Alif Moosajee’s career path has taken him from ordinary to outstanding – and he credits Dentsply Sirona’s CEREC as having the biggest impact on his practice.
Alif Moosajee’s story is a familiar one – a general dentist with a passion for education, he was inspired by the work of dentists on the international speaker circuit. When he took over an established practice in Leicester that had previously specialised in implants, he realised it presented a rare opportunity – and he used Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics (CEREC) as the foundation on which to build a world-class facility.
CEREC is well known for producing ‘single-visit restorations’ – but as Alif discovered, its capabilities stretch much further. Today, as well as running a successful practice, he is a renowned lecturer and mentor on implant placement and restorations, in particular using the CEREC system.
Where it all began
‘I was just an ordinary dentist, but I attended courses and listened to the “big guys” presenting amazing cases. I watched them in awe and wanted to be able to show my work to other people and be proud of what I did. At the time I had just acquired an implant practice and knew that if I wanted to succeed in implant dentistry I’d need some help. I’d read about guided implant surgery and could see the way in which CEREC could help achieve predictable and reliable results.’
Making a tangible difference for patients
‘When I took over Oakdale Dental, one of the first things I did was transform the waiting area, because I knew that alone would have a big impact on our patients; it’s where they want to feel comfortable and where they notice things the most.
‘The same philosophy applied to my thinking about CEREC, it’s a piece of dental equipment that can make a real impact. With this system patients don’t have to wait two weeks for a crown nor do they have to endure messy impression taking – so they’re super-happy.’
Integrating CEREC into the practice
‘CEREC comes in two parts – the acquisition unit with the camera, which allows you to scan the teeth and create 3D virtual models; and the milling unit. Once the scan is complete, the software allows you to create a design for the crown, which is then transferred to the milling chamber. I keep the milling unit in the waiting room as it creates interest and is a bit of a conversation piece! Patients are able to see crowns being milled and actually get quite excited. They ask what it’s all about and that starts the conversation. It’s great to be able to explain to patients why I have made the investment in this technology and the benefits it can bring to them.’
CEREC’s role in realising my vision
‘Ultimately I wanted to use CEREC as part of a digital workflow in my implant treatment. With CEREC you can create a digital wax-up that allows you to virtually place the implant in the ideal position to support the restoration – so this is “crown down”, prosthetically-driven treatment. You can then use CEREC to fabricate a surgical guide, which can be milled in-house using the CEREC milling unit. I mill all my implant guides in this way because it saves so much time. Without guided surgery, your brain can sometimes trick you, distorting your perception of where the osteotomy should be. Guided surgery always allows you to sidestep that problem and, in my opinion, represents “best practice”.’
The future of lab collaboration
‘I implore all my colleagues not to see CEREC as a way of cutting out their lab completely from the restorative process. For bigger and more complex cases I send the CEREC scans to the laboratory, let them do the design, and then I mill each tooth here in the surgery – so it’s still same-day. I believe in sticking to what I’m good at and delegating the more difficult bits. I’m loving Sirona Connect (which transfers CEREC data to the dental lab in minutes) and involving the lab in the right cases is brilliant and uses everyone’s expertise in the best way.’
CEREC return on investment
‘With CEREC, patients often choose to have a crown when previously they might have taken a different route. I no longer hear my patients say: “I can’t come and see you twice”. With CEREC, I don’t have to send these patients elsewhere, but can immediately help them. And, I can always recommend an option the patient truly benefits from clinically.’
Never look back
‘CEREC mimics your general dentistry learning curve – you begin with simple, single-tooth, posterior restorations, but then you can progress to more complex cases. Compared to the lengthy analogue process, CEREC is elegant, quick and simple. In my view, it’s undoubtedly the best package for providing same-day dentistry. I feel like my patients and I have gained a lot from my investment – I’m really happy with it and so are my patients.’
Watch Alif’s full webinar: ‘Go Digital and Never Look Back’, at connectdentalcampus.co.uk.