Laboratory, Dentists on Same Page with New Material
Inside Dental Technology spoke with Frankie Acosta, Owner of AA Dental Design, Inc., in Murrieta, California, about his philosophy regarding collaboration with dentists and a new material that has been transformative for that workflow.
Inside Dental Technology: You have always been a big proponent of collaboration with dentists. How has that been an effective business model for you?
Frankie Acosta: My business model focuses on dentists who use Dentsply Sirona’s CEREC system, and collaboration with these dentists is the most important aspect of our business. For many years, I had one of those laboratories that always complains about dentists providing subpar information, but approximately a decade ago, we began really emphasizing collaboration and communication as the foundation of this laboratory. We are a partner to our dentists. The marketing materials that we use to promote our laboratory show dentists our workflow and what defines it. Our base clients must understand that we need to communicate not just about workflow but about materials and every other element of that partnership. If a dentist requests a particular restorative material, I need to know why; is it a desire for a certain level of flexural strength, a certain type of esthetics, etc? We need to be on the same page for our collaboration to really work.
IDT: How have you been able to communicate about materials in particular?
Acosta: Many of our dentists use a particular chairside solution and prescribe that same brand when they work with our laboratory. In order for us to use a material of our choice, it is helpful for that material to really deliver convincing results, and we have found that with Cercon xt ML from Dentsply Sirona. When dentists ask for a particular material, we ask them to simply try Cercon xt ML. When they do, it has totally changed the way they react to our zirconia restorations, because the material is that good. It blew them away to the point that they now often request Cercon xt ML.
IDT: In the laboratory workflow specifically, why is Cercon so great?
Acosta: There are a few reasons. First, among the many, many zirconia materials we tested, Cercon xt ML produces the best, most consistent shade when we sinter it appropriately according to the manufacturer’s specifications. The entire process provides such great consistency. Second, the results have been very reliable in terms of durability. Again, following the manufacturer’s recommendations is always important; you need to understand not only what type of zirconia works where, but also the thickness necessary for the connectors. Cercon xt ML is exceptional because it is ideal for such a wide range of indications. If a dentist needs strength, I can explain that Cercon xt ML has 750 MPa. If the dentist wants esthetics as well, Cercon xt ML looks great and compares esthetically to lithium disilicate. We can provide a very nice-looking crown without needing to charge extra for cutbacks and all the other steps that are sometimes necessary to make zirconia look nice.
IDT: What is the impact on your laboratory?
Acosta: We are able to accomplish with Cercon xt ML what would typically require five different materials in our inventory. We can make our workflow more efficient while making great quality restorations in terms of both strength and esthetics. The phrase “game-changer” is cliché, but Cercon xt ML has definitely brought a whole new element to our laboratory workflow.