6 Questions to Ask Your Dental Lab
Dentistry isn’t complete without dental labs. They play an essential role in ensuring dental prosthetics are made. It doesn’t matter whether you are a general dentist or a specialist you’ll need the services of a dental lab. It shows how crucial the dental lab is to all dentists. The advancements in dental technology have revolutionized dentistry and have made dental labs all that more capable of creating amazing restorations.
Importance of a Dental Lab
- Experience. Since dental prosthetics are made in a dental lab regularly, it is obvious a dental lab has gained experience and expertise in what they practice. As a dentist, you are assured of quality prosthetics for your patients.
- It boosts the dental practice. Cosmetic dentistry is on the rise in today’s era, and implants, crowns, bridges, and dentures are some of the prosthetics that are made in the dental lab. Without this replacement dental work, the dental practice will not grow since the patients’ needs are not being met.
- A dental lab will save you time. It will take a lot of time to learn and practice what is done in a dental lab, and it is time saving hiring the services of a dental lab technician. They have more experience and will do the work faster for you.
6 Questions to Ask Your Dental Lab
A successful dentist works together with a thriving dental lab, and it is crucial before you hire the services of a dental lab to ask some questions.
1. What is the quality of the materials they use?
There are different types of material used in dental laboratories, but not all of them are approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). Asking the dental lab if they are using ADA approved materials is crucial since you’ll be looking out for your patients’ safety and the quality of the prosthetic you are using on your patients.
Depending on the type of prosthetic you want, quality is always weighed with the price. The higher the price, the higher the quality but this is not always the case since some dental lab can give you a prosthetic at a high price, but the quality isn’t there. Knowing if the materials used are ADA approved will provide you with the satisfaction of the condition.
2. Are you allowed to tour the lab?
Hiring the services of a dental lab is an investment. You are investing your dental clinic into the dental lab so you can have value for your practice. Since it is an investment, it is crucial for you to visit the dental lab in person and take a tour of the lab. The lab may know how to advertise but to prove their claims right you’ll have to see it for yourself. If the lab isn’t hiding anything, they will not have any issues with you visiting the lab.
3. Do they need to send some work overseas?
Some dental labs may not have the right tools or equipment to carry out some of the dental prosthetics while others will cut down cost on their products by sending work to other dental labs in other countries. If this is the case, you’ll not get the product on time and be working with such a lab will derail your work and you might end up losing patients.
Since the products are made in another country, it means you don’t have the liberty to visit and inspect the hygienic condition of the lab. You are not sure of the quality and hygiene of the material, and if in any case the cleanliness and quality are compromised you will lose the trust of your patients.
4. What is their take on quality?
The turnaround time for every product varies, but it shouldn’t take more or less of the standard time frame for it to be completed. Ask the lab how they check the quality of the products1 they make. Understand each step they take and how much time they take for every step of the quality checking process.
If a dental lab doesn’t have anything to hide they will walk you through every step they take to ensure the quality of the material and the products in general.
5. How long have they been in practice?
Thomas Paine once said “the mind once enlightened cannot again become dark”, and this is true. The longer the dental lab has been in the industry proves that they have seen many changes and learned what works and that is why they are still in the business.
If the lab is still new, it doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t do the work, but you might ask questions considering the dental technicians who are working in the lab. You can ask if they have experience and how long they have worked in this industry.
6. What is their vision for the future?
Every business has a vision, and where there is no vision, there is no hope (George Washington Carver). A dental lab should be able to tell their future by setting up goals for the future. Are they focused on transitioning (in case they are not)? Are they embracing change along the way of growing big and keeping up with the trend in the industry? By asking what their vision is you get a glimpse of what your working relationship with the lab might be. For example, if they merely want to grow larger and larger you might find that your cases take longer to be finished due to the number of cases the lab is taking. Or if there want to be more focused on providing continually fast turn around with great quality you can rest assured that the dental lab will provide you with great service.