Dentsply's Digital Solutions Solve Laboratory Challenges
Posted Apr 28, 2011 in Digital Dentistry
From digitizing denture prescriptions to offering economical CAD/CAM outsourcing services, two laboratories detail how Dentsply Prosthetics is helping them get ahead.
"You'd be surprised at how many denture prescriptions we get with just the patient's last name and the shade—there's no gender, no preferences, nothing," says Jerry Kaizer, co-owner of Murray Kaizer, Inc., a 30-employee removable laboratory in Farmington, Connecticut. "I can't tell you how many times I have to get on the phone to fill in missing information." Sound familiar?
Kaizer has found a solution to this headache: Dentsply's TruRx Digital Denture Prescription. Similar to how consumers can "try on" new hairstyles via computer imaging, this new software allows the dentist to take a digital photograph of the patient and generate a detailed prescription that includes a likeness of the patient's post-therapy image.
Here's how it works: The system includes two calibration tools that must be used when taking the patient's photo: an Index square and Cosmetix™ mouthpiece. Both are made of soft, biocompatible gray foam. The gray color enables the program to adjust the patient's image so skin tones and tooth shades are color-balanced. The Index square is placed on the patient's forehead and guides the measurement calculations. The mouthpiece tells the software where the likeness of the patient's new smile should be positioned.
When both calibration tools are properly placed, a digital photograph is taken and imported into the program, which uses key facial contours to calculate central tooth width and length. Once a shade system has been selected, TruRx recommends the appropriate IPN® anterior maxillary and mandibular denture teeth molds. The program also offers selections for anterior arrangement, posterior denture teeth, occlusal schemes and denture base materials (Lucitone 199® and/or Eclipse®) and generates a prescription which is then e-mailed to the laboratory.
Because the system guides the dentist through the key denture considerations—including measurements, shades and mold selections—the TruRx-generated prescription is clearer and more complete than the typical handwritten ones Kaizer receives. "There are certain required fields the doctor must complete, and he can't advance to the next step until he does," he says. "This is a much more complete way of doing things and saves us lots of time." Also, since the patient participates in the selection process and can see an approximation of the final outcome, he has a greater understanding of the proposed treatment plan, which helps to eliminate anxiety, enhance patient buy-in and increase satisfaction with the end result.
"TruRx has helped strengthen our relationships with our dentist-accounts. Most of the users are younger and really tech savvy so they find it easier than manually writing out a prescription," says Kaizer. "Our older clients who aren't as computer comfortable find the process to be more labor intensive, but overall they see the value of the digital imaging and format."
The dentist is the only one who needs the TruRx software but both the dentist and the lab can purchase it from a Dentsply authorized dealer for $99 (suggested retail). Currently, Dentsply offers a buy-one-get-one-free promotion for TruRx as well as a buy-one-get-one-free IPN shade guide offer.
Another Solution: Compartis® USA SmartSourcing
Two years ago, Charles Mecca, CDT, MDT, MDP, owner of Associate Dental Corp. in Olyphant, Pennsylvania, wasn't completely satisfied with the two CAD scanners he had bought in order to outsource milled zirconia restorations. The first system, while profitable for single units, wasn't large enough to scan bridges. The second unit produced restorations that weren't cost effective; in Mecca's rural area of the country, he couldn't sell the restorations at the price he needed to be profitable.
So when Dentsply began offering CAD/CAM services via Compartis USA—the company's centralized milling center—the timing was just right and Mecca invested in the Cercon CAD scanning system. "The prices of their services allowed us to be cost competitive with both singles and bridges," says Mecca. "I still use one of my other scanners for more complex cases, but only about once a month. My Cercon scanner is our everyday CAD scanner." Since it began offering Cercon restorations, the laboratory has seen a 70% increase in the number of zirconia restorations it fabricates.
Dentsply also made the transition a seamless one for the laboratory. The Dentsply technical representative simply came in, set up all of the equipment and—since the staff was already experienced with scanning and designing—had the lab up and running after just one hour of training. "They made it very easy for us and allowed us to hit the ground running," says Mecca, noting that his rep also comes to the lab to install software updates.
The company has provided valuable marketing support by sponsoring a CE-approved Cercon program for the laboratory's clients on the applications of zirconia--providing the speaker and all marketing materials at no charge. "This was one of our most successful programs to date and, with 40 dentists in the room, it was one of our best-attended courses ever," says Mecca, who only had to pay for the cost of the room rental.
Mecca also likes the fact that the menu of Compartis restorations keeps expanding. For instance, in February, Dentsply announced the availability of Compartis ISUS Bars and Bridges, CAD-designed and CAM-milled implant suprastructures that eliminate the need for waxing, casting, seating, finishing and stocking implant abutments in-house. The laboratory plans to hold a seminar on Compartis ISUS to generate client interest.
Our Leading through Partnership series, featuring profiles of laboratory-manufacturer partnerships, is brought to you in recognition of and with appreciation for Dentsply's support since LMT's inception in September, 1984. For information on Compartis USA SmartSourcing services, call 800-487-0100 or visit . For details on Dentsply TruRx, call 800-786-0085 or visit .
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