Having to remake dentistry is a fact of life. The more important question is what is the percentage of time you have remakes? First let’s start by defining what I mean by a remake. These are restorations that have to be altered or re-made prior to being permanently seated. This is a different conversation then having to replace restorations after they have spent time in the mouth.
My remakes occur for reasons like marginal discrepancy, inability to seat the restoration, open contacts, excessive occlusal adjustment and poor color match. I began wondering about this when I heard a recent statistic that the average dentist who works with Glidewell has a 6% remake rate. I am not certain if this number would be consistent across all labs. The first thing I realized is I don’t know what my remake percentage is, and it struck me this would be important information. I typically pay attention to remakes when it becomes a “recurrent” problem, but this is an intuitive guess not based on monitoring.
All remakes cost us time, money and good will. Therefore knowing when they happen is important in running a successful practice. The purpose of knowing the “score” if we can call it that in the remake game is that it allows me to address the “why” behind it in an attempt to improve the results. We have now begun tracking remakes and instituted a policy whereby I evaluate the case when this happens, communicate with the lab, and if we identify a place to improve our process bring this back to the team for implementation. Having a team member responsible for laboratory interaction makes this and tracking cases going out and coming in predictable.