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    Streamlining the workflow with CAD/CAM dentistry

    A prosthodontist and lab owner explain the benefits of using the Dental Wings Intraoral Scanner and Roland DWX-4W mill.

    Dr. Azita Vakili, DMD, a prosthodontist practicing in Solana Beach, Calif., was not an early adopter of CAD/CAM technology. Describing herself as picky, she didn’t think it could produce the results she wanted for her patients. The margins, she thought, were not tight enough. The esthetics, she deemed, were not good enough. And forget about doing anterior restorations with it.

    However, after a lot of research, she took the plunge into CAD/CAM dentistry, selecting an open CAD/CAM system from ETI Digital Technology in Anaheim, California. After practicing dentistry for nearly 27 years, Dr. Vakili was surprised by the results. She even did an anterior restoration—on a family member, no less—using her Dental Wings Intraoral Scanner and Roland DWX-4W Wet Milling Machine.

    Her lab technician, Clarence Cezar, is the owner of CERAM-TEK Dental Laboratory in Carmel Mountain Ranch in San Diego, and he has more than 21 years of experience in the dental lab. As a busy lab owner who frequently finds himself “on the bench” all day, Clarence appreciates how her investment has improved their overall working process.

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    We spoke with Dr. Vakili and Cezar to see what both of them like about their system from ETI Digital Technology and what advice they might have for other clinicians considering a similar investment.

    Dr. Vakili, you had your reservations about CAD/CAM dentistry. What changed your mind and why did you want to update your workflow?

    Dr. Vakili: It is a service that a lot of patients are looking for, to get the one-day appointment crown. I feel with the newer material, we can provide a great product that fits, lasts and looks beautiful. It is very competitive to a high-quality lab.

    With upgrades to your technology, what are some improvements to your workflow and efficiency that you both have noticed?

    Dr. Vakili: With the Dental Wings Intraoral Scanner, we don’t have to use as much impression material. Also, with some of the patients who have a gag reflex, that is where this machine is so helpful. We eliminate their gag reflex. We can make the impression and it is very accurate because it is not impression material that could change dimensions. It is a digital scan of the preparation, the implant abutment or tooth. I also use it for our orthodontic treatments that we do with aligners. We can scan a full mouth without impressions.

    Cezar:There’s a huge amount of time saved since Dr. Vakili sends digital files, which can be received in minutes. Many of the typical steps of fabrication of restorations are no longer necessary.

    What have the patients’ responses been to the intraoral scanner?

    Dr. Vakili: They love it. They say, ‘Oh, is this a new technology?’ And I say, ‘Yeah, this is the latest and the best!’ They like it a lot. It is very clean. Sometimes it takes a bit longer, but because of the accuracy, I think most of them like it. They like to see the picture of their whole tooth on the screen.

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