One of the most commonly asked questions from doctors is, "What do you need to make it better for both of us?" There are many ways to communicate to a laboratory, but the most effective way seems to be, "simple and concise."
Today`s dental patient is more knowledgeable and demanding with regards to esthetics. It is through the mutual understanding of the doctor-technician relationship that we not only meet our patients` expectations, but exceed them!
The article to the right lists five important bits of information the technician looks for when preparing an esthetic case.
The most important pieces of information a laboratory needs when fabricating an esthetic case are:
(1) - Pre-op models
Pre-op models are a valuable reference tool for the lab technician, because this gives them a good indication of the patient`s existing situation. A complete understanding of the desired result will enable us to satisfy both the doctor and the patient`s wishes. Pre-op models show functioning relationships and guidance problems, which can be corrected in the final case.
(2) - Photos or slides
The full-face view will allow the laboratory to get a sense of the patient`s face shape and lip contour. A 1:2 retracted view with the teeth slightly apart and the desired shade tab(s) next to the tooth will give the lab a relationship of the shade to the tab shade. A 1:1 view is important when matching one tooth to another. This view should show incisal detail, such as: lobbing, halo, incisal translucence, and texture of facial surface.
(3) - Bite
An accurate posterior bite, along with a stick bite, will help with any canting problems. A stick bite is achieved by using a Benda brush, embedded in bite material on the anterior teeth. The Benda brush should be parallel with the patient`s eyes. Note: Avoid using cotton swabs, as they tend to bend, which will give an inaccurate reading. The lab will mount the case using the stick bite, making the base of the model parallel with the stick bite.
(4) - Diagnostic wax-ups
Requesting diagnostic wax-ups before a large case is started will help achieve a great final result. The diagnostic wax-up is a great selling tool for the doctor. By showing the patient this waxed-up model, the doctor has a visual communcation tool, so the patient can see the intended final outcome. Additionally, the temporaries can be made for the diagnostic wax-up. Once the patient accepts the appearance and length, the doctor sends an impression of the temporaries to the lab, so the length and shape can be replicated for the final case.
(5) - Color-mapping
Detailed color-mapping includes stump shades, desired shades, and smile style. The best products to communicate this valuable information are the color-mapping pads and the Smile Catalog from the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies.