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Reality #2: The Dental Lab Industry Remains Unstable

By Heartland Dental

Blog Series: Top 3 Supply Chain Realities In 2022 and How They Affect Your Bottom Line

In this series of 3 blog posts, we discuss the state of the supply chain in 2022 and what you can do to navigate challenges and protect your bottom line.


It’s no surprise that the pandemic created supply chain challenges all over the world, the dental industry included. In our first post, we confronted the reality of post-pandemic price hikes and how you can continue to successfully manage your practice and protect your bottom line. In this post, we take a look at the truth behind another important piece of the supply chain puzzle: dental labs.  

Office closures and lockdowns, limited procedures, decreased patient loads—all the issues that affected dental practices throughout 2020 had a domino effect on dental labs, causing them to decrease hours, reduce and eliminate staff or, in many cases, close their doors entirely. Now, as labs are continuing to rebound from these challenges as well as those created by the global supply chain slowdown, the industry responded in kind with skyrocketed prices, personnel turnover, long lead times, among other undesirable aspects, most of which show no sign of easing in 2022.  

Given that supplies and lab orders are about half of your dental practice’s controllable expenses, this reality has a direct impact on your bottom line, not to mention on your relationships with established lab partners. Maybe prices have risen so significantly that you’ve had to spend time looking for new lab options. Before the pandemic hit, perhaps you were able to outsource through one preferred lab, but now you have to fulfill needs through multiple labs, depending on the procedure. Or despite all your efforts to streamline supply and lab procurement, maybe you’ve been forced into using multiple software platforms, which eats into valuable staff and patient time. Whatever the aftermath looks like for you, now is the time to take stock of your options and develop a smart, secure, and sustainable lab plan for the future.

For many dental practices, affiliating with a dental service organization (DSO) is one of the best ways to achieve greater stability in times of disruption. Among many other benefits, DSOs can help small practices establish long-term relationships and contracts to minimize supply and lab costs. However, many dentists fear that they must trade their independence in order to truly reap these benefits. This isn’t true for Heartland Dental. 

With Heartland Dental’s doctor-led culture and business model, supported doctors are able to focus on dentistry while we support their day-to-day, non-clinical administrative workflow. Our innovative yet proven systems and processes enable them to deliver exceptional oral care to their patients as well as maximize their own clinical and economic growth both now and into the future. In addition, Heartland Dental has negotiated industry-leading partnerships with independent labs, known internally as “Diamond Trusted Labs.” In doing so, Heartland offers affiliated doctors opportunities to purchase cutting edge products and technology at reduced costs, which often lead to 40% savings on lab costs over the course of a year—savings that can be passed down to employees and patients.


“I’m excited that I have the opportunity to access the Heartland Dental Diamond Trusted Labs at my fingertips. I’ve been able to see a reduction in my expenses immediately!” 

-Dr. Zina Berry Testimonia


Furthermore, Diamond Trusted Labs offers affiliated partnerships with 4 industry-leading lab

networks, including individual labs, high-end aesthetic labs and an ortho lab. These lab relationships offer affiliated doctors stability in a tumultuous industry and give them opportunities to receive higher quality digital workflows and faster turnarounds. 

While supply chain challenges brought on by the pandemic are here to stay, choosing to affiliate with Heartland Dental’s business model provides supported doctors the opportunities to focus on dentistry as we support with the day-to-day, non-clinical administrative workflow. This administrative support can bring peace of mind and the ability for you to offer the highest level of patient care without breaking the bank. 

To learn more about how your practice can thrive amidst the supply chain realities of 2022, be sure to read the first blog in our Supply Chain Reality series as well as our upcoming blog, where we will discuss the effect of supply chain management on both your staff and patients.

If you’re ready to learn more about dental practice transition, or affiliating with Heartland Dental for opportunities to improve your practice and your bottom line—all while preserving your independence—don’t hesitate to reach out to us today.

Ready to explore your options? 

Give us a call at (866) 929-0040 or complete the form below to request more information.