In today’s fast-paced world, the dental industry is embracing the digital revolution.
Traditional methods in dental laboratories are being rapidly replaced by innovative technologies that offer enhanced precision, efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Digital dentistry has emerged as a game-changer, providing dental laboratories with the tools and techniques to streamline their processes and deliver superior results to patients and dentists alike.
In this blog post, we’ll explore six ways digital dentistry can help your dental laboratory business thrive.
1.Enhanced Precision and Accuracy
One of the most significant advantages of digital dentistry is its ability to offer unparalleled precision and accuracy. Digital impressions, aided by intraoral scanners, eliminate the need for messy and uncomfortable conventional impressions. The digital data captured provides a comprehensive and accurate representation of the patient’s oral condition, allowing your dental laboratory to design restorations with a level of precision that was previously unattainable. The result is reduced remakes, improved patient satisfaction and better collaboration with dentists.
Switching to a Computed Aided Design (CAD) package can seem daunting. Yes, there are many to choose from and, yes, maybe a few new terms to get your head around. But with the right guidance from an experienced dental equipment provider and the right training, you’ll soon feel competent and comfortable designing and saving your new dental products ready to be produced seamlessly via 3D printing or a dental milling unit.
2.Faster Turnaround Times
Traditional methods of producing dental restorations can be time-consuming and, let’s face it, we’ve all seen examples of poor quality impressions, which are difficult, if not impossible, to work from! Aside from the problems this causes in terms of producing a successful product for the patient, it also slows the whole fabrication process down. Repeated calls back to the practice for clarification and perhaps even an inconvenient delay whilst the patient is called back to re-do the impression completely.
However, digital dentistry expedites the workflow significantly. With CAD/CAM technology, designs are created digitally and can be sent directly to milling machines or 3D printers. This streamlined process drastically reduces production times, enabling your dental laboratory to deliver restorations to dentists in a much shorter timeframe. Faster turnaround times not only increase client satisfaction, but also allow you to handle more cases, leading to increased revenue potential.
3. Cost Savings
While the initial investment in digital dentistry technology may seem substantial, it can lead to significant long-term cost savings for your dental laboratory business. By eliminating the need for physical models, impression materials, and manual labour associated with traditional techniques, you can actually reduce overhead expenses.
But, surprisingly, there’s no need to be put off by the thought of big initial payments. Talking to a total solutions provider, like Blueprint Dental, from the outset will enable you to explore a whole host of finance options. We’ll work with our partners, Vector Finance, to show you some financial illustrations based on the digital equipment you would like and the payback periods you’d prefer.
And, in addition, the digital workflow reduces the chances of errors and remakes, further saving both time and resources. Over time, the return on investment becomes evident as your business operates more efficiently.
4. Expanded Range of Services
Digital dentistry opens up a vast array of new possibilities for dental laboratory services. With computer-aided design and manufacturing, you can offer a broader range of dental restorations, including crowns, bridges, inlays, onlays, veneers and even orthodontic appliances. This versatility allows you to cater to a more extensive client base, attract new dentists and strengthen existing partnerships.
The ability to offer innovative and sophisticated solutions will set your dental laboratory apart from competitors.
5. Improved Communication and Collaboration
Communication between dental laboratories and dentists is critical for successful outcomes.
Returning to our nightmare scenario of the low quality impression, where there’s a lot of time consuming to-ing and fro-ing with the practice, digital dentistry negates the need totally and facilitates seamless communication.
Software platforms enable real-time collaboration on case planning and design. Dentists can provide feedback on digital designs and adjustments can be made swiftly, ensuring that the final restoration meets the exact specifications and expectations. This efficient collaboration fosters stronger relationships with dentists, leading to increased referrals and a positive reputation in the dental community.
6. Embracing Sustainability
In recent years, sustainability has become a significant concern for businesses across a huge range of industries and dentistry is no different.
Digital dentistry aligns with eco-friendly practices by reducing material waste associated with conventional dental methods. The transition to digital workflows minimises the need for disposable items like impression trays and materials, thus contributing to a greener and more environmentally conscious approach to dental laboratory operations.
4D clear aligners are also now available for orthodontic devices which significantly reduce the amount of plastic used in teeth alignment treatment plans. (please contact us for more information on the ClearX range of clear aligners)
In conclusion, digital dentistry is transforming the landscape of dental laboratories, offering unparalleled advantages that significantly benefit your business. From improved precision and faster turnaround times to expanded services and sustainability, embracing digital technologies can boost efficiency, save costs, and enhance collaboration with dentists. By staying ahead of the curve and adopting digital dentistry, your dental laboratory can remain competitive in the ever-evolving dental industry and provide top-notch restorations that meet and exceed patient expectations.
If you’re looking to take that first big step to introduce digital workflows to your dental laboratory, look no further than the dental lab team at Blueprint Dental. We’ve helped numerous labs transition from traditional fabrication techniques to full 21st century digital solutions.
We’ll guide you through the whole process from conception, planning, equipment selection, finance and project management, right through to installation and commissioning to the day you take on your first fully digital cases and beyond.