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Pearls for Your Practice

Feb. 14, 2020
Joshua Austin, DDS, MAGD, reviews an anterior composite sculpting pad, high-definition mirrors, and a universal composite system.

New Patient Mastery training by the Scheduling Institute

Recently, my team and I experienced our first-ever in-office coaching and training. We’ve obviously gone to lots of courses before, but this was the first time we had ever had someone come to us and coach us as a team. We chose the Scheduling Institute’s New Patient Mastery training for a few reasons. Firstly, the Scheduling Institute is a name that has been trusted in the dental industry for decades. I knew they would have the resources and manpower at hand to follow through on their promises. We chose the New Patient Mastery training in particular because I wanted this training to focus on something tangible and implementable. I didn’t want to do something generic, such as general customer service. I wanted our first attempt at in-office coaching and training to be on something we can track and measure. After all, nothing is more important to your practice than capturing prospective new-patient callers and converting them to new patients in your dental chairs.

The training started well before the scheduled day. I had a phone interview with a team member at the Scheduling Institute. We talked about what my goals were with this training, and had a brief overview of the systems they teach. I logged into a members-only section of the Scheduling Institute’s website and entered some metrics, which was followed by some pretraining for me. They sent all of their materials ahead of time, and on training day, a friendly trainer was waiting for me at the door.

The trainer and I started with another quick one-on-one meeting. After the brief meeting, our training day started. We talked about the why . . . why phone skills are so important to a dental practice. We talked a lot about the how . . . how to execute the New Patient Mastery system to maximize the number of new patients we see. We ended the day with a lot of role-playing, which my team and I normally hate. However, our trainer really handled this part well, and it was very effective. The session ended on a high point. Our trainer passed down an important piece of advice from Scheduling Institute President and Founder Jay Geier: “Your results will depend on your level of commitment.” That pearl of wisdom extends beyond the walls of the dental office!

I was impressed with the materials that were included in the New Patient Mastery training. The workbooks were clean and well put together. They will be a reference guide for my team and me for a long time to come. And we will be needing those books for a while because the Scheduling Institute will help keep us on top of the work we have put in. Anyone in the office who spends more than four hours a week on the phone will become “certified” by the Scheduling Institute. Our team will still receive mystery calls and be graded on them. Those results are made available to us through the member portal. The goal is to hit four or five stars, at which point the team member becomes certified. 

In-office coaching and training is vital. It takes your team to a whole other level. The key is to pick a great partner. The Scheduling Institute has done that for thousands of practices, and it can do it for yours. Solo home run for New Patient Mastery!

GC FujiCem Evolve by GC America

As I write this, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is about to come out on the big screen. Ending a 40-plus-year story, it is sure to be filled with great moments, epic battles, and tons of lightsaber action. Of course, the entire Skywalker story is told over three trilogies. The beloved original three movies from the late seventies and early eighties are what made the world fall in love with Star Wars

After 20 years, the story returned with the prequel movies. Not so hot, huh? Then after another 20 or so years, we got the sequels, which are much more loved than the prequels. Star Wars started with a formula that worked in the first three movies. Then, they got away from that with something more complex and convoluted. Finally, they got back to the root of the story and returned to what worked. We should do that more when we cement indirect restorations. 

When I was in dental school, I learned to cement indirect restorations with resin-modified glass ionomer cement. We luted in a lot of porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFMs) and gold crowns. As I emerged from dental school and started placing more monolithic all-ceramic crowns, I began bonding in these. I thought ceramic meant I had to bond. Bonding is great when we need that extra retention (e.g., with short or overtapered preps), but many times that is overkill. We don’t always need that kind of hold. In those situations, we should get back to what worked before . . . luting. Luting works well in the right situations, and its technique is much simpler and easier. As long as we have a restoration thicker than the minimum required thickness, 3 mm or taller walls, and a reasonable taper, we can successfully lute those in.

One of the best choices for luting in ceramic crowns, whether they are zirconia or lithium disilicate, is GC FujiCem Evolve by GC America. GC FujiCem Evolve is a resin-reinforced glass ionomer cement made with all-ceramic restorations in mind. It has a tack cure feature that works great with ceramic crowns and allows for quick and easy cleanup. Its automix syringe (also comes in a hand-mix option if desired) makes for an easy delivery. Since GC FujiCem Evolve has glass ionomer at its heart, it has more moisture tolerance than do resin cements. This all makes the delivery process a breeze. Once you lute in a restoration again, you realize why it was so awesome and you wonder why you don’t use it more.

Many of us are doing lots of zirconia restorations in the posterior. Resin cements can perform well with zirconia, if the appropriate primers and cleaners are used. However, luting cements can pair perfectly with zirconia. That’s one area where GC FujiCem Evolve excels. It has a strong bond to zirconia that holds up well, according to the manufacturer.1

Simplicity and performance are two words I would use to describe GC FujiCem Evolve. Just like the Star Wars franchise, let’s get back to what works. Give luting a try again with GC FujiCem Evolve and you’ll remember how nice, simple, and easy it was. You’ll be rooting for The Rise of Glass Ionomers! Line drive double to right field for GC FujiCem Evolve.


1. Fujimoto A, Koji T, Daizaburo M, Tomohiro K. Bonding durability of novel resin-modified glass-ionomer luting cement to zirconia. Poster presented at: 2019 IADR/AADR/CADR General Session; June 19–22, 2019: Vancouver, Canada. Presentation 1315. 

LuxaCrown by DMG 

Unfortunately, not every case that walks through our doors is cut-and-dried. Many cases have obstacles that require some flexibility on our parts to make the other complicated moving parts happen. A couple of weeks ago, I had a patient in my office for an emergency. Jeff is an adult who is halfway through his orthodontic treatment, and he broke his existing crown on no. 14. Taking a couple weeks off of ortho would have set his progress back and been inconvenient for everyone. Fortunately, I had a trick up my sleeve that allowed Jeff to keep his orthodontic momentum and leave my office fully restored. Without LuxaCrown by DMG, I could not have accomplished this.

LuxaCrown comes in a syringe just like your provisional bis-acryl or bis-GMA material that you have in your practice, but it is so much more. It is a chairside self-curing resin that can fabricate restorations lasting up to five years. Being able to fabricate a restoration in-office that can last that long is good for many situations. One of those is Jeff’s. He needs a new crown, but he is in the middle of ortho. I was able to make Jeff a new crown chairside and cement it permanently at the same appointment. He just needed a quick trip to the orthodontist to have his bracket put back on and then he was done. After ortho is wrapped up, we can move on to a zirconia crown. 

LuxaCrown works great for any situation in which patients need a restoration to last for a few years before moving on to more permanent solutions. Sometimes we need to get implants in and healed while we restore other teeth. Sometimes we need to do caries control before we can move on. And sometimes we need to phase treatment in a way that may take several years to finish. Those are all great situations for LuxaCrown, but so are a thousand other situations that you could never think of until they happen in your office. 

The process of making a LuxaCrown restoration is similar to that of any provisional you make. LuxaCrown has a flexural strength that is significantly greater than its shorter-lasting cousins.1 That why it can last as long as it does. It is even stronger than many feldspathic and hybrid ceramic restorations.

LuxaCrown is a great material to have handy in your office for those possibilities listed above. In addition to all of those, there are many situations that we can’t forecast or imagine until they happen. Those are the reasons why having LuxaCrown gives me peace of mind, knowing that I have the tools to handle any complex situation that life throws my way. Base hit over the shortstop for LuxaCrown.  


1. LuxaCrown. DMG website. https://www.dmg-america.com/en/products/product/luxacrown-1/.