What I love most about LMT’s Buyer’s Guide is that it is truly comprehensive. We do not require participants to pay a single cent to be included in this annual directory. (Of course, some do choose to enhance their listing visibility with advertising options.)
This year’s Guide includes 373 manufacturers and suppliers, 85 subcontractors—pretty much on par with last year’s numbers—and includes over 1,600 product trade names which makes us feel pretty good about your ability to find the resources you need to run your laboratory, right here in this one issue.
However, these resources are ultimately only as good as their users. All the materials and equipment in the world won’t compensate for a job poorly done. Unfortunately, I am on the receiving end of experiencing this truth firsthand and it’s one of those “shoulda,
coulda, woulda” stories.
The thing is, I’m a real sucker for being a willing guinea pig for the sake of a good article in LMT but sometimes I go overboard and that’s what happened this time. I needed a crown and entrusted a local dentist—whom I didn’t know very well—to do the prep. With all the knowledge and awareness I’ve gleaned about dentistry over the years, you’d think I’d know better but, clearly, I didn’t; I allowed myself to fall victim to bad dentistry.
The story—replete with a few ridiculous details—is on The BRIDGE at www.LMTmag.com, on my page, along with a few more photos. The best one, however, is this one shown above. You’ll have to log in to the site if curiosity grabs you, however I will say this: my crown—made chairside—is lying somewhere on this very, very old linoleum kitchen floor in New Hampshire.
Love and Marriage
Unlike love and marriage, bad dentistry and totally acceptable materials don’t work. As this fiasco unfolded, my son—whose father is a dentist—wryly observed, “I guess the average dental patient wouldn’t know a good dentist from a bad one until he had a bad experience. Then he’d know. The problem is, you don’t know until you know.”
Such is the operating condition of anyone who depends on those of us in the service industry. And make no mistake: regardless of all the amazing materials and technologies presented in this Buyer’s Guide, the bottom line is that dentistry, like medicine, is a service industry. You are the center of your work; your supplies are only as good as your ability to use them.
I can say, though, that—because of material/equipment improvements and innovations—some really amazing restorative work is now more frequently and easily deliverable. I know that the manufacturers, suppliers and subcontractors listed provide valuable knowledge and assistance to laboratories, and that many of the products in the Trade Names Directory have helped create better technicians.
I hope, too, that you recognize and fully appreciate the importance of being an educator to your clients. Your input may very well steer them away from what they unwittingly don’t even realize is bad dentistry.