The E4D Dentist System—A Dream Technology Becomes Reality
Five years ago, Mark and Henley Quadling, twins from South Africa, had the idea of using laser digitization to scan natural tooth structure. Their concept combined a tremendous amount of data with original design software and milling hardware to allow a dental professional to scan, fabricate, and deliver a same-day restoration. They certainly were aware of the competitive system, but wanted to make the whole process more efficient, effective, and user-friendly. They brought this dream to Basil Haymann, a visionary with plenty of experience making things happen, and the company D4D Technologies (Richardson, TX) was born. What started with an idea (Dream) has progressed through Design, Development, and the company is now ready for Delivery—the fourth and final “D” of D4D Technologies—of the E4D Dental System.
The biggest distinction between the E4D Dental System (Figure 1) and what is out there today for chairside CAD/CAM dentistry is the one most dental professionals have been waiting for—a CAD/CAM system that is easy to learn, provides excellent basic training, and immediate, high-quality customer support. From a hardware standpoint, the design of the cart reflects the feedback and needs of modern dentistry. It uses a wireless mouse (not a trackball) adaptable to left- or right-handed operators or it can be operated from across the operatory. Also, there is a remote foot pedal, so the clinical operator does not have to reach across the patient or be at the cart to operate it. Many additional ergonomic improvements have been incorporated throughout the whole design. The mill is designed to be robust enough to mill products of the future, not just today, for dentists and laboratories. The mill also uses Two-Striper Diamonds from Premier Dental (Plymouth Meeting, PA) and the latest technology to ensure optimal performance.
From a software perspective, the term “intuitive” best describes the whole process—you know where to go next. The Dentalogic software includes the ICEverything (ICE) mode, Auto-genesis—morphing the proposed restoration to match the neighboring dentition for inlays, onlays, full crowns, and veneers—as well as the famed “rubber tooth tool,” which allows complete and easy control of all restoration features, making the software truly unique and customized for the North American Market (Figure 2).
For the visionary dental professional, the ICE mode changes everything. Instead of showing a caricature of what is in the mouth, or making the image look like laboratory stone, the ICE technology allows the E4D to actually show the clinician a 3-dimensional (3-D) image of the real oral environment. Clinicians can move, rotate, and zoom in on a 3-D image of the actual clinical condition and see enamel on the margins, check the distal of teeth never seen before except in mirrors, and have complete control to look at margins as they really are, not covered or animated (Figure 3 and Figure 4).
While the E4D also includes a stone model view option, the ICE view (Figure 4) offers the most exciting opportunities in the future for diagnosis, treatment planning, and education of patients and professionals.
BEYOND THE MACHINE
It is not just a machine you get when you become an E4D Clinical Operator (ECO member) (Figure 5) it is an experience—the E4D 360º Experience. Included in the purchase of the system is training for the dentist and an assistant at E4D University, a 9,000-square-foot state-of-the-art teaching facility with operatory, laboratory, laboratorium, and classrooms in Richardson, Texas. Including travel, accommodations, and 2 full days of hands-on experience and instruction is D4D Technology’s way of providing the correct basic information (E4D Elements Course) directly from the source, so everyone gets off on the right foot. Acknowledging how important the dental assistant can be to the whole process, the company offers a Chairside Dental Designer (CDD) advanced educational program to maximize office productivity. Also, each E4D System is connected to our customer support facility in Dallas, so D4D technical support personnel can remote-access at the invitation of the office, and “hold their mouse” as well as their hand through the initial learning curve and integration process. D4D’s exclusive distributor, Henry Schein (Melville, NY), has ensured that the purchase of the system includes everything a practitioner needs to get started—including software upgrades and a full warranty for 3 years as well as material sel-ections from manufacturer partners—all included in the base price.
WORTH THE WAIT
Those who have heard about this promising technology from its inception know its genesis has been a lengthy but rewarding process. Most important to D4D was to get it exactly right for the dental professional and for the patient before release. Our experience is that after someone sees a full demonstration of the product or comes to the D4D facility and sees behind the scenes the full capabilities of the people, product, and support, they no longer are asking, “What took you so long?” but “When can I get it?”
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|Figure 1 The E4D Dental System.||Figure 2 3-D model including real data from below the height of contour.|
|Figure 3 Multiple restorations in simultaneous virtual design mode.||Figure 4 ICE screen capture. Note the clearly defined margins. Photo courtesy of Dr. Chris Ramsey.|
|Figure 5 A clinician at work with the E4D.|