A Unique Solution for Open Tray Implant Impressions
MiraTray® Implant Advanced from Hager Worldwide efficiently delivers exceptional outcomes
Gregori Kurtzman, DDS
Gregori Kurtzman, DDS, has spent the past 36 years operating a solo practice, but his presence in the dental profession is anything but solo. Kurtzman lectures around the world, holds a number of academic fellowships, and has published approximately 800 articles. "I have always gotten joy from sharing knowledge and helping others," he says. "As dentists, we are, in a sense, all together in our pursuit to help our patients and others, and sharing the knowledge is a big part of that."
Kurtzman describes himself as a knowledge junkie. "Keeping ahead of the curve by pursuing continuous education in dentistry and aligned areas is important to me," he says. Kurtzman began writing in 1994 and was encouraged by the positive feedback that he received from the editor of his first article for an implant journal. Now, 28 years later, the passion continues. "I have been fortunate that my ability to write has allowed me to connect with dental companies that want to show me new premarket products, seek my opinion on new concepts that they are exploring, and have me evaluate new products when they come to market," he says.
Kurtzman's thirst for knowledge and the privileges that his position in the industry affords have helped him provide the highest quality care at his own practice in Silver Spring, Maryland, where he still practices 4 days a week. He has been at the same location, which is near a large retirement community, since 1987. As a result, his patient base comprises approximately 40% senior citizens, the oldest of which is currently 104 years old, but he also sees children. "I provide most dental services but also work with some specialists on certain cases," he says. "My philosophy has been to provide the same level of care to my patients that I would provide to a close family member. I also endeavor to make that care as stress free as possible for them because we know that even the thought of going to the dentist is a high stress point for many patients." Words of gratitude from happy patients still make Kurtzman smile. "I recently inserted a crown for the wife of my networking group's vice president," Kurtzman says, "and he told me, ‘Wow, she was really happy with the crown, and she is a nitpicker.' Receiving a compliment like that is really rewarding."
According to Kurtzman, two ways to make patients happy are to make treatments efficient and to produce exceptional outcomes, so he particularly appreciates products that help him accomplish both, such as the MiraTray® Implant Advanced from Hager Worldwide. This implant impression tray is compatible with all implant systems and features patented clear foil technology that permits visualization of the implant abutments during impression making. Unlike custom or modified stock trays, it facilitates precise open tray impressions with a superior technique that allows for tray repositioning. The trays are available in three sizes for both the maxillary and mandibular arches.
Kurtzman has been using the MiraTray Implant Advanced for approximately 15 years, and he has written several articles about it, spreading the word to his fellow dentists about its ease of use, efficiency, and effectiveness. "The concept is so interesting because open tray impressions normally require a custom tray, which takes time to make, or a stock tray with holes drilled in it," Kurtzman says. "When you use either of those methods, the tray might work without the impression material, but once you fill it, lining the holes up with the implant abutments can be a struggle. The MiraTray Implant Advanced is covered with a clear foil, so you do not need to worry about lining up holes. You simply fill it with impression material, seat it intraorally, and push down on it with enough pressure that the posts pop through the foil. The process has become so simplified with this product." In all of the years that Kurtzman has been using the MiraTray Implant Advanced, he has not seen any comparable products hit the market. "There is nothing else that is similar," he says. "In the open tray impression technique, the posts stick out through the tray, which allows you to remove the pins so that when the tray is removed from the mouth, the implant abutments are embedded in the impression. This makes it more accurate than a closed tray impression. We went from custom trays to stock trays to the MiraTray Implant Advanced, and that final evolution has really solved the problem."
The problem with using a closed tray technique for implant impressions is that removing the tray from the mouth results in movement of the impression material, even if it is only a micron. "Your framework may not seat passively when that occurs," Kurtzman says. One viable solution is utilizing a verification stent. However, that process—locking all the implant components together with floss and acrylic so that nothing moves and then picking them up in the impression—takes a significant amount of time. "With the MiraTray Implant Advanced, if we use a very stiff, heavy body impression material, we can eliminate the need for verification stents," he says. "Since I began using the MiraTray Implant Advanced, I have not had any issues achieving a passive seat of a prosthesis back onto the implants in the mouth. It increases the accuracy through a less time-consuming process that basically anyone can do without needing to learn new skills."
Kurtzman says that he has never experienced any issues with the MiraTray Implant Advanced single-use trays breaking or malfunctioning. "They are made from a very stiff, durable material, and the foil is securely attached," he says, adding that Hager Worldwide's product support has always been top-notch as well. "I use a number of their products, and other dentists that I've referred to them have been happy with their service as well."
The most important factor is the patient, of course, and the patients in Kurtzman's venerable practice appreciate the efficiency and outstanding results that the MiraTray Implant Advanced helps him provide. "Patients are happy when they are in and out of the chair as quickly as possible," Kurtzman says. "If you need to spend an additional 15 to 30 minutes trying to get the prosthesis to fit, patients can start to become irritated, either consciously or subconsciously. With the MiraTray Implant Advanced, you just pick the size that best fits the patient's arch, and it is easy to get a highly accurate impression in less than 10 minutes."
• Features patented clear foil technology that permits the visualization of the implant abutments during impression making.
• Facilitates precise open tray impressions with a superior technique that allows for tray repositioning.
• Saves time and money—no fabrication or customization
• Compatible with all implant systems.