Recently the National Association of Dental Laboratories conducted a survey which found that “nearly 50% of restorative doctors rely on their laboratory to educate and train them about new restorative materials” An interesting question here would be, of the just over 50% of Dentists who do not rely on their dental laboratory to educate and train them, why not? Here are 3 things to consider before deciding on a restorative material without your dental lab’s input.
1) Material manufacturers use dental labs to Beta test new materials.
Material manufacturers often rely on Dental Technologists to look at new materials and test them for function and application. Before trying a new material have a conversation with your dental lab. They will most likely be able to advise you on the material and application based on their experience as a whole.
2) It can help you reduce your number of remakes.
Misapplication of the ‘latest’ material over time takes its toll on everyone. Dental labs are now taking a proactive role in understanding the material science, application and processing requirements of materials. In addition, they have begun advising dentist clients who include them in the case treatment planning, on the use of a specific material for a restoration in the oral environment. This same approach, if applied to all materials and regardless of their popularity, will help ensure a long term and successful restoration.
3) The Dental Lab’s extensive knowledge & use of emerging dental technologies.
The trend at this time with digital dentistry is for the clinical staff to take over the role of the technician with in-house milling and correction. While the machines are good, and many of the assistants are trained well by the manufacturer to use these products, they are not always the total answer. They are limited in the type of restoration they manufacturer and the materials used. The libraries used to design these restorations are not always the best in terms of function and occlusion. The laboratory technologist is trained in more than single tooth replacement dentistry and understands the value and necessity of the principles of occlusion and their application.