November 16 2015 — Nothing makes Monday’s more bearable then being able to visit your favorite dental implant expert, especially when your about to go in to have 2 of those bad boys put in. One of the most intricate and innovative subjects I have come across in along time is dental implants and implant abutments. Really, until you can grasp the whole theory behind them its easy to get lost in all the manufacture names, scanners and variations that the abutments are made. Good thing my buddy Steve T. always keeps his door open to a fellow “human missing posterior teeth”.
Keep A Weathered Eye Open
Rolling into the Keating Dental Lab custom abutment department on this insanely windy and cold California Monday morning is always a treat, that is since the most qualified individual probably on the planet is at the “implant helm” man-ning the metaphorical CAD/CAM fleet where the Nobel Procera scanners dwell. I know this area pretty well by now since we have filmed a few things in this part of the KDA lab. Walking up, Steve is hard at work as per usual and on the phone with the clinician, which is pretty much how I find him every time I am down here. Since I am never in a hurry, I let him do his normal consulting with the clinicians on their custom implant cases. I never mind waiting when someone is lending a helping hand. Steve spends a good part of his day making sure the clinicians that are sending the implant abutment cases to the lab have the maximum amount of communication on these intricate matters.
Keep to the Code
After a brief chat with Mr. Tapie and a Talent Release from, we get to chatting about these dental implants and custom abutments we are about to interview on. I like to have an idea of what I am filming before hand and do my research well, but the theory behind implants and the ever growing technological advances in the industry make it difficult for me to get a good lead on what’s really going on. This is where Steve really enlightened me on the subject especially because will be the recipient of 2 of them this Xmas.
“We partner with 12 major implant companies, including Nobel Biocare®, Straumann®, Atlantis, Biomet 3i® and Zimmer. Keating’s abutment laboratory also can work with any manufacturer you need even smaller company’s that most labs won’t touch. Because KDA partners with top manufacturers to fabricate genuine custom implant abutments rather than producing them in house like many labs do, our implant abutments are protected by manufacturers’ warranties, and do not void the warranty of the implant when seated” Steve stated to start off my implant education crash course.
CAD/CAM Crows Nest
Implant Scan Abutments are designed for intra oral scanning or dental laboratory scanning of models to precisely transmit prosthetic information of the prepared teeth or area and exact implant(s) location. Scan manufacturer abutments remove the necessity for physical impressions although they are still recommended. The implant data is transmitted electronically to the dental lab for fabrication of CAD/CAM custom abutments. Steve and the Keating Lab goes above and beyond to work with these clinicians and partners to insure that the customization is to exact abutment specifications.
All Hands On Deck
“I think we have more of a personal touch with the doctor. A lot of the times the doctor will get a case from the periodontitis or the surgeon, and hears the case and sometimes there’s questions that need to be answered that a laboratory communicating with the doctor or general practitioner can’t answer. The communication, I think, is key to where the end result is going to be the health of the patient and the end quality and product for the patient and the doctor. Like we all know, the patient is the walking billboard for that practice, which is in turn, that practice is a walking billboard for us and the implant restorations that we do here.
The Cursed “Black Spot”
After learning all about abutments with Steve and doing an fantastic interview, I got down to “brass tax”. I said to Steve, Forget going to a dentist. I am just going to have you drill into my face and make the abutment and call it a day with these implants. At this point I felt completely comfortable with this “reasonable idea” and was willing to proceed. But with good moral and ethics behind his reasoning apparently I also learned that “Do-it-yourself-implants” wasn’t exactly a healthy lifestyle choice for this Director! There are also things such as “bone graphs” and “flesh healing” that needs to take place first… so, as per usual I will mosey on over to the amazing State-of-the-Art Operatory in the KDA lab and visit the lively Dr. Hornbrook when I am ready.
Thanks again to Steve Tapie for doing this amazing interview and the Keating Dental Lab Team for keeping the noise down in the lab (apparently NOT a reasonable request at 10am in a dental lab)!
Keep your eyes on the horizon for the next interview when I go undercover as a Ivoclar denture tooth to get a glimpse into the Denture Lab and Removable department.
Full 4K Video Transcript:
Here at Keating Dental Lab we also have our custom design abutments, whether it be from our Atlantis or our Noble. We also design them here with a Straumann and we send them out to Noble Biomet for the 3i encode and or abutments. We can utilize all these different scanners depending on what the clinician would like to use. The Atlantis Abutments we actually scan, design the picture here, we put the flows on, and we sent them out to Atlantis to the file to Atlantis to have the abutment fabricated. We have to approve every single design before it is mailed out.
We have a great designer here, Bernie Rico, he will design them, he will alter them, modify them slightly. We sometimes get together and we overview some of these cases, and then we do some slight adjustments into the abutment so we get the end result is exactly what we’re looking for. That’s one thing we can use with our Atlantis abutment. Atlantis, of course, has almost every single fixture out there. We also can do the zirconium abutments for Atlantis, and the gold-hue abutments for Atlantis when you want to have the all-ceramic restoration and you have a gold collar, which has a nice show through and a nice tissue contour and color coming through. You can’t go wrong with the Noble, Atlantis, or our Straumann, which we utilize all different systems.
With the Straumann we can design them here, similar to the Atlantis. We can approve the design and they send them. We also [00:06:00] can use the 3i, and of course the endcode, where you just take the impression of the 3i encode, send us the impression of the scanned body of the mapping collar and we send it to them, they place the analog and send the abutment to us. There’s a lot of companies that aren’t well known but absolutely will take care of you. If you send us a case, and I don’t recognize it as a common brand I’ll make a phone call, we’ll look it up, get on the internet, and I’ll make a call to a local rep or rep that you’ve been working with, and we’ll find out what it is. Like I said, there’s so many systems coming out and we have to stay on top of it. I think it’s the communication that we have with the respective clinician and the expectations of the patient, and then we can come together and have a good restoration with a great end result.