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Jul/Aug 2012
Volume 33, Issue 7

Clinicians and Patients Both Win with Sirona’s CEREC System

If you ask Roddy MacLeod, Sirona’s Vice President of CAD/CAM, one of the greatest benefits of CAD/CAM dentistry is patient convenience. MacLeod believes that while CAD/CAM offers a variety of advantages to all members of the dental team, the patient may be the biggest winner when it comes to the use of this digital technology.

“People are busy; they don’t like coming to the dental office more than once to get a tooth fixed or to have other issues remedied. Sirona’s CEREC® system capitalizes on patients’ desire to minimize their visits to the dental office by enabling restorative treatment to be completed in one appointment rather than two or more,” says MacLeod. “As a result, clinicians who have CEREC technology in their office tend to do more dentistry.”

MacLeod suggests that the improved patient experience from CAD/CAM technology can have far-reaching positive effects on a dental office. “Anything that benefits the patient benefits the practitioner,” he says, adding that CAD/CAM drives business to dental practices. He cites a recently completed market survey by Sirona in which the results overwhelmingly demonstrated that patients of a CEREC clinician are much more likely to recommend that practice to their friends and family than patients whose clinician does not use CEREC.

In addition to saving patients time, CEREC technology also offers a number of clinical benefits. The system allows clinicians to create individual, all-ceramic restorations in only one appointment, delivering immediate results. Also, since they are all-ceramic, CEREC restorations offer high-level esthetics, making them a popular choice among patients.

Another benefit is that CEREC impressions are much more precise than traditional impressions, and leave less room for human error. MacLeod also points out that CEREC gives clinicians the ability to cement the final restoration in the same appointment as the tooth preparation, which greatly decreases the chance of bacterial infection associated with a loose-fitting or lost temporary. “There appears to be a correlation of a lower incidence of endodontic treatment with CEREC restorations, and we attribute that to the lack of a temporization phase,” MacLeod submits.

Beyond the clinical advantages, Sirona’s CEREC system offers clinicians ease of use. “The technology is as good, or better, than what you can get from either in-house processes or lab processes in terms of delivering inlays, onlays, crowns, veneers, and such. Sirona wants to ensure that operating CEREC is easy enough that every clinician can feel comfortable using it,” says MacLeod. In the past 3 years, the company has made a number of usability improvements to the CEREC system. The camera has been upgraded to make it less sensitive to operator error, and the milling system is faster so that procedures can be executed even more quickly. Also, Sirona has upgraded CEREC’s software, making it more intuitive and user-friendly. “We are doing everything we can to ensure the success of CAD/CAM beginners right out of the gate,” MacLeod asserts.

Another way Sirona ensures that clinicians using CEREC systems are adequately prepared is through the company’s extensive training program. When clinicians purchase a CEREC system, they automatically receive a 2-day clinical training session with a CEREC trainer. These trainers typically have about 8 years experience with the machine in their own practice. Additionally, the clinician may also opt to receive 1 day of in-office training with a CEREC clinician. The in-office training day usually occurs about a month after the clinician starts using the CEREC system, which allows him or her to identify problem areas or questions to address with the trainer.

Like many in the dental industry, MacLeod believes the future of CAD/CAM dentistry and CEREC is bright. “Patients see technology all around them in the healthcare professions, like in medicine and optometry. They want to see it in dentistry, too. Sirona will continue to drive energy and resources into innovating its CAD/CAM products,” he says.

Sirona Dental Systems, LLC
4835 Sirona Dr, Suite 100
Charlotte, NC 28273

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