Written by Scott Chanin, DMD
When I was asked to participate in a Dental Product Shopper Peer-to-Peer Product Evaluation of a DMG’s LuxaCrown long-term crown and bridge material over a year ago, I jumped at the opportunity. Why? Because I’d actually started using LuxaCrown before its market launch, and I felt I owed it to my fellow dental professionals to share my experience about an amazing material that’s ended up becoming one of the top “go-to” products in my practice.
It might surprise you to know that this “go-to” material sells for a slight price premium over many of its competitors. And it might surprise you, even more, to know that this premium-priced material is having a very positive impact on my practice’s bottom line.
LuxaCrown is the perfect example of how the best way to save money is often to use a truly superior product that carries a slightly higher price tag than lesser options.
Making the case for value over price
Next year I’ll celebrate my 40th year as a dentist. My years as a practitioner have exposed me to a wide range of practice scenarios, including helping to oversee a group practice with hundreds of
employers and running my current boutique practice. One of the key lessons I’ve learned that has greatly benefited my practice – and my patients – in all of these scenarios is this: Opting for the
cheapest product almost never yields the optimal patient outcome, and the additional treatment costs necessitated by the product’s inferior quality often end up making it more costly than opting
for a more expensive – and higher quality – solution.
That’s a lesson I constantly impart to my students at my alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, where I’ve served on the faculty for the past seven years. These students are eager to learn about the latest and most advanced products, but dental schools generally lack access to most of those products. I encourage my students not only to seek out the best products once they begin their practices but to realize that those products can often offer the best long-term value despite what might be a higher initial price.
Case in point: LuxaCrown long-term crown and bridge material
The main reason I’m such a fan of LuxaCrown stems from the fact that one of the most costly aspects of providing a temporary crown is the extra cost you incur when the patient comes back
when that crown is fractured or broken. There’s the cost of the material, the much greater cost of your chairside time, and the significant cost of your staff’s time – both chairside and setting
up the operatory for another appointment while adhering to COVID-related guidelines. And of course, you can’t charge for any of these extra costs.
Based on my personal experience, these extra costs are non-existent with LuxaCrown. Of the over 1,000 patients who’ve left my practice wearing a LuxaCrown provisional, not one has come
back with a break, chip, or crack.
DMG’s research has led them to claim that a LuxaCrown restoration can last up to five years, and I see no reason to doubt that. I recently did a check-up on a patient whose LuxaCrown restoration
I placed over three years ago, and it shows virtually no sign of wear.
With costs increasing and insurance companies lowering their fee schedules, the adage “Time is money” has never been more true. Dentists can’t afford to waste a minute of their time, and there’s
no bigger waste of a dentist’s time – or money – than having to redo a failed procedure and not being able to charge for it.
LuxaCrown’s ability to resist breakage is due to its exceptional fracture toughness of >2MPa*m0,5. Amazingly, after fatiguing LuxaCrown’s fracture toughness value actually increases over time rather than decreasing like many composite resin materials. And if you want even more strength, splinting materials can be incorporated into LuxaCrown to enhance its already outstanding longevity.
Going where no provisional has ever gone
LuxaCrown’s unprecedented ability to last up to five years opens up new possibilities for a wide range of patients, including:
- Patients whose financial challenges force them to hold off on getting a permanent restoration for a few years.
- Elderly patients who don’t want to pay for – and don’t need – multiple practice visits and a costly permanent restoration that will last decades beyond their life expectancy.
- Patients for whom a permanent restoration doesn’t make sense until I can be certain that the endodontic treatment I’ve performed has been successful.
- Patients undergoing long-term treatment like implant therapy or periodontal surgery who need to wear an esthetically acceptable provisional for longer than a conventional temporary restoration will last.
Here are three examples of how LuxaCrown lets you do things for your patients that wouldn’t otherwise, be possible:
- About three months ago a male patient came in who had a fractured tooth that was about to be extracted by an oral surgeon. He needed a 3-unit bridge, and because he would be needing a bone graft, he would have to wait 5-to-7 months before getting a permanent restoration. The obvious solution was to create and place a 3-unit bridge with LuxaCrown, as I knew it would have no trouble lasting until. So I took an impression of his teeth before the tooth was extracted. When he returned after the extraction, I used the impression to create the LuxaCrown provisional restoration. I recently evaluated him at the three-month mark; the restoration looked great, and he couldn’t have been happier with the fit or the esthetics. He’ll be back in another few months for the final restoration.
- Another male patient presented with severe bruxism that caused two permanent crowns to break on teeth 30 and 31. Before replacing them with permanent crowns, I decided to make him two connected provisional crowns using LuxaCrown so I could get a sense of what the impact of the bruxism would be. He wore them for just over a year and they held up beautifully, so I felt comfortable replacing them with a permanent restoration.
- Over two years ago, a long-time geriatric patient of mine who had recently moved into a long-term care facility due to worsening dementia had two teeth that were badly broken down. Because he is also on dialysis and has limited financial resources, a permanent restoration simply wasn’t a viable option. Once again, LuxaCrown was the ideal solution. I was able to create and place the two LuxaCrown crowns in a single visit, and two years later the restoration looks and functions perfectly.
I don’t just use LuxaCrown for special situations like these, however; I use it for virtually every provisional crown I make. I simply find its slightly premium price to be a real bargain considering
the superior clinical outcomes, the high patient satisfaction levels, and the fact that patients never come back with a damaged crown in need of repair. But even if you don’t use LuxaCrown for all
of your provisional restorations as I do, I can’t imagine why a practice would use anything but LuxaCrown for the kinds of situations described above.
Another benefit you won’t find in conventional provisional materials: LuxaCrown shows up radiographically.
A simple protocol + superior strength = time savings
LuxaCrown’s exceptional strength not only means patients won’t be returning to your practice in need of repairs to their provisional, it also reduces the amount of time you’ll spend creating
the provisional – particularly since LuxaCrown makes it so easy to do everything in a single appointment.
With LuxaCrown, the provisional creation protocol is simple:
- Take a quadrant impression with a triple tray.
- Prep the tooth.
- Fill in the tooth with the LuxaCrown material using the convenient automatic mixing tip.
- Seat the tray back in the mouth with the impression and have the patient bite into it.
- After it hardens in 2-to-3 minutes, take the tray out of the mouth.
- Use a finishing disc to trim the impression.
LuxaCrown has a very reasonable working time of 2 minutes, 20 seconds, and a setting time of 5 minutes. While that might sound comparable to conventional provisional materials, there can be a
significant additional time component when you use those materials: A conventional provisional can chip, crack or have the margins break when you’re removing or trimming it, which forces you to spend additional time adding back material, waiting for it to cure, and finishing. This is especially problematic with minimally invasive crowns, whose low volume of material makes material strength even more critical. Thanks to LuxaCrown’s significantly greater strength, you never have to worry about this.
Another advantage of LuxaCrown’s strength is that it exhibits minimal shrinkage, which means that when I remove the provisional to trim it, it fits nicely and requires little if any, adjustment when I re-seat it.
A Blend of Strength and Beauty
LuxaCrown delivers far more than just remarkable durability. Its ease of manipulation, excellent polishability, natural fluorescence, and high shade stability combine to deliver exceptional esthetics that rivals any final porcelain restoration. In fact, most of my patients are as pleased with the appearance of their LuxaCrown provisional as they are with their final crown.
LuxaCrown is available in 5 shades (A1, A2, A3, A3.5, B1).
While I do place implants when warranted, my personal philosophy is that you should never extract a tooth that can be restored. I’ve placed porcelain crowns that I’ve seen last 30 or more years, but I don’t know – in fact, no one knows – what happens to an implant after 30 years. But what I do know is that a porcelain crown is much more affordable for my patients than an implant and much less invasive.
Using LuxaCrown long-term crown and bridge material for your provisional crowns will allow you to conserve more than teeth. It will also help you conserve time and spending for both your practice and your patients while making it possible for many of those patients to have access to affordable, highly satisfying restorations that might otherwise not be possible.