Inside Dental Technology
June 2013
Volume 4, Issue 6

Profiting from Partnerships

An excellent resource for your customers

For small independent business owners, forming strategic business partnerships with some of your best customers can hold many benefits for both parties. Building that relationship and finding common synergies requires a willingness on both sides to work toward a common goal. Because of dentistry’s sole proprietorship business structure, forming strong alliances among team members not only benefits the partners but also the patient.

Many experts have weighed in on the importance and advantages of communication and solid relationships between the dental laboratory and the clinician. There are numerous benefits for both parties when they embrace an environment of information sharing and collaboration. Sometimes, however, it can be difficult for a laboratory owner to relay to his or her customers that the laboratory can act as a partner for the clinician, offering input and assistance for both basic and complicated cases.

There are resources available to help technicians broach this subject with their clinicians. In the June 2013 issue of Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry, Roger P. Levin, DDS, published an article titled “Creating Productive Laboratory Relationships,” in which he highlighted a number of ways that clinicians may tap the expertise of their technicians to face issues head-on and increase case acceptance.

Levin encourages clinicians to reach out to their laboratories and take advantage of their technician’s vast case knowledge. He says, “Dental laboratories have typically learned a great deal from what they have observed, and they can often suggest treatment options based on their experience.” Levin calls attention to the fact that dental technicians are often more technologically savvy than their clinical counterparts, and suggests that clinicians treat their laboratory as an educational resource, helping them to keep ahead of advances in technology. “Rather than taking time away from dentistry to review numerous new product options, practices can ‘shortcut’ the process seeking guidance from their dental laboratories,” he describes.

Levin makes the clinician responsible for initiating and maintaining their relationship with the laboratory, explaining that “the burden is on the dental practice to establish two-way communications with the lab so that advice can be given before a potential failure occurs.” Levin also suggests that clinicians and dental technicians get together for regular meetings, thus encouraging open communication. He specifically mentions that in addition to working through specific cases, these meetings should allow the clinician and technician to discuss their professional relationship on a regular basis, including:

• how the relationship is evolving
• what the dental laboratory can do to enhance its value to the dental practice, and patients
• what changes can be made by the practice to facilitate a better relationship and improved performance

This article is an excellent resource to share with any of your customers who you believe are looking to increase communication with your laboratory, and could serve as a blueprint for starting the conversation. To read the article in full, or share it with your customers, please use the above link.

To read the article in full, please visit: dentalaegis.com/go/idt386

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