Category Archives: Laboratory Business


Understanding Offshore Lab Resurgence

Last month, a friend of mine told me his revenues were 30% over last year. He isn’t a technician and has almost no equipment. In fact, his 10 person sales force outnumbers his technical team, 10 to 1. His single technician only performs small corrections because my friend sends all cases offshore.

In the past 10 years, the number of dental labs has fallen more than 50%, lab fees have remained mostly flat or down, while the percentage of units sent offshore has continued to rise. Certainly, many are doing better this year due to lab attrition and the improved economy. But, why are some offshore labs outgrowing domestic labs?

Why the Revenue Shift

Dental technology has given every high production lab an edge, especially offshore, where dentists can find “Good enough” restorations for 30 – 50% cheaper fees.

Dental technicians are a part of healthcare, making “body parts” (medical devices) to help patients restore and maintain their health. However, unlike larger, more sophisticated “medical device” companies and their industries, unorganized, and generally unregulated dental laboratories are forced to compete with well-run, FDA and ISO certified offshore labs that produce lower cost “Good enough” from the same materials and equipment as domestic labs. Furthermore, when intra oral scanners gain larger market share, there’s a risk this disparity could increase.

Why it is Happening

There are four reasons why offshore labs are growing revenues 20 – 30%. First, digital technology and globalization has made offshore restorations more consistent and largely indistinguishable from domestic restorations.

The second reason is due to large dental office chains, DSOs. Their increasing numbers of locations and marketing are eroding private practice revenues in much the same way pharmacy chains have destroyed small pharmacies, and Home Depot has forced small hardware stores to close. Additionally, and unlike lab and dentist professional associations, the DSOs coordinate sophisticated marketing and political support through a highly effective national DSO organization, that unlike our organizations, is making strides with a laser-like focus on business. While some DSO offices work with domestic labs, much of their work goes offshore.

The third reason stems from insurance influence. Insurance companies own, control, and distribute up to 75% of dental patients, forcing 90% of dentists to join PPOs and agree to set fees at 1996-2002 levels. Insurance companies increase their profits by forcing a reduction in the number and value (fees) of clinical procedures, essentially controlling the flow [reduction] of revenue for the entire dental industry, including manufacturers and distributors. The combined effects of DSOs and insurance has helped lower annual dentist income to 1976 levels, and influenced their laboratory decisions.

With income pressures at an all-time high, it should not be surprising that more work is being sent offshore, especially if restorations are meeting the same or better standards at a lower cost. But there is a fourth reason that offers the most opportunity. To seize it, we must first get past Einstein’s definition of “insanity,” and stop continually doing the same things and expecting different results.

How to Fix It

Many would like to blame dental organizations, such as the American Dental Association (ADA) and the National Association of Dental Laboratories (NADL). While we can argue they have provided little help on the business side of things, especially compared to DSOs and insurance organizations, we need to consider that we are the ADA and the NADL, even if we aren’t members. Whatever they are or become, we either caused it or allowed it.

Einstein’s comments about insanity suggests that if we don’t like what is going on, we need to change. In contemplating change, there are three questions each of us must answer:

  1. What do I need to do?
  2. How will I do it?
  3. Will I do it?

We’ll begin to answer these questions in our next monthly article. Until then, please remember this: Improvements are the result of change. Without change, nothing will improve.

purpose image

Marketing, “Why My Lab”

One of the biggest challenges facing laboratory owners is how to set themselves apart from the competition. Every laboratory has or has access to the same materials and digital technology. To make matters worse, digital technology has made most restorations “good enough” to the point they are often difficult to discern. This has dentists, under consistent fee pressures, asking, “Why pay more when ‘good enough’ costs less, and that is all insurance companies and patients are paying for?” Today, labs can either raise the bar on service & knowledge, or compete on lowest price and turnaround times. In either case, there is so much competition, that no matter the decision, the lab astute lab owner will go one step further and “identify” a business Purpose and its message.

Identify Your Purpose

Purpose statements aren’t Mission Statements explaining an area of focus.  Mission explains what we do and for whom, our Vision is about us, and our Principles speak to how we will conduct ourselves. In contrast, our Purpose Statement explains Why we exist, our personal motivation, not our goals. Without an articulated Purpose, marketing lacks a distinct message.

An example of a purpose statement comes from Greg Ellis, former CEO and managing director of REA Group, a leading online ad agency for real estate: “…to make the property process simple, efficient, and stress free for people buying and selling a property.” His outward focus connects with the heart and the head and emphasizes serving customers and their needs by putting employees in customers’ shoes. Other examples come from giant companies such as the financial company ING: “Empowering people to stay a step ahead in life and in business”, the insurance company, IAG: “To help people manage risk and recover from the hardship of unexpected loss”, and General Electric: GE people worldwide are dedicated to turning imaginative ideas into leading products and services that help solve some of the world’s toughest problems.”

An Extraordinary Business

Starts with Extraordinary People

Extraordinary People Start with Purpose

Jesper Lowgren, business author

The philosophy is simple: continuously share your Why (motivation) with interested, like-minded dentists. Doing so, “Solidifies your brand with whom you share your values. When you share the core beliefs of your business with like-minded people, a natural connection is made. People whose beliefs are in line with your own automatically retain your business as part of their community.  More importantly, because your business feels right, these clients will become walking advocates, sharing your business with other like-minded people in their network. The result is a natural, self-sustaining growth of business. No matter how much technology has entered the marketing world, the most powerful form of advertising will forever be word-of-mouth,” writes Sinek.

Putting your Why into Practice

Identifying a purpose that dentists are looking for is the first step. Having it felt by and extending through your employees is next. For that to happen, we need employees who not only share our purpose, but execute on it daily: “We offer X to help our customers take better care of their patients more profitably,” In considering that the job of a technician is to help their customers restore and maintain health, the Purpose Statement offered above is on target, but can be modified for your lab.

  • Make sure you have the right employees
  • Have meetings to craft a statement about why your lab is important to dentists and patients
  • Collaborate on the best ways to create what your target market wants
  • Jointly set performance standards on how well your Purpose is being executed and experienced
  • Meet regularly to objectively assess performance measurements and that of your employees

Once your lab is clear on what your Purpose is and how to fulfill it, it is time to tell the world who you are and why they need to know. This is the kind of branding that resonates with those looking for what you offer, and your differential. Make it stick.

A Great Video on “Why” 

Visit Simon Sinek’s exceptional You Tube video on the topic of “Why” we do what we do, which applies not only to business marketing, but also internally to employees.


boxing gloves

What’s happening to Dentistry, Why, and What to do about It

There was a time when people would say, “All you need to do is hang your shingle and you’ll have it made.” Nobody predicted today’s exorbitant cost of a dentist’s “shingle,” the smaller ROI it now brings and how industry changes would affect dental laboratories. The story of old has crumbled. We need to tell a new story to bridge the gap between that which is, and that which should be.

Facts: What is Happening

Finally, we have good news about the economy. All measurements are up, with durable goods and manufacturing beginning a small uptick. However, private practice dentists and dental labs are continuing to lose revenues to outside interests. Insurance companies and DSOs are forcing changes to benefit themselves at the expense of 90% of the dental industry and sometimes, the patients they serve.

Outsider influence has raised the cost of a dental education to as much as $400,000, while its value has in many cases, plummeted. Sky high debt and inadequate education has made entering private practice upon graduation, the life blood of domestic dental labs, largely impractical. Meanwhile, insurance companies are lowering the number of procedures performed and their reimbursements. This has caused average annual income for dentists to drop 22%, from 2009 to 2014, and currently sits at the 1995 income level. Many labs have been equally affected, or are not growing as much as they should.

The result from the above for most dental labs is, more units need to be produced to keep a level income. Thanks to digital technology, productivity has been easily increased. However, digital technology has also increased product consistency, making new client acquisition more difficult (less reasons to look for a new lab), and lab differentiation more often about cost than quality.

Facts: Why this is Happening

Dentists and their organizations have allowed these changes to occur, and in some cases, supported them. Outsiders see patients as the headwaters of the revenue stream, and the earnings they bring, low hanging fruit in a wide open, fragmented industry. Influencing the mass market in ways that individual dentists and lab owners can’t, consumers naturally form attitudes and beliefs shaped by outsider messages and brands.

Unfortunately, everything that happens to dentists is quickly felt by dental labs. A future challenge for dental labs is, as technology advances and becomes more productive, smaller labs may be priced out, and larger labs will find it more difficult to remain profitable as price wars become more aggressive.

Below is a link to typical DSO information being distributed. Individual dentists need to confront this  with an equally powerful, but more complete, rendition:

Wisconsin Dental Board Legislation

We are not opposed to DSO practice management services. Neither is state dental board oversight. Like us, state dental boards are interested in protecting patient welfare in all practice models, as they do now only in private practice settings, or, supposed to.

DSOs have the right to exist, but not the right to practice dentistry without a license. If they are not practicing dentistry without a license, why should they care about falling under state dental board regulation? 

Why is the DSO lobby opposed to that?

Why is no one in the public spotlight asking that question?

How is being regulated by state dental boards anti competitive?

 The Response: Take Action or Do Nothing

Trends from doing nothing are clear: the number of private practices is shrinking, and we don’t see fee increases as often as decreases. The question is, “What can we do?”

The obvious first step is to organize and take advantage of newly competitive opportunities. Individualistic thinking is increasingly placing lab owners of all sizes at risk. Lab owners who want to survive and thrive need to discard the artificial barriers that have long existed and begin working for the common good.

If you are a dentist, laboratory owner, distributor, or manufacturer, now is the time.  The same mass marketing tools being used against us could be working for us. Together, we can take advantage of everything the internet offers (including social media marketing), and add public relations, pressure legislators and regulatory agencies, and develop new business models in direct competition for market influence, including insurance.

To change the trend line, we need to pull together to educate and attract consumers as informed patients who clearly understand the value of traditional dental care. The good news is, consumers only want the truth, something traditional dentistry is in the best position to provide. More good news: Accomplishing this is easier than in the past. Research shows that consumers want genuine information they can trust. No patient deliberately chooses to be misled or mistreated, yet it happens daily to hundreds, perhaps thousands while the industry remains silent. Traditional care is a key marketing advantage, but only if we make it one.

“We believe big visions need big stories to match…We believe in the power of collaborative community, and the choices you can always make to change your story. We believe in messages that make people feel inspired and connected to something greater. We are truth-seekers teaching a new paradigm of story. Michael Margolis, CEO and founder, Get Storied

Great stories untold die in obscurity.

We have a great story to tell,

But only if we are willing to tell it.

 This is Our Story to Tell

Through professional marketing and a consumer website, OPT-In Dental Advantage is the only dental organization telling the story about the value of traditional dentistry. We employ professionals for website SEO, SEO support for our members’ web pages, bi monthly consumer blogs with SEO, and more recently, a national public relations campaign, managed by Braithwaite Communications, to brand the image of traditional dentistry and present our story to consumers, nationally.

We invite dental laboratory owners, dentists, and companies to join us in making the advantages of traditional dentistry known, and preferred. Please help our voices to be heard through stories consumers want and need to hear. Contact us today.

Please visit our website, OPT-In Companies, or call us at 855-321-OPTN (6786). It’s time to be a part of the solution.

Nacera hi res logo

Is this the next Generation Zirconia: Results, Part 2

This may look like an ad, but it really isn’t. We are all simply very excited about a company that promised both strength and esthetics in zirconia, and delivered what they promised. So, read on, and if you agree, you’ll have a new tool to help your practice, your lab, and your patients. And one more thing. The company, Nacera US, is the only company helping private practitioners and dental labs become more competitive. To us, that is important.

A few months ago, a new zirconia from Germany came our way for testing called, Nacera. This is an update to an article we published last month on the experience of two lab members. We pointed out that Nacera claimed to be a higher grade of 1400 MPa zirconia purity with more translucency and improved esthetics. We determined after a few months of testing that the esthetics was better than any 1400 MPa full contour zirconia we had seen, with the potential to rival lithium disilicate, but stronger. In the photo below, you can see the unusual vitality that this full strength zirconia provides.

Roberto U Molar

There are two molars in this photo, one a finished full contour zirconia, the other, a newly sintered full contour zirconia. All samples in the photo are Nacera zirconia. The finished Nacera molar, provided by Roberto Rossi, MDT, was only lightly stained.

OPT-In lab members working with Nacera have commented on the improved margin accuracy and how true the shades are. That is not the case for all zirconia brands. Another aspect of Nacera zirconia is purity. Some brands have impurities that form pits on the surface during finishing, and also risk areas of weakness, internally. Other brands are naturally weaker and unpredictable because of faster and less thorough compression during compaction. We know better about Nacera.

To see a short video about Nacera manufacturing, click the below. When it ends, click it off or it will continue to other topics.

Nacera Video

This month, we visited the Nacera factory in Dortmund, Germany. The parent company, Doceram, is actually an industrial engineering company that routinely designs parts to meet sub micron tolerances. They then manufacture parts in zirconia  and test them to make certain those same tolerances have been met. This same precision approach is applied to dental zirconia, with constant testing and measuring. In fact, they test each zirconia batch, individually, and then measure each separate individual zirconia disc prior to packaging, printing the measurements on the label. Nothing is left to chance.

Visit Nacera US at Chicago Lab Day, Booth L-22

For information on Free Hands-on and Lectures, visit

Nacera US

The one word that kept surfacing during our visit was, Certainty. Dentists can now offer patients both strength and esthetics without paying more. However, if the need arises, a Certified Nacera Lab can also deliver the highest level esthetics when only veneered zirconia will meet a patient’s needs.

Ant Germano Rossi

Germano Rossi produced these outstanding results by veneering Nacera zirconia copings  with ceraMotion® (Dentaurum). CeraMotion® is used as a very thin, colored paste with a built-in glaze. When applied, it stays in place and finishes with only one bake. The thickness of the veneered surfaces are 1 mm or less.

Nacera US is a dental company. Dedicated to patients, dentists, and dental labs, Nacera US offers “best products” suitable for all dentists and dental labs who care about dentistry, regardless of the markets and patient budgets they serve.

We tested it, in fact, our lab members and their dentists are testing it daily. They, also, have come to the conclusion that What’s Inside Matters. That’s why OPT-In is proud to be a Nacera partner.

If you would like to try Nacera for your patients, contact us for a Certified Nacera Lab referral that fits your practice. Each was trained in November in how to consistently obtain the very most from Nacera. Having Certainty is always good. Having Nacera Inside takes Certainty to a higher level.

Almost forgot…the pink in the bottom photo, that too is Nacera!

Visit Nacera US for more information

Contact OPT-In for a Nacera Certified Lab

Dentists Feeling Global Slowdown: What’s it Mean?

Thanks to falling oil prices and increased employment, consumer confidence is improved and pent up demand is in bloom. They have also adapted to a new socio economic normal: economic stability with less income. Unfortunately, in 2014 the middle class earned 4% less than in 2000 (Pew), and fell from 61% of earners in 1971 to 50% in 2015. Similarly, the US Census Bureau reported that median income fell 9% from 2007 to 2014. That means, heading into 2016, confident consumers may be working their way up from negative territory. But, there’s more to this story.

As a risky undercurrent to consumer confidence, the economic pullback in China has led US manufacturing and exports to contract, other economies to slow, and raised fears of a new global recession. While the US economy is believed to be less affected than others, the now stronger dollar is impeding exports and causing some to wonder if layoffs are far behind? While there is little belief the US is on the brink of another recession, there is plenty of disagreement about the economic strength of 2016 going forward.

The New Consumer

The recent recession shaped consumer attitudes and habits into a new normal: “If my income is flat or less, then what I pay must be flat or less.” With support from the digital age, price conscious consumers expect and demand discounts in everything they buy. Moreover, with the internet, consumers are faster, better, and more efficient at finding value, making most everything a commodity.

The new normal caused 2015 retail sales to drop 8%, and prices to fall 2.9% from 2014 levels (Bureau of Economic Analysis). Additionally, mid priced retail stores are losing sales to “off-pricers,” such as Kohls and Marshalls.  Meanwhile, “fast design,” high production, low cost chains such as H&M and Forever 21 are expanding. Is dentistry seeing the same price pressures? This past Christmas, online shopping grew 20% while retail bricks and mortar sales fell 10%. In response, Macy’s will close 40 stores in 2016, and open 6 new low cost discount stores. Radio Shack, Staples, and Sears/KMart are closing a combined 1,800+ locations. Yes, in some ways, this is very similar to what we are seeing in dentistry: changes driven by consumers are forcing retailers to change or close.

Impacting Dentistry

Today, new technology provides consumers with consistently higher quality, mass produced (non distinct) products at lower costs. While we see this kind of innovative technology aiding dental labs, commoditized private practice dentists continue to operate without cost-saving scalability. Meanwhile, consumers often tell dentists the very same things they tell retailers: “Yes, expensive is nice, I would like it but I don’t need it, can’t afford it, and I’m not going to pay for it.” For many, dentistry has become a reluctant victim of consumerism’s commoditization.

The market, in general, isn’t as wealthy as it once was and doesn’t see dentists as it once did. Because the market is always 100% correct, dentists and lab owners need to see themselves as their markets see them and either provide what their markets want, or together, convince consumers they need and deserve better. That means, some dentists and lab owners might need to adjust their approach to how they deliver services and set fees. But remember, people pay for what they want. Dentists and their labs can provide what many consumers want, commodity care at a lower cost, or, help them to want something better. It’s entirely up to the professional team.

With pressures never before experienced, dentists, lab owners, manufacturers, and distributors need to look at new ways of collaborating and working together. To help, OPT-In is leading the way in building an alliance community of stakeholders. Nacera US, known for its high quality zirconia products, was first to provide financial support for the OPT-In national public relations campaign supporting private practice. We invite all dentists, laboratory owners, manufacturers, and distributors to contact us and participate.

hand in dominoes

Private Practitioners Raising the Competitive Bar, Changing the Trends

National Public Relations Campaign Underway

Thousands of consumers are selecting a new dentist each day. Because they can’t measure quality, their decisions are based on hopeful trust. Because consumers are often drawn to brands, private practices with weak brand presence are losing patients to large regional brands, representing more than $100,000 in lost revenues, annual . In response, a public relations campaign is being launched to help private practices compete more effectively.

Developing the Consumer Message

The first ever, Private Practice, national public relations strategy session took place on November 12, at the corporate headquarters of Braithwaite Communications. The three hour meeting, sponsored by OPT-In Dental Advantage, identified consumer concerns, why they exist, dental industry strengths and weaknesses, and storylines to be used. At the start, efforts were made to keep all messages positive. However, after sharing their own negative dental experiences, the Braithwaite team decided that too many bad things are happening too often, and that consumers need to be made aware of not just what to look for, but also, what to avoid. The discussion topics included potential advantages and disadvantages of different practice models and philosophies, insurance transgressions and competitive opportunities, and new structures to promote OPT-In member labs’ and dentists’ strengths over competitors’ weaknesses.

An Industry-wide Challenge

By the end of the meeting, enough storylines had been identified to keep the public relations campaign rolling for several months. In the meantime, OPT-In Dental Advantage members have received financial support from manufacturers, distributors. OPT-In dental laboratory members are playing a key role,  and are also earning manufacturer support, with many seeking ways to address the same problems. Dental laboratory owners are essentially in the same boat, in that, what happens to private practitioners happens to dental labs. Currently, OPT-In laboratory members, listed here, are the only dental laboratories investing in their private practice customers.

Storytelling, an Important Advantage

Braithwaite will be weaving stories for release through major news outlets that will help consumers understand the importance of seeking dental care in trustworthy settings. The importance of storytelling was highlighted in an article published in the Harvard Business Review, online. In the article, Keith Quesenberry, a researcher at Johns Hopkins, states, “People are attracted to stories because we’re social creatures and we relate to other people.” The article also points out, stories can open doors to emotional decisions that are closed to cold facts. We can use “data” to influence thought, “but it doesn’t inspire them to act; to do that, you need to wrap your vision in a story that fires the imagination and stirs the soul,” states author, Harrison Monarth. The team at Braithwaite will be providing this expertise through national outlets such as, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, etc.

An Industry Working Together

Time is of the essence. With the number of non Medicaid dental patients remaining flat, revenues lost to competitors, and patient loyalty, are difficult, even impossible to regain. Additionally, patients need to be educated about the real cost of insurance company tactics to deny care and benefits. Addressing these issues, the OPT-In national public relations campaign is being launched because enough dentists and lab owners made it possible. Through broader cooperation, manufacturers, distributors, dental technicians, and dentists could accomplish even more, faster.

For more information, visit our website, OPT-In Companies, or call, 855-321-OPTN (6786).


How to Brand Your Uniqueness

What is brand power?

Apple iPhones sell like crazy. In fact, the Apple brand has created a community of users that is the envy of major companies around the world. Why is that? Their phones aren’t actually better than others.

Apple stands for something, a purpose that generates raving fans, while competitors just make cell phones. That’s brand power. Whatever dentists see and believe about you is your brand. It tells your market what you stand for, what you believe, and how you should be perceived. It also tells them what to expect from you. Your brand, just like Apple’s, should set you apart from others who do what you do. For the most part, your local competitors market themselves as being identical to you, a dental lab. Your brand should sell your uniqueness.

But I have a logo!
Many believe a brand is a logo, but a logo is only a graphic representation of your brand. In fact, some branding professionals believe logos are overrated. This is especially true when they don’t project an “image” expressing a story. When used properly, C. Whan Park, director of the global branding center at the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business, points out they can be effectively used by emboldening their name – IBM, presenting a friendly image – the duck from AFLAC, or simply provide a meaningful visual, such as used by Apple – a bite from the Apple (maybe that fell on Newton’s head to spawn ideas). However, Park cautions, “We also do not suggest that brand logos themselves automatically create meaningful positive associations between a brand and consumers.” Very often, the logo needs to be reinforced with a clever tagline and advertising to provide more meaning.

How do I create a great brand?
What would your customers say about you? Would it be a generic answer, or, would they be a raving fan? “Oh, my lab does decent work,” doesn’t describe a brand. A better response would be “My lab work always falls right in. That saves time and makes for happy patients. I always feel that they really care about my practice and prevent problems. I thoroughly trust them when they give advice.” After you identify your brand attributes, identify every dentist contact point, and make sure your strengths are creating customer experiences.

Another aspect of establishing a brand is having an area of expertise that targets a specific market. For example, if you want to attract implant cases, focus on disseminating new implant research and product information that solves problems. Theodore Levitt, a former Harvard marketing professor once wrote, “People don’t want a ¼” drill, what they really want is a ¼” hole.” Focus on being an expert in offering what your customers really want, and then package it in your branding message.

How important is branding online?
Neilson research indicates 61% of consumers will search online for services. According to branding expert, Debbie LaChusa, visitors to your website “…don’t have the opportunity to come into your place of business, meet you, and experience your business environment and personality in person.” Your website provides a first impression and should separate you from other labs. To make a good first impression and establish trust, graphic design, photos, and content need to immediately connect with a visitor’s concerns. The ability to quickly and effectively tell your story often requires the help of experts. They don’t make crowns, and most of us make lousy graphic artists.


Take the time to identify your strengths and target market. Then, create a brand message that resonates with the dentists you are trying to attract. Work with your team to incorporate outstanding brand experiences into every touch point. Your customers will trust you, become raving fans, and spread the word.


Become More Competitive

Understanding the Real Competition

Your customers are facing stark and increasing challenges. Understanding them and how to help will better prepare and position your lab for this new environment and the future.

 Dentists Compete with a Triad of Insurance Companies, Dental Chains and Unethical Offices

Three Challenges facing private practitioners and what to do about them.

Challenge #1

Insurance companies have lumped dentists together in nondescript lists for consumers to choose from. Consumers think all dentists are the same and should charge the same low price set by insurance. How will your customers convince patients to trust them, more, and their insurance company, less?

Challenge #2

Branded large dental chains are stealing about $150,000 in revenues from each private practice (and your lab), annually. How will your customers attract new patients to their practices instead of losing them to better branded competitors?

Challenge #3

It has been alleged that patients are being deliberately mislead, daily in the name of better deals. But nobody is telling patients what to look out for. How can your customers help consumers understand why their practices are different and trustworthy?

 Be Noticed for the Right Reasons

The Triad influences consumer attitudes on a large scale, tells consumers what they want to hear, and makes your customers (and you) pay for it. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. The Triad survives for two reasons: uneducated consumers and, unorganized dentists incapable of educating them.

OPT-in Dental Advantage is helping private practice dentists be noticed for the right reasons. We are educating consumers, daily, about the value of ethical private practices, the important role of the dental lab, and the potential risks of misplacing their trust.

We separate ourselves as being trustworthy because our members vow not to Break Laws:

  • Running sham practice ownership schemes.
  • Using non dentists to design treatment plans directly or indirectly.
  • Diagnosing conditions that don’t exist.
  • Performing unneeded treatments.

We also educate consumers about routine violation of:

  • State insurance codes and good faith statutes
  • Professional Ethics and to look out for sub standard care

 Because Nobody is Forcing the Issue,

The Public is at Risk, and not being Protected

If you want to win a battle fought in the desert,

Take away the enemy’s water supply.


How should you respond?
The public is loath to have their trust violated. With OPT-In Dental Advantage and our national public relations campaign promoting private practice, your customers will be noticed for the right reasons, help educate consumers, and make breaking the law less profitable.

For more information about how OPT-in labs are changing the market and, how you can get involved, visit optincompanies.com, and, visit our consumer website, optindentaladvantage.com. While you’re there, look into joining OPT-In Dental Laboratory Cooperative. We are saving our members money each month, helping them grow their businesses, and helping their dentists save money and grow their practices.

There’s never been a better time to work together to make the world of dentistry a better place for everyone. Contact us at info@optindentallab.com, or call us at 855-321-OPTN (6786).


Dental Labs helping Dentists take matters in their own Hands


“Private practice dentists are losing patients, daily, to other clinical settings, and insurance continues to burden profitability for us all. I’ve seen too many dentists forced to sell or face bankruptcy. That affects not just dentists, but labs, too. Finally, we have a collective answer to make us stronger and more effective. We’re supporting our dentists 100% in this effort!” OPT-In Laboratory Cooperative member, Mike Hennessy, owner, Hennessy Dental Lab.

Private practitioners are saying, “Enough is enough.” They are tired of patients being taught that dentists and dentistry are all the same, big clinics are cheaper and better, and that insurance companies create quality care. With too much to lose, OPT-In dentists and laboratory members are launching the first ever, Private Practice National Public Relations campaign.

Scheduled in 2015 for late fall-early winter, the public relations firm, Braithwaite Communications, is being contracted to support private practice with brand-building content in national news outlets such as, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, CNN, etc. According to Dr. Dean Mersky, founder of OPT-In Dental Advantage,

 “Today, insurance companies and large corporate dental chains are unilaterally, influencing consumer decisions and attitudes. Meanwhile, private practitioners, with no representation, have no voice to help consumers understand the limitations of insurance, and the real differences between practice models. That’s about to change!”

Adopting, “Put up or shut up!” OPT-In dentists and lab members are funding their own National Public Relations Campaign, with additional financial support from dental companies.

Along with promoting private practice dental care, Braithwaite will also address detrimental insurance practices. PPO and lab fees are too often stagnated at 1998 levels, a time when the average car cost half of today’s $34,000 (USA Today). After 4 years, that’s enough to pay tuition for one child’s entire college education. To address this, the public relations campaign will educate patients on what to believe and what not to believe about their dental insurance, and how the wrong decision can negatively impact their health. They will find this information on our consumer website, OPT-In Dental Advantage.

Over the next two years, we must work together, dentists and lab owners, to ensure consumers understand the importance of finding a skilled, trustworthy dentist.


It is well known that wherever consumers go, so goes revenues. More lab and dentist members are needed to assure this campaign reaches the maximum number of consumers, and continues to grow successfully. Please take time to learn more about how you can join in this effort and help patients understand the truths about different practice models, the games insurance companies play, and the advantages that can be found in private practice. As a lab owner, you win when your customers win. You can make a difference. Dentists should visit OPT-In Dentists. Dental laboratory owners should visit OPT-In Dental Labs. Dental corporations should visit OPT-In Corporate Partners.  Or, call 855-321-OPTN (6786).

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” Henry Ford

OPT-In Dental Advantage member, Dr. Shad Lewis, Reading, PA: “We are the only experts in dental care. If we aren’t willing to take responsibility for our profession, who will? If we aren’t willing to protect patients, to whom will they turn? Whose responsibility is it, if not ours? Please join us in getting the message out, and getting the job done.”