A dental laboratory is a place to produce or customize dental cases, in order to improve patients’ oral health and hygiene. They get the prescriptions from licensed dentists and make appliances, restorations, or prostheses which required by the dentist in writing. In a simple word, the patients’ dentures will be produced by the dental lab first, then ship them to dentists and dental surgeries. Here are the common dental cases produced by the dental laboratory:
- Crowns and bridges
- Metal frameworks
- Flexible partials
- Acrylic partial and full dentures
- Dental implants
- Orthodontic devices
1. Types of dental lab
According to the product types, dental labs can be divided into fixed restoration dental lab, removable restoration dental lab, ortho dental lab, and full-service dental lab.
In most dental labs, fixed restorations are their main products, along with supplying removable restorations and ortho appliances. You can find many dental labs that only produce fixed restorations, but there are very few dental labs that only supply removable restorations.
Most of the dental labs in the market are privately owned, as it is easy to manage. Many good methods are used in denture manufacturing, like using streamlined operations to produce dental cases.
At present, the dental works manufacturing industry is still a bit chaotic, you can find thousands of dental laboratories in China. From the perspective of a dental lab, it is a very common thing that sees some dental technicians quit to open a new dental lab. When choosing a dental lab, it is necessary to see its scale to help you avoid some bad quality dental labs. Here some numbers for your reference:
- Big scale dental labs
Their production capacity for a month is 10,000 to 20,000 crowns, and more than 200 technicians who work continuously on 3 shifts 24 hours a day.
- Medium-sized dental labs
They can produce 3,000 to 10,000 crowns per month, and there are 50 to 150 dental technicians, and some labs also work in two shifts a day.
- Small dental workshop
The amount of porcelain teeth per month is less than 1000 to 2000 crowns, and the number of technicians is less than 50.
2. What makes a good dental lab?
A good dental lab often keeps a good relationship with dentists and dental surgeries, they will respond to any product queries from the dentist or patients in time.
When receiving the patient’s prescription provided by a dentist, they can follow the specifications accurately. A good dental laboratory can identify possible defects in the products and give their suggestion to the dentist. If there are any problems during the manufacturing, they can find them and fixed them before sending them to the customers.
In addition, they also play a role in negotiating fees and order quantities to ensure that they can deliver the required products and materials on the specified date.
Dental technicians will directly determine the quality of dental cases. Therefore, a good dental laboratory must teach them the latest dental techniques and methods to be at the forefront of the times.
3. Dental Lab Certification
There are three factors to affect the quality of dental works, including materials, craftsmanship, technicians’ experience. It is hard to know all the information when we choosing a new dental lab, but a certified dental lab will do better in all these aspects. Here are some common dental lab certifications for your reference:
- Valplast certification
- FDA certification
- TUV Certification
- ISO Certification
Besides, there are some certifications for dental technicians, including Dental Technologists Association (DTA), General Dental Council (GDC). In a word, choosing a certified dental lab can greatly reduce the risk of choosing a dental lab outsourcing service.
At present, there is still a severe shortage of technicians in dental laboratories, becoming a dental technician often means has a high salary job. With the ever-increasing needs of dentists and their patients, more and more dental laboratories will have a huge demand for experienced dental technicians.