab "concierge" who has embraced digital in a collaborative , efficient and economical way !

    Hope I'm not being "naive" !
  • Thank you Mike, you overestimate my sphere.

    The digital impression has allowed a third party to insert themselves into the relationship between we and our dentist customers. No one should be surprised when that third party decides to take control of that data and commondere the case before we even know it exists. Whether they chose to send it to an off shore, low labor lab, or manufacture a crown at their facility, using raw materials they manufactuer themselves is hard to predict.

    I can just see a meeting in a place like St Paul, or New York:Board of Directors: "According to our reports, we processed 1 million digital impressions last year, but we only sold 750,000 blocks. Where are those other quarter of a million restorations?"

    Sales Team: "We can only speculate based on our competitors sales, but some of those impressions were sent to labs, and we don't know what happened to them. Maybe they used another product."

    Board of Directors: "ANOTHER PRODUCT?! Well, the simple answer is to remove the laboratory from the equation. If they are responsible for using our competitors products, then we need that option off the table. Set up a milling center here, and add a button to the screen so the dentist can order the crown directly from us. Since our cost to make the block is only $5, and we won't have to market, support or package the material for labs, we can sell the finished crown for $39, delivered sterized and sealed on our own FDA approved packaging. Contact HR and fire all the lab reps, transfer the top 10% to clinical sales, and get them talking to doctors. Get all the big shots on the horn and have them market from the podium in Chicago. I want those 250,000 units."

    Sales Team: "But what about our lab customers?"

    Board of Directors: "They'll be fine. We'll let them do the stuff we can't do, and don't make any money on anyway. They can have the crumbs. Besides, think of how they effect our product performance and influence failures!! Overall quality will go up, and both the dentist and the patient will benefit. In fact, get legal on the phone and have them start lobbying the FDA for stricter regulatory measures. Our RA department already knows the ropes and we're ISO certified, make sure everybody else is too...or get out of the business."

    Sales Team: "But a lot of these labs are small businesses and some of them are using older technology and can't do those complicated cases you want to leave for them to do."

    Board of Directors: "Exactly. The sun has been setting on that industry for a long time, and if they haven't evolved and stayed current, they are only holding us back anyway. We have a responsibility to our share holders, not to our lab customers . We currently take about 18% of the dollars invoiced to the dentist anyway. We can take 100% of that, and put the profits right to marketing, product development and the bottom line. In the end, the money we make off the labs is very hard earned, and heavily supported. This will make the stock holders very happy, increase market share, and improve effiency, quality and consistency to the doctor and patient. For a health care company for crying out loud, not an art supply business. Cut the labs."

    Sales Team:" Makes sense to us Chief."

    The scary part is, it make sense to ME too........
  • Hi Mark

    Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate the kind words coming from you because I know that you also one of the pioneers of the lab out-source business. I'm not sure anyone knows more about this segment than you.

    As for my business plan, I plan on keeping my feet in the lab space. I've learned alot in the past year and now my focus will be on the precision milling of glass blocks for labs. I chewed up a fair bit of time and money trying to add metal sintered copings into my product line but could not find the demand I thought there would be. Most labs I talk to told me they either want to do their own metal, they have lost a good deal of their PFM business to offshore,or they are currently partnering with some off shore provider for completed PFM's

    I know I will not be the only one in the industrial glass milling arena, but at this point in time I think I offer the potential for a good partnership to a select group of dental labs of any size really. The partners I work with need to own the scan and design and we'll simply buy the machines, run the machines , keep the machines maintained.

    I don't have any technicians - all my folks come from the automotive or manufacturing segment . We are good at lean manufacturing and we are getting very good at milling glass blocks , especially IPSe.max CAD and Empress CAD. We also have Lava and a generic brand of zirconia but our primary focus is on the precision milling of glass blocks.

    Regarding your other "crystal ball" predictions, I agree with you totally ! Its already started - Sirona already offers multiple options to the dentist . Buy a complete in-office system or buy just a scanner and connect to Infinident. Buy a scanner only and connect to one of their registered CEREC labs . Or finally buy a scanner only and our sales team will try to influence your lab to buy a system ! D4D is doing this and I don't think it would take much for a big company who owns an offshore lab to "flip the switch " and go direct to the dentist! We'll need to keep our eyes open.

    It will be a very interesting, dynamic ride in the next few years to say the least Mark. While the road looks a bit scary and treacherous at times, I also believe this could be the most opportunistic times for labs if they get it, plan well and execute. I use the word "concierge" a good deal and I believe in my heart that this is still a relationship business and it would be prudent for every lab to turn up the dial on customer care !

    My son aquired the two labs I owned in Canada and his dentists are rapidly converting to IPS e.max CAD. He has a technician who can probably scan and design up to 50 crowns a day. I mill the blue crowns for him at Diadem ( he is one of my best customers ) and his ceramists are now very productive and his lab profitability has gone up substantially. IPS e.max CAD has enabled his lab in ways we never thought possible! That's the story I love to tell and I am looking to work with a small , but select group of labs who "get it" like Quantum Lab in Windsor Ontario.

    Our point of differentiation will be precision milling of e.max or perhaps some other monolithic material will come to market as well.

    Best wishes for a successful 2010 and stay well Mark

  • I think Mike is one of the most brilliant men in Dental Technology. He is largely responsible for bringing CAD/CAM restorations to the industry with his leadership at Procera, followed by being a leader in digital impressions as an executive with Brontes. If I were to extrapolate his previous successes, and project where THIS project will go, I can see this company selling to a big block manufacturer (most likely one with a digital impression system) and bring the crown manufacturing in house on a broad, high production, automated scale.
    I'm not sure it paints a pretty picture for small labs who make their bread and butter off single crowns and three unit bridges, but it does accomplish two important things; brings much of the restorative manufacturing back to this continent from off shore, and gives the rest of us time to plan ahead for what I believe will be ultimate destination of this technology: major manufactuer competition.
  • sir this is really very good and great news to hear. i would really like to get the complete information regarding this will be very greatful for me if you provide me the information. thank you sir
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