Putting patient’s expectations aside, let’s talk about Doctor/Lab expectations.
- Doctors expect that the crown, bridge, denture, partial, etc will drop right in the mouth when they get it back from the lab.
- Doctors expect that if a case needs to be remade they should not be charged.
- Doctors expect that the lab will accept all responsibility when a case goes wrong.
- Labs expect that they will get an accurate impression (clear margins, correct bite, all necessary landmarks and areas needed for proper fabrication of the denture/partial).
- Labs expect doctors will take advice or suggestions from the lab when necessary to do the case correctly. (such as a new impression, new bite registration, try-in etc)
- Labs expect doctors will accept at least some of the responsibility when a case goes wrong, and be willing to accept some financial responsibility for the remake.
Let’s face it, no one is perfect. All restorations are custom made and require a lot of human touch. That means there are a lot of places where things may not go as easily as planned or hoped. Pretty much everything starts with the impression. If the impression is not accurate, then nothing from that point on will be accurate.
Doctors should really take a good hard look at the impression they are sending to the lab, to make sure everything the lab needs is there. If they are satisfied with the impression, then they should be satisfied with at least the fit of the restoration. Aesthetics are subjective. Labs can only make something fit to the model that was made from the impression the doctor sent. If it fits the model, it should fit the mouth. If not, there was a problem with the impression.
While it is true that most technicians did not go to dental school, we have gone to the school of “we know what works”. We work with the materials we use to make the restorations every day and have come across most situations and know when a material is not suitable for certain applications. We see when we’ve tried to give the doctors what they request and they fail. We learn from them and try to avoid and inform.
Doctors should expect the lab to let them know when more information is required (such as a new impression, bite instructions, etc).
Labs should expect the doctors to be willing to take their suggestions or requests seriously and not as an insult to their ability.
Communication without egos is the best way for everyone (including the patient) to get what they expect.
Here is an example of some the impressions/models we receive from some of our doctors that we would require more information for: