The glidewell.io™ In-Office Solution Lets Dentists Offer Economical Same-Day Crowns
When Joshua Prentice, DDS, became a new owner of a private dental practice a few years ago, to make it successful he leaned heavily on two areas of his past. The first was the time he spent as a child at his uncle's dental office, where he noticed lots of friendly banter and an enjoyable atmosphere among the coworkers, dentists, and patients. The second was his love of technology, which he had cultivated by spending time building computers and learning software programming. Today, not surprisingly, the Bend, Oregon, dentist utilizes advanced dental technology and offers state-of-the-art care to treat his patients.
Earlier this year Prentice's practice, like so many around the country, closed for 2 months due to COVID-19. Anticipating a restart at some point, he investigated the possibility of offering same-day restorations. Doing so, he figured, would both make the office safer by decreasing face-to-face interactions and help grow the practice. After weighing the costs and benefits to achieve this goal economically, Prentice purchased the glidewell.io™ In-Office Solution.
"In the past, as an associate dentist, I had been accustomed to using a closed architecture CAD/CAM system and enjoyed good success," Prentice explains. "But when considering the cost to incorporate same-day zirconia restorations, I opted for the glidewell.io system, an open system that was less than one-third the cost of the equipment we would have needed for the closed system."
After installation of the equipment and receiving training from a glidewell.io specialist, which included walking through the completion of several cases, the first 2 weeks with the new system saw Prentice's team design and mill restorations after patients left the office. To confirm accuracy, they sent cases to the lab and compared their in-house crowns to the lab crowns at seating appointments with x-rays. "I was very impressed. Our margins were usually the same or better than the lab's margins, which used the same digital impression file," he asserts.
After his first dozen or so restorations, Prentice began to mill and deliver same-day single-unit crowns. Based on monthly reports he receives from Glidewell, he learned that his practice had milled and delivered almost 120 units during the first 3 months of use. "Implementing the new system was seamless," he comments.
"Offering same-day restorations with the glidewell.io In-Office Solution has allowed us to eliminate temporary crowns. This not only saves us time and money, but it also reduces room turnovers per day for enhanced safety and limits the need for additional visits," Prentice says.
"During the first 3 months of usage, we milled about 75% of cases in-house," he notes, citing Glidewell's reports on the practice's weekly mill usage. "Now we are closer to 90%, with only anterior crowns, bridges, and implant crowns being sent to the lab."
"For the ‘bread and butter' single or double restorations that most dentists do day-to-day, the glidewell.io system is a terrific, economically sound solution," Prentice suggests, adding that his practice now commonly mills BruxZir® zirconia restorations for single-unit posterior teeth.
The training Prentice's office received on the glidewell.io In-Office Solution was "detailed and thorough" and included examples of strategies and techniques to improve final results. "As we continue to challenge ourselves, and design more complicated cases using new materials such as BruxZir Esthetic NOW, Glidewell technicians are always available to help with remote assistance."
"Advancements in technology and competitive pricing from suppliers like Glidewell are making it easier for interested dentists to enter the digital market and provide new services," Prentice submits. "The glidewell.io system has exceeded my expectations. Plus, patients love the treatment."