If you offer any sort of cosmetic dentistry in your practice, you likely already know that you are partnered with a cosmetic dental lab. Or maybe you're a new practice who is in the market for a trusted cosmetic dental lab who can handle the demands of you and your patients. Here are three key qualities that are essential in a good-quality dental lab.
They use high-quality equipment and try new technologies.
Dental healthcare as a field is on an upward trend, and dental laboratories are following suit. The global market for dental labs is expected to reach 14.8 billion U.S. dollars by 2024. This growth also means that dental labs have been able to afford experimenting with better methods using technology, resulting in digital dentistry. A digital dental lab uses tools like CAD to create more accurate and higher-quality models. Digital dental methods are projected to grow in popularity as the technology improves and becomes affordable for more labs. If you are working with a lab that employs new technologies, you know they will keep up the newest growth trends in dentistry and keep their methods relevant and pitch-perfect in quality.
Communication and order returns are prompt.
If you are waiting forever to hear back from a lab about a question or order, then there is an issue. If orders consistently take longer than promised, this should also be a deal breaker. If patients aren't receiving their veneers or crowns on time, this reflects badly on your practice, as well. Your lab should keep communication clear and speedy, and should have reasonable return rates on orders. Transparency about hiccups in production or communication is key.</li>
They balance quality and cost.
You should get what you pay for. Newer labs are generally less expensive, but also can afford less cutting-edge equipment and usually have lower quality as a result. Established and/or stable dental lab services can sometimes overcharge, draining your budget. Consider pricing and their quality track record, and choose a fairly priced but established lab.
If you are a dentist office looking for a dental lab, don't be afraid to ask or check their website for a summary of their technology and offerings to confirm that they're using up-to-date equipment that produces quality work. If possible, consult reviews of the lab or speak with other practices that have worked with the lab to get a feel for their business. Happy partnerships come from being informed professionals.