Digital Impressions with Sirona’s CEREC® Omnicam
Reducing costs and increasing patient satisfaction
Digital impressioning has come far in recent years. With the introduction of Sirona’s CEREC® Bluecam a few years ago and the new CEREC Omnicam most recently, imaging and designing all types of advanced anterior cosmetic cases, multiple unit bridge cases, and implant restorations have become much easier. In the author’s office, almost all single-unit cases are completed chairside, usually same day, and multiple unit bridge cases are sent via Sirona Connect to participating laboratories.
Providing complete same-day dentistry is invaluable. Patients who experience transforming their smile in one visit refer family and friends. This technology can also impact a practice’s financial bottom line. In the author’s practice, which has a high volume of removable prosthetics, lab costs decreased from 11% to 4%. Milling a crown chairside can offer a significant savings over a comparable lab-processed crown. Typically for Sirona Connect cases, the laboratories that participate will charge less per unit than a case using conventional impressions. Supply costs also decrease because impression materials are not needed.
Omnicam has also made imaging significantly easier. Seasoned associates, new associates, and assistants can all easily image and design cases. The camera does not need to be held at a certain angle and is much smaller, making it easier to get in to the posterior areas. The Bluecam imaging system was dependent on powdering technique to produce a well-fitting, esthetic restoration. With Omnicam, there is no powder; only a clean, dry field is necessary. The restorations fit accurately with regard to occlusion, interproximal contacts, and marginal adaptation.
The greatest improvement is in the area of Sirona Connect. Omnicam takes images with video streaming as opposed to the Bluecam’s four to five still pictures. Linking a bite registration together using the Bluecam was frustrating, especially if certain anatomical features were moving. It required that those features were in the exact same position in every picture. Those factors do not affect the imaging process on the Omnicam, and typically one can image in less time than it takes for impression material to set up. The tools for the Omnicam are identical to those offered in the 4.0 software upgrade for the Bluecam, but with some great additional features. For example, after anesthetizing the patient, a dental assistant will take preliminary images of the opposing arch and the preparation arch. Once the preparation is complete, the preliminary image of the tooth can be edited out and a new image of the prepared tooth can be “stitched” into the image.
CAD/CAM is the future of dentistry. New technology allows dentists to push the boundaries of the types of services they can provide for patients. It can transform a practice, fostering much higher patient satisfaction and, in return, greater personal satisfaction.
About the Author
Frederick Lee, DMD, is a graduate of Boston University School of Dental Medicine. He is the owner of Hemet Dental Group and Orthodontics in Hemet, California, and his practice has been supported by Pacific Dental Services since 2010.
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The statements and opinions contained in the preceding material are solely those of the author and not of the editors, publisher, or the Editorial Board of Inside Dentistry.