18th August 2016
An interview with Laboratory Awards judge, Tony Knight
Qualifying as a technician at Guy’s Hospital in 1981, Tony has run his own laboratory, Knight Dental Design, specialising in cosmetic dentistry and implantology since 1985. Awarded Best UK Laboratory in the Private Dentistry Awards 2007 and 2005 and UK Laboratory of the Year 2008 and 2004 in the Probe/ BDHF Awards. Tony is chair of the BACD technicians committee and co-chair of the membership committee. He teaches smile design and advanced aesthetic restorations on several postgraduate courses. He recently published a superb book showcasing some of his best work.
1. What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy taking photographs of our finished cases when we invite patients for their post-op photo-shoot. Seeing the transformation in some of the patients is really satisfying, many are quite emotional when they see their photos and realise how good they look.
2. What do you think the biggest challenge for dental laboratories is?
The biggest challenge is integrating digital technology into the lab while maintaining the artistic edge that distinguishes the best labs. Also growing the business while retaining a close relationship with your clients.
3. How can technicians best develop an effective relationship with their dentist clients?
Sharing knowledge and enthusiasm with your clients. They are not always aware of the latest advances in materials and techniques. Sharing knowledge with your clients and learning from them creates a partnership for the benefit of the patient that can enhance both your businesses.
4. Why did you decide to get involved with judging the Laboratory Awards?
Having won Six UK Laboratory awards I was asked if I would mind judging the lab awards rather than entering. I was honoured to be asked but the staff miss the buzz of entering the awards and keep asking me to step down so we can re-enter.
5. How has winning an award yourself helped Knight Dental Design?
Winning the awards gave us great PR . Our staff and our clients were proud that we were recognised for the work we do. Using the awards on our website and literature raised our profile and attracted new clients keen to try us.
6. What are your three top tips to compiling a great entry?
A. Think carefully about the entry criteria, make sure you cover everything requested.
B. Make sure you submit photos of a few cases you have done. We have had entries that showed pictures of the labs delivery vans but none of their work! If we can’t see some work we can’t judge the lab. It’s not the Aesthetic Awards so you don’t need loads of photos but a few before and afters will help you get the judges attention.
C. Think about how your lab stands out from the crowd? Innovation? Great customer service? Training? Communication? What might you look for if you were a dentist looking for a lab?