An oral surgeon from around the corner called my lab the other week with an emergency, wondering if we made flippers? A patient of his, who was about to graduate college, had an unfortunate encounter between a baseball bat and his front teeth and he needed to look good for his big day. –we’ve been making flippers for over 25 years.
I can understand the oral surgeon’s lack of understanding of what we do in the lab. After 25 years in this business, my Mom still tells people that I make teeth. So, I just thought I would take a moment to clear up a few things.
Mom, I do not make teeth. That is a dental lab. I have absolutely no idea what goes into making partials, dentures, crowns and surgical guides. But we work with dental practices regularly and this is some of the typical work we get calls for:
Flippers: We can use your color guide or provide you with one of our own to make you these temporary appliances, either with the acrylic base or we can insert the pontics into clear retainers. (Up to three teeth.)
Guards and Splints: Whether you are looking for Comfort H/S Splints (we are an authorized lab—see our brochure) or a Hawley Bite Plate, or something different, we offer a wide variety of these anti-grinding appliances, usually in a week or less. Check out our “Bruxism/Grinding Appliances” page on our website.
Surgical Stents: Used to protect soft tissue after replacement surgery.
Fixed “Maintainers” and Tongue Cribs: Lower lingual arches, nances, trans palatal arches, tongue cribs and more to help maintain tooth position while teeth erupt or to help break bad habits.
Clear Retainers: We offer a wide selection using a variety of materials and thicknesses. Raintree Essix is our basic material for thermoformed appliances, but we are an Erkodent supplier for this superior material, whether it is the hard Erodur or the hard/soft Erkodent-Pro. Check out our website for information on Erkodent.
Sport Guards: Custom fit, superior protection.
Of course, Hawley Retainers: Our standard comes with a variety of clasping options, colors and auxiliaries for increased functionality. We now offer the Clear Bow Retainer: all of the aesthetic value of clear retainers with the durability of Hawley Retainers.
Digital Services: As a certified lab for iTero, Trios and 3M, we can accept scans directly from the scanners, though we can accept emailed STL files from any scanner. We can base the models and have them printed in resin. We can also scan your plaster or stone models to create 3D files that can be easily stored, viewed or shared using free software. Please check out website for new applications of this technology.
Alignment and realignment: You already do oral health checks as part of routine visits–why not do alignment checks? Whether your patient has had orthodontic treatment or not, teeth can shift as we get older. The earlier it is caught, the easier it is to fix. We offer short series of invisible trays and ideal spring aligners to treat minor cases and orthodontic relapse. Check out our Crystalign Work Flow on our website for more information.
As I mentioned in my previous letter, “News and Views from the 2016 AAO Convention,” the tech people grumbled about the “under usage” of their technology, not using it to their full potential. Are you under utilizing your local orthodontic lab and not realizing the full potential of your dental practice?
Chris Gajewski (The Lab Guy)