WHAT, DR. JON RUNION ASKS, could be better than “giving a patient a brand-new smile”? Not much—and having trained under some of the finest surgeons in complex dental rehabilitation, he’s now using the new GuidedSmile Chrome full-arch reconstruction technology to hand out pristine, permanent new grins in as little as a day.
After earning his DDS from The Ohio State University in 2010, Dr. Runion, now 34, trained in surgical dental implants under Drs. Rob and Duke Heller of the nearby Midwest Implant Institute; he also completed a residency in IV-conscious sedation at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton—all in preparation to open his own 5,500-square-foot practice, Beecher Crossing Dental Group, in Columbus in 2015. Together with his wife, Dr. Jessica Runion, and Dr. J.D. Hill, Dr. Runion offers comprehensive care—treating anyone, as he puts it, from a 2-year-old in for his first cleaning to a 90-year-old who needs a new full set. That is, in fact, where he really shines.
“My specialty is taking someone who has no teeth at all, or has what we call a ‘terminal’ set of teeth, and bringing them back to full health and function, using implants to support the new teeth,” he says.
Historically, of course, dentures were standard for a patient without teeth, but the last three decades of technological advances—as embodied by Chrome, a system developed by Integrated Dental Systems and ROE Dental Laboratory—have enabled clinicians like Dr. Runion to deploy precision implants with much less hassle, much more quickly.
“What Chrome allows us to do is take a patient’s 3D image and, through computerized design and models, plan their new smile,” Dr. Runion says. “Once we do that, we use cobalt-chromium metal to 3D-print a guide we can put in the patient’s mouth during surgery, which helps tell me exactly where to place anchors. It makes everything predictable, and patients can get their new smile the same day.”
Although he’s been an implant specialist for more than four years, Dr. Runion only recently began using Chrome. It is, he says, the best there is. Driving dentistry forward? He’s driving lives forward, with patients accruing the benefits of this peerless new tool.
One patient in particular sticks out in his mind: a man who was so ashamed of his treatment needs that he hadn’t even discussed them with his family. Education, impeccable chairside manner and Chrome’s capabilities enabled Dr. Runion to restore the man’s confidence. “Now he does social events with his wife that he hadn’t done in years, and he’s healthier because he eats better,” he enthuses. “He looks amazing, and his energy level and psychology have completely changed. It’s an improvement in overall wellness.”
The ability to transform a patient’s very state of mind is amorphous, but perhaps Chrome’s most attractive feature—helping dentists boost patients’ confidence in the procedure from the start. “We as clinicians know we can make them better, but it can be hard to communicate that to patients—so through this system, we’re able to show tangible outcomes to get rid of their fear. We’re able to give them a life-changing outcome within a morning procedure, and patients are enthusiastic and excited,” Dr. Runion says, baring his own beatific smile in the process. “Finally, the dentist becomes this person who gives you confidence and a better life.”