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Digital means a new form of dentistry. And it’s fun!

Dr. Alan Jurim: For me, the digital workflow began in the clinical setting. In the office and my thinking, you know what… I don't want to do these style restorations anymore. I want to do them with better materials, with a technique that is more precise and less invasive to the patient, and one that I know is going to provide the patient with a more esthetic outcome.

Because of my engineering background, I knew that if I could do certain things with CAD dental software, then I should also be able to do something else with it. And if I could do that, then I could also do this, this and that. It kind of snowballed.

I'm not sure that doctors, even today, are fully realizing the potential of CAD/CAM. The technology just keeps getting better and better with what we can do. It's getting more exciting.

I believe it really is a new form of dentistry. And it's fun!

How has 3Shape Implant Studio changed the way you work?

The advantage of Implant Studio is that we are now able to identify and digitally plan restorations based on what is going to be the most efficient and simplest workflow before the time of surgery.

For example, in a sight where we are going to remove #8 because the tooth has a hopeless prognosis, the ideal workflow, which is now possible because of 3Shape Implant Studio, is for us to actually go ahead and virtually remove that tooth within the software.

We can then go ahead and plan our single tooth implant and at that point, because I already have the patient's cone-beam data detailing the patient's skull data, I can now create or have made for me a custom healing abutment that mimics the exact root form anatomy of the tooth being replaced.

In this way, I am able to maintain the same tissue support following the surgery. By providing the same support, we don't have any tissue collapse or variation during healing. This is very exciting because when we go to the final restoration we are now able to maintain as much of the healthy tissue for a more predictable and improved final esthetics.

This is just one example of how innovations with 3Shape Implant Studio, like a custom root-form healing abutment, improve surgical outcomes while enabling us to perform the simplest and safest solution for the case. It is an intuitive, prosthetic driven, start to finish approach to implant procedures that I use for every case.

Was this possible before CAD/CAM?

Even though pieces of traditional implant planning protocols used to use CAD/CAM technology, the difference between now and then is huge. The workflow used to go from a digital workflow to an analog workflow back to digital and back to analog. When you did that, however, you lost a lot of the resolution and data consistency, compromising precision and accuracy.

The final piece in the puzzle for us came with Implant Studio enabling us to include the last data set needed, a patient's skull data, in treatment planning. With this innovation, we now stay digital and our data remains consistent throughout the entire treatment workflow. If we are able to have that information, the IO and CBCT scans, available to us when planning and designing a case, we can really transform the restorative process so it's more comprehensive from start to finish.

Another tremendous advantage to Implant Studio is its seamless integration with 3Shape's Dental System, the CAD software the majority of labs use. There are no models being shipped back and forth between doctor and lab. As a clinician, I want to know that when I do my tooth set-up I can accurately maintain the esthetics and vertical dimension so that the vertical position I have established for this patient is consistent at each step in planning and treatment. And that is why 3Shape is so important because it's continued innovation allows us to integrate all of that into one software package, and the final key to that package is Implant Studio.

Why do you think some doctors are still hesitant about going digital?

Having experienced the simplicity of TRIOS technology firsthand, I can tell you that more doctors should be using it.

I'm part of the last generation that remembers what life was like before the internet and before technology had kind of revolutionized how we all operate. And the way that I see it is that technology has infiltrated every aspect of our day-to-day lives, to the point where it's rare not to depend on a computer for help. If I leave my home and forget to turn off the lights or lock the door, I can do so using my phone. We have cars that drive and park themselves.

So I don't understand why some dental professionals are being slow to adopt digital dentistry. For someone to say that the technology is not there to improve on the way we treat patients is only because of their confusion as to how the technology can help you. If you are not willing to spend the time in taking that first step and really understand it's potential, you are never going to get over that hump.

There are so many advantages to being able to use digital solutions like Implant Studio to make your work better – and not just because you have the technology and should use it, but because it really does improve your dentistry.

The ability for the team- restorative doctor, surgeon, and lab- to easily and remotely communicate digitally on a screen has optimized the services we can provide our patients. We are no longer doing the same mundane techniques over and over. We are constantly revolutionizing our workflow. For me, 3Shape provides that innovation. And I love being able to implement it!

Dr. Alan Jurim

Prior to graduating from New York University's College of Dentistry, Dr. Alan Jurim received his dual degree in Computer Systems Engineering and Electrical Engineering from the prestigious Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His strong clinical, engineering and laboratory credentials afford him a unique skill set to provide helpful one-on-one counseling for other dentists on how to integrate state-of-the-art CAD/CAM techniques.