Progressive Dentist Builds Thriving Practice Around CEREC®
For John S. Yu, DDS, using progressive, cutting-edge technology is an important element in his general practice in suburban Tucson, Arizona. "I was looking for a way to differentiate my practice from others in the community," Yu states. Because of this, he invested in Dentsply Sirona's CEREC® soon after purchasing his practice in 2009, and he has been thriving ever since. "Two years ago, I was able to build a brand new office centered around the CEREC and Sirona cone-beam technology. These two components have been the cornerstones of my practice."
Yu purchased the CEREC when it was one of only two CAD/CAM machines on the market. He chose CEREC not only because it was the more popular system, but also because of Dentsply Sirona's continuous investment in research and development of the CEREC system. "At the time, the company was working on a lot of new advances that have since come to fruition," Yu says. "Their engineers are constantly refining the software to include more dental applications, faster processing, and improved restoration designs."
The CEREC unit has advanced considerably since Yu first started using it for basic applications such as crowns, inlays, and onlays. Currently, he says, CEREC can also be used to fabricate custom implant abutments, screw-retained implant crowns, and custom healing abutments, along with a variety of other applications. "We can do bridges and provisional restorations, mill surgical guides for implant surgery, or perform smile design. There's also the ability to fabricate zirconia restorations in a single visit."
One of the biggest benefits of using CEREC, Yu continues, is that it virtually eliminates the need for a second visit. "We have patients who come to us because they want the one-visit procedure," he says. Additionally, because CEREC takes digital impressions and stores the files, exterior factors such as temperature or humidity that may impact traditional impressions are eliminated. This results in higher predictability and repeatability, Yu submits.
"I think, as dentists, we forget the value of time from a patient's perspective," Yu says in reference to patients not needing to return for a second visit. "We have to remember that their time is also money. No second visit means patients don't have to take an extra day off from work or pay a babysitter twice." Additionally, patients enjoy watching their digital impressions and restorations being made, he says. "They think it's a pretty cool process to see."
Having the CEREC also helps with cost management, Yu says, as it allows clinicians to create what they need in-house, decreasing the need to utilize a laboratory and the fees associated with it. "Using CEREC does not necessarily mean eliminating the laboratory completely, but rather it creates a new partnership between the lab and the doctor," he notes.
Yu compliments Dentsply Sirona and its dealer partners on the training they provide to users, both new and experienced. "When making a large investment in technology, it's important for the dentist to be properly trained to maximize its use," he says. "In my opinion, this is what separates Dentsply Sirona from other companies."
A doctor who purchases a new CEREC system receives hands-on training that reviews "the entire CEREC workflow," Yu says. This includes, "everything from how to prep a tooth, to the materials involved with CEREC, to bonding the restoration in place." An additional level of training is also now available to new users at no cost that teaches advanced concepts, "such as bridges, different design techniques, and time efficiency."
Dentsply Sirona also has partnered with cerecdoctors.com, the world's largest resource for CEREC training, according to Yu. The website includes more than 5,000 training videos and an online forum for peer-to-peer advice. Additionally, Dentsply Sirona and cerecdoctors.com offer a training program for doctors who are interested in CEREC but have not yet purchased it.
"Dentsply Sirona provides CEREC users with the proper training, setting them up for success," Yu concludes.