Most people don’t think that their dentist office has a lab somewhere in the building. But dental offices that have an on-site dental lab can be extremely helpful and help save time for both the dentist and the patient. Here at Perdido Bay Dental, we have a full on-site lab, which helps patients save time and money.

Dental laboratory technicians have special training in creating and customizing dental products. Dental lab technicians are the ones responsible for making crowns, caps, fillings, dentures, and porcelain veneers. Dental labs also create products like orthodontic appliances and splints. If you need a custom dental restoration that is extensive, it will be made at a dental laboratory by a dental laboratory technician.

If a dentist office uses an off-site lab, it can table a couple days for these things to get made. But because we have an on-site lab, you may be able to get a root canal and your crown all on the same day, or within 24 hours.

While convenient and less expensive for dentists, outsourcing to an outside lab can have a downside for the patient. Patients experience longer wait times for their custom dental appliances, especially if the fit is wrong or a mistake is made in the manufacturing process. Quality may also be compromised, as the dentist has no direct oversight over the creation of the crown, bridge, or veneer and orders may be rushed through high-volume, production environments.

Lab technicians may specialize in the following areas:

Processor: These people pour and create denture models, and are familiar working with plaster and molding things.
Waxer/finisher: These people have more refined experience in creating, molding, carving, and finishing dentures, as well as repairing dentures.
Ceramist: These people apply layers of porcelain or acrylic paste over metal framework to form dental prostheses, such as crowns, bridges, and tooth facings.

Having a lab on-site along with dental technicians can also provide more personalized service. Lab techs can meet with a patient and look at their bite or see how they talk and their jaw moves, which can help them create a better fitting prosthesis. A dentist’s order cannot convey all the details and intricacies of a patient’s own mouth and teeth, so having an on-site lab with staff can be an advantage. They can also make adjustments on the spot when prosthesis are being fitted. Not all procedures or prosthesis can be handled in an on-site dental lab, but specializing in one or two areas such as dentures or crowns can help increase patient satisfaction and turnaround time for certain procedures.

If you have any questions about our on-site lab here at Perdido Bay Dental, please give us a call: (850) 542-4428