Three trends we've seen in the lab
We remained in email contact with clients throughout lockdown so we knew most dentists were keen to get back in the practice and start working on cases again. What we hadn't counted on was how big a drop we would see in the volume of lab work and to put it bluntly, it was a challenge for us to reorganise our team to cope.
Thankfully our IT manager developed the CosTech Portal to ease the burden on a reduced admin team and we were able to retain the services of our most skilled and experienced technicians. Now that the dust has settled we've spotted three marked changes in the incoming labwork from our clients:
1. A big increase in the use of digital impressions
Impression scanning was already on the up before Covid hit but the proportion of digital impressions we are receiving now is higher than ever. As dentists want to maximize the efficacy of their chairtime, digital impressions are a clear winner due to fewer reimps, increased turnaround time and a more pleasant patient experience.
2. Massive demand for NHS Monolith crowns
Again, Monolith use has been steadily increasing ever since we launched it in 2018 but it's now at the point of outstripping PFM as the NHS crown material of choice. Offering better fits with fewer adjustments and remakes, it meets the key requirement of making efficient use of chairtime.
3. More dentures are being made as Straight to Fit
Where appropriate, going straight to fit can be a good call to make, and we're in agreement that where the occlusion is obvious a skilled technician can easily replicate the bite in lab. Case selection is key and our prosthetics team are well-versed in this type of work. Again, the result is fewer appointments, less chairtime and a better experience for the patient.
At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, the common aim through these trends is to get things done with minimal chairtime while keeping the patient happy... Not so different from before lockdown!
We're glad to be back and would love to welcome new clients to the fold as we build back to our usual caseload. If you haven't used us yet, make sure you get in touch to claim a welcome pack with prices, freepost labels, a product guide and everything you need to start sending work by clicking the link below.
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You can access the online portal at portal.costech.co.uk or use the following email addresses:
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