Invest Your Time Properly
Investing a little time when getting impressions is the key for getting the best work from your dental lab, and it will save you time in the long run. Time spent obtaining good impressions, bite registrations, digital scans, and good quality digital photos to supplement your lab prescription will save you valuable chair time over the course of the entire case. Quality dental lab work can only be produced from good records. Obtaining excellent records alleviates having that dreaded call from the laboratory technician or lab director requesting that you take a better impression. Do yourself a favor and allocate enough time at the beginning of each case to do your very best work.
Where possible, save additional time by taking digital impressions or digitally scan your physical impressions. The best dental labs invest in technology and stay on the cutting edge of technology with regards to improving workflow and clinical results. Electronic transfer of digital impressions and bite registrations saves you from having to ship a package or have it picked up by the laboratory courier. Scanning also prevents the inherent errors that are introduced from pouring physical models.
Don’t overlook the importance of written communication to supplement the clinical records that you have obtained. Too often dentists get in a hurry and are guilty of writing “fabricate crown” or “process maxillary denture to finish” without providing any additional information. Directions like that leave the entire case up to the lab technician for interpretation. You assume that the lab technician can read your mind. Since the technician did not see the patient, they have no idea what is best for that patient. Set aside the time necessary to communicate your expectations about the case with clear, concise, written directions that include all of the details that are material to the success of the case.
Excellent records allow the dental laboratory to fabricate a restoration or prosthesis that requires few or no adjustments at delivery. A great-looking denture that satisfies the patient’s needs for comfort and aesthetics that can be delivered in a matter of minutes with minimal adjustments is a great testimonial for your practice. The quality of the lab work and the entire patient experience made you look great. Satisfied patients translate into word-of-mouth referrals, the best type of advertising. And, it’s free.