Signs Your Dental Lab Is Failing
According to Lab Management Today, the dental industry has lost nearly 5,000 dental labs in the past 5 years. Imagine a day when you can’t find quality dental labs to produce those beautiful Porcelain Veneers your patients demand. Dentists may be in charge of preparing and creating impressions prior to cosmetic dental surgery. However, how well these procedures go depends highly on your dental lab and the quality of the finished dental restoration that it creates. If its offerings are far from perfection, your practice will be affected and you may be digging your own professional grave in the long run. Michael Hill, the owner of 6-11 Dental Studio commented that, “There is no question that the dental lab industry is going through dramatic and disruptive changes. With increases in technological innovations, it is not surprising that so many dental labs have closed in just the past few years. Dentists may have no idea how shaky the ground is on which their current dental lab sits.” So, you need to continually audit your dental lab to insure that they are functioning perfectly, make sure that they aren’t displaying the following three signs.
Sign #1) Lag in Delivery If you think that your dental lab is taking too much time to handle and deliver your cases, this is one sign you can’t afford to bear with for long. The longer the lab takes to get your required dentures or dental bridges, the less satisfied your patients will be. Some may even leave and head to your competitor because they offer quicker service. The fact is longer production times are often the result of limited production staff. The question you need to ask is why does your lab have limited staff? Have there been cuts lately? How will that affect the ultimate quality you receive? Who is going to be doing those porcelain veneers now?
Sign #2) Changes in Quality Consistency If you’re proud of the quality one day and embarrassed on the other, your lab isn’t running as smoothly as you had expected. You will have to investigate a little or else risk losing those patients who might end
up getting mediocre results. And one thing’s for sure, they won’t go quietly. They will give negative verbal and written reviews that will lead people away from you and your practice. So, you need to check into matters if your dental lab’s quality fluctuates. If you lab is local to you it might be a good idea to pop in unannounced just to see who is in the kitchen.
Sign #3) Communication Gap Communication is necessary to any practice, but it is imperative in every successful dentist/dental lab relationship. If you call up your dental lab and the technician doesn’t speak your language and you can’t get your ideas across effectively, you are definitely going to have a big problem on your hands. Even if you both speak the same language, misinterpreted lab slips and other miscommunication instances will not deliver the results you and your patients expected. Communication issues may be a clear sign that staff reductions or other cost cutting has stressed the lab to a point that proper follow up becomes in impossibility. California dental labs typically have employees from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. However, if you notice a sudden change in the communication practices of the lab it may be the case that your previous owner has sold or left the business altogether. Always demand excellent communication practices and immediately investigate noticeable changes in these practices.
Sign #4) Outsourcing Work Outsourcing is not necessarily an obvious sign that your dental labs are failing. Some very high quality labs have transitioned their businesses into important dental lab niches. These new specialty labs may be helping your lab save money and time without impacting their ability to provide you an excellent dental restoration. However, some labs use outsourcing as a possible solution to internal quality problems that they are unable to resolve with their current technical staff. The dentist is now left with essentially a middle-man. In an industry requiring such a high level of technical and artistic talent, middle-men can create a new set of quality and communication challenges. If you’ve noticed at least one of these signs, it may be the case that your dental lab is having a hard time competing in the new dental industry realities. Your practice may soon be in for major quality changes. Most doctors work with more than one dental lab. Mr. Hill, from 6-11 Dental Studio reported that of the 100+ clients his lab works with the average dentist uses at least 1 other dental lab for their crown and bridge work. “We understand that we cannot be everything to every dentist. A number of our clients only use us for their porcelain veneer work. We aren’t the lowest priced dental lab but we are competitive with most mid-range labs while providing top-tier quality. Every lab needs to define their value proposition and understand the niche they serve very well. I think dentists like to use different labs based on that labs specific value and expertise. It also offers some service protection for the dentist in the event that a lab finds in necessary to close their doors. At least they have a complimentary back up. I think we are that for a lot of dentists.”
The best time to prepare for disruptions to your practice is before they occur. Our best suggestion is to expand your current dental lab solutions with complimentary dental labs. Your labs might fair just fine through the turbulence occurring within the dental industry. However, it nice to be prepared just in case. For more information about Cosmetic Dental Lab, Cosmetic Dentist Los Angeles, Dental Implants, AACD, Dental Lab etc. Visit us at http://www.611dentalstudio.com/