Sometimes, the outcome of a case is in the details. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the information we give to the lab, especially when seating a restoration. We get out of a case what we put into it, but the hardest part of the necessary due diligence is not technique – it’s communication.
As digital technology and our own understanding of ideal communication strategies improve, keeping up is a real challenge. There is now an abundance of software and tools that facilitate better collaboration with other dental professionals and the lab. In a perfect world, that would mean an immediate transition to greater efficiency and results.
Optimizing dentist-lab communication is all about gathering the most critical information relevant to the case and presenting it in a cohesive manner. Here is some useful advice for what to tell the lab when seating a restoration:
Tips for Seating a Restoration and Dental Lab Communication
Seating a restoration can hinge on creating enough occlusal clearance. For example, while utilizing e.max ceramic, you have to remember that the lab doesn’t know what you don’t tell them. The amount of occlusal clearance needed depends entirely on how you intend to use it.
A single detail – whether you will cement or bond – is the exact information the lab needs to know to determine how accurate your preparation is. The easiest way to avoid frustrations in the long run is to tell the lab directly on the lab slip whether you are cementing or bonding. A half millimeter of difference is all it takes to send the case down an unfavorable path.
In the end, it’s your job to help the lab understand your preferences. Together, you can create amazing outcomes for patients.
How has your dental lab communication protocol changed in your work? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!