JUNE 2014PROOFS 7
SELECTING AND MANAGING LABS
At least once a year, dental practices should review the arrangements they
have made for lab support. Factors to consider include:
How many labs to use
Can all the practice’s needs be met, in terms of quality, service, and cost-efciency, by a single lab? Would it make more sense to divide orders
between two or more? Should the practice rely on one source for routine
work and another for more challenging assignments?
Local or national lab
Will a local lab provide more attentive service? Can a national lab ofer
more advanced technologies or other advantages?
Are any labs competing for your business by ofering special discounts or
In a situation where the ofce’s primary lab is unable to handle an
assignment in a timely manner, does the practice have a relationship with
a secondary source that can meet the need?
Are prospective labs certifed to meet industry and quality control
KEEPING UP WITH THE LATEST TECHNOLOGIES
Many of the technological advances in dentistry relate directly to the
products and services that dental labs provide. It’s advantageous for
practices to work with at least one lab that’s committed to introducing
superior new technologies, for two reasons: one is to enhance patient care
and satisfaction; the other is to keep practices informed and educated
about the latest developments.
CONTROLLING LAB COSTS
In the new dental economy, practices need to keep a close eye on how much
of their revenue is going to dental labs. Techniques for controlling these
· Regular discussions with labs that are serving the practice — about how
to work better together and improve cost-efciency
· Set a target, a remake rate of 1 percent or less, and work with labs to
hit that target. Develop strong relationships, but divide the work and
periodically review new sources, to keep everyone competitive
· Monitor lab costs. If they exceed 7 to 9 percent, review the fnancial
arrangements with labs
By choosing dental laboratories carefully, building mutually benefcial
relationships, and controlling lab costs, dentists achieve better results for
their patients and their practices.
Dr. Roger Levin is a
third-generation general dentist and the
chairman and CEO of
Levin Group, Inc., the
largest dental practice management
and marketing firm
in North America. As a leading authority on dental practice management and
marketing, he has developed the scientific systems-based consulting method
that will increase practice production
and profitability while lowering stress. Dr.
Levin has authored 65 books and more
than 3,700 articles. He presents 100
seminars per year worldwide. Visit levin-group.com to learn more.
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HOW DENTISTS CAN WORK SUCCESSFULLY WITH DENTAL LABS