Inside Dental Technology
The Best Cases without Compromise
Working with Ivoclar Vivadent materials and technology to stay in first place
Most of Nelson Rego, CDT, AAACD’s DAYS are spent consulting with his clients. He evaluates the models, studies patient photos, and reads case prescriptions, using the information he gleans to guide his customers down a treatment path that works for the entire dental team. “I’ve always said that the best thing any laboratory owner can do for his business is learn what the dentist does,” says Rego. “Dentists don’t care how you build a tooth, so long as it’s done correctly. What they do care about is whether or not you can help them solve their problems.”
Nelson Rego and his brother, Juan, have been solving dentists’ problems out of their laboratory, Smile Designs by Rego, for more than 35 years. In the laboratory, the Rego brothers carefully schedule their workflow in order to optimize quality and avoid any issues that could be caused by rushed production processes. “Everything we do is on a schedule, and we never take on more work than we are able to complete in a predetermined timeframe,” says Rego. “It usually takes several weeks for a case to go through our system. However, we always have more clients waiting for their turn because they know that the extended timeframe leads to a better final result.”
Rego’s desire for technical excellence has made him particular about the clients that he takes on, turning away dentists who are unwilling to perform on the same level. “The way I see it, if a client doesn’t do his part of the job the way we want him or her to, then it will result in a poor product, which in turn, reflects poorly on us. Our philosophy is to provide the best cases and the best quality, and never compromise on those goals,” says Rego.
In the past, Rego would often struggle with his clients to get impressions that were of high enough quality to work from. However, newly developed technologies, especially CAD/CAM systems that accept intraoral digital impression scans, have helped this process to become more accurate and less time-consuming for both the dentist and the laboratory.
Initially, Rego’s laboratory entered into CAD/CAM dentistry for its scanning and design capabilities, sending the designs to milling centers for production. However, as more and more millable materials became available on the dental market, Rego found that bringing the milling of certain work in-house could be highly beneficial to the laboratory’s workflow. “We really started to embrace in-house milling when we recognized the benefits of milling wax,” says Rego. Incorporating an in-house mill for wax doubled Smile Designs by Rego’s capacity. “Now we have it set up to mill wax restorations overnight, and the next day, our technicians only have to sprue, press, and finish porcelain restorations. It’s a huge time-saver,” he explains.
Milling wax in-house became such a boon that the laboratory decided to expand their milling capabilities to include full-contour zirconia. “We saw the huge demand created by full-contour zirconia restorations when they came to the market. So we invested in a Wieland Zenotec mini milling machine and started milling Zenostar® full-contour zirconia restorations.” Rego says that a number of factors, including its strength, biocompatibility, esthetics, and cost efficiency influenced his decision to use Zenostar in his laboratory. “One particular factor that I’m greatly impressed with is how well these full-contour restorations are able to fit into tight occlusal spaces. Oftentimes, we will mill a Zenostar restoration, cut back the facial, build it out with IPS e.max Ceram, but keep the occlusal all-zirconia. This is a great solution for high-risk patients that require exceedingly strong and biocompatible restorations in areas of minimal occlusal space,” describes Rego.
Working with Ivoclar Vivadent has also opened Rego up to the possibility of milling materials beyond zirconia, including Ivoclar Vivadent’s IPS e.max® ceramic. “I have already pre-ordered the new ZENOTEC® WET system so that we’ll be able to mill IPS e.max with the patented IPS e.matrix™ in-house. The new IPS e.matrix will allow us to mill ceramic on the same volume and accuracy level that we’re currently milling zirconia, which will minimize the need to press those all-ceramic restorations. It will be a huge time saver and a great investment for the laboratory,” he describes.
Since incorporating CAD/CAM technology and in-house milling into his production processes, Rego has been able to increase sales by 20% while only increasing expenses by 2%. “Our CAD/CAM systems have made our employees increasingly efficient. We let the machines do the mundane part of the work, while our staff concentrates on the artistry, personalizing each and every restoration. The employees love it because they get to focus on the aspects of the job that drew them to dental technology in the first place,” he says.
Even with more than 3 decades in the dental technology industry under his belt, Rego shows no signs of slowing down, and intends to continue to incorporate the latest technology and materials into his laboratory’s workflow for as long as he possibly can. “My favorite saying is: second place is just the first loser. In this industry, ensuring success is all about staying ahead of the curve!”
Disclaimer: The preceding material was provided by the manufacturer. The statements and opinions contained therein are solely those of the manufacturer and not of the editors, publisher, or the Editorial Board of Inside Dental Technology.
The Wieland Dental ZENOTEC® select from Ivoclar Vivadent is distinguished by its precision and productivity. The milling system combines state-of-the-art five-axis simultaneous operation with the advantages of automated manufacture and compact design. It offers user-friendly software, wet and dry grinding options, and a 16-position tool changer for efficient and universal milling.
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