BLUEPRINT FOR SUCCESS
By Dr. James T. Gavrilos
By Dr. James T. Gavrilos
Cosmetic and restorative dentistry is like many other fields. It requires planning and execution with a talented team that can perform their individual responsibilities. One of the members of this team is the laboratory technician that helps create the blueprint for a new smile.
When creating a new smile for a patient, the dentist listens to the patient’s concerns and reviews expectations with them. They will sit together and look at close-up photographs of the “before” smile and list all the changes that need to be made. This includes length, width, color, shape, translucency, position, and gum relationships. The patient is encouraged to bring photographs of smiles they like so we can use it as a communication tool. Once the dentist has all of the information, the patient’s teeth are scanned and emailed to the laboratory for the next step.
Dental technicians had to use impressions of teeth when making the blueprint for a new smile. They used wax that they added to the models of the teeth and then carved the wax into the shape of what the new teeth should look like. This was called a “wax-up.” Today we use a digital scan of the teeth and the blueprint is created digitally. The technician can merge the new design into photographs of the patient so that we can see if our cosmetic goals are being met. Once the dentist approves the digital blueprint, the technician digitally prints models and guides for the dentist to use while he is preparing the teeth for their new cosmetic restorations.
This process is such an advantage for the patient. When they visit for their preparation appointment, they leave with temporary restorations that look exactly like the blueprint. They get an entire week to smile with them, eat with them and speak with them. At their one week follow up visit, we ask if there are any changes they would like to make. In most cases, the answer is no but if they wish to make a change in length or shape, we can make those changes in the temporary restorations. Once the patient approves, we scan the temporary restorations and send it to the lab so that they know exactly how to make the final porcelain restorations. This way there are no surprises and the patient ends up with the smile of their dreams.
Dr. James T. Gavrilos is accredited with AACD. His office is located at 129 Park Avenue in Barrington. For more information, call 847-381-4040 or visit barringtondentist.com.