Whether a big or small practice, CAD/CAM will make a difference

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Whether a big or small practice, CAD/CAM will make a difference

Using the E4D Dentist. (DTI/Photo provided by E4D)
Amy Reynolds, USA

Amy Reynolds, USA

Tue. 17 July 2012


For 14 years, I assisted chairside in a small rural town in Texas (population 6,000 or so), in a single GP office with four operatories. I went through the everyday motions of comforting my patients, taking radiographs, preparing my operatory, pouring up models, disinfecting and sterilizing. Day in and day out, things stayed the same, until about two years ago when we came across the E4D Dentist System.

On first impression (no pun intended), we had to ask each other many of the questions that I’m sure all dental professionals have when they first come across digital dentistry: Could this really work in our office? Would our existing patients be interested and receptive to this change? Could we attract new patients with the system? Could we handle the actual fabrication of the restorations? And could we get the same quality restorations we expected and our patients deserved?

The answer to all of these questions is and was: Yes!

We even made the decision to incorporate chairside CAD/CAM dentistry with the E4D before we invested in other technology such as digital radiography.

What we found was that the ROI and savings with the E4D allowed us to then invest in other technology opportunities in our office.

After having the system integrated into our office by a very knowledgeable and friendly member of the E4D training team, the system took off in our office like a rocket. My dentist trusted me to take the restoration from start to finish. This gave him the opportunity to do other procedures, after which he would come back to seat the restoration when it was completed.

I started out with three same-day restorations per day — scanning only intraorally, designing in front of the patient, milling out the restoration, then characterizing for esthetics with a simplified stain and glaze technique.

The results were amazing; my dentist was more than pleased — top line and bottom line.

The nice part was there were no temporaries, no impression material, but there was an immediate gratification for the office and the patient. Our patients were more than eager to have a same-day restoration.

Soon after the word spread that our office could provide a final restoration in one visit, we started getting calls and new patients who wanted more efficiency in their care, and we even had a unique group of patients who were about to be deployed to Iraq and could not serve our country until restorative care was finalized — all in one day.

My favorite was the very busy corporate sales patient who traveled quite a bit: he had broken a tooth at the most inopportune time. He came into our office and took not one but two conference calls while I was designing and finishing his restoration.

Some people are “afraid of the learning curve.” Well, after about two months, there was not a posterior case I was hesitant to tackle, including quadrants. From there, it was a quick step to the anterior cases and implant restorations. The sky was the limit with the E4D system.

So often, we as dental assistants sit chairside assisting the case, using creative efforts to make temporary restorations that are simply cut off in a couple weeks and thrown away. What a thrill it is now to know I’m creating final restorations, and my patients are using my creation every day for function and esthetics.

I’m now part of the restorative cycle — a big part and an even greater contribution to my practice.

Don’t hesitate to dream what “could be” in dentistry or in your practice. Chairside digital dentistry works — no matter how big or how small your practice is. The time is now — challenge your capabilities and engage what is best for your patients, team and office.

Take a close look at the E4D Dentist system and see how great the change can be.


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