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Inside Dental Technology
July 2015
Volume 6, Issue 7

Skilled Craftsmen Get Best Results From Intraoral Scans

Quality scans and advanced software help produce best fit

Steve Daggett planned to be a custom jeweler before he found the dental technology profession. Jed Miller was a potter. Both men began making teeth because they enjoyed working with their hands and were skilled at it. Yet adopting digital technology early on was a no-brainer for them.

D&S Dental Laboratory in Waunakee, Wisconsin got its first milling machine in 2001 and was using CAD model scanners even before that. Daggett, the Crown and Bridge Manager for D&S Dental, and Miller, the CAD/CAM Manager, say the decision to embrace technology was simple because their top priority has always been providing excellent customer service.

“Steve and I definitely value the craftsmanship that we put into anything that we make in the laboratory with our hands,” Miller says, “but we realize that digital dentistry allows us to make a superior product. Quality is a given in our service philosophy. If you do not have quality, you have nothing.”

Even the most skilled dental technician cannot produce exceptional work without high-quality data from the dentist. Subpar impressions result in poor-fitting restorations. To that end, D&S Dental presents educational seminars on digital scanning in order to foster better relationships with its clients.

“We spend a lot of time educating our dentists about the digital workflow and what it means to them and to us,” Miller says.

In recent years, digital dentistry has allowed the laboratory to have more influence on what it receives from the dentist, especially with the advent of intraoral scanners.

“Intraoral scanning works out well both for the dentist and for us,” Daggett says. “Their remake percentages are the lowest, and our digital workflow is optimized for efficiency and minimal waste. Anything that begins digitally remains digital throughout the entire process.”

Daggett and Miller try to encourage as many of their dentists as possible to adapt intraoral scanning in their offices. They always recommend the 3M™ True Definition Scanner from 3M.

“The 3M True Definition Scanner allows dentists to perform any restorative treatment that our laboratory offers,” Daggett says. “All of our 3M True Definition Scanner or Lava Chairside Oral Scanner C.O.S. clients are dentists to whom we recommended the technology.”

Both Daggett and Miller say the main reason they recommend this scanner is the quality of the scans they receive from those scanners. Once the scans arrive at the laboratory, they are entered into the 3M™ Margin Marking Software, which Miller says is valuable because of its consistency.

“When you are working at the bench or in the mouth, a tooth is still the size of a tooth. I margin mark on a 27-inch monitor,” Daggett says. “There’s no escape. You can see everything. That does a lot for accuracy when you can enlarge what you’re working on and see every detail.”

The software’s 3D stereoscopic view provides even more detail.

“It’s like being in the mouth, except it’s 100 times bigger,” Daggett says. “It really does help. You can see much more detail. You can pick up much finer nuances and get your margin placement much more accurately when you’re working in 3D.”

Dentists who purchase the 3M True Definition Scanner tell the duo how satisfied they are, Daggett and Miller say.

“Our clients who use the 3M True Definition Scanner have confidence in the restorations that they seat,” Daggett says. “Our remake percentage is less than half a percent for cases arriving as intraoral scans. The dentists know they are going to get something that fits.”

For Daggett and Miller, every day is about providing exceptional fitting restorations that exceed the expectations of dentists and patients. This philosophy is why both men continue to fully embrace CAD/CAM technology and strongly encourage the move to digital scanning.

“I would estimate that we are 98% digital,” Daggett says. “It is efficient for us. It allows us to use state-of-the-art products for our clients. We can offer the best possible product at a very competitive price. With digital comes consistency. Things that were touch and feel before—contacts, occlusion—are now a number, or a setting in the software. CAD/CAM has made our product quality very consistent.”

3M True Definition Scanner

The 3M™ True Definition Scanner’s wand is the smallest and most consistently accurate in the industry, making scanning faster, easier, and more comfortable for patients and dentists.

For more information, contact:
800-634-2249, option 3

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