No one wants to deal with dental lab remakes … not you, not the dental lab, and certainly not your patient.
An NCBI survey shows that nearly one-fifth of dentists reported having a remake rate of more than 4%. While that number may seem low, every mistake made becomes a costly one.
The first step in avoiding dental lab remakes is to use a quality laboratory. Many labs that offer lower initial production costs have higher remake rates. Sure, you’ll save money initially, but it may be even more expensive in the long run.
By working with qualified technicians in an established lab, you develop relationships in which preferences and expectations on both sides are clearly understood.
This minimizes the amount of time and money lost on adjustments and remakes.
Let’s break it all down.
Communication with your lab
Communication is more than just scribbling out a few words on the lab slip or checking the boxes on your computer screen.
For every case you send to the dental lab, you’ll need to clearly articulate your information and expectations. The more information exchanged, the more confident you will be in the desired outcome.
Additionally, you’ll need to be honest and direct with your expected timeline. The occasional rush is acceptable, but should not be the norm.
Not only will rushing a dental lab result in unneeded stress for both parties, it often leads to mistakes being made.
Avoiding lab remakes
First, be sure to take a good dental impression.
Whether you are a dentist, dental assistant, hygienist, or patient, one common thread emerges: Taking dental impressions is not enjoyable.
Since most practices have not gone fully digital yet, the process is often messy and uncomfortable.
There are however, a few things you can do to make this easier for you and the patient.
Simple steps like choosing the right tray, controlling gag reflexes, paying attention to margins, following directions, preventing voids, and methodically conducting the procedure will help to ensure an incredible dental impression every time.
Additionally, tissue and fluid management techniques such as packing the cord correctly, will clearly reveal the margins and verify that all details are captured.
These steps go a long way in ensuring the accuracy of the final dental impression.
The importance of the lab script
It is easy to get caught up in the daily activities of a hectic dental practice.
Dentists complete lab scripts all day long. While it can seem like a mundane task, remember that seemingly minor details must be accurate. Even basic information, like your address and phone number, can sometimes be left off or entered incorrectly.
Always use the “Additional Instructions” section of your script to give your lab more information. Remember, there is no such thing as too much information.
The more details you can provide, the less likely the need for follow-up phone calls.
Dentists are often incredibly busy and pressed for time. As a result, it’s only natural to avoid spending extra time on a lab script.
However, if your lab needs to call for clarification on your instructions, it only serves to delay the case and take up even more of your valuable workday.
Provide proper visual documentation
Photos are a great tool, and yet they remain highly underutilized.
You can invest in a high-quality camera that delivers high resolution images. Additionally, today’s smartphones are able to provide the necessary today.
Make sure the areas you want to highlight are in clear focus and any shade tabs you want to match can be seen clearly. Also, ensure that the color is accurately represented in the photo. Not only will it give a more accurate image, your patients will appreciate the pictures, too.
Without including all the records needed (including photos) to correctly fabricate the implant, it will be much more difficult for the technician to deliver a quality product.
The consequences of lab remakes are reflected in several ways, depending on where the information breakdown occurs.
More often than not, the issue stems from a lack of communication on the expectations, the deliverable, the lab script, etc.
Remember, your dental lab is an extension of your team. Communication is essential, so don’t be afraid to engage in a dialogue.
We take the time to get it right
At First Choice Dental Lab, we take the time to clarify and avoid remakes.
If something is unclear on the lab slip, we will stop and give you a call. We take pride in connecting with clients and getting it right the first time.
We’re here to help you give your patients a reason to smile!
Ready to give us a try? Request a lab slip by completing the form, or contact us at 866-791-7025.