Learn more about the expertise and services dental laboratories provide dentists and patients.
A dentist cannot possibly do everything needed to service their patients on their own and will always need the help of supporting staff such as nurses and hygienists, and of course, a dental laboratory to create in-direct prosthetics for their patients. A great dental laboratory and a well-educated technician are some of the key components of success for a dentist and treatment outcomes for the patient.
The dental lab and lab technicians who work within it fabricate indirect restorations and devices (meaning these which need an impression or mould of the teeth and mouth to be made).
The dentist would take an impression of the teeth or the region where the restoration or prosthesis needs to be made and sends it to the lab. The lab pours-up that impression in stone, and uses that model as a representation of the patient’s mouth, fabricating the needed restoration using that mould (called a cast) as a guide. The finished restoration is then sent back to the dentist, who in turn places it in the patient’s mouth.
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The moment you notice an issue it is best to contact the emergency dentist right away before things develop into a situation that could cause you severe pain, threaten your overall health or result in the loss of a tooth.
It is recommended you seek consultation with an emergency dentist if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms;
Pain, swelling, fever, pain on biting, broken tooth, bleeding gum or a chance in the colour of your tooth or gum.
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Catch things early
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The main purpose of a laboratory is to provide the type of restoration needed by the dentist, whether a crown, a bridge, a denture or an orthodontic appliance. However, labs can provide support for dentists in other aspects such as:
Matching an artificial restoration with a natural tooth is often a difficult task, especially for the front teeth. Most dentists are very well trained for shade matching and have exceptional eyes for such intricate details. In some cases, however, another set of eyes is needed, and a lab technician could provide some great insights on how to match a specific shade.
With the advancement of digital technologies, it is now possible to design a restoration (such as a crown or a veneer) on the computer and apply it digitally to an image of the patient, making them see what their teeth would look like after finishing the treatment. A skilled lab technician could help you design an excellent looking restoration, and motivate your patient to go through with his\her treatment.
Most dentists are moving forward with their practices, adopting a more digital approach with specialized cameras among other equipment. Some dentists still prefer the good old fashioned approach with the moulds, but still, need the digital equipment in some cases. The lab could provide that digital equipment to aid these dentists in performing and manufacturing the desired restorations.
A labs function is not only to create restorations or appliances that will be placed in the mouth, but they can also fabricate appliances that make a dentist\s job easier. A great example of these appliances is the implant placement aiding appliance (also known as a surgical or implant stent) which aids the dentist in placing the appropriately sized implant in the exactly right position and the exact right angle, all furthering the success rate of that implant.
A lab’s job doesn’t stop at creating new restorations, they are also needed to repair old and defective restorations. Indirect restorations – or direct ones for that matter – are never permanent, and in most cases need to be repaired or even replaced after a few years, and that’s where a dental lab can help.
Dental labs are aides to dentists. They take the impressions from a dentist, pour them in stone, and use that mold to create a restoration that the dentist needs such as a denture, a crown, a bridge, an orthodontic appliance and even supporting appliances such as implant and surgical stents.
A dental laboratory takes the impressions from a dentist (which is taken in a patient’s mouth) and uses that impression to make any form of indirect restoration that the dentist requests. Examples of these restorations include crowns, bridges, implant prosthesis, partial and complete dentures, and orthodontic appliances.
Dental laboratories can be found almost anywhere. It is a very widespread industry, and dental labs can be found very near to your practice. A simple online search could yield multiple results, or just wait for them to send a sales representative showcasing their work.
With the recent advances in digital technology, dental labs have also headed towards digitizing their industry. This of course works in conjunction with dentists digitizing their practices as well. Impressions are now taken with a highly specialized intraoral camera rather than the gooey materials used in the old days and sent to the lab in the form of a software file. The lab uses that file to create a digital mold of the patient’s mouth, and form a digital copy of the needed restoration. The computer works in conjunction with a specialized milling machine or 3D printer to form the needed restoration, which is then sent back to the dentist.