According to our survey respondents, most dentists are still using external dental labs and have no immediate plans of adding an in-house lab to their practice. This is to be expected as starting up and running a dental lab requires high costs and a lot of work. Essentially, it is committing to running another entire business. However, we also found that quality is immensely important for dentists when it comes to lab use, and having an in-house lab is a terrific way to ensure the quality of the work. An in-house lab allows dentists to have more input and control over treatment and design. Technicians also have direct access to patients rather than just receiving the impressions and paperwork from the dentist. Another benefit is shorter treatment time. Most dentists use a lab within 25km of their office to ensure a quick delivery; imagine how much quicker things could be done internally? Perhaps in the future we will see more dentists going in the direction of in-house labs, but only time will tell.
As seen in the print issue of Oral Health March 2023