The rise & fall & the RISE of Australian Dental Manufacturing

I had the distinct pleasure of being invited to an Advanced Manufacturing Industry Roundtable Breakfast  at RMIT in Melbourne last week.

In attendance were leaders of various Victorian Tertiary Education Providers, government representatives and heads of Industry and small business with an interest in Advanced Manufacturing. A particular focus of discussions was the advent of Additive Manufacturing namely 3D Printing and the educational outcomes required for this technology to be effectively applied. 

One thing I can take away from the discussions had was a real motivation and energy to help Industry keep jobs here in Australia by taking advantage of the Innovation boom. Rather than just mere hope and three word slogans, Industry leaders have recognised that targeted investment in technology and training that creates more sustainable workplaces, that empowers our graduates as well as dyed in the wool incumbents will not only make us more competitive in our own markets but give us a platform to export our skills and products to the world.

Some years ago, when many of our peers were closing their Laboratories or shifting to a majority of outsourcing model, Giorgio Dental – a family business, made the decision to invest in technology that allowed us to compete with the world.

At first, these investments played a part in improving materials and time efficiencies which with downward pressure on our costs resulted in fee schedules being kept in check with our competitors from Asia.

We kept more clients and were recommended to more Practices as a result of quicker turnarounds, Australian-made work, a personable customer service model and at reasonable fees.

Therefore, we now produce Products with an increasing demand coming from not only Australian Dentists but Dentists from around the world particularly because of the advent of Intraoral scanning.

Receiving a Digital Impression from a European city and producing a Crown and delivering within a week is a real life example of what Australian Dental Laboratories can do!

From panic stations to real export opportunities. From clinging onto Australian Clients to taking our Intellectual property and our Australian-made Restorations to Dentists all over the world.

The biggest challenge is training our people in conjunction with Education Providers in the Dental Technology space to have the skills to effectively operate as Technicians in Digital Workflow.

However, from the clear eyed determination I witnessed last week of both Education Providers and Business, Industries like ours have a bright future.

Leave a Reply