What do you do when; the crown doesn’t fit, the margin is short, the shade is wrong, the patient won’t get numb, the insurance won’t pay, your car won’t start and your kids are acting up in school? Blame Bob the lab man…of course.
The fact is dentists depend heavily on their dental lab and hopefully work with the lab technician as a trusted co-professional. However when things don’t go well it is easy to forget all that and just blame those fools at the lab.
The dentist’s lament is “Don’t they ever read the instructions?” While the lab’s lament is” There are no instructions!”
Digital technology and the Internet provide a great communication system to advance the dentist lab relationship and ultimately improve service to our patients
Digital communication is very fast (virtually instantaneous) and very inexpensive. However there is an even greater benefit that is so obvious it is often not appreciated and that is that digital communications allows us to transmit digital data. And now a days we can turn virtually everything we do (shades, photos and even impressions) into digital data.
First generation attempts to create digital lab slips simply recreate the paper form in an electronic format. The dentist still needs to fill in the information (patient name, practice information, tooth #, shade etc.) by hand with a mouse and keyboard.
Second generation digital lab slips will be smart and interactive.
When you first log on the system will recognize you and automatically know all the basic details about you such as address, account number and phone number. In addition it will know your preferences as to materials, design and technicians.
The system will then upload all the appropriate patient data from the digital record. This would include the patient name or ID #, the tooth, the treatment, the materials, the shade and even the due dat
You will then be prompted to fill in details using a decision tree. For example the first decision might be metal or non metal. Your usual preference would be chosen. However if you wanted to do something different you could choose it instead.
Once you have made it through the decision tree you will have a blank page on which to type all the detailed notes you wish. You will also have a special tool to attach photos digital shade information and other digital data.
When you submit the Rx the lab will acknowledge receipt, confirm the delivery date and enter your case into their work tracking system. The lab will also add your new Rx to your account noting that you are a “Gold Elite” client. This will prompt all kinds of special treatment, perks, goodies and discounts to fall your way!