Larry's Brain's Blogs for Alumni
Lawrence thinks a lot when he is on his throne. Here, we will deposit or interpret his ideas before he presses the flush button..
Larry blog 24601-197L Collegiate
Monday morning and suddenly you’re a member of an exclusive club. The Cerec Masters club after doing the course on the weekend. I would like to describe the Cerec-files and Cerec Masters modules as having a Collegiate atmosphere.
The instructors are experienced general dental practitioners who are here to help you, but more importantly, your fellow participants are here to help you. Help you to become the best Cerec dentist you can be. Cerec is the most proven, most reliable dental CAD-CAM system in the world, meaning that you really now have a Super power within your means.
The College analogy is profound, as it reinforces the notion that we are all in it together now. We still keep in touch with alumni participants from as long as 7 years ago when the course first started. The College atmosphere means that we network and share hints and tips with fellow or potential Cerec colleagues on Cerec-files or on DM. The Collegiate atmosphere means that we are all friends in it to help each other succeed as we all now have a common bond.
As someone once quoted me saying : “Friend don’t let friend do shitty Cerecs.” (sic)
Larry blog 24601-108 : Anterior design flow
What if you get a Monday mindblank after an awesome weekend course of the Anterior Cerec module. It happens. So here is a quick summary of workflow steps when designing an anterior.
Remember this mnemonic:
It simplifies and reminds you of these steps:
Long Axis, rotation
Buccal Belly/ canine buccal spine
Contacts – proximal, occlusal
This is Lawrence’s steps for Anterior Designing for High-functioning Dummies (ADHD)™️, that is : for us normal everyday dentists.
Larry blog 24601-164 : Be awesome
It’s Monday morning, you arrive at work. You’re pondering your life choices. Luckily you’ve done the Cerec Masters course this last weekend and you see your life evolving. For the better this time. New techniques are fresh in your mind. You think to yourself : what overarching philosophy can I use to summarise my new Cerec way of thinking?
Unsurprisingly, I had the very same thoughts after I did my first Cerec Masters course 7 years ago. So I asked Lawrence on the 23rd of June 2015 4.26pm:
He told me succinctly : “Don’t be shit.”
This has since been my life motto. Who do I want to be? What do I want to do? I didn’t want to be a *bad person. I don’t want to do *bad work.
Aiming to do everything to avoid this means that I improve with every moment of every case. After 1000s of Cerec units over this time, I’m getting less *bad. It’s fulfilling to continually set and achieve higher standards.
Years later, I was thanking Lawrence for his words of wisdom, noting the time and date that he said these words to me, and he said he was overseas at that time, so he never said that to me, and anyway, that phrase had too many layers of meaning for him.
But I like that phrase now. It’s a part of my mentality, although I’ve flipped it around now to remind me every time I do a Cerec: “Do awesome”.
(*To maintain this blog’s PG rating, it was suggested that I replace the word ‘shit’ with the word ‘bad’
Larry blog 24601-122 : Booking
So it’s the Monday after the Cerec Masters modules course and you are champing at the bit to start churning out 4 Cerecs a day, every day for eternity. Take a breath. Do the simple things well first. Take your time.
For many dentists, it’s a whole new philosophy and new way of thinking about Cerec. Book your patients just before lunch or as the last patient of the day, so that you can run late and not be stressed about running into the next patient’s appointment slot.
Use your best and most trusted dental assistant so that they 1. Learn these new techniques along with you and can even discuss and modify the techniques to suit you. 2. You have confidence that it is an assistant you can rely on so it decreases your stress so you can concentrate on the Cerec.
Larry blog 24601-115 : Macro to Micro tools
It’s Monday, morning tea time, you’re taking your first deep breath of the day, and you’re in the clinic designing your upper first molar crown. What was one of those videos I was meant to watch before the Cerec Masters posterior module? You think to yourself. I should have watched it with my full attention instead of half watching Lupin, half answering emails and half making my kid’s lunch for the next day at the same time.
So for those of you who only half watched the design video, here is a quick MVP (Most Valuable Points) of points.
Design tools page on Cerec: go from Macro tools to Micro tools. This is not in the numerical listed order on the Cerec toolbar. Position tool -position/rotate/align the crown judging from the occlusal fissures, then assess them from the adjacent teeth cusp heights, occlusal plane and marginal ridges.
Try not to use the Form tool until the very end so use the Shape tool next. When using the Shape tool- Lawrence’s simplified rule is : “if it has an Anatomical name then use the Anatomical setting, not the Circular setting”™️
This simple change from using Macro tools to Micro tools will 1. Save you so much time in design and 2. With repeated uses -improve your repeatability and systems to simplify designing crowns.
Larry blog 24601-113 : Temps
Picture this: Monday morning. You are full of energy. Also full of anxiety after a weekend of Cerec Masters course with new ideas and thinking. You walk into the clinic and look at your days appointments. First patient - caries under a large old fractured amalgam on a lower molar. Your first thought: treatment option : 3/4 crownlay in Tessera with beautiful staining and perfect fit and occlusion as was shown to you at the weekend course. You have a sip of your coffee.
Your second thought: treatment preference : large composition because you know how to do these and it might last a few years and have ok proximal contacts so you just need to tell them to floss better. You have 4 more panicked sips of your coffee and think : What would Lawrence tell me to do?
Third option: remove caries and amalgam, assess tooth structure, take X-rays and scan if possible. Temporise and plan after discussing with the patient. This then becomes a prep and design exercise just like the dozens that you did at the course on the weekend. This gives you thinking time to do the best work you can.
Picture this: Lawrence is now smiling at you. No, not in a weird way. In a proud way.
Remember when in doubt, ask “What would Lawrence tell me to do?”
Larry Blog 24601-101 : Simple things done well (Start here)
So it’s the Monday morning after a full-on 2 day hectic, jam packed, exciting, frustrating, inspiring Cerec Masters modules course. It’s very important to put the techniques that you have been taught into practice as soon and as often as possible. Book off a longer appointment so you don’t rush into the stages or feel forced to skip steps. Experiment and trial the different techniques that you have been taught. Do the simple designs first, build your confidence and then do only slightly more complex designs at each step.
We have had phone calls and messages from dentists who have jumped straight into a 6 unit anterior veneer case, the Monday straight after doing the Cerec Masters posterior course. That didn’t end well.
That’s the other thing. Push yourself not to do more complex cases but to do more of the simple cases first. And do them well. For weeks after a course, the instructors will receive questions and pictures of minor aspects such as asking us to check margin designs. We also receive questions on major aspects such as the philosophy or thinking behind of Cerec preps or designs.
For all this and more, the instructors are here for you. Our aim is to make you the best dentist using the best Cerec technology. Win-win for you and your patient.
Master your CEREC. This is the Way.
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