Dental prostheses are like bespoke pieces of art that require skilled technicians to execute well. And so it follows that when dentists search for a laboratory to create their ceramic restorations, the first thing they need to look for is a supplier that can boast of adept and experienced craftsmen.
Dentists should keep in mind, however, that using a skilled worker only makes up half of the equation. Like commissioning a bespoke piece from an artisan, a satisfactory end product is also largely dependent on the amount of instruction the maker is given.
A client wouldn’t approach a jeweller and simply say, “I’d like you to make me a gentleman’s ring, and I’d like it to be gold.” In order for the client to receive a product that is faithful to what they had in mind, they would supply more information, such as the shade of gold they’d like, how heavily decorated the piece should be, and so forth.
In the same way, dentists cannot expect to receive an ideal prosthetic if all they extend to the dental lab by way of instruction is what kind of prosthetic they require, and what shade it needs to come in.
While it’s true that the technician also picks up a wealth of information from the impression that the dentist sends, not everything can be determined from the model derived from the initial cast. If for example the dentist would like a tooth brought in, or a certain translucency is required to match neighbouring teeth, then all this needs to be made known.
On the flip side, a good technician will also keep the dentist and the patient in mind at all times when creating ceramic prostheses. Whether the technician works in a small laboratory and handles every step of the restoration himself, or labours in a bigger outfit as part of a team whose members concentrate on specific stages of production, the end goal is always to create a dental prosthetic that is satisfactory for both the practitioner and the patient.
One of the main differences between a small and large dental lab is turn-around time – in the teamwork style of production, time-consuming step-by-step processes can be executed simultaneously, bringing about a more efficient process. If the team works well together, this system can function beautifully. The core team of technicians at Sparkle Dental Labs, for example, have been running solidly together for more than a year and have reached a kind of symbiosis with each others’ working styles, leading to excellent ceramic restorations with quick turn-around times.
But whether a dentist chooses to work with a small or large laboratory, the concept remains the same: with the combination of a skilled craftsman and detailed instruction, the creation of excellent dental prostheses can be expected.