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The importance of a good lab relationship

Maintaining a great relationship with your dental lab is essential to the ongoing success of your practice.

And it’s not entirely dissimilar to any of life’s important relationships. You occasionally have to work at it, and open and honest communication is the key to success.

‘Small but perfectly formed practice seeks professional, friendly dental lab for long-term relationship. Must have GSOH.’

So what can you do to ensure you and your lab enjoy a happy and fulfilling relationship that stands the test of time? Ann John, MD of JJ Thompson has this advice for any relationship rookies:

  • Ensure their culture is a good fit for you – are you haphazard and last minute when it comes to placing orders? If so, your lab partner must be flexible enough to cope.
  • Request an in-practice visit – your lab partner needs to get to know all your doctors well.
  • Have one dedicated contact at each side so that jobs and enquiries never fall through the cracks.
  • Pay on time! Your lab will be more inclined to offer you discounts if you pay your bills within the timeframe they request.
  • Talk to them about your business priorities and problems – they may be able to add value by proposing solutions you hadn’t considered.
  • Don’t be afraid to try new things – we love it when practices are up for trying out new technologies and products, and they often end up using them long-term.
  • Plan ahead – your lab can help you budget for the year, so you don’t have any nasty, surprise invoices.
  • Avoid ‘off-the-shelf’ solutions – in our experience they never work long-term. We pride ourselves on tailoring our services to suit each and every one of our customers.

And does Ann have any final relationship advice for practices?’

‘Your job should be something you enjoy, and working with great people is a big part of that. Choose your lab carefully and you’ll be happy together for years to come.’

6 important questions to ask a potential lab partner

  1. What’s your MHRA number?
  2. Are you DAMAS registered?
  3. Are your technicians qualified?
  4. Are your appliances made in the UK?
  5. What product quality guarantees are in place?
  6. Can I speak to other customers for testimonials?


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