Changes happening at Sparkle Posted on January 11, 2014

Sparkle Dental Labs is a full-service facility that prides itself on British craftsmanship, excellent service and great partnerships with dentists.
In their persistent efforts to be the biggest and best, Sparkle continue to make changes to their service that can improve the way they fulfil all their clients’ needs.
New clear boxes for protection and infection control
Among recent customer care initiatives is the distribution of a new info pack that will be reaching everyone in their client base soon.
Together with updates on their products and services, the info pack will also provide dentists with new clear boxes that will serve to protect all items and products that are shipped between the lab and their customers.
Sparkle Dental Labs believes that this new method of transportation is a better way of ensuring product preservation and cross-infection control for everyone involved in the manufacturing process.
And Sparkle Dental Labs continues their commitment to green operations by making sure that these boxes are fully recyclable and environment friendly.
Sparkle Dental Labs reaches Scotland
Sparkle Dental Labs have also recently extended their scope of service to include dentists in Scotland who are looking for high-quality British workmanship at very competitive prices.
Dentists in Scotland will also receive personal attention from dedicated Sparkle representatives based in the area, to ensure that communications with the lab in Leeds are as smooth and stress-free as possible for practitioners.
Sparkle representative Kay Thompson, who is heading the launch of Sparkle Dental Labs’ Scottish service, says:
“Any problems with the service, any questions with the order, the dentists can call their dedicated Sparkle representative instead of having to spend time chasing up the lab themselves. Their rep is dedicated to making sure that all their concerns reach the technicians in a timely manner.”
“And of course,” Kay adds, “if dentists want to speak with the technicians themselves, they are always available, and this call is also something the rep can gladly facilitate.”
With the dependable delivery of Sparkle Dental Labs’ courier partner FedEx, practitioners in Scotland can also enjoy the same fast turn around times as the rest of their clients all over the UK.
Additional services such as these help ensure the satisfaction of all of Sparkle Dental Labs’ clients. And dentists can expect continued innovation from the laboratory, because service is the core of their business.  They always strive to make sure that every dentist who uses them gets the best in all aspects – in product, workmanship, partnership and customer care.

Changes happening at Sparkle Posted on January 11, 2014

Sparkle Dental Labs is a full-service facility that prides itself on British craftsmanship, excellent service and great partnerships with dentists.
In their persistent efforts to be the biggest and best, Sparkle continue to make changes to their service that can improve the way they fulfil all their clients’ needs.
New clear boxes for protection and infection control
Among recent customer care initiatives is the distribution of a new info pack that will be reaching everyone in their client base soon.
Together with updates on their products and services, the info pack will also provide dentists with new clear boxes that will serve to protect all items and products that are shipped between the lab and their customers.
Sparkle Dental Labs believes that this new method of transportation is a better way of ensuring product preservation and cross-infection control for everyone involved in the manufacturing process.
And Sparkle Dental Labs continues their commitment to green operations by making sure that these boxes are fully recyclable and environment friendly.
Sparkle Dental Labs reaches Scotland
Sparkle Dental Labs have also recently extended their scope of service to include dentists in Scotland who are looking for high-quality British workmanship at very competitive prices.
Dentists in Scotland will also receive personal attention from dedicated Sparkle representatives based in the area, to ensure that communications with the lab in Leeds are as smooth and stress-free as possible for practitioners.
Sparkle representative Kay Thompson, who is heading the launch of Sparkle Dental Labs’ Scottish service, says:
“Any problems with the service, any questions with the order, the dentists can call their dedicated Sparkle representative instead of having to spend time chasing up the lab themselves. Their rep is dedicated to making sure that all their concerns reach the technicians in a timely manner.”
“And of course,” Kay adds, “if dentists want to speak with the technicians themselves, they are always available, and this call is also something the rep can gladly facilitate.”
With the dependable delivery of Sparkle Dental Labs’ courier partner FedEx, practitioners in Scotland can also enjoy the same fast turn around times as the rest of their clients all over the UK.
Additional services such as these help ensure the satisfaction of all of Sparkle Dental Labs’ clients. And dentists can expect continued innovation from the laboratory, because service is the core of their business.  They always strive to make sure that every dentist who uses them gets the best in all aspects – in product, workmanship, partnership and customer care.

Sparkle Dental Labs brings the best of British to The Dentistry Show 2014 Posted on February 11, 2014

Sparkle Dental Labs will proudly display a wide array of high-quality product samples at their stand, K45, at The Dentistry Show 2014.
Sparkle Dental Labs takes pride in being a wholly British full-service laboratory that is committed to providing quality workmanship at extremely competitive prices.
Established since 2011 and with over 50 dental technicians in their team, their consistent excellence in products and services have already made Sparkle Dental Labs one of the biggest and best laboratories in the UK today, as proven by the “Best NHS Lab” recognition they recently received from the Laboratory Awards 2013

Apprenticeships in dentistry: calls for dental employers to join Trailblazers initiative Posted on March 6, 2014

As part of the Government’s strategy to improve the quality of Apprenticeships, the Department for Business Innovation & Skills has launched the Trailblazers programme – a series of employer-led projects designed to simplify the existing system and give people the skills employers need to grow and compete.
MP Matthew Hancock, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning says:
“National Apprenticeship Week is designed to celebrate Apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.
“We want to see Apprenticeships become the new norm for all ambitious young people, and employers who are dedicated to growing their own talent and increasing the skills base of the nation.
“I would like to thank everyone who has been involved this trailblazer for their commitment to Apprenticeships and Traineeships”
Delivery of the Trailblazers programme will follow a staged approach. The Government aims to continue to grow the programme in 2013/14 and 2014/15, with employers creating a range of new Apprenticeship standards and assessment approaches in different sectors and occupations.
The two academic years 2015/16 and 2016/17 will be the key period of transition to full implementation of the reforms. The stated aim is that from 2017/18, all new Apprenticeship starts will be on the new standards.
The Trailblazers group in dentistry is a working group that includes the Association of Dental Groups, Dental Laboratories Association, Dental Technologists Association, and King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. It also includes dental employers: 211 Dental, Den Dental, Genix Healthcare, Integrated Dental Holdings (IDH), Oasis Healthcare, Rodericks Dental and Smile Care Group. Furthermore, it includes the dental laboratories: Attenborough Dental Laboratories Ltd, Barry Appleby, CosTech Elite, First Impressions Denture Centre, JW Dental Ceramics, Kestrel Dental, Knight Dental Design, S4S Dental Laboratory and Sparkle Dental Labs.
Chair for the Trailblazers programme in dentistry is Mustafa Mohammed Managing Director of Genix Healthcare and Sparkle Dental Labs. He says
“I am really very excited to be involved with the Trailblazers initiative, and encourage other likeminded individuals to join us in leading the development of standards for Apprenticeships in our sector.
 “I am extremely passionate about developing Apprenticeships for both dental nurses and technicians, as I believe this would really help to encourage careers within the dental industry within the UK, while also working to raise standards.
“In terms of the nurse Apprenticeship the idea would be for us to put our heads together as representatives of the sector and look at how we feel improvements could be made to existing schemes that are in place.
“The dental technician Apprenticeship will really help the dental sector in this country, as it will mean more jobs for dental technicians, stopping the recent decline. Once trained the new technicians will be able to follow a structured career path, and perhaps focus their skills on a particular department, thus shaping their own future within the profession.”
David Worskett, Chairman of the Association of Dental Groups (ADG), says:
“I believe we really need to make much more use of the Apprenticeship route for training in dentistry, as with other sectors of the economy. The ADG is absolutely delighted to support the initiative in the dental sector as we think it can be good for dental professionals and for patients.”
Professor Stephen Dunne, Head of the Dental Practice & Policy Department at King’s College London, says:  
“I am delighted to be involved in this exciting initiative. Apprenticeships could play a major role in the training and career development of dental nurses and dental technicians.”
Richard Daniels, Chief Executive of the Dental Laboratories Association says:
“The Dental Laboratories Association is delighted to be a part of the Trailblazers initiative for setting up an apprenticeship in Dental Technology.  As an organisation, we have committed significant resources into this project with Skills for Health, so to see the Trailblazers group bring together associations and dental laboratories from across the UK is a fantastic step in the right direction.  Whilst Dental Technology has some excellent providers of education, there is still room for a work based apprenticeship to allow those who prefer the vocational route into a career as a professional dental technician.”
Barry Appleby, President of the Dental Technologists Association, says:
“I’m delighted that the Dental Technologists Association will be part of the Trailblazer apprenticeship initiative and we look forward to working towards the creation of training pathways that will aid the development of dental technologists with the skills and abilities necessary to meet the needs of Dental Laboratories of the 21st century.” To find out more about the Trailblazers programme, and how your company could get involved, contact Mustafa Mohammed via mustafa@genixhealthcare.com.

Mustafa Mohammed goes to Number 10 to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week Posted on March 14, 2014

Mustafa Mohammed was recently invited to attend 10 Downing Street as part of the National Apprenticeship Week celebrations.

Mustafa is a well-known figure in dentistry, and is Managing Director of Genix Healthcare and Owner of Sparkle Dental Labs. He is also Chair for the Trailblazers programme in dental health, and has been a key figure in helping to promote apprenticeships in dentistry. As part of his role, Mustafa heads up a group of national associations, employers and educational institutions working to improve the quality of apprenticeships to give apprentices the skills and training they need to help their employers grow and compete.
As testament to Mustafa’s work promoting apprenticeships, he was invited to 10 Downing Street for a reception to mark National Apprenticeship Week. Mustafa attended the event alongside apprentice dental nurse Courtney Morgan-Jones, where they met Chancellor George Osborne MP and Mustafa was congratulated on his on-going commitment to apprenticeships and promoting British jobs.
Mustafa Mohammad said: “It really was a great honour to be invited to 10 Downing Street to such a prestigious event. I have always been passionate about apprenticeships in dentistry, and as such I am proud to be associated with the Trailblazers programme. I believe apprenticeships can be an excellent way to give young people the skills and experience they need to build a successful career within the profession.”
Meanwhile, apprentice Courtney Morgan-Jones said: “I had a sort of nervous and excited feeling beforehand, but it was a great experience – fantastic. And the paintings were fabulous!” Courtney was also eager to sing the praises of the apprenticeship scheme: “I’d definitely recommend it to other young people. It’s given me a great start in the career I want to do.”

Dentist Helen Barnes, who has been training Courtney, agrees. She said: “With the apprenticeship scheme, everybody wins. Courtney is brilliant and is actually one of the best dental nurses I have ever trained. She’s only 17 but she has a fantastic work ethic and takes everything on board. I’d urge other businesses to take on an apprentice – it allows you to train someone from scratch and it gives young people who may not want to stay in academics another choice, where they learn by actually doing the job. Courtney is going to be a very great asset to the practice.”
To find out more about the Trailblazers programme in dentistry, and how your company could get involved, contact Mustafa Mohammed: mustafa@genixhealthcare.com.

Build a successful future with your dental laboratory Posted on May 13, 2014

Build a successful future with your dental laboratory
By Elaine Fediuk Bastin, Head of the Orthodontic Department at Sparkle Dental Labs

As we all know, the provision of quality dental care can only be successfully delivered through working as part of a skilled and dedicated team of professionals, and an effective dental laboratory is an essential part of any successful unit.
As such, thorough research should be completed when choosing which lab you will work with, as getting the choice wrong can have far-reaching consequences. This is particularly true for GDPs or Specialists in the field of orthodontics, as such appliances are crafted to very exact specifications.
A competent dental lab will possess a number of intrinsic qualities; all of which are necessary to ensure an effective relationship can be achieved and maintained, ultimately enabling the creation of consistently high quality products and the provision of effective patient care.
What to look for
The most important element to look for in a new potential lab partner, is the qualification of its employees. It is of course essential for technicians to have undergone the appropriate training and to demonstrate the skill necessary to produce orthodontic products of a high standard. Evidence of on-going training and qualifications is beneficial also to ascertain that the laboratory is completely up-to-date with the technical industry.
The materials used by the lab are possibly as important as the technicians’ qualifications. After all, just with sufficient knowledge and the best materials available on the market, you are likely to end up with a good final product.
Of course, no amount of external investigation will be enough to properly evaluate the quality and standard of a dental lab without visiting in person. You will be able to witness the company in operation and check that its protocols, with regards to infection control and quality assurance for example, align with those of your practice. By familiarising yourself with the lab’s routines and how it works, you will gain a better idea of turnaround times and how these would fit in with your practice’s scheduling.
These visits are also a great way to become acquainted with the lead technician in an informal setting, and you will have the opportunity to get to know their core values and their personality. Where it may be impractical to visit the lab in person due do locations, it would be advisable to schedule a telephone or Skype conversation instead. While geographical distance is not a huge problem thanks to modern technologies, selecting a UK-based laboratory, such as Sparkle Dental Labs, is still preferable in order to avoid the greater number of variables and therefore risks associated with outsourcing work overseas.
Closer proximity to the lab also encourages easier communications, which will become integral to the success of your relationship. The specifications you send to your laboratory will be personal to you – every dentist works in a slightly different way and it is essential that the technicians you work with understand what you want. More technical discussions regarding this can take place at a later date once you have decided that the two businesses are compatible.
Maintaining the relationship
As with any business venture, commencing with a short trial period will offer you the chance to assess if the partnership is mutually beneficial. Sending only one or two jobs at first will ensure that the work returned meets your standards and that your instructions are adequately understood. It’s also good practice to call the lab following the first order to offer more in-depth explanation where necessary.
Moving forward, the relationship between practice and lab goes much deeper than a simple business arrangement. Effective communication remains at the heart of its success and interaction should go beyond just the standard form filling. For example, I provide my clients with a personal mobile number so that they can reach me at any time. One significant benefit to this is that the dentist can send me photographs of complicated cases by text message, even when still chairside with the patient, and ask for my opinion. This in turn helps me because I know in advance what the dentist wants before the impression has even arrived, enabling the dentist and I to plan ahead and so ensure that we always meet the patient’s expectations.
A bright future
Looking to the future, I think that the lab technician’s workload will become almost entirely digitalised over the next few years. We currently experience quite a few problems with the quality of the impressions sent through to us, and although we’re always more than happy to offer feedback to help improve them, I believe a change in the way we communicate with address this. I foresee dentists sending the intraoral scan directly to the lab in the not too distant future, so that we have all the information we need to create more accurate orthodontic appliances at lower costs to the dentist. These are truly very exciting times in dentistry and I for one am really looking forward to the next few years.

Protecting the future of Britain’s dental labs Posted on May 16, 2014

Some businesses are apprehensive about the idea of taking on a newly qualified technician due to misconceptions about the quality of work that will be produced, and question the motivation of the individual. Sparkle Dental Labs, known for its high-quality, British-made restorations wants to dispel the myths that surround such schemes, and assure the profession that the young people it employs are not only highly dedicated, enthusiastic and motivated individuals, but are also closely mentored, supported and trained before being permitted to work on difficult cases. It is this focus on high quality and comprehensive training that Sparkle Dental Labs will carry forward into the future.
Support young talent
The British dental lab industry is struggling. Currently, between 500 and 800 dental technicians leave the profession every year, and there are only 6,000 registered with the GDC. This is an extremely low figure, especially considering that only a decade ago the number was closer to 12,000. Britain is gradually losing a highly skilled workforce and as a result, more and more work has had to be outsourced overseas, which is less than ideal.
Sparkle Dental Labs is known for its dedication to giving newly qualified dental technicians top quality support and training. The lab was opened in 2012 with the aim of regenerating the British dental lab industry, reversing the trend of outsourcing and supporting the future of the industry through the careful selection and thorough training of newly qualified dental technicians. The company ensures that new technicians do not work on complicated cases until they’ve had at least 18 months’ experience, as it appreciates that only after a new technician has had significant lab experience do they have the skills and expertise required to work on more complicated cases.
Sparkle Dental Labs also enjoys a very low staff turnover. This is beneficial in many ways, including the fact that newly qualified dental technicians enjoy consistency in their training. A low staff turnover also means that strong, long-term relationships are easily forged with the dentists they work with.
The lab’s selection of new dental technicians rests on the applicant displaying a true dedication to their career, as well as enthusiasm. Those that are taken on are given valuable mentoring and instruction, learning from the team around them. The newly qualified dental technician shadows a senior technician and is trained up to a high standard of competence before they are allowed to work independently on cases.
Looking ahead
Sparkle Dental Labs’ vision is to make the British brand great, continuing its work as a leader of traceable British manufactured restorations and offering fast turnaround times, expert workmanship and competitive pricing. By employing newly qualified dental technicians and providing extensive training, mentoring and support, the company looks set to protect and nurture the future of the British dental lab industry.
Although dental lab technician apprenticeships were not available when Sparkle Dental Labs opened, the company is also keen to take on apprentices in the future and champions the idea of apprenticeships. Owner of Sparkle Dental Labs, trailblazing entrepreneur Mustafa Mohammed is dedicated to cultivating the next generation of highly skilled young technicians, who will not only be of great value and benefit to their lab – but to the UK economy as a whole, as well

Stay ahead with Sparkle Dental Labs Posted on June 14, 2014

Expectation and excitement is rising with advancements in dental software, diagnostics and imaging transforming all aspects of dentistry. Sparkle Dental Labs is committed to utilising state-of-the-art facilities to deliver top quality products with a quick and reliable service.
UK based, Sparkle Dental Labs continually researches and invests in the latest technology; and when combined with innovative materials and sophisticated techniques, these greatly improve workflow efficiency and patient satisfaction.
The laboratory team are fully trained, highly qualified and experienced, allowing Sparkle Dental Labs to consistently offer expert craftsmanship at a competitive price. Furthermore, the quality of work and all materials are guaranteed with full traceability, so you can have confidence in the service you receive.
Working with Sparkle Dental Labs can help set your practice apart by improving quality, productivity, workflow and all-round service to patients. Utilising the latest in technology, reproducibility, accuracy and precision of fit are superior, enabling you to provide an efficient, high quality service to individuals.
Allow your business to expand and stay ahead of the competition with Sparkle Dental Labs.

The new era of technology Posted on July 22, 2014

As an industry, dentistry is continuing to incorporate and adopt the latest in digital technology. Newly available equipment, materials and products are rising expectations and bringing exciting times for businesses. Top dental laboratories are increasingly employing cutting-edge innovative technology, which can ultimately improve productivity and create a faster, more efficient workflow. Reproducible and accuracy is enhanced, along with faster turn around times and increased product consistency. Overall patient satisfaction is significantly enhanced. Happier patients are more likely to return for replacement products, regular check-ups and possibly, non-essential treatments in the future, which could impact financially on practices.
These technological changes are however, proving problematic in the education process. Recent research has highlighted that dental schools are currently struggling with the adoption of emerging technologies and the integration of these technologies into the educational process. With the achievable accuracy of digital technology depending heavily on operator skills, additional system-specific training and experience is required for dental technicians.
Providing technicians with high quality training is essential to enable them to utilise the latest equipment maximally, to deliver excellent quality work and an invaluable service to practices. Industry-based research has been an important factor in developing new products and technologies and in promoting oral health. However, as the use of technology continues to increase, there is a need to facilitate the introduction of these developments at an early stage in the education process.
In the future, young people, businesses, the British dental industry and the UK economy may benefit from an innovative dental apprenticeship scheme, developed through the Government’s Trailblazers programme. Apprenticeships can offer young people the opportunity to learn on the job, building up essential knowledge and experience to enable them to become experts in their chosen field. Through high quality training and mentoring, businesses can create a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.
Sparkle Dental Labs, launched by Mustafa Mohammed in 2012, is one company looking to offer apprenticeships in the future, giving young people the chance to acquire new skills and qualifications. Based in the UK, the laboratory already provides newly qualified dental students with the opportunity to gain valuable experience and expertise through a highly successful training programme. Individuals are able to benefit from top quality support and instruction, learning to use state-of-the-art equipment and the most advanced technology and techniques. All work is produced to the highest standard, made of first-class materials and with full traceability. With dedicated teams for implants and orthodontics as well, practices can have confidence in the service received from Sparkle Dental Labs.
Digital technology is rapidly developing and becoming the standard production tool in top dental laboratories. By utilising the latest in equipment, along with well trained, highly skilled technicians, labs can provide faster turnaround times, consistently high quality products and excellent service. Practitioners are therefore encouraged to work with a state-of-the-art laboratory to improve productivity and offer a better experience for patients.

1 van Noort, R. (2012). The future of dental devices is digital. Dental Materials, 1, 3-12.
2 Stein, C. D., Eisenberg, E. S., O’Donnell, J. A., & Spallek, H. (2014). What dental educators need to understand about emerging technologies to incorporate them effectively into the educational process. Journal of Dental Education, 78, 520-529.
3 Schaefer, O., et al. (2014). Impact of digital impression techniques on the adaption of ceramic partial crown in vitro. Journal of Dentistry, 42, 677-683

Bright white smiles for patients with Sparkle Posted on December 22, 2014

Professional Tooth Whitening kits from Sparkle Dental Labs – everything you need to offer a successful whitening treatment.
Specially formulated in the UK, and packaged and delivered with your patients in mind, the professional tooth whitening kits provide clinically proven, effective and predictable results.
Offer your patients a choice of customised tooth whitening to match the required dentist recommendation, available in 6% HP, 16% CP or 10% CP.
The fantastic service from Sparkle Dental Labs includes free custom bleaching trays included in the kit*. What’s more you no longer need to hold reserves of whitening stock as this is all taken care of for you.
Order today and receive 15% off when you buy 5 kits or more!
For reliable tooth whitening products that your patient will love, and a service that is second to none, contact Sparkle Dental Labs today.

Sparkle Whitening
*Please allow 3 days for your custom