Getting back to my patient, Gordon. Using digital technology, like a Smile Design tool, in just minutes, we can give him an idea of what can be done. This helps Gordon determine what he is looking for. Because what we think is a good idea may not be what our patients are looking for. The sooner we find what they think is appropriate for them, the better we will be. In Gordon’s case, by adding a little composite to his teeth, I can get his vertical dimension and send these to my lab in the states, where they will create an additive wax-up.
Instead of doing it like the old days by building up the model, we now do it digitally. This is something you can do yourself or have your technician do it.
Now in this case, I send Gordon’s data to the states and instead of it taking three or four days to get there and getting on the telephone, my technician in the states has the models in seconds. We can get on TeamViewer. He says based what you told me this is what I am thinking of.
Once we agree, he can send me screen shots and the STL file and very quickly, I can print the model out. The whole process is so much more efficient. We make a trial smile for Gordon to try on. We can then talk to him about what we need to do to be able to achieve this result. We are starting treatment with the end goal in mind.
Digital is so important because prior to this we would be sorting teeth out, trying to work out what to do and it would take me forever and a day for the patient to look at a model you just spent hours on and then say, “no thanks.”
In the old days, for restorations, we would have to take photos, models, take a bite registration, and send that to a lab. The lab would have to mount them, take an incisal guide table to copy the function, now everything is done in next to no time.
I do a lot of implant restorations. It was never my favorite day to make a custom tray or trying to get all the impression material without getting it into the screw.
Whereas now, we unscrew the temporary or the cover screw and we take a picture of the emergence profile. We then put the scan post in. We don’t have to scan the whole thing. We just basically scan the area that the computer has cut out, it’s stitched together in the scan automatically. You get a perfect impression of the tissue. It knows exactly where the implant is. With that we can really ensure that we get exceptional results.
Digital really makes the patient and my life easier. It makes our lab friends’ lives even easier.