Dr. Petar Duchev | The Smile Can Now Plan | Eva Magazine | August 2011

Dr. Petar Duchev, owner of a Center for Implantology and Biomimetic Restorative Dentistry, member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

By Mariana Antonova

Dr. Duchev, what is the role of the digital technologies in dentistry?

They become more and more common, and thanks to them dentistry is absolutely different from what it was 10 years ago. The digital technologies are considerably less invasive and are much more precise in comparison to the traditional technologies. They spare half the technological time and guarantee work accuracy.

What is digital design of the smile?

It literally means an image design of the smile. This is an entirely new approach used to solve difficult cases when the aesthetic requirements of the patient are very high and the situation in his/her mouth is quite complex. The approach requires detailed knowledge of the biology of the patient, as well as of all fine technological details of the system. In brief, the digital design of the smile is oriented towards the particular patient and his/her particular personality, this is why exclusivity of the end result is guaranteed.

What is new with this type of work?

The main reason why the patients are disappointed at the end of a treatment is the lack of communication with the doctor. Therefore in cases with complex treatment, first and foremost the requirements and the expectations of the patient must be clarified. We, the dentists, have difficulty “hearing” our patients. We tend to misunderstand certain wishes they may have, because we focus on the technical details of the work. The result we then achieve, satisfies neither the patient, nor the dentist. The solution is visualization of the treatment, i.e. – before any treatment begins, the patient must be well aware of what the final result will be.

How is the treatment visualization made?

During the first examination we make a very detailed photographic session of the face of the patient, as well as of all of his/her teeth. The patient and the dentist go through the process of desires’ clarification, possibilities, biological parameters and technological specificities together. Using a computer program, we visualize the patient’s smile and what it would be like in accordance with his/her personality, age, gender, character, emotions, etc.

Which part of the process is the most important?

The moment when we test the prototype of the future teeth. They are temporary and are made of material which is similar to photopolymer, plus their placement does not affect negatively the existing teeth. The prototype gets glued and tested for a certain period, it has a very aesthetic look and cannot be distinguished from the natural teeth. This is the only way that the patient can prepare himself/herself for the planned change in the size and the shape of the teeth, as well as for the change in the height of the bite. The prototype allows for corrections. It can be removed from the mouth at any point if the patient is not satisfied with it, and in no way does it disturb the existing situation in the mouth.

In your field this is known as digital protocol. When was it created?

The protocol was created by a group of colleagues led by Dr. Christian Coachman from Brazil. I had the pleasure of meeting him and discussing in detail the protocol of digital design of the smile last year during the annual meeting of the European Academy of Esthetic Dentistry in London.

How many Bulgarian dentists use this method?

I presented the basis of the protocol before 70 colleagues on 9 July. Their interest was great and I hope that many of them will start to plan and do more and more of their work using it. The results with this approach are much more predictable, plus it is a pleasure for both the patient and the dental expert.

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