In the last month, I have had many Dental Practice's ring our 'Dental Laboratory' and enquiry about our services. The question I always ask is “Why have you left your current laboratory”? No answer is the same, apart from one “The lab I was using has closed down”.
Dental Laboratories in the UK are in competition with each other to manufacture dental appliances quicker, cheaper and better with various influences in oversea dental labs entering the competition via outsourcing. In any business, in order to facilitate 'Quicker' and 'Cheaper' goals, there is numerous strategies most laboratories will employ to achieve this. Some of them are:
- Use cheaper materials
- Employ less skilled staff
- Increase production on skilled staff
- Decrease quality control, standards and communication
- Reduce steps in manufacturing
- Outsource all laboratory work
'Quicker and Cheaper' can cost more in the clinical time spent and less profits with repeat appointments, remakes and less time for new patients.
Turn around times and laboratory fees is something all laboratories can accommodate but 'Quality' is always more difficult to measure.
'Quality' Laboratory work is not only set via the 'Dental Lab', it's very dependent on the standards set by the Dentist, as one Dentist definition of 'Quality' will vary from another Dentist perception of 'Quality'.
To a measure laboratory work 'Quality', a Dentist should evaluate based on the following questions:
- Am I satisfied with the final results?
- Are my patients satisfied with the final results?
- Is my profit margin acceptable?
- Are my patients willing to pay more for a 'Better' result?
If it's a “No” to questions 1-3 and a “Yes” to question 4, then this is an indication that a 'Dental Laboratory' producing quality work will be needed.
In this case, Dentist's should first seek help in upgrading case acceptance skills. This will enable them to work with more a higher quality 'Dental Laboratory' in order to satisfy the Dentist, patient and the business.
In any form of business, 'High quality' and 'Low prices' rub against each other to create friction, it's very rare for both to be consistently achieved, the question is “What's the right recipe for you?”
Contact Bremadent Dental Laboratory on 0208 520 8528 to discuss a case or ask questions via firstname.lastname@example.org