Dental laboratory services are an integral part of oral health care.
The licensed dentist, the dental nurse and the dental laboratory technician form the most basic dental care team.
Dental laboratory services are required in various dental procedures including fabrication of dental bridges, dentures, orthodontic appliances, dental crowns, dental veneers, dental inlays, dental onlays and so on.
Provision of these dental services is usually a collaboration between the licensed dentist and a trained technician, hence, the dental laboratory technician is a valuable member of the dental care team.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Services differ, depending on the procedure being done. Dental procedures requiring dental laboratory services usually require multiple visits.
Your dentist will explain the procedure to be done to you and carry you along from start to finish. Many of the procedures involving dental laboratory services will require your dentist to take an impression of your mouth. The laboratory technician will use this impression to create a model of your teeth on which the fabrication of the dental prostheses will be done.
Procedures requiring dental laboratory services also carry extra charge fees for the materials to be used and the technician expertise.
Computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) dentistry is a field of dentistry that allows for chair-side precise fabrication of dental restorations.
The use of CAD/CAM techniques also reduces the number of visits, since it can bypass conventional laboratory services. For example, using CAD/CAM techniques, your dentist can fabricate and place a dental crown in one day and within a couple of hours. However, CAD/CAM techniques can also be used in the laboratory and production centers.