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    What dentists want labs to know

    How you can make the dental-lab relationship better than ever—and find business success along the way.

    When you think about it, the process of creating a restoration is sort of a miracle. The fact that a piece of human anatomy can be replicated quickly and at reasonable expense is nothing short of astounding.

    But when you add new technology and materials—like CAD/CAM and monolithics—producing better, faster, cheaper restorations becomes even more impressive.

    It’s not really a miracle, though. It’s hard work between the clinician and the laboratory. To optimize the endeavors of both parties, they must be able to work together smoothly.

    What Your Doctors Want You To Know

    Doctors say the same thing as lab owners when it comes to having a fruitful relationship—they want effective communication.

    “Labs should be partners,” says Sheri B. Doniger, DDS, president of the American Association of Women Dentists. “They should expect definite communication regarding cases.”

    “What I’m looking for in a lab is a partner,” says Dr. John Flucke, DDS, technology editor for Dental Products Report. “I’m a firm believer in relationships. What I want is a lab that knows what it’s doing, has good employees and then I can count on it to do the right thing and to help me.”

    From DPR: What doctors need to know about their labs

    Staying on top of your working relationship is very important. You can learn what’s working and what needs to be worked on.

    “The number one thing on the lab side would be to reach out,” says Dr. Bob Mongrain, DMD, at Berkshire Dental Group in Broken Arrow, Okla. “If you’re not hearing anything and the cases keep coming, reach out anyway. Be proactive in talking to the doctor.”

    “I would almost imagine that an average dentist is going to change labs probably between five and 20 times in his or her career,” says Dr. John Comisi, DDS, president and CEO of Dental Care With a Difference in Ithica, N.Y. “That happens for many different reasons; number one, of course, communication, is certainly a challenge. Sometimes what is communicated from the doctor to the lab and/or from the lab to the doctor can be paramount to a successful, long-term relationship.”

    Next page: Specific needs of communication with your clients ...

    Robert Elsenpeter
    Robert Elsenpeter is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Dental Products Report and Digital Esthetics. He is also the author ...

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