Take it to the next level assistants!
According to the ADA webiste, more than 5 million implants are placed each year by dentists in the United States. So, we know the patients are there and the need will only continue to grow. General practices have the ability to, not only, place the implant precisely with an in-office surgical guide but can also load the implant and create custom implant abutments and screw retained implants, all from your own office. No lab fees! Once you learn how easy it can be to rely on your team and keep more of those restorative appointments in-house, it’s hard to refer out and give money away to a lab!
Assistants Are Capable
Maybe Doctors feel it means a ton of work and money to get assistants trained to use the Cerec, or maybe they just feel more comfortable using that lab that they have trusted in for years. Well, let me tell you how good it feels to be able to confidently rely on your team for extraordinary results, because it feels pretty damn good (excuse my excitement)! Trust me, the team, more often than not, is interested in keeping Doctor happy. So, worrying about them not doing things the way Doctor likes, should not be something that lasts long. For example, I quickly learned that my Doc likes broad contacts for his crowns, he likes the cusps and anatomy to resemble the adjacent teeth, he’s very picky about the snap the floss gives when seating crowns and will remake it if there is even the slightest discrepancy in the verification bitewing. Those are just a few examples of specifics he likes when us assistants design a crown. Implants have some similarities and differences in what he prefers and we know that. You see, these are things you will learn as you train to run the Cerec in your office. Once you learn what your Doctor prefers, you can begin to take a load off of him/her and broaden your skills in the dental field.
Stop Throwing Your Hard Earned Money at Labs
In addition to having the ability to trust your team, you are saving a crazy amount of money by keeping things in-house. For one, implant crowns from a lab are typically one of the more expensive restorations. You can create and manufacture multiple implant crowns with Cerec for the cost of one lab crown. The process for the patient and the team is time-consuming when sending cases to a lab. You take an impression, wait for the lab to fabricate the crown, and hope that the shade you have in your head is somehow going to teleport to the mind of the lab tech that takes the case. If it’s a molar and it comes back a shade or two off, the patient will likely say, “it’s fine,” or “it will do since it’s in the back.” To me, those are not the words I want coming out of their mouths. Lab crowns involve impression trays, light-body and PVS material, impression copings, charges for models, replicas, abutments and crowns. Cerec saves you and your patients from dealing with that gag reflex they can’t control. You have options as far as customized abutments with crowns and screw-retained crowns chairside, and you can do it in a single visit. Yes, I said single visit! Having control over things like that, not only saves your practice money and increases profit, it impresses the patient by saving them time, avoiding goopy impression materials, giving them the most innovative care and being able to listen and deliver on their needs.
Some labs don’t use genuine parts, which increases the risk for failure and can void warranties. We know how much Doctors like to be able to back their work! Our office uses Straumann when it comes to implant systems. Call me bias, but they are one of the leading implant companies in the world. Although, I love to use Straumann, especially since they have their own genuine TiBase called, Cerec Variobase, you don’t have to use an implant company that has their own Cerec compatible products. It may sound complicated but as long as you are using one of the many companies Sirona supports including: Nobel, Astra, Hiossen and more, you can easily order the correct size TiBase kits for your implant system. You do that math and tell me you don’t see a significant savings and profit by keeping implant crowns in-house! Also, because you are able to streamline the implant appointment, you will see a growing interest in the procedure from patients.
An article published on 1/1/2017 by Dr. Gary L. Stafford called, “Dental Impressions: The Digital Alternative,” discusses the direction we are heading with digital impressions and cites an interesting survey on just how many critical errors are identified in traditional dental impressions. You can read this article here.
Testament to Success
Our practice is a prime example of the impact that having the technology to stop passing out referrals and shipping impressions to a lab, can have. When we started doing the full implant process in-office, we saw an outstanding rise in the number of implants we place and restore. We were able to lower the cost to patients by keeping everything in-house and in 2017 we placed and restored 10 times the implants we did the previous year. We expect that number to continue to rise. If we can do it, so can you!
Assistants can help build and grow your practice in so many ways, but digital dentistry is where it’s at! If you don’t have a Cerec, get one! When we, as assistants, show interest in being an investment, it gives the Doctor incentive to take action. Digital dentistry is the only direction for a growing practice if you ask me (and all the literature on where digital dentistry is headed). Allow your team to explore their potential by adding to your digital workflow. If you own a Cerec but aren’t utilizing it to its full potential, you’re not getting the most out of your investment. Either way, your practice has so much to gain from what the digital world of dentistry is offering.