The Laser scanning / micro-milling technology we use today has its origins in the relentless work of Dr. Francois Duret of France collaborating with the international electronics firm, HENNSON, starting in the early 1970’s.
By the mid-1980’s fully functional prototypes had been developed, and the only missing element was finding major investors to take the concept into the marketplace.
Duret’s innovation launched the “same day” restoration revolution. And the race for shorter and shorter treatment times was on.
Shorter treatment times certainly have advantages, and in this case, skipping past temporization and a second seating visit, has high appeal to many practitioners, particularly when restoration fabrication can be delegated and the dentist can move on to another treatment room.
But we must also consider what we are losing in exchange for the wiz, whirl, and excitement created by Duet’s amazing idea.
And what is potentially lost (in a younger dentist in particular), is the opportunity to master provisionalization and through doing so, glean information from observing their appearance and performance in the mouth.
Additionally, moving too quickly, and through treatment on some patients, primarily because it is now easier to do so, may inadvertently create a ‘tender trap’ of co-dependency or worse.
And on that issue, I am reminded of Bob Barkley’s famous quote, “Build your relationships first, then your dentistry.”
New technology can easily be a double-edged sword. When used appropriately (technically AND behaviorally) it can render amazing results. But when used primarily as a vehicle of convenience, it may just represent the replacement of one problem with another.
“Going slow”, particularly when we do not know the patient well, has its place in dentistry too. And knowing when to ‘go slow’, is the key to successfully developing more and more patients into appreciating the value of fine, comprehensive restorative dentistry.
Paul A Henny, DDS
Thought Experiments LLC, ©2017
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