Nightguards Made Easy With 3Shape Automate

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Dr. Austin Vetter of Vetter Dental in Fargo, North Dakota is one dental professional who has adapted 3Shape Automate into the nightguard workflow of his dental practice.

Dr. Vetter began his journey into digital dentistry when he opened up his practice back in 2018, purchased his first 3Shape TRIOS and immediately started capturing digital impressions of his patients, thus creating a more comfortable customer experience.

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Dr. Austin Vetter

Not long after, Dr. Vetter continued his digital journey by establishing a lab in his clinic to better accommodate for the offer of same-day dentistry and higher quality dentistry.

In a recent interview, Dr. Vetter discussed how he scans his patients in their natural CR positions and then utilizes 3Shape Automate Nightguard and its AI technology to design the optimal nightguards.


Q: Why is scanning your patient in the CR position for a nightguard so important?

Dr. Vetter: The CR (centric relation) position and the importance of having that present when you scan is it’s the most predictable long term position to seat the patient’s condyles in. You can scan your patient in an open bite. This leads to a much better fit for an appliance and a more correct bite. Because with it, you do not, for example, need to worry about opening up the pin on the articulator and losing accuracy, which can lead to more adjustments for me as the doctor. This ability is also the biggest differentiator between 3Shape Automate and similar services. That is, as a doctor, I can scan in an open bite, in that CR position that I am used to, and Automate Nightguard will create my design for that position.

Q: Could you explain how you establish the bite with the patient and then rely on Automate to design the nightguard to fit that bite?

Dr. Vetter: Well, anyone who has been in dentistry for a while has learned that if you take the jaw and just open it up, that’s not going to be accurate. That’s not how a jaw moves. There is going to be a motion that is different for every patient. That’s why we started looking for a service that, fortunately, Automate provides. It has really been a game changer for us when designing nightguards. Now you can take your open jaw scans and upload them to Automate. The AI identifies and detects the upper and lower jaws and then adjusts the surface of the nightguard to have that unified contact to the opposing option. It’s simply amazing. It makes my life so much easier when the scan simply captures the digital bite and I can send it right away. I’ve checked the market, and I believe Automate is the only AI service that can do this. In our workflow we scan the teeth, then take a leaf gauge and get the patient’s teeth to the desired distance of where the nightguard will essentially be. We open the jaw up about 2 mm from where it’s the tightest in his or her mouth, and get the patient into a somewhat CR-type position to where it’s comfortable to wear the nightguard. The reason why we do it this way is that it simply leads to us not having to make minimal adjustments later. It is also much more comfortable for the patient and also provides a thickness of 2mm to the nightguard which is our preference.

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Q: So why did you choose Automate Nightguard to support you in designing these types of cases?

Dr. Vetter: We really were lucky with the services of Automate. We were sitting in the office wondering how we were going to design all these cases. We wanted to ensure consistency in our designs and were thinking about what we’d do if somebody is sick or busy on a different complex digital design. That’s why we started looking for a service that, fortunately, Automate provides. It has really been a game changer for us when designing nightguards. Now you can take your open jaw scans and upload them to Automate. The AI identifies and detects the upper and lower jaws and then adjusts the surface of the nightguard to have that unified contact to the opposing option. It’s simply amazing. It makes my life so much easier when the Trios scanner captures the digital open bite and I can send it right away and forget about it. I’ve checked the market, and I believe Automate is the only AI service that can do this with an open bite that is actually predictable.

Q: How do you feel about the browser editor feature for Automate Nightguards?

Dr. Vetter: It’s interesting because I do not actually think enough people know about it, but Automate actually has an in-browser editor. That means that if you have a TRIOS scanner but do not own any sort of design software, you can still, within the Automate platform on your browser, do some simple modifications to the provided nightguard design. It is very cool that everyone has the opportunity to make edits and modifications through this web-based design tool.

Q: How consistent are your patient outcomes using the Nightguard workflow?

Dr. Vetter: Every nightguard is such an intimate fit for every patient, and because it is 3D printed, it comes out being not as tight on the teeth as an analog-made one. They are extremely retentive, and since we’ve switched over to doing all of our nightguards through Automate, multiple patients have now had the chance to own both their previous analog-fabricated nightguards and the new 3D printed ones. The vast majority of our patients are praising the fact that their new 3D printed nightguards do not feel so tight around their teeth and that they are way more comfortable. As a doctor, this is fantastic and what you want to hear.

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3Shape Automate is all about predictability, convenience, flexibility and with the entire Automate design workflow being done by artificial intelligence, only the dental professionals set the limitations. Dental professionals can go direct to the 3Shape Automate website and order as many nightguard designs as they need and receive them back in as little as ten minutes.

Since its launch in April of 2021, 3Shape Automate has delivered more than 500,000 AI designed crowns and nightguards to dental professionals around the world and has been nominated and awarded multiple awards in the dental industry.


About 3Shape Automate

3Shape Automate is an easy to use, self-service dental design, powered exclusively by artificial intelligence to provide dental professionals designs of both quality and consistency – 24/7. With 3Shape Automate dental professionals can setup an unlimited number of orders with their customized design preferences and Automate will designs and send the case designs back in minutes, and with Automate you only pay for the designs that you approve.

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