An adult patient in good health presented to my office after an unfortunate situation. At lunchtime, the patient left her office to give blood. She gave blood without any complications and she stayed for an extra 20 minutes for a snack and to recover from the good deed. The patient returned to work, but after an hour of working, she fainted and fell on her face. The patient was hospitalized overnight as a precaution, but her immediate dental needs were not addressed at the hospital.
As a dentist, I felt really bad for this patient when she came to my office after spending the night in the hospital. I kept that feeling throughout the process of delivering dental treatment to her. I made sure to not only restore her tooth, but also to restore her confidence in making something positive happen from such an unfortunate situation.
The second unique thing about this case was the use of digital impressions to help fabricate the crown. The product I would like to talk about is the digital impression scanner that I used in this case: C.O.S. (Chairside Oral Scanner) by 3M ESPE. The C.O.S. allows us to create a digital impression of prepped teeth so that crowns and bridges can be fabricated without traditional C+B impression materials. Once the teeth are scanned, the images are sent wirelessly to the laboratory of your choice to mark the margins and to a company that converts the digital images to the physical dental models.
The C.O.S. process is quicker than the traditional method of making an impression, disinfecting the impression, packaging the impression, writing up the laboratory slip, and sending off the impression by UPS or FedEx. Also, the models created by the C.O.S. are more accurate than tradition impression models. Keeping track of cases that are stored in the C.O.S. hard-drive (the name of the lab, the type of case, the shade, date the impression was made, date the case was sent out, return date of the case) is more efficient than the usual way of handling cases.
Most importantly, the C.O.S. makes a dental team better. It requires me as a dentist to be more precise in cutting a tooth down for an impression and creating highly visible margins of the prepped teeth.
The results of using the C.O.S.: accurate impressions, better fitting, long lasting crowns and bridges, with less adjustments and remakes. These are things that we consistently want in our C+B cases.
Richard Lipscomb Jr., DDS, has been in practice for 15 years. He is the owner of Woodmore Dental Center in Mitchellville, MD, a private dental practice established in 2001. This modern office offers Invisalign, sleep appliances, and implants as its specialty services, along with routine dental services. Dr. Lipscomb is a graduate of Mercyhurst College and Howard University College of Dentistry. He also completed a 2-year Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Lipscomb gives presentations on mini dental implants (both basic and advanced) in cities throughout the country. He also presents mini dental implant and case presentation lectures to faculty and students at Howard University College of Dentistry.