Nimisha Nariapara: “Is Your Dental Lab Ready for Change?”

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Carestream Dental’s Nimisha Nariapara: “A new era for your laboratory”

How many of us were prepared for the threat of a global pandemic? Its effects extend far beyond the dental sector and the repercussions will be felt for a long time to come, especially while the situation remains fluid. On a more positive note this has highlighted the need to prioritise efficiency while also reiterating the importance of staff safety.

It’s likely that a refresher regarding the basics of laboratory safety and hygiene protocols will be essential during the first few months back in the lab. One option might be to set aside training days during which you can thoroughly overview all the relevant information, including any fresh changes that occur along the way.

Another idea might be to host team meetings first thing, providing an opportunity to go back over the basics as well as keep your team up to date with any new developments as they happen. This might also act as a platform from which your team can raise concerns and address any issues regarding potential contamination. it’s important to make sure that all safety measures and government guidance are followed to the letter.

Infection control a priority

The COVID-19 pandemic has made infection control a higher priority than ever before and inevitably this will lead to some changes to your daily workflows; but these are obstacles that must be overcome in order to ensure a safe working environment for all. Such concerns might also be shared with your wider community, including dental practices.

For example, if you are still receiving physical impressions from dentists you open yourself and your team to potential infection. If you encourage your client dentists to invest in a cutting-edge digital intraoral scanner such as the CS 3700 from Carestream Dental they can send digital files of scans directly to the lab, removing any risk of cross contamination.

The files arrive in an open STL file format meaning they are compatible with all digital design software, simplifying and speeding up the information sharing process. Streamlining your services would be a clever move at the moment; as practices resume accepting appointments dentists will need laboratories that work with them seamlessly and meet demand efficiently.

Communication is vital

Communication is vital during this time of adjustment to the “new normal”. It’s likely that many dentists will have to revaluate the ways they provide their services, which might impact the number of products they order and the services they require from a laboratory, making it essential to maintain strong relationships between lab and practice.

Only by remaining flexible to change and building a secure communication bridge between practice and lab can you work together to adapt to, and overcome, new challenges. While the situation remains fluid, dentists and dental technicians will constantly discover new ways to optimise their procedures, making it important to keep everyone in the information loop.

If you can find ways to speed up your service without impacting the quality of products, you can bring great added value to the lab/practice relationship. Have you thought about looking into updating your software or technology? The initial investment might seem daunting but by capitalising on your new, swifter, high-quality service and products, your return on investment should soon follow, boosting both business and reputation.

This shift in protocols and daily workflows as a result of the pandemic are yet another chapter in the long history of a constantly evolving and versatile profession. By prioritising communication and keeping your laboratory safe and up to date, you can help usher dentists and technicians alike into a new era of care.

Author:
Nimisha is the Trade Marketing Manager at Carestream Dental covering the UK, Middle East, Nordics, South Africa, Russia and CIS regions. For more information, contact Carestream Dental on 0800 169 9692 or visit www.carestreamdental.co.uk.