Published: Jun 08, 2015 | By: Richard Caven
Contrary to what many dental patients may believe, crowns, bridges, dentures, orthodontics - and more - aren't created in the dental office itself. No, these appliances are normally outsourced to a dental lab where they're fabricated over the course of several days or weeks and then returned to the dentist's office so they can be administered to the patient.
However, it's important to note that not all dentist labs are created equal. In fact, there can be a vast difference in the quality between labs. Some labs, for instance, might cut corners by incorporating potentially harmful tin, aluminum or lead into their fabricated appliances. Some dentists may also opt to help out their bottom lines by outsourcing the fabrication of dental appliances to foreign labs, such as those in China or Mexico. Needless to say, but this isn't ideal - and that's why it's important to know what labs your dentist is using.
As we noted in the opening, if your local dentist is using a cut-rate or foreign lab, you may not only be getting a poor end product, but also a product that's unsafe. So just how do you know whether a dental lab is a good one or not? Here's a look:
FDA-approved: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, approves medical devices for safe use. Hence, a good dental lab is one where all of its end products are U.S.-made and FDA-approved, noting that dental appliances are absent of unsafe materials like lead, aluminum and tin.
Warranties: Good labs also stand behind their work. This is realized by offering warranties on the products that they produce.
Fast turnaround: Perhaps one of the greatest assets of a dental lab is that of a prompt turnaround. Not only does this satisfy the customer that their issue is able to be corrected or treated in a timely manner, but it also satisfies the dentist. What's more is that faster turnaround times can also be a sign that a dental office is using the latest technologies and innovations to fabricate their products.
There are no secrets: Arguably, the lab a dentist uses is just as important as the dentist themselves. So in the event that your dentist is outsourcing to a credible and reputable lab, they'll be more than happy to talk to you about it and sing the lab's praises, so to speak. If a dentist isn't open and honest about the labs they use, it may signal a problem.
Just as all labs aren't the same, all dentists aren't the same either. Here at Caven Dental, however, we're happy to share information on the labs that we use with all of our patients. That's because we take our partnerships very seriously, and work hard to ensure that we're only working with the best. Sometimes, to be the best, you have to work with the best.
For more information on the difference between a good dental lab and a poor one, or to schedule a cleaning or appointment, contact our offices today.
"This was the first time that I received simple and clear explanations of what was going on and they let me make decisions on my options. State of the art equipment, customer oriented environment, and EXCELLENT value on their services."- Sewii L., SEPT 2014
"Who would have thought that getting a crown could be so easy?? Dr. Caven's in-office machine created my crown while I waited, which meant no need for a second appointment--something that I greatly appreciated! The office staff is kind, calm, efficient and accommodating--just like Dr. Caven himself."- Chace B., JUL 2014
"Dr. Caven is definitely not your average dentist; not by a LONG shot."- Anon, APR 2014