New mill at in-office lab makes experience more pleasant for patients
Story by Penny Stine for J.P. Dental
Technology has changed the atmosphere in many dental offices, giving patients an experience that’s more comfortable and takes less time out of their lives. Some of the biggest advances in technology have come with the development of in-house lab equipment that’s now available in more advanced dental offices.
An in-house lab that includes state-of-the-art milling equipment allows the dental office to make more bridges, crowns and other prosthetic devices at the office. Since the work is done by a lab technician at the office, the technician can meet with the patient to ask about the patient’s goals for the new tooth, and then can also consult with the patient on the day the device is delivered and placed, making on-the-spot adjustments for shaping, color and fit. All of that translates into fewer visits for patients, as well as a more precise fit and color match.
A modern dental office like J.P. Dental and Implant Center relies on digital technology for implant, crown and bridge placements. Precise images of the patient’s mouth are taken and sent to the doctor’s computer. The doctor can virtually place a device using a 3D image of the patient’s mouth, obtaining exact measurements for a precise fit. Files are then sent to the lab technician, who transfers the digital images to the milling equipment, which then takes a puck or rectangle of zirconia and transforms it into the perfect prosthetic for every patient.
J.P. Dental recently acquired its second mill for the in-house lab, the Dentsply Sirona inLab MC X5, which is larger than the other Sirona lab already in use at the office. The new mill works with the software system the lab technicians have been using for three years, and allows for full mouth prosthetics.
“The new mill has additional capabilities,” said Rebecca Hayden, the lab technician at J.P. Dental. “I can do larger pieces or more than one at a time.”
Dentsply Sirona offers a full training program for its equipment, including full-day training at the manufacturer’s facility, online support and onsite training. Hayden will attend a training seminar at the end of the month to learn more about producing surgical guides for implant surgery.
“Patients will be able to get a temporary crown for an implant the day the implant is placed,” Hayden said.
There is no extra cost for patients for surgical guides, but it does make certain procedures shorter and safer.
The new mill also gives J.P. Dental more control and customization capabilities, and a much quicker turn-around time. It’s the difference between buying an expensive suit, having a salesman take measurements to adjust and fit the suit, but then send those measurements to a tailor halfway across the country to make the actual changes to the suit versus buying an expensive suit, having an on-staff tailor take measurements and make adjustments while you wait, and then walking out with a customized suit.
“If there’s something to tweak, we can make immediate changes,” said Dr. John Poovey. “It shortens the time and makes it easier for patients, saving them time and money.”