Inside Dentistry
August 2018
Volume 14, Issue 8

Tried-and-True Practices Stand the Test of Time

Flexi-Post® system allows Kouzoukian to deliver more efficient treatment

Today, the landscape of the dental profession is significantly different than it was in 1984 when James G. Kouzoukian, DDS, began practicing. In particular, insurance trends have made it challenging for some private practitioners to remain profitable. Kouzoukian has stayed successful by sticking to the traditional principles of providing exceptional dentistry and being accessible to patients and potential patients.

"I strive to communicate with patients and be as open and informative as possible," Kouzoukian says. "I am careful to ensure that each patient has a thorough understanding of the treatment that I outline for them. I assure them that I have covered all of the bases and that they will not be left at risk for major, unexpected problems in the future."

Kouzoukian takes pride in recording thorough dental and medical histories and performing extensive examinations. Many of his patients are healthcare professionals themselves and appreciate not only the level of information that he acquires and utilizes, but also the results.

"If a patient's bridgework that I provided 20 years ago is still strong today, then that patient becomes an ally to help me build my practice," Kouzoukian says. "Nothing is more important than word of mouth."

He takes an active role in that process as well, making personal appearances in the community to meet potential patients and promote his practice's capabilities.

"Oftentimes, patients want to ask questions about their dentition before they visit a practice," he says. "I inform them that I cannot provide definitive answers until a proper examination is conducted, but I do have general discussions with them. Patients like the fact that I appear out in public. Not everyone researches names online. Many of them appreciate meeting their provider in person before visiting the practice."

Kouzoukian has found that, whenever possible, patients also prefer to have their needs met in one visit, and one area in which he has differentiated himself in that regard is the placement of restorations on endodontically treated teeth.

During college, Kouzoukian attended a lecture by Barry Musikant, DMD, and Allan Deutsch, DMD, in which they discussed the innovative design for their prefabricated post system. It involved a split shank that they likened to a clothespin design and included threads for retention within the canal.

"I did not give it much thought at the time because New York University was teaching us to place cast posts in endodontically treated teeth," Kouzoukian says. "Once I was in private practice, however, I realized that requiring two visits to deliver a post and core was simply impractical in a lot of cases. As an associate in other practices, I had been introduced to a number of prefabricated post systems that each had very significant drawbacks, including poor retention in the canal due to a non-threaded design, the requirement of a very wide canal preparation, and other issues. In some cases, those systems recommended that a pin be placed, which I found to be a contraindication when restoring an already brittle endodontically treated tooth. I wanted something that would satisfy all of my needs."

Kouzoukian remembered the seminar with Musikant and Deutsch, who subsequently founded Essential Dental Systems (EDS) and created the Flexi-Post® system. Through the incorporation of the patented split shank, the stresses of insertion are absorbed by the post-not the root-during placement. With five available sizes, the Flexi-Post predictably provides maximum retention with minimal stress.

"The Flexi-Post design really eliminated all of my problems," Kouzoukian says. "The Flexi-Posts are tapered, and they incorporate a collapsible clothespin structure to minimize the forces that can be transmitted to the tooth within the canal. They are lightly threaded, which significantly increases canal retention, and they incorporate a very retentive and convoluted post head, which I prefer because it effectively retains the buildups that I perform. For 30 years now, the Flexi-Post system has been helping me to confidently place any type of restoration onto an endodontically treated tooth."

Although EDS has expanded its line of posts to include the Flexi-Flange®, AccessPost, and fiber post options, the quality of the Flexi-Post has remained constant.

"I am glad that the company has not changed or cheapened the product in any way that would make it less reliable," Kouzoukian says. "Any innovations have been positive. EDS is always on top of dentists' needs."

That allows Kouzoukian, in turn, to be on top of his patients' needs. "Patient satisfaction is so important," Kouzoukian says. "Today's patients are very busy, and when we can meet their needs in one visit, it boosts our value in their minds and helps the practice thrive."

For more information, contact:
Essential Dental Systems

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