Dos and don'ts for practice production: The lab connection

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Develop strong practice/lab relationships

A strong practice/laboratory relationship allows you to provide optimal quality of care combined with exceptional customer service and decreased overhead. Take the time to develop a strong relationship with dental labs.


Communicate effectively with the lab. Be very specific about what you want on every case request. Give detailed written instructions and follow up with the lab to make sure those instructions are understood. Provide x-rays or digital images that enhance your written instructions. This way you ensure a quality product from the lab and for your patient. Talk to your lab representative or the lab owner every four to six months to make sure your practice and the dental lab are on the same page.


Don't settle for just any lab. Can a lab consistently deliver quality work in the required time? Does the lab have standard timelines for each service? Is it able to meet those deadlines? Before deciding to use a laboratory, ask for referrals from dentists in your geographic area. If the lab is located in another part of the country, will distance affect turnaround time? These are questions you must ask.

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