4 Important Factors to Consider When Choosing a Dental Lab

Choosing the correct dental lab is critical when it comes to the level of treatment that a dentist provides and promises to their patients. Understanding what a dental lab does and establishing a quality standard for work is critical when selecting the correct dental lab for your clinic. After all, the kind of care that a lab provides to your patients will reflect on you, for better or worse. It is critical to ensure that a lab is the right size and fit for you. 

Dental labs, like dental clinics, have diverse traits, techniques, levels of experience, and the ability to meet and surpass expectations. However, some procedures will fall short of expectations. There are labs with strong quality control systems, scheduling systems, and communication systems, but many fall short in the organization department, leaving you and your patients dissatisfied with the work. 

The good news is that understanding the dental industry will assist you in selecting a high-quality dental lab for your clinic. Slow lab work, for example, might reflect adversely on your reputation as a dentist (even though you are not conducting the actual work), and vice versa for labs that are speedy with their work and reply quickly. 

Here are the four most important things to ask while looking for the right dental lab to represent you and your practice. 

1- Do They Use ADA-Compliant Materials? 

You don’t want a lab that is “saving money” by utilizing some random guy on the corner who is producing replicas of another manufacturer’s alloy. When something is created as a “knock off” for half the price, the quality is usually half of what you would anticipate. 

There are several different varieties of zirconia on the market for crowns. Make certain that the lab you select employs genuine materials in their products. Check with your lab to see if they are authorized to make branded crowns and are not advertising the manufacturing of the branded material. There is a significant difference in quality, and you should be aware of whether or not your lab employs the genuine article. 

2- How Does the Laboratory Conduct Quality Control Checks? 

Consider the time and effort required to create a single porcelain-fused-to-metal crown: the model must be poured, then a counter model is poured and mounted, die spacers are applied, dies are trimmed, then wax-ups, which a technician will do multiple times for each case. You should find out who is in charge of ensuring that this process is carried out correctly. Is there a final examination to ensure that all specifications have been met? 

Because some labs may not have full-time personnel, knowing when these quality checks are completed may be difficult. A consistent team of technicians equals consistent work quality. 

3- Does the lab outsource work to other countries? 

Many labs export work to Korea, China, and the Philippines since labor costs are low there, and they frequently do so without informing the dentist who is paying for their services. The majority of these countries do not follow FDA or ADA compliance requirements, which ensure that goods are safe for usage. 

Quality craftsmanship and ADA-approved materials will almost certainly cost more than $150. If your lab claims to be able to obtain ingredients at such low prices, chances are they are exporting the work elsewhere and passing it off as their own. 

4- Lab Inspections 

Meet the office personnel and get to know who you will be working with. Why put employees in charge of your lab work if the lab you chose is staffed with people you would not hire? Take a look around the lab; is it a professional setting? Is the workforce unkempt and disorganized? Are the workstations tidy and clean? Do the technicians respect and clean their tools? These are indicators of how the lab will process your work, so look at how they work from the inside out. 

5- Do They Have Continuing Education Resources? 

A dental lab should supply high-quality products and services to a dental practice. It should also help its customers keep informed and up-to-date on dentistry practices, processes, and innovations. When choosing the best dental lab, look for training opportunities such as these online videos and lunch & learns from Stomadent Lab that will help you expand your knowledge and practice. 

Some dentists appear to forget that, in order to perform good dentistry, dental labs should be full practice partners to those who use their services, rather than simply vendors delivering a product required to complete treatment. 

Dental labs play a significant role in the success of dental treatments. It is usually preferable to select a lab with whom you can collaborate rather than simply transmit work.

Trevyn Myers

Trevyn is a business journalist with a wealth of experience covering the world of finance and economics. With over a decade of experience reporting on the latest trends in the corporate world, Trevyn has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, insightful and analytical journalist. He has a keen eye for spotting emerging trends and is able to explain complex financial concepts in a clear and easy-to-understand manner.