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Ryan Hamm is the Editorial Director for Dental Products Report and Digital Esthetics.
BIOMET 3i's Lab Designed Encode is a new workflow for the Encode Impression System, that enables a new level of control in abutment work - and it's saving time and money for Artifex Dental Laboratories in Virginia. Here's what Artifex owner and CDT Tony Prestipino had to say about the system.
Artifex Dental Laboratories Inc. is a crown and bridge lab located in Alexandria, Va. The lab, which has 11 employees, specializes in implant work, working with multiple implant systems. Because of that focus and a reputation for excellence, they have about 200 clients, some of whom use Artifex for one or two very specific or demanding cases per year. Artifex is owned by Tony Prestipino, a CDT and 27-year dental lab industry veteran. Prestipino’s role at the lab includes implants, wax-ups, casting, finishing, scan designs, CAD/CAM and case design.
BIOMET 3i’s Lab Designed Encode is a new workflow for their well-respected Encode Impression System. Now, labs can take advantage of the Encode Impression System-which allows a healing cap to stay on while a clinician takes an impression rather than requiring an impression coping-while controlling the design of the final BellaTek abutment that is milled at BIOMET 3i. The abutment is milled according to the exact specifications of the lab, enabling a new level of individualized control.
To really find out how Lab Designed Encode works, DLP spoke with Prestipino, a long-time user of the Encode Impression system. “We’re the biggest Encode lab in the country,” Prestipino explains. “We probably do about 100 Encodes a month. We’ve been working with Lab Designed Encode since about May of 2013, and it’s been going great.”
While being quick to point out the Encode Impression system always worked very well for his lab and satisfied his clients’ desire for quality abutment work (“The technicians down there have known me so many years, they usually get it right [without a lot of back and forth]!”], he said the new Lab Designed Encode workflow has really benefitted his lab. “I now have full control over the design,” Prestipino says. “With the old way, the computer technician down at 3i used to design my abutments according to my prescription. I would get an email from them with designed images of my abutment. I would send an email back saying ‘change this, change this, change that.’ And they would change it and send it back to me. Going back and forth like that takes time. That’s much improved when I do the design myself. There’s no back and forth.
“It also gives me the control of what I want to do, and it gives me the ability to tell my clients that I designed these myself,” Prestipino continues. “They have that comfort knowing that.”
Of course, all of that time savings adds up. It also goes hand-in-hand with another factor most labs are looking for: cost savings. “On average, I probably save two days in a case,” Prestipino estimates. “I probably save $40 a unit. I love it-and my bookkeeper loves it!”
Overall, Prestipino likes the Lab Designed Encode component because it makes an already great system work even better. He says the Encode Impression System that accompanies BellaTek abutments makes it much easier for doctors to take an impression because they don’t need to unscrew the healing abutment, which saves time and money. And adding an improvement to control like Lab Designed Encode? That’s icing on the cake. “I’m an implant lab,” Prestipino says. “I work with all kinds of implants. It’s not very often a company comes out and can save a guy time and money, while preserving quality. And that’s the one thing about Encode-even though I’m a believer in all implants. What BIOMET 3i has done is they’ve come out with something that saves the consumer time and money and accuracy. Kudos to them.”