Frequently Asked Questions

Is my account in Euro or Sterling?

You have a choice to either have your work invoiced in Euro or Sterling. This should be determined when you open your account. If you chose Euro, an exchange charge (which is determined daily via our bank rates) will be itemised on your invoice. You should pay this account in Euros either by cheque, BACS or bank transfer. If you wish to pay in Sterling the charge will be left off and you may send in a Sterling cheque or pay by BACS or bank transfer. Contact Jennie for our bank details for ebanking.

Can I pay by credit card?

Unfortunately we cannot accept payment by credit card at present, again euro or sterling cheques or bank transfers are acceptable.

How do I send my work to you?

We have an excellent network of couriers throughout Ireland and the UK who operate daily for us.

We also provide international courier services for our further afield clients. Please call Jennie, Lynsey or Suzanne for details on how to have your work collected or delivered and the fastest way to get your work to us.

For more information see our Collection & Delivery Page.

Do you have a current price list?

We can email you our most current price list right away.

Can we have more prescription dockets?

It is very important that we get all the information from you for each case, please call Lynsey or Suzanne for our comprehensive prescription dockets which come in triplicate to help with record keeping.
Please ask for Crown and Bridge prescription dockets or removable Chrome, Prosthetic, Orthodontic Prescription dockets or both if you use our full service.
If you have run out or are sending for the first time you can download both prescription dockets from our Downloads section or Contact page.

What are your turnaround times for laboratory work?

Please note these times are for days in the laboratory they do not include pickup or delivery days

Crown and Bridge Work 7 Working Days
Chrome/Titanium 5 Working Days
Orthodontic Work 5 Working Days
Prosthetics 5 Working Days
Repairs 1 Working Day
Reline 1 Working Day
Mouthguards 2 Working Days
Implant Work 10 Working Days
CAD/CAM Copings 3 Working Days

What are your opening times?

Our technicians are here on site from 7am Monday to Friday and we close the lab at 5pm, most technicians leave at 4.30pm but Jennie will be here to handle general queries until 5pm.

For more information check our Collection & Delivery and Administration Page

When do you have holidays or lab closures?

To find out our holidays and lab closures you can call Jennie, Lynsey or Suzanne.

for more information check our Collection & Delivery and Administration Page

Can you supply shade guides?

We can supply all leading shade guides including, Vita Lumin, Vita Classical, Ivoclar Vivadent. For bleach shade guide we recommend the use of the Vita 3D bleach range and Ivoclar Vivadent BL range.

Can my patient visit for a shade or to discuss a difficult case?

Of course we welcome your patients for shade matching or for any difficulty you may have with a particular case. We have our own private patient consulting room so we are very well equipped to deal with shade taking and discussing your concerns with your patient.

Please contact us to arrange a suitable time for your patient to call. We do ask that you call first as sometimes the technician may not be available due to surgery visits or holidays.

What time will the courier collect / deliver?

The couriers are delivering from 9.00am until 6pm Monday – Friday.
Unfortunately we cannot give a specific timeframe, but if you have an emergency please contact the laboratory and we will do our best to accommodate.

for more information check our Collection & Delivery and Administration Page

Does the laboratory have ISO 9001:2008?

The laboratory has successfully implemented DAMAS, MDD and ISO 9001:2008.

If you require a copy of these certificates please contact the administration team or visit our accreditations section 1 of our Downloads Page.

Does the laboratory have DAMAS?

Yes. DAMAS or the Dental Appliance Manufacturers Audit Scheme is the quality management system designed specifically for the manufacturers of custom made medical devices.

DAMAS accreditation ensures that the laboratory complies with the Medical Devices Directive (MDD) and the Medical Devices Regulations (MDR); are registered with the MHRA; use tried and tested materials which help protect the health of patients; are geared up to meet the needs of both the NHS and the private dental market; value the skills of their employees and care about the service that they provide.

If you require a copy of this certificate please contact the administration team or visit our accreditations section 1 of our Downloads Page.

Are Fortress Zi crowns highly aesthetic?

Fortress Zi crowns are ideally suited for posterior segments as an aesthetic alternative to unsightly metal occlusals They are available in the full 16 Vita shade range.
However, as the raw materials and manufacturing processes are improving constantly, it may be possible to place Fortress Zi crowns in the anterior region. (Please contact a technician for further information or see updates on this website).

Are Fortress Zi crowns high strength?

Our Fortress Zi crowns are made from isostatically pressed zirconia and once fully sintered, have a flexural strength of approximately 1350-1400 MPa. There is no risk of chipping as Fortress Zi crowns are not overlaid with veneering ceramic.

How can I remove an old pure Zirconia crown?

To remove a pure Zirconia crown (and also lithium disilicate) can be difficult. However, there may be some methods that can make their removal a little easier.

1. Use zinc phosphate cement. Bonding techniques are not essential for zirconia or lithium disilicate crowns placed over adequately retentive tooth preparations.

2. Low cost, fine-grain diamond burs used at high speed with a very delicate sawing movement along with plenty of irrigation, is one of the more ideal ways to remove pure Zirconia and lithium disilicate crowns.

Are bridges available in the Fortress Zi range?

Yes, from simple 2-unit cantilevers to multiple unit bridges are available in Fortress Zi. Crowns, inlays, onlays and implant restorations are also available.

What tooth preparation is required for Fortress Zi?

One advantage of this type of restoration is that the preparation can be slightly more conservative than other all-ceramic or even PFM restorations, with a preparation design similar to that of a full cast metal crown.
Margin design should be 0.3-0.5mm chamfer. Avoid a ‘J’ like margin.
Functional cusps should be reduced 1.0-1.5mm. Axial walls should taper 6-8 degrees achieving a depth of 1.0mm.
Occlusal reduction 1.0-1.5mm on the central groove. AND avoid all sharp line angles as you would with any type of all ceramic tooth preparation.

Tooth Preparation Guide.pdf

What is a Chameleon Zirconia restoration made from?

Chameleon Zirconia or PFZ is a metal free and highly translucent restoration, resulting in a more natural appearance than a PFM. Because Chameleon Zirconia restorations are made from Zirconia and overlaid with GC Initial Porcelain, both highly compatible materials which have been used in dental treatments for many years; thus can be placed next to tissue without any gum reaction.

Can bridges be made using Chameleon Zirconia?

From simple cantilevers to full arch multi-unit bridges can be achieved using Chameleon Zirconia. However, a maximum pontic span in the anterior segment of four pontics is recommended.

What can I use as a metal-free alternative for a Maryland Bridge?

It is recommended that a Maryland Bridge be constructed as a PFM because it is strong, proven and bondable. However, the problem is a PFM Maryland Bridge is often unaesthetic due the possible ‘shine through’ of the retaining wings.

A porcelain fused to zirconia Maryland Bridge is possible and may require a little more tooth preparation than what is usual for a Maryland retainer but zirconia does not etch and there is a history of Zirconia Maryland Bridges de bonding. For the latest information, please contact a technician.

Will I get a bright ‘shine through’ from the zirconia to the overlaying ceramic?

Our special colour shading system and pre-shaded zirconia blanks combined with careful control of the processing operations guarantees the high quality and translucent splendour of Chameleon Zirconia restorations.

Can I use Chameleon Zirconia over cast gold post and cores and preparations that are heavily discolo

Yes, the Zirconia blanks used have varying degrees of opacity through to translucency, depending on the situation.

Can I incorporate attachments into the Zirconia frameworks, as in a two part bridge?

All Zirconia framework are manufactured by CAD/CAM systems and as we use the industry Gold standard, 3shape software for design, various types of precision attachments are due to be made available with the very latest software update due to be released in 2015. Therefore, split bridges, combination cases with extra coronal attachments, telescopic copings and much much more will be available very soon.

Can I send you files using Email / DropBox

Yes, we accept files using email and through our website. We also have different DropBox accounts depending on the type of file you want to send, Photos / STL milling files etc. We can also accept files via CD, USB device, SD card.

Can I send you Digital Scans?

We can accept digital scans compatible with 3shape and any files in STL format. There are so many different scanner systems that it would be best to contact Jay@McDowell-Service.com and she will try to accommodate you.

What type of tooth preparation technique can I use for veneers?

Feldspathic ceramic is widely used for veneer restorations as well as resin bonded crowns and can be weak in thin sections until bonded into position and therefore, correct preparation technique is essential for a successful restoration.
Please view the preparation guide when preparing for resin bonded restorations.
Please note however, that sharp line angle must be avoided to reduce the risk of stress fractures in the ceramic.
For veneers, it is generally considered for the bulk of the labial preparation should be kept within the enamel, at the same time maintaining the natural curvature of the tooth surface, with 0.75mm being the optimum amount of enamel to be removed. Mesial-distal preparation should be carried through to but without breaking adjacent contacts.
There are varying thoughts with regard to incisal preparation, from the very conservative window approach through one for which the margin is on the incisal edge itself to the incisal overlap design with a finish line consisting of a butt margin or chamfer finish.
Studies have shown that veneer restorations with an incisal overlap design, proved to be more successful than those without incisal coverage. Chamfered finish lines are preferred cervically. It is acceptable to leave gingival margins supragingivally in many cases where thin veneers are to be used and the existing tooth colour can be allowed to show through and determine the shade of the ceramic.
Where tooth discolouration is to be masked out, the margin will almost certainly have to be placed out of sight. This may also be applicable for interproximal finish lines.

What shade guide do you recommend for denturework?

We can recommend and supply shade guides and mould charts for all brands of teeth. For best results use the the same brand of shade guide that corresponds to that brand of teeth as there can be slight shade variations between brands.

When shade matching to adjacent crowns we recommend using either of these brands of teeth MFT, EnigmaLife+ or CrownPX.

What is the advantages in using SR Ivocap Acrylic?

SR Ivocap High Impact denture base material reduces the risk of possible fractures.
• Controlled polymerization with continuous compensation of the material shrinkage during the entire process.
• The special injection procedure reduces the risk of system-induced increases in vertical dimension.
• Heat/pressure polymerization provides good physical properties and a high degree of homogeneity
• The homogeneous SR Ivocap High Impact denture base reduces the risk of possible fracture.

What is the best impression material for Valplast?

Alginate used with a special tray.​

Alginate Impression
Alginate Impression

What is the most aesthetic implant restoration?

A zirconia abutment with an Emax crown on top for cement retained or a zirconia core with a porcelain veneer for screw retained.

Can immediate teeth be added to Valplast?

Yes, on a new case a temporary acrylic would be better until gum resorption occurs then a Valplast made.
An addition to existing Valplast can be added but the join is visible due to the chemical used to melt the material for additions,.
In this situation an alginate impression with denture in place is required

Which implant systems do you use?

The laboratory works on all implant systems, from Astra to Zimmer and we are a platinum approved Straumann and Biomet 3i Laboratory.

Can Valplast dentures be relined?

No, Its is easier and neater to strip back to the teeth and completely rebase.
In this case an Alginate impression and bite registration is required.

What is the turnaround time on implant work?

Ten working days in the laboratory for most implant cases. Bars with over dentures we require fifteen to twenty working days.

Can Valplast be used on full dentures?

No, although it can actually be done its not as long lasting or stable as acrylic. It is more likely to have teeth falling off due to more occlusal pressure.

Which is better, cement retained or screw retained?

Each case is individual. If the implant is leaning too far buccally and the access hole is coming out through the incisal on buccal wall then cement retained is the most aesthetic option.

Although recent trend shows an increase in screw retained implants being placed.

Can Valplast be put on a chrome framework?

Yes, usually Instead of using Acetal Clasps anteriorly as it is less visible.

Do you provide traceability of components and how long do you keep records?

Yes we run a full traceability system approved by ISO and Damas. All records are stored for 15 years.

Does the lab have a qualified technician to assist in the surgery with the All-on-Four Protocol?

Yes, Lynne has a mobile technical kit which can easily be setup in your dental practice, to modify the acrylic bridge on the day of implant placement.

Can I send my patient to the laboratory to verify tooth position at the try-in stage?

We have a surgery area where patients can been seen by our senior technicians.
Personalised tooth positioning with resulting improved lip support are essential for life-like denture appearance and this can only be achieved when the technician sees the patient.

What is the turnaround time for a chrome framework?

We usually ask for 5 working days in the lab, but the work is dispatched upon completion.

For chrome frameworks what type of impression material should I use?

For best results a special tray impression in either alginate or silicone, whatever you feel can produce the most accuracy.

Alginate Impression or Silicone Impression
Alginate Impression or Silicone Impression

My patient is allergic to nickel, beryllium etc. Could they still wear a framework?

Yes, our wironium chrome framework alloy is nickel and beryllium free.

Can I get a list of materials and breakdown of composition?

Yes, all our data sheets of material composition are in our technical information section.

I have a chrome denture which has fractured. Can you repair it?

Yes, we can laser weld fractures, breaks and in some cases extend chrome dentures.

Is it possible to laser weld more retention for additional teeth?

Yes, in rare cases a custom made extension casting is needed, then welded.

Laser Welded Retention
Laser Welded Retention

My patient doesn’t like her anterior metal clasps. Is it possible to hide these?

Where possible, we can replace these with acetal resin tooth coloured clasps. If this is not possible due to space limitations, we can simply mask the metal with a tooth coloured opaquer.

This patient’s denture is not as retentive as it used to be. Can anything be done?

We can usually add additional clasps, either wrought, stainless steel, gold or even acetal tooth coloured clasps.

What exactly are acetal resin clasps?

They are aesthetic flexible, retentive, tooth coloured clasps which come in 20 Vita shades.

Acetal Clasp
Acetal Clasp

Can acetal resin clasps be broken?

They are very successful but like anything, when they are pushed beyond their elastic limits or exposed to corrosive cleaners, it is possible for them to weaken and break. They are replaceable.

Can you replace a metal clasp with an acetal clasp?

In most cases we can if there is enough room and where there is a saddle or acrylic tooth next to the clasp location.

Is it possible to add an acetal clasp to an existing acrylic or chrome denture?

Yes, if there is enough room and where there is a saddle or acrylic tooth next to the clasp location.

Is it possible to have gingival approaching acetal clasps on a denture?

We only recommend occlusal approaching as they are more successful and aesthetic.

My patient requires crowns and a chrome denture. Would Rhein attachments have enough retention?

Yes, crowns can be constructed with mesial or distal male rhein attachments then the chrome framework incorporating the nylon rhein cap will snap over the crowns and increase retention. It is recommended that these caps should be changed every 12 months

Rhein Attachment
Rhein Attachment

My patient’s rhein attachment denture is not retentive anymore. Is there anything you can do?

Yes, replacing the nylon caps solves this. We can either replace the nylon caps on denture in the lab or send you out nylon caps for replacement chair side.

Standard Retention Clear Rhein Cap
Standard Retention Clear Rhein Cap

What are the differences in the colour of the rhein caps?

The colour of the caps relate to how retentive the cap is.

Black Lab Cap | Yellow Extra Soft | Pink Soft | Clear Standard | Aqua Strong Retention
Black Lab Cap | Yellow Extra Soft | Pink Soft | Clear Standard | Aqua Strong Retention

Can you laser weld a broken or fractured clasp?

Yes, although sometimes it is best to laser weld on a new clasp.

Can you laser weld a gold clasp directly to a denture framework?

Laser Welded Clasp
Laser Welded Clasp

We can laser weld any clasp metal to chrome but only titanium to titanium.

My patient’s denture framework fractured completely in half. Can it be repaired?

Yes if we have a situ impression and can align the denture up again.

I’m not sure how strong laser welding is?

A laser weld is usually stronger than the material being welded so it is unlikely to break again in the same place.

I have a patient who is very allergic to everything even chrome. Could I use titanium?

Yes, our Grade 4 titanium is one of the most bio-compatible materials known used in everything from dental implants to hip joints.

I have a case with a difficult bite where there is limited space would titanium be better?

No, titanium is best used for simple non intricate denture designs such as large plates so as to take full advantage of its strength to weight properties (lightness).

Why is titanium not as shiny as chrome?

Titanium is a very pure material with different properties from any chrome alloy. It is also quite dull in colour and so not shiny in nature, we make it as shiny as we can.

Why is a titanium framework more expensive than a chrome framework?

This is because the manufacturing material costs and specialised machinery requirements are greater. Titanium manufacturing is time consuming and very specialised as titanium must be cast in an argon chamber in an inert environment.

Titanium Casting Machine With Inert Argon Chamber
Titanium Casting Machine With Inert Argon Chamber

Can you add to a titanium framework similar to a chrome framework?

Yes we can although titanium will only weld to titanium. Any additional gold / wrought clasps must be added into the denture acrylic work.

What type of Anti-Snoring devices do you make?

We make Proform type Anti-Snoring devices.

What impressions are required for Anti-Snoring devices?

High quality upper and lower impressions must be supplied, with good impression depth of the lower lingual area, as this is where the acrylic positioning jig will be seated.

Do I need to supply a bite registration for an Anti-Snoring device?

Yes, please supply a wax bite registration in a closed, relaxed position. We will then use this wax bite as a starting position.

Can you make Anti-Snoring devices for patients who wear dentures?

The device is designed to fit over the upper teeth 5-5 and rest upon the lower teeth 3-3. Therefore, it is unsuitable for edentulous patients.

How does an Anti-Snoring device work?

Anti-Snoring devices, also known as mandibular advancement devices (MAD), are designed to reposition the lower jaw forward. This increases the airway space at the back of the throat, which should lessen the vibration of the tissue at the back of the throat (snoring).

Is an Anti-Snoring device comfortable to wear?

Yes, but patients may experience slight muscular discomfort for the first 5-10 days of use.

What colour can mouth guards be made in?

Our Shockbuster mouth guards can be manufactured in single colour or a combination of colours, to suit your personal choice or team requirements.

What thickness are your mouth guards?

Mouth guards range from a standard 4mm-5mm in thickness.

Do you make gum shields for boxers and martial arts?

Yes. These type of mouth guards are reinforced in the 3-3 labial area. An upper and lower impression is required to enable a bite to be determined, allowing the lower to occlude into the gum shield.

What is your remake policy?

We will remake or repair, free of charge in most conditions. However, charges may apply under the following circumstances:

1. The original dental restoration is not returned. Ill fitting appliances and restorations must be returned before a refund can be issued.

2. A new bite or impression is different from the original; abutments and/or teeth are re-prepared.

3. The shade is different from the original order.

4. Restorative materials are different from the original order.

5. Study models and/or specific instructions were not provided for anterior cases.

6. The Lab requested a new impression but you asked us to proceed without one.

7. The Lab requested a try-in but you asked us to proceed without one.

8. The Lab advises you of the quality of the order can not be guaranteed but you asked us to proceed anyway.

9. The appliance fits the master model but does not fit in-situ.

10. The case was cancelled after fabrication was initiated. Fabrication begins the same day the Lab receives the case.

11. Appliances and restorations not fitted within 30 days of final invoice date.

12. For C+B metal or bisque try-ins, approval was granted following try-in and the case is remade due to ill-fit or other issues.

In cases of faults due to possible defective materials or manufacturing processes, the laboratory must be informed as soon as these issues arise.

Want to make an enquiry?

Call us on 028 9037 0708 or

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