By Lawrence Spindel DDS
Dentist New York
A Dentist can do the best possible preparations and impressions, prior to fabricating Porcelain laminates, Porcelain Crowns, inlays, and dentures, and still fail, if the laboratory doesn’t do their job properly. Defective or poor quality dental lab work can undermine a final result and cause problems down the road.
Almost all dental work will eventually have to be replaced, but less than optimum work may fail prematurely or worse cause other problems in the mouth. The difference between a successfully fitting crown and an out right failure can often be measured in microns, not millimeters. If a dental restoration has an opening of the thickness of a human hair at the margin, it may result in failure.
Dentists often team with quality dental labs to provide quality restorations that last and do not cause problems. Defective crowns can be failures for many reasons, including defective contact areas (these allow food impaction), bad looking or weak porcelain that may break, or poor designs of the crowns which can result in bulky crowns or gum problems.
Insurance companies often brag about how their network dentists will save you money, but what is left out in their promotional literature, is that often times network dentists are under financial pressures do to the relatively low fee an insurance company reimburses them. Often dentists may use an inexpensive dental lab to fabricate their laboratory restorations. This doesn’t mean that all network dentists use inferior dental labs, but if their fee for a procedure is discounted by as much as 50% they may have reason to look for ways to ‘cut corners’.
You can not go to heaven without dieing and there is no free lunch! Good work takes time and costs money and it is usually worth it. There is an old Joke in our profession that goes like this: What is the difference between a Prosthodontist (A specialist with two years of extra training in fabricating crowns and dentures) and a general dentist?
Answer: The Prosthodontist knows the number of a good dental lab.
Although ‘reigning in health care’ costs maybe topic dejour, sometimes higher fees are required to be able to pay for top quality restorations that can make a real difference to the future health of patients’ mouths.