Why is it an advantage that Gelencsér Dental has its own dental laboratory?
The question you ask may sound like this: "Do patients benefit from this in any way?" Before giving a detailed answer, let me share a secret with you that most people do not even think of: "The success of a dental practice greatly depends on how good its dental technicians working in the background are."
Dental technicians and dental laboratory
Last update: 11. October 2021
Why is it an advantage that Gelencsér Dental has its own dental laboratory?
Naturally, there are treatments that do not require a dental laboratory, such as tooth whitening, scale, aesthetic filling or tooth extraction.
These procedures are done by dentists (or dental hygienists) alone with the tools and materials available in the surgery. However, a significant percentage of dental treatments require the support of a high-quality dental laboratory to assist the work of a medical team, since dental restorations cannot be made in the surgery.
These precise and time-consuming tasks require special knowledge and tools, and this is where the dental laboratory comes into the picture.
What many patients cannot see: the role of a dental technician
Let's start with a brief description of "Who is a dental technician at all?". A dental technician is a specialist who is involved in the design of dentures and who later prepares these dental replacements in the laboratory using special tools.
For a dental clinic providing a full range of dental services, it would be difficult to work efficiently without the help of a well-equipped dental laboratory with dedicated professional staff. It has quite a simple reason, i.e. the replacements prepared indirectly are not made during one session in the surgery, but are the result of a longer process finalised in the dental laboratory.
In case of a crown, a bridge or a removable denture, the process in short looks like the following:
- As a first step, a health check is performed using physical examination and producing images (panoramic X-ray or 3D dental CT-scan).
- 2. The diagnosis is followed by a treatment plan and a cost calculation. The dentist discusses all important steps with the patient and answers all the questions that are asked.
- Preparation. For crowns and bridges, the next step is grinding the tooth and then taking the impressions. In case of removable dentures, it is just taking an imression, since tooth extraction had to have happened earlier.
- This impression is then taken to the dental technicians’ laboratory. The dental technician uses this impression to make restorations, but the technician ideally also meets the patient to accurately assess the needs (colour, size, shape of teeth). Or, but it is less ideal, only a photo of the patient's teeth is sent to the dental technician.
- Dental work is completed in several phases, and the dentist always fits the semi-finished pieces in the patient’s mouth between the various phases. If it is necessary, the dental technician attends some of these adjustment visits.
- When the semi-finished dental unit perfectly fits into the patient’s mouth, and both the dentist and the patient have accepted the selected tooth colour, then...
- ...comes the final step. The dental technician finishes the dental piece.
- As a final step, the dentist gives detailed advice on oral hygiene to the patient, and finalises the dental work for the patient (e.g. glueing or screwing may be necessary in case of a crown or a bridge). One or two weeks later it might happen that some minor adjustments need to be done, such as trimming or polishing, but that usually is done in the surgery.
Therefore it is clear why dental technicians play an important role in the preparation of dentures: they are the persons who prepare the final dental piece based on the impression received from the patient and on the information received from the dentist. At this stage, it is largely the technician’s credit that the tooth replacement becomes functional and not only durable and comfortable to wear, but aesthetic as well.
John was 59 years old when he first visited us.
He was not satisfied with the dental practice he had visited earlier because he felt that he could not properly use the dentures he had received there.
It turned out during his check-up that there was cavity on one of the pillars of one molar, while at the root of the other there was serious inflammation. Therefore, the bridge had to be removed. John did not want removable partial dentures because he thought he could not indulge on his favourite pastime, i.e. eating.
It is a fact that the loss of molars can seriously reduce our chewing function, and although the partial detachable denture (especially the combined piece) is capable of effectively restoring it, the stability and chewing strength is far from what the patient was used to with their own teeth.
What can we recommend in this situation? To get dental implants, onto which a dental bridge can be built, just like on your own teeth. These fixtures, however, are only the basis of the tooth replacement, well-fitting and durable parts must be prepared by dental technicians to complete them.
Dental technicians - it would be impossible to work without them
Good dental work requires a proper dental laboratory.
No wonder that major dental practices lay great emphasis on the quality of the work of their dental technicians, but only a few practices can afford to work with their own in-house technicians. The majority of patients therefore rarely, or never, meet dental technicians, and most people do not even know who they are and how these technicians assist in the completion of their dental work from the background.
Many dentists often work together with dental technicians who work far from the location of the surgery, even a few kilometres away, as they have no capacity or source to maintain their own laboratory.
Obviously, in such a situation travelling can be time-consuming, and communication problems often occur. The impressions have to be taken from the surgery, and the semi-finished dentures need to be returned so as to test fitting, whereas the majority of the consultation is done over the phone. The professionals responsible for the manufacturing process encounter the patients very rarely in such dental clinics, mainly only if complications arise.
It is quite uncommon that technicians can see every case themselves; usually, they only get the description from the dentists and on photos. This makes the treatments longer and more complicated.
Most patients may not even think about the kind of serious work that needs to be done in the background, while it is of vital importance that the dental technician has the greatest impact on the quality of the finished job.
A good working relationship between a dentist and a dental technician is determined by their skills since
- the ideal tooth replacement cannot be done without the perfect impression and adequate preparation
- and it is all in vain if the dentist is skilled but the dental technician cannot benefit from his work.
According to John, he had only met the dental technician once at his former dentist when he was facing a major problem during a bridge fitting.
He did not know what work was going on in the background and did not understand why he had to go through so many adjustments.
The biggest difficulty of this situation was that the dentist worked with a dental technician who lived far away from the clinic and therefore he physically could not and did not want to be present at all. As a result of this, mistakes occurred in the workflow, causing unnecessary inconvenience to the patient.
Due to these difficulties in communication, it happened that the shape or the tooth colour did not match, and according to John, he often arrived at the appointment on time in vain for the agreed treatment, as the dental work was late, these fittings could only be delayed. The most frequently heard sentence was: "The piece is on its way..."
What kind of tooth replacements are prepared in a dental laboratory?
Indirect restorations are prepared in the dental laboratory, such as long-term dentures that need to be durable and strong. Aesthetics are also important, but only properly prepared and long-term replacements can give you back the ability to chew and speak.
There are three major types of dentures:
- and the combimation of these two (combined)
The following solutions can be prepared for these types (it is not a complete list but covers the majority of cases):
- porcelain - metal crowns and bridges,
- porcelain crowns,
- gold crowns and bridges,
- zirconium crowns and bridges,
- inlays, onlays and overlays (dental restorations),
- partial and full removable dentures,
- combined dentures and dentures with hidden claps,
- dental prostheses built on implants,
- other dental work (bite turbos, tooth whitening trays).
We can say that ideally in almost all cases the dental laboratory is involved in the treatment from the start, so that the specialists can discuss how the plan can be accomplished the most efficiently and in a truly customized way.
For John, the treatment schedule looked as follows:
After the healing period, the dental technician of Gelecsér Dental was also present at the first impression taking, so the most important questions could be discussed with our dental practitioner. The patient was also involved in this consultation in order to be able to prepare the dental job that meets all his needs.
What do the price and quality of dentures depend on?
The majority of patients are naturally concerned with the price of the replacement, as most of them try to find the solutions that are the best value for money.
But whoever thinks the cheaper is better, they should always be aware that the cost of a denture mainly depends on the knowledge of the person preparing it, plus the technology and the materials used, or the combination of these factors.
The price influences the quality, and the quality is determined by the kind of materials and technology used, plus the professional who prepares the required dentures.
It must be pointed out that cheap options are almost certainly not the right options since some (payable) technologies should not be omitted from the procedure so as to ensure that the quality of the denture reaches the desired level.
The fact that cheaper is not always better should be further emphasized because expertise and practice, modern tools and modern technology ensure the denture to perfectly support the chewing function, be it aesthetic, while wearing it is not only durable but comfortable as well.
In John's case we could unfortunately see that reduced prices and bad work reflect on the quality of replacements.
For this gentleman, due to improper fitting, the bridge retainer started to decay, so the post and the tooth replacement had to be removed.
Without a tooth, a fixed solution could only be provided by dental implantation. Therefore, it was pointless to have a cheaper tooth replacement, when, due to its poor quality, it led to further problems and inconvenience for John.
What should we know about the different types of dental restorations?
Our patients often ask why these dentures need to be prepared out of the surgery, and why they cannot be manufactured immediately. If we wanted to answer this question briefly, we would say that because this is the only way to make the final result strong and durable.
It is worth to look at how long it takes to prepare these solutions:
- Removable dentures. The dental technicians use strong plastic for the partial and full removable denture (acrylic, to be exact) and the design of the final dental work requires professional expertise and routine. As it needs to fit exactly, thorough planning and multiple adjustments are required, so it usually takes 5 to 8 working days to finalise the tooth replacement.
- Combined work. The denture consists of two parts: the fixed part (crown or bridge) and the matching partial denture. Combined work is extremely popular among patients as they are reasonably priced, while the chewing function can be efficiently restored with it. Their preparation requires a meticulous attitude and firm knowledge, so more time is needed for these. In return, the patients will get an aesthetic and stable solution.
- Dental crowns and bridges. This restoration needs equally meticulous work, and more visits are required for their preparation, since for the perfect function, aesthetics and comfort can only be achieved with the appropriate number of adjustments. After taking the impressions, the dental technician first prepares the frame of the restoration and finalises the ceramic lining only when the patient and the dentist find the exact fit.
- Zirconium crowns and bridges. Compared to traditional (metal ceramic or porcelain) restorations, biocompatible Zirconia is manufactured using the so-called CAD/CAM technology. This method is based on precise computer design and manufacturing, which eliminates human errors and inaccuracies. CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design / Computer Aided Manufacturing) enables 0.001 mm accuracy and outstanding durability.
- Indirect veneers are fabricated by a dental laboratory as well. The most important feature of these shell ceramics is that they are extremely thin, yet incredibly durable. This can only be achieved through precise dental technician work and a special procedure. To apply this, only a millimeter thin ceramic veneer is required with a minimal loss of enamel surface, and in return it provides an amazingly beautiful solution for covering minor faults.
Only the direct (composite veneers), short-term temporary crowns and bridges are prepared at the dental clinic, as for these there is no need for the support of laboratory technicians.
What do you need to know about the laboratory of Gelencsér Dental Center?
Gelencsér Dental offers a comprehensive dental care for its patients which also includes a consultation with the dental technician in their own dental laboratory.
Our dental technician laboratory is located in the same building as our clinic, so it could not be any closer, which way our dental technicians and dental practitioners work together as closely as possible. We believe that only such teamwork can provide solutions that meet all our patients’ needs, and which will give them the freedom of smiling, talking or eating back.
Our professional team work together successfully in this 600 square meter area, and thanks to our state-of-the-art equipment, proven technologies and experienced technicians, every kind of dental work can be prepared here. In each case, we provide an individual design and we use internationally recognized materials.
Since our 40 years of existence, we have gained a lot of experience in all areas of dentistry, so we can proudly say that at Gelencsér Dental we deliver dentures that patients truly enjoy wearing.
The constant presence of our dental technicians ensures that our dental restorations are made quickly and accurately, with no communication difficulties or unnecessary delays. Everything happenes exactly as we outlined at the time of the consultation, and finally you will get the design and quality that you previously agreed on with our dentist.
The place where patients get the best deal
Gelencsér Dental’s dental technicians are present from the moment of counseling and planning, and help our dentists decide on the most important issues, such as form, colour or design. Over the years, our professionals have developed a close and harmonious working relationship, and during their consultaions the interest of the patient always comes first.
As a patient, it saves time for you because:
- Continuous communation is ensured.
- In-house accessibility significantly reduces the deadline of our dental work.
- Experienced dental technicians work in the laboratory, and team members take responsibility for their work.
- We use state-of-the-art solutions, such as 3-dimensional virtual design and Zirkonzahn©’s CAD/CAM technology to ensure that the tooth is perfectly fitted and looks natural.
Two further important facts: firstly, our dental laboratory prepares all our work according to strict EU standards with the most modern technical background. Secondly, it functions as a reference laboratory for the world-famous company, Zirkonzahn©. Due to this close working relationship, we always get first-hand information on the latest achievements and solutions.
High-tech processes and up-to-date materials
There is a team of experts working in the background who are specialists and experts, and whose work is supervised by the experienced master dental technician, Béla Gelencsér.
It is expected from our dental technicians to have the right knowledge and practice, and in addition to varied work, it is achieved by regular further training. We know exactly how important it is to keep pace with new technological advances and how important it is to learn these innovations.
Only this way can we always guarantee the best, the most comfortable, the strongest, the most durable and the most beautiful solutions. That is why we use the latest technology and materials for the dentures prepared in our own laboratory. Reliability plus high-tech procedures enable us at Gelencsér Dental to provide a comprehensive dental care that can satisfy all requests.
Having the in-house dental laboratory, it is of great benefit for us as communication is simplified, the number of possible errors are reduced, and we can respond more quickly and efficiently to the problems that arise.
Two dental implants were placed for John after a healing period; a three-unit zirconium bridge, and a separate crown onto his own damaged tooth.
The tooth replacements were completed within 5 days after the impressions had been taken.
He was delighted with the quick and precise job, and as he regularly returns for a check-up, he always tells how comfortably he can use his new teeth.
With CAD/CAM technology, we could attach a perfectly fitted zirconium crown for him, which means that (with proper oral care) he should no longer have any fear of secondary dental caries.
Equipment used by the Gelencsér Dental Laboratory
We need to have state-of-the-art instruments to provide quality work and prepare quality dentures. Without high-tech equipment, it would be difficult to provide the same level of quality as we offer now, so we are proud that we do pay attention to development as well.
What are the technologies and tools that help our job?
With this computer-controlled design and manufacturing, we can make accurately fitted dentures like never before. By using a 3D scanner, we can design our work in 3 dimensions using a computer program which manufactures the pieces by a computer-controlled machine. The final result is a strong, durable, stable, and tissue-friendly denture.
This technology is mostly used for zirconium crowns and bridges, but it can also be used for metal ceramic design, as accuracy is always essential. We can not only improve the quality of the tooth replacement but also prevent secondary caries.
Computer production is provided by scanners, grinding machines and a milling software.
Digital Smile Design
This precise three-dimensional face scanner helps you plan your treatments in advance, so it really can provides customized solutions. It creates restorations that fit your face shape, smile and style.
Dental digital impression systems
Which generates a 3D digital model of the exact position of the teeth, the bite and the full denture. This system uses a laser light to create a virtual model of the tooth surface, and the dentist or dental technician can then create a digital (virtual) impression from this scanning data.
Not only does it create a realistic sample, but its greatest advantage is that it does not use the traditional dental impression method, which many patients find uncomfortable and unbearable.