Crafting Excellence: Journey of a Dental Laboratory Becoming Finalists in the SFA Awards ‘Services’ Category

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Tuesday the 5th of December, 2023, in Dublin, we as a team attended the ‘SFA Awards Finalists 2024’ event to celebrate this amazing achievement. In the ever-evolving landscape of dental technology and services, recognition is not merely an accolade; it is a testament to the relentless pursuit of excellence. For PD Ceramics Ltd, being selected as a finalist in the ‘Services’ category, sponsored by Sage with the Small Firms Association (SFA) Ireland has been a crowning achievement, but we would not be here if MentorsWorks hadn’t nominated us. Their programme and the help of people like Veronica Murphy who we were delighted to meet on the night, levated us as an SME to believe we could do more and we took that leap of faith and this is only the beginning of so much more that what we want to do to support our sector.

In a pool of 200 outstanding companies, 50 have been chosen in 10 categories across Ireland and securing a spot amongst the top 6 in our category for ‘Services’ is both an honor and a validation of our commitment to delivering exceptional dental solutions. We are in fine company with the finalists in our category and we wish them all the best of luck for the final on March 7th, 2024.

You Are Only As Good As Your Support – Paul Dowling, Veronica Murphy & Jackie Ffrench


Sponsored by SAGE

All finalists receive the €50,000.00 prize package, which includes broad-ranging national and local media coverage, participation in a strategic management masterclass weekend in January 2024, in the SFA Business Connect event at Killashee Hotel on February 08, 2024 and the awards ceremony on March 7th, 2024 along with the Irish Independent Supplement on the day.

Chapter 1: The Genesis of Excellence

PD Ceramics Ltd was not built in a day. It is a story of passion, precision, and perseverance. From our humble beginnings, and more recently post-Covid, we set out to redefine the standards of dental laboratory services in Ireland. Every restoration, every crown, and every bridge has been crafted with meticulous attention to detail and we have anaylsed where we can further improve, this in turn is helping us strengthen our journey towards excellence.

Chapter 2: The Small Firms Association – A Beacon of Recognition

The Small Firms Association (SFA) Ireland serves as a beacon for recognising and celebrating the achievements of small enterprises across the country. The selection process for the ‘Services’ category was rigorous, with 200 companies vying for a coveted spot. To be among the top 50 is a nod to our unwavering commitment of providing top-notch dental solutions while navigating the competitive landscape of dental services, but also raising awareness of who we are in the patient’s dental journey.

Chapter 3: Unveiling the Pillars of Success

Our success is not accidental but stems from the solid foundation built on key pillars:

A) Team Spirit: At the heart of any business we need exceptional support for our customers, but that starts with having the right people on our team. Our commitment to education and growth for the team has changed dramatically since the start of 2022 and we are on a mission to raise the vibration of energy and growth of dental technicians in dentistry. We have an amazing operations and dental technician team now, who are all invested in the journey together to excellence for both themselves and the business.

B) Innovation: At the heart of our dental laboratory is a culture of innovation. We have embraced cutting-edge technologies, such as our strong relationship with our supply partner Zirkonzahn® and others to revolutionise our internal processes. This commitment to innovation has not only elevated our services but has also positioned us as pioneers in the dental technology industry in Ireland. With this support, we can strengthen our resolve to bring excellence to our ‘Guaranteed Irish’ association and seek to make this better in the future as we embrace new AI technologies.

C) Collaboration: The collaboration between our skilled technicians and dentists customers has been instrumental in our success. By fostering open communication and mutual understanding, we have created a synergy that transcends the traditional boundaries of dental partnerships. Together, we have elevated the art of dental restoration to new heights.

D) Quality Assurance: Our dedication to quality assurance is non-negotiable. From the selection of materials to the final inspection, each step in our process is governed by stringent quality standards, which we strengthen week by week. This commitment ensures that every restoration leaving our laboratory exceeds expectations and meets the highest industry benchmarks.

Chapter 4: The Impact of Technology in Aesthetic Dentistry

Our strategic embrace of technology has been a game-changer in the field of aesthetic dentistry. The integration of various advanced technologies in the business has not only streamlined our workflow but has also set new standards for things like colour matching and restoration precision. With our ‘Optishade’ & ‘Matisse AI’. The ability to share images with identical parameters has minimised errors and maximised the accuracy of our final products.

Chapter 5: Navigating Challenges and Celebrating Milestones

The journey to becoming finalists in the ‘Services’ category has not been without its challenges and feeling we were ready to apply for the SFA Awards 2024 was born out of years of dedicated support for change in the business to become more for our team, customers and ultimately, dental patients, which we all are at any given time. From adapting to evolving industry trends to navigating the complexities of the dental market, each hurdle was an opportunity for growth. Through unwavering determination and a commitment to continuous improvement, we overcame these challenges and emerged stronger.

The recognition by the SFA Ireland is not just a milestone; it is a celebration of every late-night crafting changes to the business, particularly post-Covid. Our aim has been to perfect exceptional restorative solutions through every collaboration that pushed the boundaries of creativity, and every innovation that set us apart in the competitive landscape. 

More importantly, we want to catapult dental technology into the limelight in Ireland as an SME that is there to support dentists, dental patients and the local community of Loughrea and Co. Galway as a whole through sustained job creation and bring awareness of how important it is to support Guaranteed Irish’ products in the dental sector.

Keeping Company – SFA Building

Chapter 6: The Future of PD Ceramics Ltd

As we stand on the precipice of the future, being recognised as finalists in the ‘Services’ category is not the culmination but the beginning of a new chapter. We remain committed to pushing the boundaries of dental excellence, embracing emerging technologies, and setting new benchmarks for aesthetic dentistry in Ireland. We hope that we can encourage support for dental laboratories as a whole and protect the exceptional skills that dental technicians have to offer for us as dental patients. One of the key sentences we heard throughout last night’s SFA Awards Finalists 2024 event was the desire to retain talent and skills at home here in Ireland. We are proud to be supporting that as PD Ceramics Ltd. 


Becoming finalists in the Services category by the Small Firms Association (SFA) Ireland is a testament to the dedication, innovation, and unwavering commitment of PD Ceramics Ltd to embrace change and support our dental technicians in Ireland. As we look back on our journey, we also look forward to the future with a renewed sense of purpose, excited about the possibilities that lie ahead in our pursuit of crafting excellence in dental solutions. Good luck to everyone on the road to the SFA Awards 2024, let’s enjoy the adventure together!

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