The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Modern Dental Labs



By , , and


Modern-Dental-Labs


        The dental laboratory industry is experiencing consolidation with the disruptive technology of 3D printing enabling the rapid prototyping and fabrication of the highly customized parts their business creates for customers. As the 3D printing of ceramics, metals, and other materials enters into wider use, dental labs will find themselves innovating and consolidating to streamline and increase the speed of operations while lowering costs. These sorts of innovation activities may qualify for federal and state R&D tax credits.  
 

 The Research & Development Tax Credit

        Enacted in 1981, the federal Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit allows a credit of up to 13% of eligible spending for new and improved products and processes. Qualified research must meet the following four criteria:
 
  • New or improved products, processes, or software
  • Technological in nature
  • Elimination of Uncertainty
  • Process of experimentation

        Eligible costs include employee wages, cost of supplies, cost of testing, contract research expenses, and costs associated with developing a patent.  On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed the bill making the R&D Tax Credit permanent. Beginning in 2016, the R&D credit can be used to offset Alternative Minimum tax and startup businesses can utilize the credit against payroll taxes.
 

3D Printing Transforming Dental Lab Operations

        3D printing is an additive manufacturing process that leverages computer technologies and layer-by-layer fabrication to create customized, complex, and wasteless objects and parts. 3D printers are capable of printing parts in a variety of materials, including metals and ceramics. The ability to scan and completely customize the shape and features of the part reduces the design, build, and revision time of creating a part, which in turn creates costly savings. 

        The features of 3D printing lend themselves to the highly customized world of dental labs that create dental implants for people. Under traditional circumstances, the process of taking an impression of a tooth, casting the impression, and sending it to a lab to be worked through the process into an implant may take weeks. Leveraging 3D printing and scanning, a scan of a patient's teeth may be taken, sent electronically to a lab to have an implant quickly designed and fabricated, and sent back to a dentist or oral surgeon for implantation.
   
        Considering the change in workflow and production pipeline, the dental lab will have to innovate to remain competitive. The initial cost of investment for a dental laboratory today would typically be $200,000, which is over 10 times more than the cost in 1990. The economic factors involved with the increased costs of investment and operation contribute to an ongoing contraction and consolidation of the industry in the last two years.    
 


Technological Advancements Drawing In Dental Labs 

        The technological advancements in fields like CAD/CAM and additive manufacturing are not just driving the transformation of dental laboratories by themselves. Dentists and oral surgeons are also taking up these technologies in their local practices and will naturally pull the dental laboratory towards implementing these technologies into their operations by purchasing the equipment and changing their operations to support new demands in quality and speed.
 

Solutions in Dental 3D Printing and Scanning

        There are several 3D printing and manufacturing players with a host of different scales for dental practices that wish to fabricate parts using 3D printing and scanning, as well as choices in driving software for 3D scanning, design, and prototyping. CAD/CAM software packages need to be unique in employing models and techniques within dentistry. Generating planes, curves, and implementing mechanical motion and limitations must be understood to create and place teeth or dental appliances inside a jaw.   


Dental Lab 3D Printers

 
StrataSys - Eden Prairie, MN
        StrataSys is a leading manufacturer and provider of 3D printers. The dental 3D printers that StrataSys provides include:  


  • CrownWorx
  • FrameWorx
  • Object30 OrthoDes
  • Object260 Dental Selection
  • Object Eden260VS Dental Advantage
  • Object Eden350V for Dental
  • Object Eden500V for Dental
 
        These 3D printers can accurately print surgical guides, veneer try-ins, crown & bridge models, models for clear aligners, implant models and a wide range of various orthodontic appliances using 3D data directly from intraoral scans and CAD designs.
        
        Depending upon the needs of the laboratory for services offered, StrataSys 3D printers have the capabilities to jet multiple materials from one printer, including medically approved transparent material for temporary in-mouth placement. Additionally, printing solutions from StrataSys bring triple-jetting technology to dental and orthodontics, for printing multiple materials at one time or implant models that mimic real gum-like textures for accurate evaluation. This impressive feature provides users the ability to create gum-like softness and color with complete control.
 
3D Systems - Rock Hill, SC
       
3D Systems is another leading figure in 3D printing that manufactures their own lines of 3D printers. 3D Systems provides the following 3D printers for dental care applications:  

  • ProJet® 3510 DP Professional
  • ProJet® 3510 MP Professional
  • ProJet® 6000 & 7000 Professional
  • iPro™ 8000 MP SLA Center
  • Sinterstation® Pro DM125 SLM System


Dental Lab CAD/CAM Systems
           
Sirona Dental Systems, Inc. – Long Island City, NY
        Sirona Dental Systems sells complete dental imaging systems that can create 3D markups of a patient's jaw and teeth. Among these is SICAT Air - an imaging system that allows for imaging and analysis of the upper airway and planning of dental appliances as they will exist in the patient's jaw. It combines the patient's 3D x-ray and optical surface data to create digital workflows.   

 
3M ESPE – St. Paul, MN
       
3M also has a digital scanner that creates a digital workflow for dentists and dental labs. The 3M True Definition Scanner quickly and easily captures a 3D replica of oral anatomy and saves it as an industry-standard STL file. This format allows easy portability to different platforms, including 3M's other products for dentists and dental labs.


KaVo Dental – Charlotte, NC
        KaVo provides the ARCUSdigma, a  3D ultrasonic navigator for diagnosis and therapy. The measuring device fits onto the subject's lower jaw with a design that doesn't create complications with measurement or restrict motion of the jaw. The device then takes an ultrasonic survey of the jaw's movement for diagnosis via Functional Analysis and therapy.

 
Nobel Biocare – Zurich-Flughafen, Switzerland
        Nobel Biocare has its own digital scanning system, the NobelProcera dental CAD/CAM system. This system helps dental labs scan, design, and produce dental restoration products in a streamlined workflow. The device scans models and molds of different sizes and complexity to quickly digitize them for design. This machine reduces the time in designing and prototyping by avoiding remakes and redesigns.  

 
Planmeca, E4D Technologies – Richardson, TX
        Planmeca and E4D technologies created a same-day dentistry solution with the PlanScan CAM/CAM restoration system. Requiring no impressions or powders, the PlanScan delivers easy, same day, and on-site scanning. PlanScan features CAD/CAM design and milling of a restoration like a crown, inlay, onlay, bridges, and veneers. A general dental practice could use this tool to easily expand its services with only the investment and small training that this piece of equipment requires.

 
B&D Dental Corporation – West Valley City, UT
        B&D Dental Corporation is the maker of ORIGIN, a line of dental scanners, CAD/CAM systems, and milling machines. ORIGIN machines provide a range of digital workflow functions that provide savings in costs and time. B&D's ORIGIN Dental Scanner, milling machine, and duoTron sintering machine can work with different materials to create dental restorations. 

 
3Shape – Copenhagen, Denmark
       
3Shape makes 3D scanning and CAD/CAM systems. Some of its scanners, such as the TRIOS 3 inter-oral scanner, are handheld and integrate with software to produce scans and designs for milling centers. Others, like the D2000, are larger, which allows for highly accurate, fast, and colorized scanning of lab models. 3Shape's CAD/CAM systems can provide indications across several types of dental appliances. 3Shape's products are designed to be expandable, future-proof, and with strong levels of integration and support for a wide ecosystem of 3D printers and dental systems.

 

Conclusion

        The ongoing disruption of the dental industry is closely linked with that of manufacturers in healthcare and medical devices. In order to meet the new demands of speed and quality, research and development processes will be required to create innovative, improved technologies and processes to succeed. These research and development activities may qualify for federal and state R&D tax credits.

Article Citation List

   


Authors

Charles R Goulding Attorney/CPA, is the President of R&D Tax Savers.

Raymond Kumar is a CPA and Tax Manager with R&D Tax Savers.

Lauren Chin is a Tax Analyst at R&D Tax Savers.


Similar Articles
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Blockchain for Supply Chains
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Physical Security Technology
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Driverless Cars
3D Printing - University Business Incubators and R&D Tax Credits
How 3D Printer Purchasers Earn Research and Development Tax Credits
Your First 3D Printer Purchase and R&D Tax Credits
New Tax Incentives for Lean 3D Printer Product Startups
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of SaaS Start-Ups
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Emotion-Recognition Technology
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of AI in the Insurance Industry
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Emerging AV Trends
Enhanced R&D Tax Credits for Specialized Co-Shared Spaces
Ethereum's Impact on Digital Contracting Creates R&D Tax Credit Opportunities
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Geofencing
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Distribution Center Automation
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Law Firm Artificial Intelligence
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Avionics
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Chemical Engineering Post Dow-DuPont Merger
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Telemedicine
State & Local Tax Jurisdictions Address Media Streaming and Cloud Services
Federal Government Provides Faster Approvals and Tax Credits for Consumer FinTech Products
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Voice-Activated Software
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Artificially Intelligent Hedge Funds
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of LiDAR
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Educational Technology (EdTech)
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of the Commercialization of Space
Bicycle Designers & Manufacturers Obtain R&D Tax Credits for Innovation
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Digital Art and Blockchain Technology
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Cyber Security Start-Ups
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Construction Industry IoT
R&D Tax Credits Provide New Opportunities for Artificial Intelligence Start-Ups
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Design Firm Start-Ups
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of NYC Start-Ups
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Virtual Reality Technology
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Water Analytics
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Carbon Fiber
The R&D Tax Aspects of Artificial Intelligence Robo-Advisors
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Natural Language Processing (NLP) Innovation
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of 3D Printing End Users
The R&D Tax Aspects of 3D Printing Infrastructure
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of 3D Printing for Textiles
Providing Business Tax & Accounting Advice for 3D Printer Purchase Decisions
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Video Compression Technology
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Automated Coding
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Payment Technology
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Restaurant Technology
R&D Tax Credits and the Second Wave of Cloud Adoption
The R&D Tax Aspects of Data Storage Startups
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Cyber Security
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Mobile Applications
R&D Tax Credits for the Modern Insurance Industry
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Solid State Lighting
The+R%26D+Tax+Credit+Aspects+of+the+Internet+of+DNA
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of IoT Communication
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology
The R&D Tax Aspects of Near Field Communication
The+R%26D+Tax+Credit+Aspects+of+LED+Sensor+Networks
The R&D Tax Aspects of the New FDA Mobile Apps Requirements
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Nanotechnology
Tapping the Power of Big Data and R&D Tax Credits for Utility Companies
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of the Medical Software Industry
The R&D Tax Aspects of Computer Enabled Human Identification
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Ceramics
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of New York City's Engineering Education and Googlization
R&D Tax Credits for the High-Risk Battery Business
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Software Modeling Analytics
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Logistics Software and Process Innovation
The R&D Tax Aspects of Cameras of the 21st Century
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Network Security
R&D Tax Aspects of DNA Identification
R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Cyber Security and Homeland Protection
Financial Product Trading Platform Artificial Intelligence R&D Tax Credits
Gig City Startups and R&D Tax Credits
The Internet of Things Creates R&D Tax Credit Opportunity
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Mobile Banking Applications
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of 3D Bioprinting
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of In-Image Advertising
R&D Tax Credits for Hybrid Call Centers - Airline, Hotel, and Car Rental Industries
The R&D Tax Aspects of Advertising Science
The R&D Tax Aspects of Data Science
R&D Tax Aspects of Radio Frequency Identification
The R&D Tax Aspects of Advanced Driver Assist Systems
The R&D Tax Aspects of the Internet of Residential Things
The R&D Tax Aspects of Web Television
R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Medical Robotics
R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Industrial Robotics
R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Service Robotics
Yes Alice, Patents and R&D Tax Credits Remain Available for the Internet of Things!
How Salesmen Can Use R&D Tax Credits to Sell Today's Software Products Engagements
The R&D Tax Aspects of Cloud Computing
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Hybrid Call Centers for Health Insurers
Now Every Business is a Software Business
The R&D Tax Aspects of Robot Software
The R&D Tax Aspects of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Innovation
The R&D Tax Aspects of Financial Technology Services
Beacons Create R&D Tax Credit Opportunity
Fast Growth of Sharing Economy Impacts Tax Reporting
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Retail Technology
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Improving Virtual Reality Technology
The R&D Tax Credit Opportunities for Mobile Devices
The R&D Tax Credit Aspects of Wearable Technology
The R&D Tax Aspects of Big Data
R&D Tax Credit Fundamentals
Los Angeles Tech Boom Creates Large R&D Tax Incentive Opportunities
The R&D Tax Credits and the U.S. 3D Printing Initiative
The R&D Tax Aspects of Software Development
The New Shape of R&D Tax Credits
New Car Fuel Rules Drive Product Innovation and R&D Tax Credits