Digital dental impressions are fast becoming the norm as an increasing number of clinicians and laboratories embrace this newer technology. Some of the benefits of intraoral scanning are obvious, such as speed and accuracy, but there are additional advantages you might not have considered. In this article, we look at digital dental restorations and the digital workflow. Not convinced digital impressions are worth considering?
Initially, porcelain fused to metal (PFMs) restorations were the clinician’s standard choice of material, because they offered reliable treatment outcomes for the patient.
However, the opaque porcelain used to mask the metal substructure, particularly in the cervical third, frequently causes a light gray appearance at the cervical margin. The effect can worsen after a few years if gingival recession occurs. Now, the demand for increased aesthetics and more cosmetically pleasing restorations has risen exponentially, corresponding with a significant fall in demand for PFMs. PFMs have been replaced with more clinically and aesthetically acceptable all-ceramic restorations, the most popular of which is zirconia.
Choosing a suitable dental laboratory is crucial for the success or your dental practice. When you find a dental lab that understands your requirements, your practice runs more smoothly because you know you will receive high-quality restorations on-time. One vital decision is whether to use a local dental laboratory or to choose a national lab. We’ve looked at the potential benefits and pitfalls of each choice.
Case: Transformative screw-retained bridge
Dr. Georges Raffoul, Coast Dental, Largo, FL DDS Laboratory, Darren Stiff, MDT
It isn’t unusual for clinicians to regularly see patients who have clinical failures or complications related to poor occlusion. Complications can cause pain, compromise masticatory function and affect patients’ phonetics and appearance.
Increasingly, patients are demanding dental restorations that provide excellent aesthetics and functionality. Most ceramic restorations can meet these needs, and there are many different types on the market. Achieving a successful restoration depends on the clinician’s ability to select the appropriate material and follow the right preparation and cementation protocols. Selection should be based on the ceramic’s physical properties, which include fracture resistance, strength, wear resistance, and long-term durability. One of the most popular materials is zirconia. Modern zirconia is very different from its original bone-white incarnation.
The name zirconium is derived from the Arabic word “Zargun,” or golden in color, which is further derived from the Persian words “zar” for gold and “gun” for color. Zirconium is a naturally occurring element with an atomic number of 40 and is a transitional metal found in nature as the mineral Zircon. It is purified to Zirconium, a silver-colored metal that is corrosion-resistant and has properties like titanium. When combined with oxygen, it forms zirconia, a strong and highly biocompatible ceramic. Zirconium was initially discovered in the 18th century.
Shade matching is subjective and influenced by many different factors. An inaccurate shade is a common cause of remakes, as even the slightest difference between an actual shade and its perceived color makes a huge difference in the mouth and is unacceptable to the patient and clinician. Being aware of issues that can affect your perception of color, and knowing how to reduce their influence, allows you to take more accurate shades.
For many clinicians, the monthly bill from the dental lab is their second largest expense. Building an excellent working relationship with a dental lab is essential to running your dental office smoothly and efficiently. Poor communication results in numerous remakes, increased chairside, avoidable expenses and dissatisfied patients.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 required the Department of Health and Human Services in the United States to develop regulations protecting the security and privity of specific health information. To meet these requirements, the Department published what is known as the HIPAA Security Rule and the Privacy Rule. Ensuring that the standards outlined by the Security Rule are met protects the health information covered under the Privacy Rule.