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July 2020

DentaLab NewsJuly 2020
from Mainstreet Systems & Software

FAQ  DentaLab News


July is the month of vacations

This has typically been the month for vacations, particularly here in the USA centered on the 4th of July Independence Day.   This year it may be more of a month of staycations as the lockdowns due to COVID-19 continue.  

We are also hearing in our support calls that labs are in the process of recuperating as dentists adapt their practices for fewer patients at a time and more protective measurements.  We have been pleased that many of you took advantage of the slowdown these past few months to learn, adapt and improve.  We helped a number of labs that had not used remote access before and needed some guidance.  Others have taken more steps to up their game when it comes to providing the services involved with digital dentistry.  

As you know, thanks to the worldwide use of QuickBooks, we have customers in many countries.   Those whose leaders took the virus seriously and immediately took measures to prevent the spread such as New Zealand and Norway were on lockdown for only a short while.  This was not true in most countries and it will likely continue to be a major challenge for some time to come.  

We were able to continue to serve and support throughout since we were already set up to work remotely.  On most days there was just one of us in our main building and the programming and tech support took place from our individual homes. 

Looking ahead to cooler months

The USA holiday for Labor Day is always scheduled for the Monday that falls after the first Tuesday in September.  This year it will be September 7.  

Due to the lockdowns and need to recuperate, we are going to bypass the quarterly DQB release for July this year and combine it with the one for October. 

A generic summer special

To encourage our customers to enhance their capabilities with software support, we are offering a special summer discount of 15% for any add-ons, effective through August 14, 2020. 

This can include adding more DQB users, updating from DQB starter to standard, implementing another supplement such as Images, Barcoded Case Tracking, Email Notifications, Technician Productivity, Tablet Workflow App, DentalRx and DentalRx Direct.  


    Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.

To answer your questions...

Q: When the work continues for the same customer and patient, how do labs determine when to start a new case?

A: The program is designed so that, if you wish, you can continue on with the same case.   The other identifying fields for each case have included the tooth numbers and the shade so if these change, it would be appropriate to start a new case.  It is sometimes the time frame that determines whether to continue with a case record or start a new one.   Using the Case List to search by customer plus patient can be used to review the related case histories.  

In some of our legacy systems, there was a feature to start a new case with some of the information transferred from the prior one and to track this progression.   We have been requested to include this capability again and are planning to develop this for the October release.  If you have any thoughts or suggestions for this, be sure to send them along soon.

Q: To monitor workflow and technician productivity, are most labs using barcode scanning or the tablet workflow app? 

A:  To date, we have seen tablets in greater use in small-medium size labs while the larger labs tend to choose barcodes.

Barcode scanning has for many years provided very accurate cheat proof entry for marking case items complete.  It can also be used for quality control and shipping entry.  This is the method most used by the labs with many technicians.  For this, you will need to license the DQB barcode supplement and purchase one or more sturdy barcode readers.   The barcodes related to each case and technician can be printed by the same printer(s) you have for reports and forms.   In most labs using barcodes, the scanning is performed by a quality control or supervisory person upon acceptance of the work.

The DQBT workflow app was designed for use on a tablet with touch technology by technicians and their managers but can also be used on a desktop.   It has the advantage of providing more information about the daily workload, each customer and case, preferences, case plans, digital files and an opportunity to enter materials used and technician notes.  Timings on case items will be more precise as the technician can mark start, pause, restart and finish for each case item.   Managers can monitor workflow and request analysis on case item timings.  

It is important to know that when it comes to marking case items complete, both methods update the same records.  You can use both tablets and barcodes, as well as the options for key entry and marking items complete by work center.  If you wish to have detailed technician productivity analysis and calculate technician payments, you will also need to license the DQB technician productivity supplement. 

For cost analysis and planning, you will need to factor in the number of technicians to be monitored with the cost of the software licenses and equipment.   You can ask us to help you with this analysis.

      With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.

Conveying that you are professional 

One of the factors we have noted in the labs that have grown and become successful is that they view themselves and convey to others that they are professionals.  This means upholding standards for their work, for their communications, for the expertise they provide. 

We know that in many ways their software and the information it can readily provide play an important role in a number of ways:  

  • To assure that promises and commitments are fulfilled accurately and on time.  
  • To provide a high level of communication in working out details and providing expertise.  
  • To establish and implement strong quality control measures.  
  • To document compliance for safety regulations.

We know that conveying that you are professional can be a significant help in combating intimidation and pressures for cheap fees and unworkable schedules.  If you have any suggestions or personal stories on how you have handled these to pass on to others, send them our way.  

Thinking about workflow

We are seeing that more and labs are focusing on efficient workflow.  One of the important features in your DQB software to help with this are the Standard Procedures found in Basic Lists and used in Case Entry.   With these you can set up the typical steps for your workflow with the work locations and timings.  These can provide a template for case entry as well as a standard for work completions.  When needed for specific cases, they can be modified.  

As the work flows through its steps, completions can be marked in a variety of ways such as tablets with touch technology, barcode scans, batches from work centers, key entry and finally the shipping and invoicing processes.  To stay on top of schedules and make any adjustments needed, marking completions becomes a very important component in knowing what has been done and what still needs to be done.

Another part of the solution for those with DentaLab for QuickBooks has been to add the very affordable Images Supplement along with a scanner and/or USB camera to revolutionize their entire document storage and retrieval processes. 

With Images, the lab has always been able to scan the prescription, completed work tickets and other related case documents involved in the workflow. As digital dentistry grows, the dental offices have been creating photographs and CAD/CAM files to be used in the design and development of each prosthetic. With this digital document management solution, images and documents are automatically indexed and stored so that you can access them within seconds. You can rapidly respond to queries and provide better customer service while streamlining the lab’s operations and saving costs.

In addition, the DentalRx web portal provides a very convenient way for the dental office to transmit digital documents and files for each case.  This supplement also provides for submittal of prescriptions directly to DQB, lookup of case status and history, and other communications such as preferences, requests, and case planning.  

To make this affordable for everyone, we have included its ongoing support and security as part of the DQB service agreements.  To cover the initial strong security measures that are needed, there is just a small setup fee.

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Contact us at 1-800-257-4535 or

"Dental lab software does not come any better than that from Mainstreet. Elaine and the team are there for you any time in any weather."

Christopher Kelly
Orthoplant Dental Lab
New South Wales, Australia

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