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Are You and Your Lab Technician Speaking the Same Language?

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I think one of those essential issues in life for efficiency is communication and communication involves speaking the same language.

When we're dealing with our colleagues on the lab bench for our indirect solutions for our patients, it's obviously essential that we're using the same terminology or nomenclature when we're trying to communicate either revisions in current restorations or anticipations for what we're trying to create for our patients. A nomenclature that has been defined for us by literature that exists and there is a great resource, I think, that we can reach out to, both the clinician and the laboratory technician is the the Criteria Guide produced by the AACD.

The AACD Smile Design Criteria

In this criteria guide, what it provides for us is an understanding of the literature review for smile design, but also breaks it down compartmentally from the broadest aspects of smile design, from global esthetics, and progressively narrowing that focus to macro esthetics, the relationship of teeth to each other, and finally some of those nuances relative to micro esthetics that really are the idiosyncrasies that allow teeth to blend in to the balance of the smile. But the terminologies that we use in that process in doing our analysis for smile design are pretty important.

So for shade, that we're using appropriate terminology like chroma, hue, and value so that, as we're beginning to describe these enhancements that we're trying to accomplish for our patients, that we're really heading in this right direction.

So my tip for you would be to have both your laboratory technician and yourself use this common terminology in trying to synergize your efforts in creating great smiles. 

Confessions of a Dental Lab Tech

Picture of Dr. Scott Finlay

Scott Finlay, D.D.S., FAGD, FAACD is the Resident Expert in Dental Esthetics and Senior Faculty member at the Dawson Academy. Dr. Finlay is one of the world’s most recognized dentists in the area of esthetic dentistry, winning several awards from the AACD. He is also a full-time practicing dentist at his practice in Annapolis, MD.