Closer Look: A Big Lab With a Small Lab Feel and Big Results

Dental Products Report, Dental Products Report November 2021, Volume 55, Issue 11

Keating Dental Lab provides, fast, great-looking cases of all types on a regular basis to this cosmetic dentist in California.

Working at a practice as a dental associate about 4 years ago gave Laleh Mehrrafiee, DDS, plenty of opportunities to work with Keating Dental Lab and to get an up-close look at just how good the lab’s services are, as well as witness the high quality restorations delivered on a consistent basis.

Fast forward a few years and the California dentist — who is in the process of opening a third practice — is working with Keating Dental Lab more than ever and is as happy as ever with the results.

“I was an associate in a practice that used Keating for just their cosmetic cases, and so, I actually convinced the practice owner to just use Keating for all of their services that they can provide,” she says. “Ever since that time I really liked the cases, obviously, and everything fit appropriately. It was easy to deal with, email, or send things back. If there was a case with high occlusion, Keating was always really good about. The cool thing about it for me, and it’s unique, is Keating is right down the street—literally 3 minutes from my practice.”

Because of this close proximity, Dr Mehrrafiee has built a strong relationship with the lab, has gotten to know the lab technicians well, and trusts that the end result for her cases will always be good for both the clinician and the patient. That said, clinicians not so lucky to be that close to the facility also receive top-notch service and results from Keating Dental Lab, a full-service lab in Irvine, California.

“My practice is more like a boutique practice. We’re not focused on a high volume of patients, but more so on high quality,” says the graduate of the University of Southern California, who owns Lux Dental Spa. “It’s a very esthetic cosmetic practice. I have a practice in Irvine, another in Encino, California, and then I’m also building my third practice in Beverly Hills.”

Dr Mehrrafiee knows there are plenty of good labs out there. She just appreciates the relationships she’s built with the lab techs at Keating, who will often work closely with her on veneers and other cosmetic cases.

“I personally take some of my cases and then I’ll sit down with the lab tech and we’ll go over everything that the patient wants and discuss what our vision is,” she says. “I really appreciate that aspect because labs, for the most part if you have good dental labs, they can produce good products. It’s that rapport and that relationship that I have with them, that allows me to kind of take that cosmetic esthetics to a next level by achieving exactly what my patients desire.”

An added benefit is that these impressive cases come back in a timely fashion, allowing Dr Mehrrafiee’s practices to deliver the goods to their patients more quickly.

“Their turnaround time is amazing. I get my cases back in 4 to 6 business days which is just crazy. I have colleagues that have patients in temporaries for 3 to 4 weeks. My patients are really not in temporaries more than a week or 8 days tops,” she says.

Digital Workflows
Dr Mehrrafiee uses digital scanners in her practices, where she has both the Align Technology iTero and the Dentsply Sirona Primescan. This digital workflow makes communicating and working with Keating Dental Lab a smooth process.

“Keating recognizes that so I can digitally scan and send everything to them digitally, and I feel like with these scans, it’s even more accurate than the previous impressions that you’d have to send to the lab,” she says.

She adds that the digital technology workflow eliminates the need to store models, but also provides a better flow for the patient, who no longer needs to use impression material and who now has shorter visits.

“I see a lot of my colleagues that do cosmetic dentistry and they have beautiful work but their work is the same in every patient’s mouth,” Dr Mehrrafiee states. “But for Keating, I feel like they keep it very unique to what each of my patients want. They follow that prescription very closely so that’s another thing I appreciate about them. You know the lab techs are very good about doing exactly what my vision is.”