Implant dentist Chris Lucas opens up about why he adopted the ETK Naturactis implant system and how the iphysio Profile Designer is working in his practice.
What’s your background?
I started in practice in 1985. I took a job as a clinical assistant in a hospital at the same time as a consultant there came back from an exchange to Sweden and so dental implants caught my interest early on.
I suppose I was part of the first wave of implants in the UK. I first got seriously involved in 1990: I went on a course to learn about the surgery and prosthetics, and everyone on it was telling me that implants were a hospital procedure!
I’m quite a cautious person and I didn’t really know how to get more involved so worked placing implants under another dentist and kept training at the hospital while I built up my experience. I gained a lot of knowledge from that, which I applied in practice.
I applied it by running training courses too. At the time there wasn’t a lot of support in implant dentistry: you really felt like you were out on a limb if anything went wrong.
I decided that if I had knowledge I was going to share it. It was a way of building the practice as well, and that’s where my practice (Lavender Road Dental Clinic in Leicester) was born.
What made you change to ETK?
I used one system pretty exclusively for most of my career, and to be honest, I saw no reason to change – until I went out to France and saw the ETK facility.
It’s an impressive place: you do feel that the product is of high quality. ETK are part of the LYRA group who are big players in Europe: they offer implants and digital workflow options and are experts in their field. I was very impressed with what I saw.
But it goes beyond that. If you’re choosing an implant system, you need something that’s made to a high quality, of course. You need the prosthetic options too: ETK have the full portfolio of restorative options plus a state-of-the-art CAD/CAM milling centre.
But you need the people that work with the company to bring it all together. They need to be approachable and helpful – and everybody here is exactly that. They’re great people.
I’ve worked with Kay (Hammond, UK National Sales Manager) before, and she’s very passionate about her company, professional and efficient – I like working with her.
What do you like about how Naturactis responds clinically?
It’s definitely a great system to use. It provides amazing primary stability, even in soft bone. That’s one of the things that you immediately notice with the Naturactis implant. We do a lot of single-tooth immediate loading in the practice, and you need a high primary stability for those cases – it’s an excellent implant for that.
It’s good in hard bone; it’s good in soft bone; the surgical kit is easy to use, and as a system it works quite seamlessly. Really, it gives me everything I’m looking for. It has all the componentry I want; it gives me five different dimensions including a 0.3mm width, and it has short implants too, should I need them.
It’s as good as any implant system out there! It gives me everything I need to do a good job.
The iphysio Profile Designer is the real game-changer: tell us more
It’s a phenomenal product!
It’s a gingival profile designer, similar to a healing abutment that you leave in situ until you’re ready to fit your final restoration. It becomes a scan body (or an impression coping) without removing it: you digitally scan or take a conventional impression, and you only remove it when placing the final restoration. It has amazing accuracy, and you can even temporise on it!
It does a beautiful job of contouring the soft tissues naturally. It’s extremely accurate, easy to use and simplifies the post-surgical protocol.
Furthermore, it makes life much more comfortable for the patient: the crown has the same emergence profile as the iphysio Profile Designer. The dental technician creates the exact same subgingival emergence profile, so you don’t need local anaesthetic when you’re fitting the final restorations. It really makes dentistry less stressful, and the patient experience is great. Reduced surgery visits too!
The cases I have restored with the iphysio Profile Designer have been fantastic. I love how easy it is to temporise with the temporary abutment. It’s an amazing feat of engineering that works really well. You can place a temporary crown on top of the iphysio with a simple click.
It’s going to change how we work: it’s another string to the bow, and one that’s excellent to work with.
* Portman Dental Care supports clinical freedom throughout their practices. As such, they support Chris Lucas with his clinical choices and this may not reflect throughout Portman Dental Care.