May 2018
Volume 9, Issue 5

Consistent Materials Help Achieve Vision of Specialty Laboratory

Technician’s new business emphasizes “no edentulous patient left behind”

Sean Han, CDT, decided as a teenager that he wanted to be a prosthodontist or an oral surgeon. He loved the notion of changing people's lives through their smiles. Han ended up changing career paths, but he ultimately ended up where he wanted to be: spending many of his days with dental patients, rehabilitating their smiles.

As an 18-year-old, Han started working in a dental office's in-house laboratory to gain experience as he prepared for college and dental school. He worked full-time in a laboratory while attending college, but eventually he realized that he no longer wanted to pursue dental school.

"I realized I did not need to be a dentist to be fully involved with patients' smiles, and that actually as a ceramist I could involve myself with many more smiles," Han says.

At age 27, Han opened his own business, Image Dental Studio, in Santa Clara, California. The laboratory was immensely successful, but Han could not shake a vision of a specialty treatment service focused on fully edentulous patients. Finally, last year, he separated from Image Dental Studio and opened Master's Arch in Chandler, Arizona, focusing on full-arch, cosmetic, and other complex cases.

"I had been preparing for a couple years, and there came a time to finally do it," Han says. "It was really nerve-racking to take that risk, because I was comfortable with my production laboratory and my lifestyle was very stable for the past 10 years. As a laboratory owner, it's hard to say no to work, and I had to start turning down single crowns. It has worked out well, though."

Master's Arch worked with a limited number of clients for the first 6 months before officially launching in Chicago in February.

Han likens himself to a specialty restaurant versus a buffet: He offers various solutions within one specific realm. The core of his business, he says, revolves around the notion of "no edentulous patient left behind."

In order to help fulfill that mission, Master's Arch has satellite laboratories in dentists' offices in New York, Chicago, and California, and Han plans to open more. The Master's Arch protocol, he says, is for a master technician to be chairside three times per case.

"At the time of surgery, we do the record taking and a PMMA conversion so the patient can walk out with a temporary bridge," he says. "At the second visit, we take the final impression and provide the verification jig, custom tray, and esthetic prototype try-in. Then we are ready for the final conversion."

With such a deep personal investment in these cases, Han needs to be confident in the products he is providing. KATANA Zirconia from Kuraray America helps accomplish that. KATANA Zirconia is multilayered and available for a full color variation in high translucency.

"When you are married to a case, you need a serious level of consistency and predictability," Han says. "I have tested many materials, and KATANA is the strongest option. I can depend on its consistency. There is no hit-or-miss element. Consistency leads to predictable results, which allow us to optimize our workflow and really enhance our artistry."

Han utilizes KATANA STML, a high-translucency, multilayered zirconia, for full-arch restorations. He creates substructures with a "thimble bar design" and fabricates individual crowns on top. The multilayer zirconia provides acceptable esthetics with very little hand-layering, and in the esthetic zone he hand-layers with CZR porcelain from Noritake.

"This has been very predictable for us," he says.

Han also uses KATANA UTML for cosmetic cases, including minimal-preparation veneers in the anterior.

"KATANA material does not chip in the margin area," he says. "It is predictable in shade and strength throughout the entire puck. The color is dead-on. It is possible to do polish or glaze, especially with the new CZR FC Paste Stain and Glaze, which is one of my favorite new products as well because it has those good in-between colors that many of us master ceramists have been seeking."

These products help Han realize his goal of providing quality restorations to a wide variety of patients.

"We are a business," he says, "but our core focus should come from understanding who we are. We are involved in medical services. The edentulous population is growing, and every person deserves to chew food with proper functionality and be confident in their smile."

For more information, contact:

Kuraray America
katanazirconia.com
800-879-1676 (Kuraray)
800-496-9500 (Zahn Dental)

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