Problem: It's hard to achieve consistency in our work even with a final Q/C check.
Strategy: While a final case inspection is important, it shouldn't be the only quality control system in place. Building a system of checks and balances into the entire production process allows you to find and fix errors more quickly. For instance, you might have a senior technician check each step of a trainee's work, or the department manager review each case before it goes on to the next department. Another approach that fosters employee accountability is to send a quality control checklist around with each case. Each technician is responsible for comparing the case against the list and then approving it. If it doesn't meet the criteria, he has the authority to send it back to the appropriate department to be redone.
Problem: How can I better communicate with my dentist-clients about problems with impressions?
Strategy: To drive the point home and document potential problems, many laboratory owners are taking advantage of digital communication, saying a picture is worth a thousand words. "Providing dentists with photos of inadequate impressions enhances communication and eliminates the blame game," says Jessica Birrell, CDT, Owner, Capture Dental Arts, Saratoga Springs, UT, who annotates digital photos with captions and arrows using Photoshop software and emails them to the dentist. "Sometimes, I'll also pour a stone model and send photos of that to point out specific problems. If the doctor still wants me to go ahead and guess at margin placement, I let him know I cannot guarantee the success of the case."
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