Straight Forward Lab (SFL) is a story that begins with a partnership to provide cost-effective and time-saving options for orthodontists and dentists. We focus on orthodontic printed models, direct metal prints, and clear Thermoform retainers. Best of all, it all began with an orthodontic team that understands the needs, desires, and frustrations of contemporary orthodontists and dentists from their perspective.
“After years of working with my wife, Dr. Priscilla Larson DMD, to help her grow her orthodontic practice, I learned first-hand about the frustrations she and her team often experience getting the best solutions for patients,” says Erick Larson JD, one of three partners in Straight Forward Lab. “As a result, we focus on leading from the forefront of technology.”
Advancing Time-Efficient and Cost-Effective Orthodontics
“This has been important to us for a very long time,” Erick adds. “From the time Priscilla was in dental school, she was determined to put technology to work ensuring that patients have the best experience and treatment in the Oklahoma City area. Now Straight Forward Lab extends that high-tech approach to the lab environment. So, it’s not just a smart move for our business. It’s a benefit to all others practicing orthodontics and dentistry that envision delivering the benefits of technology to their patients.”
Dr. Larson, with help from her business partners — husband Erick and Julie Ingram – sees the lab as the fulfillment of an important dream. In fact, their goal is to provide as much support as needed to orthodontists, dentists, and their teams. Consequently, they can take advantage of the available technology and do it cost-effectively through Straight Forward Lab.
“For example,” she says, “we can print out 3D models if the orthodontic customer has the scanner, software, time and inclination, to digitally remove braces and move teeth to form retainers over the models. Or, we can do any combination of these steps upon request if the office just wants to take a scan and receive the final product – retainers in this case – and not do any of the intermediate work.”
Putting Our Concept to the Test
Dr. Larson pushed for the lab after reviewing the numbers with her partners. “We were spending SO MUCH on appliances from outside labs,” she recalls. “And were often satisfied but not blown away by the products.”
Considering the turnaround time on lab-fabricated appliances, even when the shipping time is reduced by sending digital records, Dr. Larson and partners determined they could make the appliances on location better, faster, and cheaper. As a result, they set out to prove it, and they succeeded with Straight Forward Lab.
Orthodontic Products by Orthodontists for Orthodontists
A unique benefit of Straight Forward Lab is that our lab techs are orthodontic assistants first. “They understand the appliances inside and out and know why some things work and some don’t,” Dr. Larson explains. “The learning curve has been much easier since they know what everything is and why we do it, and why some shortcuts are totally acceptable, and why others would result in a completely useless product.”
Another benefit is that most of the lab techs have been manipulating 3D models throughout their education and career. For that reason, the digital lab environment is second nature to them. Giving our clients access to essentials and easy ordering on the website provides additional time- and cost-savings for all.
Focusing on key items allows the lab to maintain a lean sustainable position in the marketplace. “We’re able to grow with technological advances and help other orthodontic and dental offices transition to digital,” Julie says.
Helping Orthodontists Transition to Digital Solutions
Dr. Larson agrees with Julie, adding, “Most doctors and offices these days have a digital scanner. However, few have the time, energy, or knowledge to invest in these major changes. We have already invested the resources and benefitted from our experiences. As a result, the teams that we help benefit from our experiences by shortening startup time and cost.”
Straight Forward Lab maintains its focus on the newest and most promising technologies not necessarily available from other labs. Therefore, our goal is to improve quality and efficiencies in new orthodontic technologies.