We live in a time where new technology surfaces on a daily basis. This is just as true in dentistry as it is in any other field. Most of the newly promoted technology is amazing. However, as dentists, we need to take into consideration the return on the investment of the machine in relation to the cost. It is important to invest wisely. Technology is great but expensive, and it can hinder saving and investing for life and retirement.
Cone beams, CAD/CAM, and scanners all offer great services to dentistry. However, dentists often get in too deep with the hefty price tags of these new technologies, with what can cost of over $100,000. A salesperson can always justify the price of their “handy product”. For example, a sales representative may tell you that the CAD/CAM milling machine only takes eight units of crown and bridge per month to pay for the device. This makes buying the unit seem financially realistic. However, they may figure each unit of crown and bridge at $1500, and yours may only cost $1000. They may also consider your lab fee for a crown to be $200-$300, in actuality it might be under $150. This, along with other hidden costs, makes a big difference in how many units it takes to cover the cost of your new machine. This is not even considering the fact that you would not be using the unit to make all of your crowns. On the other hand, items such as digital x-rays or a digital impression scanner may prove to be more beneficial in saving time and materials.
Saying all this does not mean that all technology is unattainable or unreasonable, only that the real cost should be considered. At Sullivan Dentistry, we want to be technologically advanced. In my opinion, this does not include owning every piece of new equipment that hits the market. We are constantly looking for a compromise between new technology and being financially responsible. Spending habits play an important role in a business’ success. Do not let a few “cool toys” keep you from retiring or living the life you desire.