For most of us, our layered crowns are the most labor-intensive of our products. Our full monolithic crowns are so wrapped up in a digital workflow they can become some of our most profitable products. Yet, PFM’s have become the economy crown. Most of my clients are willing to pay more for an all ceramic crown then they would for a layered crown. Yet, the most influential people in our industry say that the numbers tell them the layered crowns days are numbered.
I have a proposition that challenges that logic. I do business with a large DSO that we charge less than $50 per unit PFM’s. We charge a high $70 per unit for an all ceramic. Recently, I called one of the newer associate doctors to cross sell them on Zirconia made in America. He cuts one hundred crowns a month with us… When I tried to push him to all ceramic, he explained to me that $80 per unit all ceramic versus a $50 PFM unit, in his cost, would be a $3000 a month difference in a lab bill. That adds up to be his student loan payment. He can not afford to do all ceramic yet. He has read all the same journals we do and he wants the digital workflow but the economics do not lineup. Though, all ceramic will surpass layered crowns, it does not eliminate them from your workflow. There will always be a place for them in this in this industry.