Get your technique down, stick to it, and make sure everyone is doing it the same. This way you can always help each other out, knowing that the same steps were followed to get from A to B. A good team works together and helps each other when in need. Being able to pick up where another team member left off, is important to the digital workflow, in a busy practice. It helps prevent missed steps when the schedule suddenly gets crazy (which we all know is bound to happen) and you’re having to step in and lend a hand. This is true for your entire digital workflow. It’s always important to have systems. If it would be helpful, I will post videos on our systems for crowns, surgical guides, and implants on my Facebook page YourDigitalDA.
Helpful Tips to Capture Those Hard to Reach Areas!
One of the smallest but most helpful steps that I’ve been taught, is where to start the image and where to end it. Now, lets go back and assume that you’ve already got your prelim images, and you are ready to image the finished prep. Always start and finish your image over the occlusal surface of the prep. You want to be as close to the prep as possible, without touching the teeth with the lens. When you roll the camera to the buccal and lingual, it’s important to get a direct buccal and direct lingual image. By bringing the camera parallel to the teeth, it allows the camera to capture the height of the prep, the walls and margins. Use your buccal and lingual angles to get the interproximal contacts as well. By angling the camera direct buccal/lingual and rocking the butt of the camera right and left, it allows you to get some of those hard to reach interproximal areas. It also helps with those difficult spots where adjacent teeth are tipped, rotated or leaning.
An Extra Tidbit
Another helpful tip! Use your foot petal to turn the camera on and off. This allows you to start the image once your camera is in place, and more importantly, turn the camera off BEFORE pulling it out of the mouth. When you pull the camera out while it’s on, it collects bad data from being too far away from the subject. By turning it on and off while directly over the prep, you keep the image from blurring and the result is a more clear picture of the margin.
When In Doubt, Re-Image!
Now, this doesn’t have to mean that you’re trashing everything you’ve been working on for the last 20 minutes, if something doesn’t look right. More often than not, when I have to go back to re-image, it takes me a few minutes to get what I need and I’m off to designing my crown. It’s always worth it to play it safe. BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY… There’s nothing worse than taking your final verification bitewing, after cementing the crown, only to find that the crown isn’t sealed properly, or the margin is undercut. There are things you can do with crowns once they are milled, like smoothing areas, and lightening the contacts or occlusion, and even adding a contact… but you can NEVER add to the margin after you manufacture the crown. So, you see why this step is crucial to the success of your crowns. Any questionable area needs to be isolated and re-imaged!
Coming Back Hot… So Look Out!
I hope this is helpful to my CEREC Assistants. I will be much more active on all my pages once my wedding happens in a couple months! I was super smart this year and decided to do the EFDA program (placing fillings) and plan a wedding, while working full time. So you can probably understand why my time is limited at the moment. But… I’m coming back HOT, so stay tuned!