Must-haves for every lab
Do you ever ask yourself whether or not your dental laboratory is suitably equipped? Are you capable of meeting the requirements of the present and the future?
How about running through a check list? We have done some research and come up with the four must-haves for every modern dental laboratory:
1. Basic materials
Apart from a wax knife, a scalpel and a Bunsen burner, the most important materials are listed below:
- Press ceramics
- Layering ceramics – for ZrO2 and LS2
- Zirconium oxide ceramics – for frameworks and full-contour restorations
- Light-curing veneering materials – ideally they should be coordinated and compatible with the denture teeth
- Layering ceramics – for gold and base metal alloys
- Easy-to-process metal-ceramics
You will save a lot of time by using a straightforward system that comprises matching components and covers a wide range of indications. In addition, a suitable range of staining materials is indispensible. First and foremost, the materials should be easy to use. All the components should be versatile in their application. This will reduce your stock-keeping and training efforts – regardless of the size of your laboratory staff. Routine practice will build confidence and ensure predictable results.
2. Analog tools and equipment
Ask yourself the following question: Why do I like to use a device and why do I end up using it for a long time? The answer is quite simple: Because it’s easy to use! Casting equipment and ceramic and press furnaces have to be easy to operate, in other words, user-friendly.
What type of equipment is essential in every dental laboratory? The most important devices are listed below:
- Ceramic furnace or ceramic-press furnace
- Casting machine (incl. preheating furnace)
- Laser welder
- Silicone mixer
- Dental stone mixer (preferably also a dosing device)
- Steam cleaner and a boil-out unit
- Denture base injector
Due care should be taken in selecting the equipment needed! The devices available on the market differ quite considerably. Therefore, it is important to establish what you really need before you make the purchase. You should know your materials very well in order to choose the most suitable equipment for your dental laboratory.
3. Digital tools and equipment
Digital tools and equipment will become indispensible in the future. This applies to dental laboratories as well as dental practices:
- Digital camera and shade determination software
- Intraoral scanner
- Laboratory scanner
- CAD/CAM software
- Milling/Manufacturing machine
All the parties involved will benefit from a straightforward digital system in which all the interfaces and data sets match and many different indications are covered. It is of utmost importance that the equipment and software selected are easy to use.
It depends entirely on you, how quickly and how much you would like to invest in digital dentistry or dental lab technology. When you make your decision, make sure to choose an open and future-proof system.
4. Fully automatic system or manual grinder
Regardless of whether you are digitally savvy or manually skilled and whether you prefer to use a fully automatic digital machine including a high-pressure pump and automatic cleaning function or simply a manual grinder and a hotplate…
…coffee-making facilities should not be missing from any laboratory. Many options are available, ranging from digital machines with a touch screen to classical analog models. The result is important for you, your team and your discussion about the next case that needs to be solved.
It is important to equip your laboratory to meet the requirements of your clients and your positioning and objectives! It’s up to you to decide whether you want to simply satisfy your customers or go the extra mile! Sometimes the small, unnoticeable details are the most important ones.
We have listed what we consider to be the must-haves for dental laboratories. Perhaps there are more that come to your mind. Please let us know. We look forward to receiving your suggestions.
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