David Hudnall

By David Hudnall, DMD

The field of dentistry is all about forging relationships — relationships with your patients, relationships with your referral sources, and relationships with those that you conduct business, including your dental laboratory. Partnering with the right dental lab that understands the vision you have for your practice is a key component for a successful practice and happy patients.

A great dental lab will make you shine in the eyes of your patients. They recognize the importance of each of their clients and strive to become an integral part of the dental teams that they serve. The best dental laboratory for your practice will allow you to work more efficiently and will not outsource your work elsewhere. They have a steady workflow and know what the plan is for each case.

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.

Utilize Technology

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.

Good Communication

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.

Referral-Building Value

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.

Time Is Money

An excellent dental lab will save you precious chair time. According to Dental Economics magazine, your time is worth at least $10 per minute. A crown that drops into place with no adjustments may save you between $50 and $100 or more in overhead per case, reducing the net cost of the restoration. This allows you to spend more quality time with your patients and to be more productive. It also provides assurance that the quality of the lab work you have delivered is clinically excellent and will last for years to come. Peace of mind is truly priceless!

Stomadent Dental Laboratory invests in talent, education, and training in order to stay abreast of the latest cutting-edge dental technologies. Using state-of-the-art dental lab equipment, we are able to produce the best possible restorative results for your fixed- or removable dental appliance cases. Stomadent excels at customer relations. We want to partner with you to create those “wow” patient experiences that bring you additional referrals. Contact us today to learn more about our Idaho dental lab and everything that we can offer your practice, including full and partial dentures, crowns, bridges, and much more. We will send you a starter kit so that you can see how great working with Stomadent is.

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