CAD/CAM Hybrid Ceramic From Shofu Enables Lifelike Restorations in a Single Appointment
Every dentist has his or her reasons for choosing their profession. Hugh Flax, DDS, pursued dentistry partly because of his mother's poor experience with the dentist. "My commitment to excellence and patient comfort comes as much from an emotional standpoint as a clinical one. I was inspired to practice dentistry because my mother was very fearful of going to the dentist," he says, recalling that she had to have dental work redone four different times.
Her unfortunate encounters motivated Flax to become a skilled, caring dentist on whom patients could rely and trust. Today, his bustling Atlanta, Georgia, practice is a multifaceted operation that includes cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, and even some orthodontic work. To improve efficiency and optimize the patient experience, Flax utilizes CAD/CAM technology, which he says has been instrumental in his success.
"Initially, we invested in CAD/CAM to increase efficiency and make the dental experience more enjoyable for our patients," Flax claims, noting that CAD/CAM technology helps him plan and place implants more efficiently and accurately. "We've since found that patients are so ecstatic about the fact we are able to do one-day restorations that they tell their friends and family, and this has been a huge practice-builder for us."
A major part of his practice's operation is Shofu Block & Disk HC, which Flax uses when performing CAD/CAM restorative procedures. "I've always been a fan of Shofu, so when I was introduced to Shofu Block & Disk HC, I was immediately intrigued." The innovative material, composed of 61% zirconium silicate, helps increase the speed of producing CAD/CAM restorations, he submits, and it also offers a gradation of color. "As a result, we're able to create more esthetically pleasing restorations for our patients."
According to the manufacturer, Shofu Block & Disk HC can be used for a variety of procedures, including minimally invasive inlays and onlays, cosmetic veneers, full crowns for anterior and posterior teeth, and implant-supported restorations. Additionally, the force-resisting hybrid ceramic offers high wear resistance, tooth-like light transmission and fluorescence, excellent stain resistance, and high-gloss polishing, Shofu states.
Because Shofu Block & Disk HC is made with a high percentage of zirconia silicate, it is "a stronger product," Flax says, adding that the ease of cementation of it is another benefit. "We simply scan the patient to take impressions, incorporate the design into the restoration over the tooth, mill the restoration, polish it, and bond it to the tooth."
Shofu Block & Disk HC enables precision milling, leading to less chairtime, Flax continues. The highly durable material is milled quickly and polished to a high gloss in a short time, and the restoration can be cemented immediately. The optical properties demonstrate the translucency and light diffusion of natural teeth and easily blend with the surrounding tissue, he adds.
Patient feedback has been very positive, Flax asserts. "We have many patients who are amazed at how well their restorations blend in with the existing tooth anatomy. Most patients have experienced traditional crowns, which require goopy impressions and temporaries. Being able to give patients a one-visit, two-hour appointment and leave with beautiful restorations has been a real boom for both the patients and the practice," he says.
In terms of educating dentists, Shofu's website provides a variety of resources to help clinicians fully utilize Shofu Block & Disk HC. In addition, Flax notes that the company sponsors key opinion leaders for presentations detailing the properties of the various Shofu restorative materials and how to use them.
"I have been using Shofu products since I was in dental school," Flax contends. "They've always been known for their polishing materials and have been innovative in terms of decay control and caries management." Now with Shofu Block & Disk HC, he acknowledges, the company offers a new-generation CAD/CAM ceramic-based restorative material.
Shofu Dental Corporation