Efficiencies in practice

tetric powerfillChris McConnell explains why now is the perfect time for dental practices to re-evaluate their clinics and set those efficiency processes in place.

Efficiency in dental offices has never been so important as in these challenging times.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, we are facing delays with aerosol generating procedures, and in general a slower throughput of patients. Yet with increasing overheads through PPE and governance.

This is all the right thing to do, but it can take its toll on the clinic’s revenue.

However, it doesn’t need to be all negative! I truly believe this is a golden time to re-evaluate ourselves, reboot our practising methods and our material choices and make changes that not only are better now, but will also help us build for the future.

A lot of these dental office efficiencies have been bubbling below the surface for a few years now. But the pandemic has kickstarted the revolution of changes that will benefit us, our patients and our industry.

Bulk fill revolution

Although efficiencies are in every aspect of dentistry, if we only look at posterior composites, now is the time to make that change to the ‘bulk fill revolution’.

These products allow for greater application depths. They have been around for about eight to 10 years now and have really proven themselves in the longevity stakes – well most of them!

By being able to apply in larger increments with less shrinkage stresses, results in much faster treatment. And depending upon your material choice they are as aesthetic as normal composite.

There is a technique I call the ‘cut back technique’. It’s a concept I got from visiting my lab and watching how the dental technicians make inlays. They buid the restoration up then cut it back to the occlusion. This was a lightbulb moment for me. Why did we as dentists layer, stain and guess the morphology? Only to remove the rubber dam and find we were either woefully high and have to adjust back all the hard work layering, or end up so far out of the occlusion we risk causing occlusal instability?

This realisation in combination with Ivoclar Vivadent’s Tetric Powerfill range has found me being able to deliver large three surface+ direct posterior restorations in under 30 minutes without compromising on the quality, outcome, or longevity of the restoration.

This way I can provide what the patient wants in a time frame the patient is comfortable with. And in a manner that is more profitable for me and the clinic. A true win-win!

Re-evaluating dentistry

In this golden time of opportunity for us to really re-evaluate our clinics, we can start to set those efficiency processes that will carry us forward from strength to strength.

Sadly, for those that think we will return to ‘normal’, and I have come across many of these dentists, they are in for a big shock. We already know that boat has sailed. Patients have also changed, looking for something different. And we must adapt.


If you would like to learn more about this topic, please join Chris on 15 October for his course: Real efficiencies for everyday practice with Dr Chris McConnell – www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/real-clinical-efficiencies-for-everyday-practice-with-dr-chris-mcconnell-tickets-148745414539?aff=SeptemberDentistryArticle.

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