You know what’s expensive? Implant components.
Here’s three fast and easy tips to regain control over your costs in doing implant cases:
(1) Reuse impression copings and replicas
There is absolutely no need to by new impression copings and replicas for every case. These are 100% reusable and you’re not being cheap by doing it; you’re being resourceful.
Impression copings will just have to be cleaned and sterilized; no big deal. Implant replicas must be salvaged from the model, which just requires a little elbow grease. This is a great activity for you and your assistant when there’s a cancellation or some down time in the office.
Acrylic bur troughing around a replica, leaving stone around it. Don't hit the platform!
First, I trough around the replica with a lab bur (acrylic burs work surprisingly well). I am super careful to not damage the replica platform because that could alter the fit of the impression coping and abutment for the next case. But if you damage the retentive part of the replica, which is encased in stone, it doesn’t really matter. I use the principles of elevation from oral surgery to pry out the replica with a flat-head screw driver.
It's just like extracting a tooth, only easier.
I don’t recommend doing this for larger implant cases, like full-mouth rehabs. You’ll probably want to hold on to those models indefinitely. If your patient needs a repair to their prosthesis, you’ll be glad you have the original model lying around in storage.
(2) Use an organization system for your components
Don’t you hate it when you know you have an impression coping to fit your next case but you can’t find it? Argh. Save yourself from having to buy additional components. And save yourself wasted time searching for them! Just go to a hardware store and buy an organizer, like a tackle box. I use this storage cabinet from Home Depot. It’s only $20 and it’ll save you a lot of headaches. Bust out your label maker and have fun:
Neat little drawers make me happy.
(3) Use a well-designed implant system
There really aren’t a lot of major differences between most implant companies. The implants integrate and the restorative component options are decent.
But there are some companies that design their components with the restorative dentist in mind. Do you feel like your implant system is unnecessarily complicated? Are you drowning in components?
I’ve written before about my love for implant systems that have simplified their restorative options without sacrificing quality and flexibility. In this post here, I wrote about how Neoss designed a single impression coping for both the open and closed tray techniques AND it also fits all of the implant sizes (except the very narrow 3.25mm diameter). The same goes for their temporary and final abutments. One size fits all! That ingenuity makes it easier for me to control my overhead without sacrificing any quality.