Acting On Impulse

Glasgow Lab is investing in facilities and introducing new products to the Scottish dental market.

When Paul McFall started Impulse Dental Laboratory in February 2013, it was just himself and two other technicians working out of a former computer repair workshop in Baillieston.

Within a year, Paul had moved the lab to new premises in Shettleston Road and it now employs nine technicians, including Paul, and 15 staff in all. However, Paul explained that this expansion is not the start of a wider plan to keep on growing. He insists that the lab has simply reached the optimum number of staff to operate efficiently and maintain the highest level of quality control.

He said: “To be honest we are not looking to grow too big as I want to maintain our excellent reputation for service and quality. If we grew too big, my main concern would be that it would affect the quality of our work. We have worked hard to get the reputation we have and over-stretching ourselves might jeopardise that.”

He also explained that, at their current size, he is still able to provide a personalised service to his clients. He said: “If you phone up Impulse Dental Laboratory you will get me on the phone. I value the dentists’ time and quite often they will call to speak to me about a restoration or an aspect of work and I am always available to do that. I have forged some really close relationships with dentists and dental practices and I think it is that personal touch that helps build and maintain those relationships.”

Paul started work at DP Nova in the early 1990s, working his way up to manager of the gold department before leaving to join Lincoln Ceramics in 2008. It was there that Paul first started working under magnification, a development in his career that he describes as “a revelation”. After two years in Lanarkshire he moved to HDL Dental Laboratory in Falkirk before deciding to set up on his own in the winter of 2013.

Last year, Paul launched the Impulse Aesthetic Crown, a metal-free, all ceramic crown which is available and affordable for both private and NHS patients. Following on from the success of this, the lab is now using Ivoclar Vivadent’sIPS e.max Press Impulse ingots for the fabrication of partial crowns, single crowns and bridges. The Value shades allow for seamless tooth matching, not to mention e.max press ceramic having an impressive flexural strength of 400MPa compared to CAD/ CAM produced e.max with a flexural strength of 360 MPa. Impulse will continue to produce e.max by the pressed ceramic technique rather than CAD/CAM produced due to pressed ceramic being proven to be stronger.

As well as new products and innovations, the lab has also invested in a new state-of-the art Wieland milling machine allowing them to completely digitalise all the workflow, with the ability to receive intra-oral scans from all the major manufacturers. Using the 3Shape scanner to lab scan models, the lab will produce full contour zirconia restorations, PMMA restorations, metal substructures and zirconia substructures with improved accuracy and micron level fits internally and marginally on all restorations. Paul has also started accepting implant work and is able to work with all the major systems.

Paul also explained how he has invested in his staff by installing new Tavom work benches with built-in extractors and bench lights to provide a more ergonomic and comfortable working environment for his technicians.

As well as a daily pick-up and delivery service across central Scotland they provide an eight-day turnaround for private work and a five-day turnaround for NHS work. All their restorations are subject to multiple checks and inspections before dispatch and they guarantee all private work for five years.

In the face of competition from labs who outsource their work to the Far East, Impulse has introduced a guarantee card that is dispatched with all restorations, declaring that all work is carried out in-house by GDC-registered technicians.