Carestream helps labs thrive – not just survive

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Carestream CAD/CAM specialist David Claridge says good dental lab/surgery relationships are the secret to success

Building, establishing and nurturing relationships with your client dentists is the secret of a thriving laboratory’s success. Good relationships allow positive communication and collaboration, allowing you and each practice you work with to plan, build and succeed together on every job.

Every practice will have different needs and it is up to the laboratory to meet them. However, even a regular might want to be left alone when they don’t require your services and prefer not be bombarded by your marketing material.

Equally, it’s important that you communicate any new products or services effectively, so dentists don’t go elsewhere if they believe you can’t meet their needs. Being able to adapt and tailor your service to the unique requirements of every client will help ensure your relationship can go the distance.

Some dentists might be working with you less, try to find out why, using an appropriate method of communication. Depending on the answers you get you may agree that you are simply unable to meet their needs – or you may be able to salvage the relationship. In any case, being able to pinpoint why your collaboration is failing will help you build stronger connections with other practices.

What can a laboratory do to improve its relationships while respecting the unique needs of every dentist? Well, a healthy, positive, communicative atmosphere in the laboratory is paramount. All technicians should be encouraged to share knowledge – of a tricky case, or an interesting article, for example. Attendance and networking opportunities at industry events and study clubs should be utilised wherever you can fit them in.

Technology is another fantastic conduit for bringing people together and improving relationships. The combined knowledge of a dentist and a technician is the key to a successful outcome. Alongside email, things like Skype and Face Time have made it possible to discuss a case without leaving your desk. Certain products harness the potential of modern technology and take it to whole new levels.

Carestream Dental has a range of solutions to make life easier for both laboratory and practice by allowing cases to be reviewed by both parties. For sharing and managing digital impressions/restorative cases, a practice using CS Connect can send open STL files to your laboratory via a dedicated online portal. Best of all, no software upgrade is required, so you can use it alongside your existing system without additional costs or set-up issues.

Lab-practice relationships aren’t “one size fits all”. Think about your most enduring relationships away from the workbench and how you both give and receive different things to make them work. This should be the model you apply to the practices you work with, by using technology to improve communication and make every collaboration both positive and successful.

For more information, call 0800 169 9692 or visit