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Inside Dentistry
July 2022
Volume 18, Issue 7

In-Office Milling Benefits Practices and Patients

The™ In-Office Solution makes same-day crowns easy

Andy Droel, DDS, and Natalie Droel, DDS

Droel Family Dentistry, which is located in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota, is a two-dentist, two-location practice—and that is exactly how the owners like it. When the husband-and-wife team of Andy Droel, DDS, and Natalie Droel, DDS, opened the practice nearly 2 decades ago, independence was their top priority. "We want to practice the way that we want to practice, so we have fended off corporate dentistry," Andy says. "Deciding how much time that we spend on each patient and what treatment options that we offer is important to us. We only answer to ourselves and each other."

In the interest of both maintaining practice efficiency and better serving patients, the Droels are always eager to explore new technologies and products. In 2018, they became Invisalign-certified by the Pankey Institute, which led them to become proponents of the ABC (align, bleach, composite) concept as well as to implement an intraoral scanner in their practice.

Although performing orthodontic-restorative treatments helped the Droels to be minimally invasive, they still felt that they could provide better care if they could cut the temporization step from their workflows. Scheduling restorative treatments involved working around patients' schedules for the seating of the final restorations, and that experience was further complicated whenever the Droels took time off together and had to close the offices. "We would leave for a family vacation with 10 to 15 temporary crowns out there in our patients' mouths, and they often broke," Andy says. "It was just a royal pain." That led the Droels to explore chairside milling for same-day crowns, and although the first system that they considered was too complicated for their liking, they soon discovered the In-Office Solution, which includes CAD software and a milling machine. "We found that does everything that we need with a simplified workflow," Andy says.

The Droels expected the process of implementation to be gradual, but the system was so easy to use and performed so well that they started keeping most of their single-unit crowns in house almost immediately. "It was like flipping a switch," Andy says. "It was a really easy transition." The Droels still use laboratories for high-end esthetic anterior work, but they mill almost everything else from BruxZir® NOW and BruxZir® Esthetic NOW. Their assistants—along with Glidewell's CrownAI and MarginAI artificial intelligence technologies—handle most of the design work; therefore, they only need to spend a few minutes confirming everything. The patients are the biggest beneficiaries. "This new workflow eliminates the need for a second appointment by adding some more work on the front end," Natalie says.

As convenient as offering same-day restorations has proven to be, the Droels have also enjoyed having increased control. "We really liked our laboratory," Andy emphasizes, "but we did not always agree with every decision that they made. Now, we can review each restoration prior to milling. Once we got accustomed to examining the emergence profile, contour, and other factors that we had previously left up to the laboratory, we could better control our final results. And the quality of the BruxZir zirconia has proven to be exceptional. Very few adjustments are necessary after milling."

Glidewell's support team has helped the Droels to deliver high quality as well. Natalie notes that she once reached out to ask about any new webinars or training videos for assistants who had recently joined the practice, and within an hour, Glidewell had set up a half-day, in-person training session at no cost to the practice. "It was amazing and very helpful," she says.

Andy adds that the Glidewell team has been accessible even for simple advice regarding designing crowns. With that support, accomplishing the goal of mostly eliminating temporary crowns from their practice only took about a month for the Droels. They typically prepare the teeth, send the patients out for a short period while the crowns mill, and then do not even need to anesthetize the patients again upon their return. "Then they go home, and they are done," Andy says. "That is incredible."

The ability to provide that type of patient experience is why the Droels built their practice the way that they did and a major contributor to why they have had so much success. "We are constantly looking for ways to improve patients' experiences in our offices," Natalie says, "and the In-Office Solution has greatly contributed to that goal. It has helped our practice to move to the next level."

Key Points
The Essix ACE plastic material effectively moves teeth and offers versatility—even for
complex cases.
The open software and dependable workflow make uploading patient records and specifying
detailed preferences easy.
Offer patients more reasons to choose SureSmile Aligners with the SureSmile® VPro™ High Frequency Vibration Device, the SureSmile® Whitening Kit, and the SureSmile® Retainer.

Glidewell Dental

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