Your hands are your life!

Jan. 1, 2003
I have a surefire technique that will instantly increase the efficiency of your operative and restorative crown-and-bridge procedures ...

By Louis Malcmacher, DDS

We all have heard the saying, "It takes money to make money." Many dentists make the mistake of thinking that lower overhead means you have to cut costs, nickel-and-dime every salesperson who comes into the office, or use low-quality materials and laboratories. But none of those techniques will reduce your overhead. As a matter of fact, many times you have to spend money to save money.

I have a surefire technique that will instantly increase the efficiency of your operative and restorative crown-and-bridge procedures, but you will have to spend a little money to accomplish this.

After you read this article, go to your bur block and throw all of those burs into the garbage! You probably have used them too many times; they are slow, dull, and highly inefficient. You know how dull the burs are because you can actually feel the stress in your hands while using them.

A new bur feels like driving a new car. It runs smoothly, cuts through anything quickly, you feel no stress in your hand, and it does the job faster and better.

There are many advantages of using a new bur for every restorative procedure. First of all, a dull bur creates a lot of heat. The tooth itself is a natural "heat sink." It captures heat and transmits it directly to the pulp where it sits and cooks for a while. Have you ever wondered why sometimes your patient has postoperative sensitivity when you have done a simple, shallow occlusal composite resin on a tooth? You were nowhere near the pulp. You followed the composite resin manufacturer's directions exactly and used the bonding agents just right. The reason for the sensitivity may well be that you used a dull bur, which created a tremendous amount of heat inside the tooth.

A dull bur also creates a tremendous amount of stress on your hands. Your hands are your life! This in itself is an excellent reason to use a new bur for every procedure. Using a new bur allows you to accomplish the procedure much faster. It increases your efficiency and — because you don't have to spend time cleaning them — it also lowers your overhead. These benefits are true of both carbide and diamond burs.

A carbide bur is usually good for two or three uses before it becomes dull, creates a lot of heat, and begins to be hard to use. Most dentists keep using a carbide bur until it literally breaks off at the shank. It is faster, better, and easier for everyone — doctor, assistant, and patient — to make all carbide burs disposable.

An excellent-quality diamond bur may be good for anywhere from two to five uses, but it, too, becomes dull. It also is hard for us to keep track of which burs we used and how often we used them. If you use a new bur for each procedure, you will eliminate these worries.

The "new bur" technique will literally change your life in dentistry. Using a new bur for each procedure may cost anywhere from $1 to $10, so increase your fees accordingly.

This is a win-win situation for everyone. The patient benefits by having less postoperative sensitivity and less time in the chair. You benefit by having less stress on your hands and less overhead for the time spent trying to properly clean diamonds and carbides.

Dr. Louis Malcmacher is an international lecturer and author, known for hiscomprehensive and entertaining style.An evaluator for Clinical Research Associates, Dr. Malcmacher is a consultant to the Council on Dental Practice of the ADA. For close to two decades, Dr. Malcmacher has inspired his audiences to truly enjoy practicing dentistry by providing the knowledge necessary for excellent clinical and practice-management skills. His group dental practice has maintained a 45 percent overhead since 1988.For details about his speaking schedule, Dr. Malcmacher can be reached at (440) 892-1810 or via email at [email protected].

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