Hear what Dr. Jonathan Ferencz has to say about how CAD/CAM restorations, good digital scanning, and same day restorations enhance the patient experience.
Interviewer: From a quality perspective, how do today’s CAD/CAM restorations compare to traditional handmade restorations?
Dr. Jonathan Ferencz: Although CAD/CAM dentistry has been in existence for close to 25 years, it’s only in the past few years that it’s caught the attention of mainstream high-end dental practitioners. And the major reason for this is that the precision and accuracy of it have now rivaled handmade restorations. So CAD/CAM as it exists today is in my opinion more consistently accurate than handmade restorations. One can easily adjust and fine tune occlusal contacts, proximal contacts, marginal adaptation, cement spacers, [inaudible 00:59] relief to get a restoration that the dentist is really comfortable with and then the computer does it each and everyday on every restoration.
Interviewer: What sets the foundation for good digital scanning and the final restorative result?
Dr. Jonathan Ferencz: The most important element in being successful in CAD/CAM dentistry today is to practice in a collaborative environment with a team that really believes in it, is well-trained and has the same level of enthusiasm that the dentist has. It’s impossible for the dentist to do every – accomplish every task in digital dentistry. So one requires a dental assistant, a front desk business manager, dental technicians, the entire staff totally bought-in to the concept of the advantages of digital dentistry.
Interviewer: How important is having an open platform in digital restorative dentistry?
Dr. Jonathan Ferencz: I talk about open platforms all the time. And I use as the analogy the computer and also digital photography. And if you remember, in the early days of computers and in the early days of digital photography systems were not open. There was no open architecture. I remember buying an Apple computer and the only printer that I could use with it was an Apple printer. Also, if you think back the early days of digital photography, if you bought a Sony camera, you had to use a Sony proprietary memory stick that only inserted into a Sony computer. I think what happens in those situations is that the user base demands open architecture. And where we are right now in CAD/CAM dentistry with respect to open architecture is we have some systems that are completely closed and then we have other systems that claim to be open but inter-connectivity is extremely difficult. The smarter and the more experienced the dental user base becomes, the more vocal companies like Henry Schein become, I think we will be able to push most of the industry to deliver products with a standardized file format and true open architecture.
Interviewer: How significant is the need to provide same-day dentistry to today’s demanding customers?
Dr. Jonathan Ferencz: I discovered that digital dentistry does not mean same-day dentistry. There are plenty of patients that I treat where same-day dentistry a real possibility. Single crown, two crowns, maybe three, a couple of inlays not a problem but if it’s going to be an anterior case which is going to be a full quadrant or two quadrants opposing each other, I can’t do that the same day. That patient needs to have a provisional, the patient just can’t sit in a dental office for 12 hours, while you’re scanning, preparing, scanning, designing and milling and finishing and cementing 8 crowns. So to equate digital dentistry would same-day-dentistry is really not doing a service to the whole concept of this technology.
Speaker: Jonathan L. Ferencz, DDS, FACP