LYRA-etk: ‘It can do everything!’on 29th April 2019
Richard Miller-White explains how adopting the digital workflow from LYRA etk has transformed his practice and added to its high-tech credentials
What’s your background?
I qualified from Cardiff University in 1990, and subsequently went to work in the hospital system for a couple of years before deciding to go into practice. I starting placing my first implants in 1995 – I trained at the Brånemark Clinic so started out with that system but have used several different systems since then.
I moved to the etk system recently and haven’t looked back!
What prompted you to move to the etk system?
Often, as implant dentists, we look at things like cost, clinical literature, contacts and so on. We don’t really think about other things – like service, for example.
But I think we should. I believe that dentistry is a service industry: we’re trying to provide the best service for our patients, so we in turn need to be provided with good service from the companies that support us.
I felt the standards had declined with my previous supplier, which was part of the reason I changed to etk.
But what really won me over was the way etk looks at implant dentistry – from an engineering point of view.
We know all about the clinical data. We know that implants work. We reached the clinical pinnacle years ago: improving it now is about IT, engineering and the technical side of things.
etk invited me to the amazing production and training site at the foot of Mont Blanc to see how a piece of titanium becomes an implant and educated me more than any other company has ever done!
They showed me their quality assurance, and how high the standard is. They’ve got such high level of quality control that I trust that any modifications they make are going to provide a better clinical outcome.
And because they’re a self-encompassed company, I think they can bring changes, improvements, and even design new implants more quickly. Their products bring clinical data and engineering together – they’re designed by engineers rather than clinicians which makes a big difference.
What do you like about the Naturactis implant?
I think it’s one of the easiest systems I’ve ever used.
The drill stops are set and really simple to use; the surgical kit is logically laid out and guides you through things really well. It feels like a very safe system, and it offers good primary stability.
The Naturactis is a really good, universal, solid implant – for all cases.
It’ll take a lot for me to change from etk. I’m so happy with the system.
How does etk’s integration with a digital workflow suit you and your practice?
It’s just what we were looking for. We pride ourselves on being a high-tech practice and etk is such an IT-orientated company that it’s been a perfect fit.
All too often, practices in the UK think it’s enough to have a CT scanner, or lasers to call themselves high-tech. I did too, until I got a scanner, and I realised that I wasn’t as up to date as I thought!
Any practice in the UK that says it’s high-tech must have a 3Shape intraoral scanner – how can you be up to date if you’re not taking digital impressions?
How has the digital workflow benefited your practice?
I think there are three barriers to dental treatment: money, phobia, and time. If you can get over those, you’re going to have patients going through treatment plans with you.
Scanning digitally is cheaper than taking impressions. You don’t get gagging, which makes it more pleasant for the patient, and it’s something like 20 times more accurate so you need fewer retakes. The appointments are shorter, along with the turnaround time… patients like it, and it’s more cost effective for the practice. It’s a win for everyone.
We’re starting to see patients coming in having heard that we don’t have to take impressions for crowns, and things lead on from there.
Lyra’s iphysio® Profile Designer is designed with a digital workflow in mind – how have you found it?
The iphysio® Profile Designer is really clever.
It allows you to carry out one-stage surgery, placing the implant and the iphysio® at the same time. Because it acts as a healing abutment, scan body and temporary abutment all in one, it cuts out a host of appointments from the process. It can do everything!
Plus, it’s designed to allow the mucosa to heal with a more natural contour so you get better aesthetics and greater predictability. It’s more comfortable for the patient as a result – you don’t need anaesthetic when it comes to the fit.
I actually think that patients, when they’ve had surgery, like to feel something with their tongue afterwards. The iphysio® Profile Designer helps with that, especially if they’ve had a gap for a long time. It helps them start preparing for what it’s going to be like when the crown is in place.