Real Time ROI: Ivoclar Vivadent’s IPS e.max

April 30, 2012
Renee Knight

Issue 5

The Lab IDOC Dental Lab is a full-service dental lab with 40 employees. It opened in Garden Grove, Calif. 12 years ago and specializes in smile design cases, implants and overdentures. Joey Hamernik is IDOC Dental Lab’s Vice President. The Product

The Lab

IDOC Dental Lab is a full-service dental lab with 40 employees. It opened in Garden Grove, Calif. 12 years ago and specializes in smile design cases, implants and overdentures. Joey Hamernik is IDOC Dental Lab’s Vice President.

The Product

Compared to traditional all-ceramic materials, IPS e.max lithium disilicate affords optimal strength, durability and esthetics. It has a flexural strength of 360-400 MPa and is up to three-times more durable than other glass-ceramic systems. IPS e.max incorporates true-to-nature shades while demonstrating a low refractive index, providing optimal optical qualities (e.g., life-like translucency and high light transmission). Cutback-and-layer or stain-and-glaze techniques make it possible to further characterize IPS e.max restorations. Dental professionals can seat IPS e.max restorations using either conventional cementation or adhesive bonding methods.

The Results

Joey Hamernik needed something that would put an end to porcelain fracturing, especially porcelain fused to zirconia. He found that in Ivoclar Vivadent’s IPS e.max.

That was three years ago, and since then not only has the fracturing problem been resolved, his lab has seen a 360% return on investment, a number that goes far beyond expectations. IDOC Dental Lab’s remakes have dropped to 0.8, and that of course saves the lab plenty of time and money.

“It’s one of our products with the lowest remake rates. I believe it’s because we “wax and press” here and that produces a very accurate fit,” Hamernik said. “I think for any lab that is after a low remake rate, e.max will achieve that. The doctors are happy all the way around and the patients are happy from the esthetics viewpoint, and you have very few shade changes.”

In the last three years since IDOC began using e.max, Hamernik has converted dental offices to using nothing but e.max. The lab even recently put on an e.max seminar for about 20 local dentists, where they outlined e.max’s benefits and went over manufacturer guidelines.

“We are a very customer-service- oriented lab,” Hamernik said. “We work with doctors in the beginning to trouble shoot prep and impression issues. Once they follow those guidelines and give us an all ceramic prep, they become loyal and very happy with the outcome of e.max-they love the esthetics and how it matches the natural surrounding teeth. They love the strength and they love the chair time-this is a 5-minute chair time product.” 

About 90 percent of IDOC’s all-ceramic cases are pressed, so the strength e.max offers is probably the No. 1 benefit, Hamernik said, but the esthetics are a pretty great bonus too. With implant-supported crowns you have the choice of so many high opacity ingots that can block out dark stumps and abutments for a more esthetic look, something that’s important to patients.

And with this product, you’re in control, Hamernik said. You’re 100 percent in control of the shade, and the technicians really get to know each e.max case they work on because they’re controlling the process from start to finish.

“It seems like you’re more intimate with these cases than when you use other products,” Hamernik said. “When you’re processing cases a lot of times you’re just making the coping or one part of the case, but with e.max the same technician is making that case from start to finish. You have fewer hands in the mix. It’s one person who starts and finishes the case.”

The strength, esthetics and control e.max provides has made this product a great addition to IDOC Dental Lab, and is a  product that has performed beyond expectations. IPS e.max answers the porcelain fracturing problem that labs faced a few years ago, and shows Ivoclar Vivadent’s commitment to listening and providing solutions, Hamernik said, and that’s something the company proves time and time again.

“They really listened to the industry. They listened to the problems the doctors and the labs were having and came out with a solid concrete answer to solve those issues,” he said. “Porcelain chipping is the least of my problems now.“