Kelso’s Vision Dental Laboratory has been living up to its name and keeping its eyes on the prizes, having been named as the best in the UK for implants.
The Edinburgh Road business picked up the accolade for best implant laboratory at the UK Laboratory Awards, held at the Royal Garden Hotel in London’s Kensington.
The Borders laboratory’s technical director, Wayne Flack, also came runner-up in the best dental technician category.
The Laboratory Awards, an annual event run by communications company FMC to reward technical excellence in dentistry, draws entries from across the UK.
Vision Dental Laboratory owners Mr Flack and Richard Snook are all smiles about having brought an award back to Scotland, with the former saying: “We entered the best dental implant category because dental implant work is right at the very top in terms of technical complexity in the dental technology world.
“Getting the technical aspects right while also producing an end result for the patient which looks just like natural teeth, is hugely challenging.
“We knew that doing well in this category would reflect positively on our laboratory as a whole because successful implant work demands great team work and requires expertise and precision in all aspects of dental technology.
“We knew we were up against the best dental laboratories in the UK, but we had no idea how we, as a small specialised laboratory in the Borders, would do.
“Needless to say, we are delighted to have won.”
Vision Dental Laboratory was founded in Hawick in 2007 with a staff of just three.
It relocated to larger premises in Kelso last year, and its workforce has now grown fourfold to 12.
As well as servicing dental practices in the Borders, the laboratory has added customers in England, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to its clientele.
Commercial director Mr Snook said: “We are really thankful to the highly-skilled dentists and specialist clinicians who trust us with their laboratory work and are prepared to go the extra mile and communicate with us to the extent needed to produce great outcomes for each patient.
“We have invested in state-of- the-art digital technology over the past few years which enables us to do the most advanced technical dental work in house.
“More importantly, we have an amazing team of talented, enthusiastic and dedicated staff in the laboratory. Our success is a great tribute to each one of them.
“Having Wayne named runner-up in the best dental technician category was the cherry on top.”
According to Mr Flack, demand for dental implant treatment is growing, so the business’s future looks as bright as a Hollywood smile.
“In simple terms, this treatment involves specially trained dental clinicians placing threaded titanium implants into a patient’s upper or lower jaw,” he explained.
“Over a period of around three months, the titanium implants become integrated with the bone. New crowns, bridges or dentures can then be made by the laboratory and screwed by the clinician into the integrated implants.
“Implant treatment is a fantastic option for patients who are missing teeth but don’t want to wear dentures.”
“It is technically challenging work, though, because the clinician must place the implants at an angle, and in a position, where the quality of the bone is most suitable.
“It’s up to the laboratory then, to make very precisely-fitting and aesthetically-pleasing prostheses which function and look just like natural teeth.”