Collaboration Between Clinics and Dental Labs

By | December 16, 2017

dental clinics and labs collaboration
Everyone who’s a dentist or a dental technician knows that communication between both is something that should be enhanced through the years, and it helps a lot when both become friendly.

A great effort is being made by companies to develop tools that facilitates this communication, like digital shade from Vita Shade™, Smile lite MDP™ and all digital dentistry. This tolls represent a big development of the state of art of dentistry, and it helps democratize the oral rehabilitation, but still all dentists desire to have a dental technician by his side to help him during phase’s decision of prosthetic works.

Some studies was conducted to evaluate communication between dental technicians and dentists. All 3 conclude that, communication is insufficient and some improvement is needed to get better results (1, 2, 3).

According to https://www.marketresearchfuture.com/reports/dental-cad-cam-market-1410, dental CAD/CAM global market will reach $3.3 billion in 2027, with an annual 8% increased. Also GIA states that the global market for dental laboratories will reach $14.5 billion meaning that 1/5 of the total revenue of dental labs is spend on digital. Being dental prosthesis a medical device, at least in the more developed countries, protocols should be made to ensure that there are no case switched, and all the communication between the stakeholders become registered.

There are in the market some software’s that facilitates communication and, some of them even are collaborative platforms where dental technicians and dentists. At least 3 of them, Labstar, Dentlabsoft and Labtrac, allows case tracking, file transfer and register messages between the clinics and the dental labs. Most of the people look at this software’s as management software, but from my point of view, communication protocols should be determine, by national authorities, what documents must have during the manufacturing of dental prosthesis, and to be obliged of getting this registers for at least a period of time. Not only this platforms can turn dental prosthesis a safer process, but it can enhance communication, and even for the dental labs, be a powerful tool to engage doctors and help managing a dental lab.

1. Huda TulbahEman AlHamdanAmal AlQahtaniAsma AlShahrani, and Mona AlShaye; Quality of communication between dentists and dental laboratory technicians for fixed prosthodontics in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Saudi Dent J. 2017 Jul; 29(3): 111–116.

2. Afsharzand ZRashedi BPetropoulos VC; Communication between the dental laboratory technician and dentist: work authorization for fixed partial dentures; J Prosthodont. 2006 Mar-Apr;15(2):123-8.

3. Hagiwara YNarita TShioda YIwasaki KIkeda TNamaki SSalinas TJ; Current status of implant prosthetics in Japan: a survey among certified dental lab technicians; Int J Implant Dent. 2015 Dec;1(1):4

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