Choosing a dental laboratory is one of the most important decisions you will make for your dental practice, and the choice isn’t always an easy one. There are countless dental laboratories vying for business from dental offices at any given moment, and not all dental labs were created equally. If you are having trouble finding the right dental lab for your practice, never fear—take a look at the following top tips for picking the right dental laboratory for your dental practice.

Tip #1: Find a lab that can deal with emergencies

Emergencies are a regular part of dental practice, and you’ll want to find a lab that can handle emergency situations so that your patients can be accommodated as soon as possible. Emergency situations can include broken implants or appliances—such as broken dentures, bridges, or crowns—as well as requiring rush orders on appliances for patients with sudden dental emergencies. When you partner with a laboratory that can handle emergencies, your patients will feel more assured that you can resolve their problems in a rapid manner.

Tip #2: Check to see if they have a time guarantee

Even if a situation is not an emergency, you still want your dental implants, appliances and other fixtures from the lab in a timely manner. Imagine having to cancel appointments with patients because their new dentures haven’t yet arrived! Most labs will offer some kind of time guarantee that ensures your orders will arrive in a specific period of time. If the lab does not currently offer them but you would like to work with that lab, consider asking if a specific contractual arrangement can be made for your practice.

Tip #3: Visit the lab yourself, is possible

If the dental laboratory is in your local area, it’s recommended that you visit the lab in person to get a better idea of how they work and the quality of their end results. If it’s not possible to visit, request samples of their work in the mail so that you can inspect the quality of the materials and craftsmanship produced by the lab. It is better to take a bit of extra time to inspect actual lab results to ensure high quality than to be surprised by poor quality when you make your first order!

Tip #4: Find out how they feel about developing technologies

Dental technology has been developing at a rapid pace for the last decade, and you don’t want to be left in the dust—especially since newer dental technologies are making implants and other appliances more precise and effective for patients than ever before. New technologies can also be more cost effective for your dental practice, and in turn those savings can be passed on to your patients. As a general rule of thumb, a modern dental laboratory should be using modern technology that better serves patients, dentists, and dental practices.

It can be difficult to pick a dental laboratory for your practice, but with a bit of patience and inquiry, you will be able to find the right lab for you.