Equipment and ideas for the efficient lab practice

Catherine K

I cannot think of when I didn’t wish for another product in my dental Lab experience of many years. I would think, “If only I had this or that, my practice would be perfect, and I could be more productive.”I remember when my mentor told me he had bought an Anatomic Dental Lab Articulator

The next time I was at his office, he proudly showed me the machine and the films he had taken. As someone accustomed to the periapical cinema, I thought his movies were great. Next, he showed me how he would pay for the 5pc Carbide Dental Lab Burs Kit in just a little more than a year by merely dropping a dollar in a jar every time he took a film. 

He also gave me the online supply shop to call for my Lab Burs kit because I could not works without one. I called, and they were back-ordered. It took two weeks to get mine. As I recall, they only had two color choices in those days — beige and green.

I think we all may have a “wish list” for our lab works. The items probably depend on how long we’ve been in the way and how well we keep up with new advancements. Here is my list in the order I think you should consider them.

Due to the growing popularity of online shopping, there has been an explosion in the number of company’s variety of products, and the number is growing! While some are backed by sizeable dental supply companies such as Dental LaboratorioDentallabshop, and Patterson. Many other networks are from smaller companies with less financial resources or track records. 

There is nothing wrong with purchasing a system from a small company; the service and support are often excellent, and their products are on par with others out there. However, some companies have gone out of business in the past few years, and dentists should understand all of the risks in buying a lesser-known product. 

Another good sign of a company’s ability and willingness to support its products is the length of the warranty. While a few offer only one-year contracts, some vendors now offer five-year warranties. As a caveat, though, these warranties usually only cover manufacturer’s defects, not damage, and should be supplemented with the office’s equipment insurance policy.

Finally, Dental Lab technicians cannot ignore cost — it’s typically given as the main reason why some offices do not purchase a digital system. A basic single-sensor system starts at around $5,000 and can go as high as $14,000. Phosphor-plate systems run from about $10,000 to $20,000. Often overlooked, however, is the infrastructure needed to run these systems. 

Besides computers in the operatories, dentists need to consider a dedicated server, monitors, monitor mounts, wireless keyboards and mice, inkjet printers, backup devices — and the list goes on. Offices need to be aware of all the anticipated costs of “going digital,” keeping in mind that the sensors’ cost is usually less than the hardware required to run these systems.

By taking the time to review the different digital-radiography systems, dentists can avoid costly mistakes.

I hope this starts you on the path of creating your wish list for the products you need to make your office more fun to work in and more fun to visit.

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