Productivity Disrupter: Remakes


Productivity Disrupter:

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Hello, Dental Lab Maestro!

Ever had one of those days when remakes seem to pop up like uninvited guests at a party?

Well, today we’re going to pull back the curtain on these pesky party crashers. We’ll explore what they are, why they happen, and most importantly, how we can show them the door.

In the world of dental lab work, remakes can be a real productivity disrupter.

It is crucial to understand how they occur, what counts as a remake, and how to deal with and avoid them.

Where did it come from? 😱 

Imagine this: you’re in your lab, crafting a dental masterpiece, when suddenly, a remake request lands on your desk, throwing a wrench in your well-oiled routine.

How did this happen? Remakes are the mysteries of our dental world, often triggered by factors beyond our control.

They could be caused by a misread prescription in the lab, an impression-taking error in the clinic, or something as simple as the patient changing their mind.

What Makes a Remake? ♻️ 

In a dental lab, a remake isn’t just a second chance at getting a restoration right - it’s a thrilling quest, a Sherlock Holmes-esque mystery that demands our utmost attention and skill.

It’s not about merely repeating steps, but about delving deeper, finding the root cause, and making things right.

Deciphering cryptic instructions from dentists can sometimes feel like cracking the Enigma code.

But with each cryptic note, we become better code-breakers, learning to read between the lines and anticipate the needs of our dental partners.

Fabrication hiccups?

They’re not roadblocks, but rather exciting plot twists in our daily lab life narrative. They challenge us to think on our feet, adapt, and innovate.

And let’s be honest, they keep our workdays far from boring!

Accommodating the ever-changing preferences of our patients is like trying to hit a moving target while blindfolded.

But it’s this very challenge that keeps us on our toes, constantly learning and evolving to meet their needs.

Every remake is an opportunity to flex our problem-solving muscles.

It’s our chance to show that in the dental lab, we don’t just make teeth - we make smiles.

Remake Survival KIT 🆘 

When a remake occurs, it’s essential to handle it professionally and efficiently.

This involves identifying the cause of the remake, communicating effectively with the dentist and patient, and taking steps to correct the issue.

It’s also important to learn from each remake to prevent similar issues in the future.

How will I avoid them? would you ask…

Here are some strategies that we have implemented in the past in our GreatLab:

Clear Prescription: Ensure you have clear and complete instructions from the dentist. If anything is unclear, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

Impression/Model Check Procedure: Implementing a rigorous impression/model check procedure is crucial in a dental lab.

This involves thoroughly examining each impression or model as soon as it arrives at the lab.

Look for any distortions, air bubbles, or missing areas that could affect the final restoration. If any issues are found, it’s important to raise queries with the dental office immediately.

This proactive approach can help prevent remakes and ensure the highest quality results.

Planning: Make sure you have all the information needed about the patient (photos, X-rays) and also make sure that you work closely with the dentists in creating a Treatment Plan for the case.

Digital Workflow: Switching to a digital workflow can significantly reduce lab errors.

Digital impressions are more accurate and consistent than traditional methods. They eliminate the risk of distortion or damage that can occur with physical models.

Additionally, digital files can be easily shared and stored, improving collaboration between the dental office and the lab.

It also allows for more precise and efficient fabrication processes, such as CAD/CAM milling or 3D printing.

Dentist Approval: After creating a Treatment Plan, make sure that you have sent this to the dentist and that you got his approval.

Of cource, you’ll expedite this by using digital ways and Weblinks. For the more traditional and hands-on dentists, you can always use a Diagnostical Wax-up model.

TryIn stage: Being the metal frame/copping, the wax-up or a printed PMMA, ask your dentists to try it in with the patients before proceeding to complete a final restoration.

This is the stage where patients tend to change their minds the most, given that they get to have a first feel of the future appliance.

Quality Control: Implement a robust quality control process in your lab. This can help catch errors before the final restoration is sent back to the dentist.

Clear Procedures: Paying close attention to detail during every step of the procedure can prevent many common errors.

This includes carefully following the manufacturer’s instructions for each material and equipment used.

Special attention should be paid to the margins, as any discrepancies here can lead to poor fit and discomfort for the patient. Preventing voids in the impression or model is also crucial, as these can lead to inaccuracies in the final restoration.

Conducting the procedure methodically and systematically can help ensure a high-quality result.

Continuing Education: Stay up-to-date with the latest techniques and materials. This can help you avoid errors and produce high-quality restorations.

You can find some interesting links at the bottom of this page.

Collaborate with your dentists 🤝 

Being a patient, a dentist or a lab technician, everyone hates a remake and the implications that the remake process brings.

The preventive work against remakes should be a collaborative effort, and everyone should play their part well.

Here are some tips that you can share with your dentists in this matter:

  1. Effective Communication: For every case you send to the dental lab, you’ll need to clearly articulate your information and expectations.

  2. Take Good Dental Impressions: Simple steps like choosing the right tray, controlling gag reflexes, paying attention to margins, following directions, preventing voids, and methodically conducting the procedure will help to ensure an incredible dental impression every time.

  3. Complete Lab Dockets Accurately: Always use the “Additional Instructions” section of your docket to give your lab more information.

  4. Explore the Use of Intraoral Scanners: Intraoral scanners have been the trend for many dentists who have seen a significant drop in delay and remake rates.

Remember, the goal is not just to reduce remakes but also to enhance the patient experience and lower costs for both clinic and lab.

Communication is key in preventing mistakes.  

Regularly discussing cases with the dental office can help clarify expectations and address any potential issues early on.

Let’s continue to strive for excellence in our profession!

Extra Resources Roundup

  • How this lab is dealing with remakes (Watch)

  • A tribute to dental technicians (DTL)

  • Lab Software to manage and grow ( HERE )

  • Clinical and Laboratory Manuals (Academy)

  • Dentist- Lab collaboration Digital Era (DentJournal)

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