Renowned Technician Finds Worthy Partner in Panthera
Compatibility is key for someone with high standards
Providing the best in patient care and a commitment to learning have been passions of Robert Kreyer Jr.’s for nearly his entire life.
Kreyer acquired these loves from his father, Robert Sr, and grandfather, Carl, both of whom were dental technicians. As a child, he spent time in the laboratory watching them work and when the opportunity arose at age 18, Kreyer joined the US Army, becoming a field combat medic in 1969. Forty-five years later, he is among the most accomplished removable prosthetic technicians in the world.
But Kreyer laughs when asked if he is at the pinnacle of his lifelong devotion for learning.
“I am constantly amazed,” the 62-year-old California resident says. “You cannot say you have learned everything because technology is advancing so rapidly. I always strive to keep informed about the latest developments. And something new is introduced every year. Much of the technology that we thought was ‘it’ 20 years ago is now obsolete.”
After leaving the army, Kreyer studied under several prominent figures, including Dr. Earl Pound and Dr. Alex Koper. Forty-five years later, Kreyer says his hunger to learn remains insatiable. He is a member of the Executive Council for the American Prosthodontic Society, a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, and a past chair of The American College of Prosthodontists Dental Technician Alliance.
“I always enjoyed attempting to understand new concepts and asking myself, ‘What is the optimal way to solve this case?’” says Kreyer, a working partner at Custom Prosthetics in Cupertino, Calif.
In 2010, he became the first recipient of the Dental Technician Leadership Award from the American College of Prosthodontics. This year, the American Prosthodontic Society and the Editorial Council of The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry gave him the Kenneth D. Rudd Award for his “contribution to the advancement of the dentist-dental laboratory technologist team concept. “We alter lives every day. It is a unique profession because we can arrive at work in the morning, look at the case pans on our bench, and know that each pan represents a life. We have the ability to change a patient’s life on a daily basis,” he says.
One of those opportunities arose when a prosthodontist approached Kreyer, needing a metal occlusal hybrid prosthesis for a case with only 12 millimeters of restorative space on the mandibular arch.
“I called every major bar manufacturer in the world about milling posterior metal occlusal surfaces,” Kreyer says. “The only milling facility that committed to being capable of milling this type of bar design was Panthera.”
The result, he says, was a milled bar with no adjustments on the occlusal surface when screwed into place. “The prosthodontist told me, ‘This complex case is perfect and one of the highlights of my prosthodontics career,’” Kreyer says.
What impressed him the most was Panthera’s willingness to do whatever was necessary. Kreyer says the staff at the Quebec City, Canada-based company said yes before even seeing the case.
“Panthera’s team has amazed me with its can-do culture,” he says. “Working with a milling facility that is confident in its abilities creates confidence within the implant prosthetic team for designing complex restorative case plans.”
Kreyer also uses Panthera’s 3D Viewer to review the bar design for each case. Even though his laboratory has the in-house scanning and CAD software capabilities to create the bar design, Kreyer relies on Panthera’s expertise for cases he submits to the company. “I am always amazed at the designs I receive from Panthera,” he says. “They are identical to what we would have designed in our laboratory. Panthera’s 3D Viewer makes design verification and communication seamless with Panthera’s team, while increasing our implant restorations efficiency and productivity.”
In Panthera, Kreyer has found a manufacturer that matches his dedication to serving clients.
“Service is the key to our business model with implant prosthodontics,” he says. “Working with designers and technologies that enable your vision to become reality by working with your ‘out of the box’ vision is critical to a customized implant prosthetic service. Having no delays in milling or shipping as well as a zero remake factor is essential to our productivity and profitability.”
Such a strong passion for new technology might be surprising considering Kreyer remembers a time when Polaroids were considered a state-of-the-art communication in the industry. But now, he works at a laboratory that is less than a quarter-mile from Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, and he loves it.
“Here in Silicon Valley, we relish being on the cutting edge of technology,” Kreyer says. “Working with Panthera gives our dental laboratory that edge. Its extremely knowledgeable designers, combined with Panthera’s amazing technology, enable us to provide implant prosthetic case plans that are unique to a given set of variables.”
If anything, he says, Panthera’s technology and can-do attitude have encouraged Kreyer to become more progressive himself—particularly when it came to the metal occlusal hybrid case.
“The major learning curve only existed on my end,” he says. “I now have arrived at the realization that I am no longer confined to working within that box. The collaboration was seamless and made me realize how we could expand our prosthetic line of products by working with Panthera. The company’s technology will definitely be part of our implant prosthetic curriculum at our Implant Prosthetic Education Center here in Cupertino. After all, it’s about providing optimal implant prosthodontic care for compromised patients. I have always believed we have the responsibility to provide the best we possibly can for our patients,” Kreyer says.
Disclaimer: The preceding material was provided by the manufacturer. The statements and opinions contained therein are solely those of the manufacturer and not of the editors, publisher, or the Editorial Board of Inside Dental Technology.
REBourke Concept bar
The primary bar is designed with a 25-degree angulation to avoid movement on the occlusal axis. The friction between the two structures is what maintains both bars together without any possibility of movement. Two MK-1 attachments are used in the posterior area, giving the patient the same feeling as a fixed restoration. Finally, the secondary bar is designed to have a soft contact with tissues in order to seal the prosthesis.
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