When a denture patient presents for a consultation to consider implants, all of us are trained to do the same thing. First, we duplicate the dentures in clear acrylic. Next, we put gutta percha or BBs in calculated positions. Sometimes we make more exotic and expensive ones using radiopaque denture teeth. After trying-in the diagnostic appliance for comfort and accuracy (and checking the lab bill), we take a cone beam of the patient wearing the appliance. We examine the gutta percha, radiopaque denture teeth, or BBs in the cone beam’s 3-D images to relate tooth position to bone. Then we present the patient with the results. By now the patient has spent time and money on radiographic guides that will never be used again. We’ve spent two to three visits with a motivated patient whose interest may now be waning. Don’t forget the lab bill or your time in the lab if you fabricate these appliances yourself. But most importantly, the gutta percha and BBs are guesstimates and provide limited data points.
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Finally, there is a product called Scaneez radiopaque markers that make radiographic guide creation instant and very inexpensive. Best of all, they create precise data points. These products use Stick ’n Scan technology to convert the patient’s existing denture to an instant radiographic guide — in seconds — in one visit — with no lab bills. The markers stick on and stick off. They are nontoxic and latex-free and are available at Suremark.com.
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Robert Sicurelli Jr., DDS, is a second-generation dentist with a specialty and practice limited to prosthodontics. His office is located in Southampton, N.Y., where he is on staff at the hospital. He has lectured locally and internationally on many topics including “If It’s Not Dental It’s Mental” and “Guidelines to Clinical and Financial Success.” Dr. Sicurelli has published research on the topic of cross-contamination in the dental workplace. Over the years he created a comprehensive portfolio of intellectual property related to many dental products with NYC endodontist Dr. Sam Masyr. The ever-popular glass fiber posts debuted in the mid 1990s and were considered by the dental community and corporate types to be “too ahead of the time.” The rest is history. Today, he continues independent research in his laboratory where he tests dental products to see if sales hype meets performance.