Bettering your business acumen through better restorations

May 1, 2010
Recent studies suggest that somewhere between 80-85% of American dentists serve as both owner and operator of their practices.

For more on this topic, go to and search using the following key words: Dr. Larry Holt, VITA, successful restorations, business owner, tooth shades.

Recent studies suggest that somewhere between 80-85% of American dentists serve as both owner and operator of their practices. While these individuals spent years in school preparing for life as a dentist, most spent no more than a few classes preparing for life as a business owner.

With labor already in short supply across all sectors of the dental market, the business side of the typical American practice is being pressured from all sides to perform more efficiently. From the receptionist to the hygienist to the dentist, schedules are packed tighter, budgets are stretched thinner, and the margin for error has been all but eliminated.

Now more than ever, absolute clinical success is essential to remaining monetarily viable. This is especially true for the restoration component of a practice, where just a few remakes a month can throw a practice into scheduling and budgetary chaos.

Defining success

There are two essential elements of a successful restoration: visual and physical. In today’s time of heightened esthetics, close enough is no longer good enough when it comes to shade matching.

For a restoration to be a visual success, it must be an exact match to the patient’s existing shade. Even a restoration that’s slightly mismatched can bring the restoration process to a halt when it needs to be sent back for additional finishing.

Physical success means the restoration must seat quickly and with a minimum of chair-side grinding and adjustment. The worst-case scenario is a poor-fitting restoration that becomes a complete remake. With all the demands placed on a practice’s human resources, the less fine tuning to the visual and physical success, the better.

Introducing a new player in the restoration market

VITA Shade is widely recognized as the industry standard when it comes to tooth shades. In VITA Made, the German-based company is looking to extend its influence into the restorative market, building upon its chromatic competency to deliver a product that is engineered for superior shade integrity. Although it’s an oft-heard claim, this product’s restorations are clinically proven to match the prescription more consistently than any other restoration on the market. This means fewer remakes, less nonproduction follow up visits, and ultimately happier customers.

What about the physical fit? The VITA Made three powder system represents a fundamental change in how restorations are crafted. This product has been engineered to reduce shrinkage at the time of firing, which can help dramatically reduce overbuilding and grind time.

All these factors help reduce the margin for error in the fabrication process and help increase overall restoration consistency.

Given the trust VITA Shade has earned in the marketplace, there is little doubt that VITA Made can have a significant impact on the restoration industry. The performance and benefits are simply too numerous to ignore.

As we move forward in uncertain economic times, with additional labor shortages forecast, this product can help dentists and dental business owners improve the bottom line — especially if the two individuals are the same person.

Larry R. Holt, DDS, is an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry and a clinical associate professor at Medical College of Georgia where he lectures to students and teaches postgraduate courses. Dr. Holt has recently retired from private practice and has joined Drake Precision Dental Laboratory as director of clinical education and research. Dr. Holt can be reached at (704) 845-2401.

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