Does your laboratory have the appropriate facilities for implant work? Implant therapy is the way forward for many practitioners and in this exciting climate they are looking to their dental laboratory for help.
Implants are rapidly becoming the preferred treatment option to dentures. Removable dentures have had a negative image for a while, and the many benefits of implants frequently outweigh the initial financial outlay for patients. For one, if they are looked after properly they can provide a more permanent solution. Not only are implants stable, but they provide a natural-looking result. So, when dentists are discussing the possibility of implant therapy with their patients, both the ‘aesthetic’ and ‘function’ boxes can be ticked. Implants can also help to stop bone loss and preserve healthy teeth, giving the smile a youthful appearance. Many practitioners are enthusiastic about implants because they see the positive impact on a patient’s confidence. The technology and techniques have developed quickly over the last decade – meaning treatment is more efficient and comfortable for the patient. Dental implants are not cheap, of course, but both dentists and patients appreciate the value of the finished product. The real value is in the difference they make to quality of life.
It is logical to predict that the demand for implant therapy will increase in the near future, not least because of our ageing population. A Government document published five years ago raised concerns about the effect this would have on public services, including healthcare.[i] This report also predicted that there would be around 19 million elderly people in the UK by 2050. Of course, it is not only older patients that will be looking to replace missing teeth, but this ageing time bomb and how it relates to every area of the industry, is something we need to consider.
So, how does your laboratory fit into this? You may be concerned that your business may struggle to keep up with both an increased demand and also the incredibly high standards that dentists and their patients will be expecting. Although the results are well worth it, the implant journey can be a challenge in itself because the dentist, laboratory and patient all need to be perfectly coordinated. This means every part of the chain that relates to you should be efficient and knowledgeable, right from the start.
Digital technology has revolutionised the way implant work is carried out in both the practice and the laboratory, for improved diagnostics and consistent results in even the most complex of cases, plus enhanced efficiency and production time. But what if investing in this equipment is beyond your current capabilities and not part of your plans for the immediate future? Forging an alliance with a high quality referral laboratory is a sensible, long-term option. Not only will you be able to offer an implant service to your existing customers, but also you will be able to compete with larger operations without compromising on quality.
Referral-based implant dentistry is so important because it will help your laboratory to grow. When you are looking to establish a lab-to-lab partnership, choose a laboratory that has the best facilities and works with the highest-quality materials. Trust and communication are crucial, because you will ultimately be responsible for the work, so meet with as many as you can; you want to collaborate with technicians who take pride in their craftsmanship so you can pass this back to your collaborating dentists. You know your client base best, what kind of timeframes do you need to operate in as standard? With many laboratories able to deliver quickly across the UK, find an alliance that is able to offer some guarantee to meet all your deadlines confidently. Sparkle Dental Labs has a team of experts dedicated to implantology who are on hand to offer advice and work, as part of your team. Along with fast turnaround times, you will able to select from a wide range of bespoke products, beautifully and efficiently crafted as part of a comprehensive, efficient and fully supportive service.
Dentists are increasingly providing implant therapy to patients. The advantages perceived by patients of a stable and natural smile, mean laboratories need to predict an increased demand, and find ways to meet it. Instead of missing out or, worse, trying to compete and over-stretching your resources, refer your implant work out. With many patients considering implants as life changing, you need to place yourself in a strong position as the number of people choosing them continues to grow.
For any additional information please call 0800 138 6255 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.sparkledentallabs.com
About the author
Maddy Managooli is a Technical Manager at Sparkle Dental Labs. He is a qualified dentist and dental technician with over 15 years experience.
[i] Richard Cracknell. The ageing population. Key Issues for the New Parliament 2010, House of Commons Library Research. Found at: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/research/key-issues-for-the-new-parliament/value-for-money-in-public-services/the-ageing-population/ (accessed 4 June 2015)