Pathway's Tips to Successful Lab Communication

Pathway's Tips to Successful Lab Communication

As a leading provider of continuing dental education, we at The Pathway understand the importance of clear communication between dentists and dental labs. Successful cases require collaboration between the dentist, lab technician, and patient. Our goal is to empower dentists with knowledge and skills so patients get the outcomes they want. So here are our top 6 tips to successful lab communication:  

1. Set Clear Expectations with Patients Upfront

Managing patient expectations is crucial for satisfaction. Discuss limitations, challenges, and realities of their case openly. Show shade guides, photos, and models early. Document agreed upon details. This allows the lab to meet needs and prevents surprises down the line.  

2. Provide Detailed Information and Instructions

Supply all relevant patient information - age, gender, photos, models, medical and dental history. Note specifics of what you want like tooth shape and length, occlusal schemes, midlines, shade, and design. Mark areas of interest on impressions. The more detail the better for ideal outcomes. Also inform the lab of any oral appliances, implants, or other intraoral fixtures.

3. Send Quality Impressions and Bites

Impressions and bites form the foundation for dentures, so they must capture anatomy accurately without distortion. Use appropriate custom trays and materials for each case. Articulate models correctly in the desired vertical dimension. Any deficiencies get amplified as the lab works. Double check for full capture of tissues.

4. Maintain Clear Communication Channels

Provide lab contacts and encourage open dialogue about cases. Swiftly convey any changes to original treatment plan or requests. Build rapport through appreciation, respect, and constructive feedback. Streamline inquiries through consistent staff contacts on both sides.  

5. Utilize Technology for Information Sharing

Digital photography and radiographs allow you to share key visual case details easily. Upload intraoral images to show tooth positions, arches, occlusion, and more. Emailing photos prevents information loss from impressions and models alone. Use practice management software to send digital lab rx.  

6. Provide Clear Instructions for each Appointment

For each patient visit, send concise details on what you need for that step. Custom trays? Wax setup? Try-in? Final denture? Outline expectations, goals, due dates and desired changes. Remind the lab of previous requests that still apply. This prevents errors and inefficiencies.  

At The Pathway, we specialize in complete denture courses featuring intense hands-on instruction for placing quality impressions, recording accurate bites, communicating with labs effectively, and delivering properly fitted dentures. Join us and gain confidence in providing excellent complete and implant-retained dentures. Contact us today to learn more!

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