High Standards Require Top-Notch Equipment
Laboratory communication among most significant benefits for dentist
Lucio Lo Russo, DDS, PhD, has had a passion for research since early in his dental career. He was involved in several clinical research projects after dental school, and at the same time, he struggled with the realization that patients often received "standardized" treatment plans that were based on trends or philosophies rather than evidence. Eventually, he began pursuing his doctorate and a career in academia.
"There is not a single reason or specific moment when one decides to become a professor," says Lo Russo, an Associate Professor at University of Foggia in Italy, "but a good starting point is when you feel you cannot avoid remaining a student."
Lo Russo's initial research experience involved treatment of patients with special needs and management of patients affected by potentially malignant oral disorders.
"This was a fundamental experience where l learned research methodology, and I was trained to search, analyze, and act according to available scientific evidence," he says.
More recently, he has worked closely with some of the newest digital technology.
"Digital technologies applied to dentistry are powerful tools offering the opportunity to deliver comfortable, reliable, cost-effective treatments to patients," Lo Russo says. "Anyone who cares about patients' satisfaction, clinical excellence, and business advantages cannot disregard digital technology."
In particular, he found that technology such as intraoral scanning and CAD software can help the dentist and laboratory communicate and collaborate more effectively than ever.
"In the past, the clinician and the technician worked on the same case but each one from his/her own perspective. The patient sitting on the chair was quite different from casts on the bench; a precise and complete transfer of all data and details back and forth from the clinic to the laboratory was often not possible, which was a sensitive limitation, especially in complex cases," he says. "Now, we can use an intraoral scanner to capture the anatomy of the mouth—including colors—and jaw motion, as well as the profile of lips, nose, and forehead; all this can be easily merged with face scans and radiological data. Thus, a ‘digital patient' can be realized and transferred with ease to the laboratory. As a consequence, both clinician and technician can work with exactly the same perspective, which makes it easier to obtain optimal results in less time."
Lo Russo's first experience with an intraoral scanner was in 2015. He says that accuracy and speed remain the most important features of that technology. For his own clinical practice, perhaps not surprisingly, he uses the intraoral scanner that has been proven through research to lead the industry—the 3Shape TRIOS line. The TRIOS 3 is accurate within 6.9 μm and can scan a full arch in as little as 45 seconds. The new TRIOS 4 features instant-heat technology, enabling the system to be scan-ready in seconds.
"I like very much how easy and intuitive they are to use, and above all their impressive speed," he says.
Another advantage is 3Shape's CAD software, a leader in the industry.
"The user-friendly interface includes clear scanning workflows, which guide the user through the scanning steps according to the chosen indication," Lo Russo says. "Also very nice is the artificial intelligence algorithm, which always keeps your scan clean and well defined."
3Shape's portfolio of solutions and top-notch support make the company an exceptional partner for both dentists and laboratories.
"3Shape provides equipment and software that increase the speed, accuracy, and ease of several procedures related to prosthodontics, implantology, and orthodontics," Lo Russo says. "This is a huge advantage in everyday work and greatly improves efficiency. The comfort of the patient is improved also, and the communication with them is more effective."
With the help of the 3Shape TRIOS 4 and 3Shape software, Lo Russo can effectively collaborate with laboratories to provide restorations that meet the highest standards of research-based dentistry.
"A 100% digital approach is possible today for a number of indications in dentistry," Lo Russo says. "This means that all anatomical and functional data required for a specific treatment or rehabilitation are captured from the patient and easily transferred to the laboratory. The laboratory can directly work with highly detailed data and accurately create the final prosthesis while avoiding several physical procedures. This saves a lot of time, reduces clinical appointments, and minimizes the necessity for adjustments or remakes, which is a great improvement in efficiency and of great benefit for both the clinic and the laboratory."
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