People will experience the first time outsourcing their dental cases, either to a domestic dental lab, or to a Chinese lab. Yet, they often face confusions or problems. Now I am sharing some tips, so everybody could avoid making mistakes. It is a true story about a client from Netherlands. She finally decided to send us a few trial cases, after two weeks of communication online.

1. Offer tracking No. after sending dental cases out.

The client asked her assistant, Sarah, to send 10 dental cases to us via FedEx on 30th October (Tuesday). We could have received the parcel on 1st November (Thursday). However, she forgot to give us tracking number. Thankfully, she left me a text message about sending her dental work on my WhatsApp.

sending dental parcel

The client sent the dental parcel on 30th October, but she did not offer tracking number.

Once I read the message, I again asked for tracking number, but there was no response (probably because of Halloween).  The next morning, I got the tracking number, but it was too late. Our driver in Hong Kong had already delivered all the parcels to us in Shenzhen. It turned out that we finally received the parcel on 3rd November (Saturday).

It is important to send us tracking number right after the parcel goes out. Especially it is for the first time outsourcing. Otherwise, we could not arrange on-time pickup. Normally, the parcel will not stay in our Hong Kong office. Instead, our driver directly delivers it to us from the airport. That’s why we can provide fast turnaround.

2. Use lab sheet in English.

When we unpacked the parcel, we began to translate the prescriptions. In this way, our technicians could understand what to do with each case. Yet, the lab sheets were all in Dutch, so we had to take extra time to translate Dutch into Chinese in GOOGLE. It is true that some dutch words look similar to English words, but we just did not want to make mistakes, because we know it would cause trouble to our clients.

Please note that if fast turnaround is very much needed, please download our RX form or use a lab sheet in English. Usually, our lab requires that all cases be under production in 2 hours after we unpack parcels. In this case, the production can start quickly. Therefore, lab sheets in English could help us keep normal turnaround time.

3. Write detailed dental prescriptions

We soon found that we were missing a lot of important information with the prescriptions. In this case, we had to send text messages for more information. Unfortunately, it was during weekend. We did not have further instructions until the next Monday afternoon, even if we had technicians working 7 days.

dental descriptions with no enough information

The prescription on the left shows no type of material to use. The prescription in the middle only shows color and teeth, but no crown type. For the prescription on the right, the dentist wanted us to cast an abutment with a plastic, but she forgot to send us a plastic.

Please make sure that you write detailed prescriptions, especially during the first time sending dental work to us. Also, please make sure to include all the necessary accessories. If it is an implant case, you can just send impressions, bites and transfers, our lab can provide analogs, custom abutments and even attachments. 

4. Need good dental impressions.

After we had poured stone models, we found that some models were not good, because of bad impressions from dentists. Under this circumstance, we had to ask the client to take a new impression, and send it to us in next shipment.

bad models

The dentist wanted a framework with acrylic partial, but the teeth on the model have deformed shapes.

Your dental impressions are very important for perfect fitting. Please don’t use Alginate impressions, especially for removable dental cases. Cast stone models before sending. Using Alginate impressions might be slightly cheaper than using silicon impressions or casting models, but shipping the same case back and forth and taking new impressions from time to time are really time consuming and costly.

5. Arrange on time payment for dental work

Before the cases were ready (Wednesday), we prepared an itemized invoice, and sent it to Sarah by email. However, we received no payment. Until Friday night, Sarah made payment through bank transfer. 4 days later (next Wednesday), we received payment, and we were allowed to send out the finished dental work.

Please find our payment information at the bottom of invoices, and arrange payment as soon as possible. We accept payment by PayPal and bank transfer. Please note that it often requires 1 to 3 working days to process payment through international bank transfer. Therefore, for the first time you outsource dental work to us, we suggest paying by PayPal. We will send payment request to you if you like.

Vitallium Framework

Vitallium Framework with acrylic partial denture, part of work that we did for this client. (We take photos using a cellphone)

Those are the tips for the first time outsourcing your dental cases. As long as you follow those steps, dental outsourcing can be very easy and quick.