Dental labs outsource CAD/CAM restorations

Dental laboratories in the U.S. and Europe are increasingly outsourcing crown and bridge production to keep up with the high demand for CAD/CAM restorations, according to Millennium Research Group's "Global Markets for Dental CAD/CAM Systems 2008" report.

Laboratories do not want to invest in the necessary milling equipment, and prefer to buy scanners, which are far cheaper. The actual production is then outsourced to milling centers, which many labs consider a more profitable option.

"The more labs that can offer CAD/CAM restoration, the better," said Chris Shutsa, senior analyst at Millennium Research Group in a press release. "This will allow more dentists to meet the increasing patient demand for custom-milled crowns and bridges."

Because of this outsourcing trend, scanner sales should grow 20 percent per year over the next five years in the U.S., and by even more in Europe, says the report.

The report covers U.S., European, and Japanese markets. Sirona, Dentsply, Wieland Dental Systems, KaVo, 3M ESPE, etkon, 3Shape, Nobel Biocare, GC, WOL-DENT, and U-Best Dental Technology Inc. are some of the mentioned companies.

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