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An inside look at Viax’s NOVO smile


CEO Cyrus Tahmasebi, DDS, explains the benefits and functionality of this multipurpose appliance.Every patient wants a beautiful, functional smile, but not every patient can afford the treatment. That’s where NOVO smile comes in. The successor to the famous Snap-On Smile, NOVO smile from Viax Dental Technologies is similar but better, says a New York-based dentist who has worked with both companies.

Every patient wants a beautiful, functional smile, but not every patient can afford the treatment. That’s where NOVO smile comes in. The successor to the famous Snap-On Smile, NOVO smile from Viax Dental Technologies is similar but better, says a New York-based dentist who has worked with both companies.

“We found that with NOVO, there was a shorter turnaround time and they’re just as good as Snap-On,” says Jessica Barcessat, DMD, who practices in Manhattan. “It’s also more resistant; they offer a two-year warranty, whereas Snap-On does a one-year warranty. I feel like NOVO is a little more lustrous than Snap-On, but overall they look very similar.”

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Cyrus Tahmasebi, DDS, FIAED, FACD, CEO of Viax Dental Technologies, says that NOVO offers a different library, a wider array of smile designs and more advanced milling equipment to capture better undercuts and other design features.

What is it?

“The NOVO smile is a removable appliance that serves four major functions,” Dr. Tahmasebi says. “It can be used as an implant temporary, it can be used to replace missing teeth instead of a removable partial, it can be used as a temporary esthetic solution for patients who cannot afford a more permanent solution, and finally, it can be used to establish a vertical on a patient.”

It’s kind of like a temporary veneer; a way to hide the kinds of issues that could be treated with invasive restorative dentistry such as chipped, missing, crooked or discolored teeth, making it a great solution for patients who are unable to or would prefer not to undergo an invasive procedure. It’s also worn like Invisalign, except it’s meant to be seen and it doesn’t straighten your teeth.

To better introduce NOVO smile, Dr. Tahmasebi finds that showing is better than telling. “The best way to describe it is by holding up a traditional partial and saying, ‘This is 14th-century dentistry,’ and then holding up the NOVO smile and saying, ‘This is the future,’” Dr. Tahmasebi says. “This is what you should have in your mouth, not a flipper or a partial.”

Dr. Tahmasebi says that the NOVO smile is both a long-term and short-term solution. “It can be looked at as a short-term solution for patients who are going through implant placement and therapy, or it can be a long-term solution for patients who cannot afford a more permanent solution.”

Although the warranty extends for two years, there are patients who have worn their appliance for up to four or five years, Dr. Tahmasebi says.

Who is it for?

NOVO smile is an excellent option for patients who are looking for affordability and comfort. Because a lot of people cannot tolerate the metal or flexible parts of traditional dentures or partials, NOVO smile is a more comfortable option.

“That’s how I market it,” Dr. Barcessat says. “I tell my patients it’s the best partial because it won’t interfere with eating or talking and there are no metal hooks grasping on your gums. It’s just like a permanent retainer on your teeth and keeps your teeth from shifting. I tell my patients that if they don’t like it, they can still wear it as a retainer to keep their teeth from shifting and their gums from receding like they would with dentures and hooks.”

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It’s also a good option for people who want to try a smile out, Dr. Tahmasebi says. “The esthetic reason why someone would opt for this would be to test drive a smile to see what it looks like, how it feels to have teeth that are whiter, perhaps bigger or different, and evaluate that before they go to a more permanent solution.”

It’s also a good option for medically compromised patients or those with bone loss. “It’s good for elderly people because there’s no surgery involved,” Dr. Barcessat says. “And it doesn’t put a hook on one tooth. It’ll hold all of the teeth completely, so the teeth will last longer.”

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Money and time

Cost and speed are two more ways NOVO smile stands out.

“It takes 10 working days from the time patients get their impression taken to the lab returning their case to the office, so normally they’re scheduled to come in two weeks after they’ve had their impression to receive their appliance,” Dr. Tahmasebi says.

Dr. Barcessat is also more comfortable charging a standard rate. “With NOVO, it’s one price and that’s it. They don’t charge you more to talk to them or to send it back for changes,” she says.

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Communication with lab techs

Not having to worry about the cost of communicating with the lab or making changes to the template is important for a hands-on dentist like Dr. Barcessat.

“After a while, the dentist knows a little more than the lab tech because we have the advantage of having the patient in front of us,” she says. “They would always send me an image of what they think could look good and I would always guide them, like, ‘No, this has to be like this, this has to be like that.’ For the most part, they only send images for the ones that are complicated. If I have to send it back, they’ll send me a computer image.

“One time, NOVO sent me an image of the teeth before they sent the appliance, and I thought, ‘You know what? Let me send you an image of the patient’s teeth.’ So, I sent them a picture and I told them the patient had big teeth. After I showed them the picture, they realized how long the teeth were. They sent me a second one and it was perfect. I think it’s good to send them a picture, especially on difficult cases.”

Dr. Barcessat values those images because she can analyze the thickness - something many patients complain about. “NOVO smile offers a perfect arch, but it’s usually not what the patient likes because it’ll be too thick. Especially my older patients who can’t adapt to it.”

Having the ability to make those adjustments ahead of time ensures that communication between the lab and the practice is smooth and that the patient gets his or her ideal result.

“Maybe 50 percent of the time, I do little cosmetic changes,” she says. “If one or two teeth are too long, I’ll shave them. It seems to be frowned upon because they want you as the practitioner to do as little as possible. But once you know the appliance well, you can be comfortable knowing that they’re going to make the teeth look bigger, so if there is anything weird on the teeth (especially if people are getting it for a cosmetic reason), you should try and see what it’s going to look like and make adjustments beforehand.

“Even if you get it and the patient doesn’t like it, you can do some adjustments before you send it back to show them what you want to modify. If you’re sending it back anyway, it’s good to use it as a rough draft, and you have better communication with the lab tech.”

Dr. Barcessat’s advice to dentists is to pay attention to heavy staining. “Sometimes they’ll take a color based on the patient’s teeth, but sometimes the base color influences the shade of the appliance,” she says. “If there is heavy staining, you might want to go for a thicker color on the buccal.

“I really love the product,” she continues. “I’ve found many uses for it. Some people regret getting implants once they heard about this appliance. They got implants on the bottom and then heard about this appliance and got it on the top, then regretted getting implants on the bottom because of the cost involved.”

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