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31 May 2004 | eLABORATE

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LVI trained laboratories unit

The Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, known simply as LVI, is a post-graduate education facility on a 60,000 square foot campus located in its namesake town in Nevada, USA.

LVI is renowned for its development of new techniques for dentists to deliver maximum aesthetics to patients in a short time frame, with typical courses covering techniques to manage full arch and full mouth reconstructions.

LVI advocates a close working relationship between dentist and dental technician and delivers education to both parties in unison. Dentists are not only encouraged to bring their staff and patients to LVI courses, but also their ceramist.

Over 30 local dentists have made regular visits to LVI and progressed through the programme to varying degrees. Late last year, the ADA NSW hosted the LVI "Advanced Functional Aesthetics" course in Sydney, the first such programme delivered in Australia, which involved the restoration of ten anterior maxillary teeth.

Sydney-based ceramist, Bill Cearns, participated in the first LVI Downunder programme and had previously completed four technicians' courses at LVI to be the only LVI master aesthetic technician in Australia.

He has now been instrumental in the formation of United Ceramic Laboratories of Australia (UCLA), an umbrella group for labs trained in the methods and philosophies promoted by LVI.

"Having completed a number of courses at LVI, I was blown away at what I learnt and what I continue to learn," Mr Cearns said. "The technology and procedures they teach provide the patient, the dentist and the technician with far more choices, excellent results and in half the time of anything I have ever come across before."

Mr Cearns rationalised that with the growing level of interest from dentists in completing LVI courses, local ceramists would not be qualified to produce the required work.

With this in mind, he recruited several of the most respected ceramists from each state and started an Australian training program.

"We have the whole country covered," he said. "We have at least one qualified ceramist in every state willing able to provide impeccable work that will make a patient look and feel great.

"We now take a total team approach these days. No longer are the dentists or technicians competing against each other; in fact, they have never had to work so closely together as they do with this system. Basically, the cases are constructed in reverse, after a great deal of communication and planning. Before a prep is cut. The patient is able to observe what they are going to look like and even have a great deal of input as to the likes and dislikes of the finished case."

"I have been using Bill Cearns and the UCLA team for almost 10 years," said Dr Brett Taylor. "When I first attended LVI in 2000, I came back and told Bill I wanted to start doing pressed ceramics. That same day, he started ordering materials and learning new techniques. For the past four years, we have shared the LVI learning experience. I consider him the finest ceramist in the country, and I doubt there are too many better overseas."

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