Digital Impressions And Increased Patient Satisfaction: The Two Go Hand In Hand

In modern society, we expect immediacy in nearly everything we do.

Take information access. We expect immediate results when we search a topic on the internet. And, thanks to Google, fiber optics and super-fast connections, our search results show up in a second or two.

In the same way that modern technology has brought us information that’s immediate available, it has also provided instant communication. Considering the very first mobile phone only went on sale to the public a little over 30 years ago (DynaTAC in the US cost almost $4,000 each at the time!), it is astounding to think how far we have come in such a short amount of time.

Dentistry, however, did not embrace “digital” at the same pace, but it has caught up. Technology has advanced, traditional processes and techniques have been refined, protocols streamlined and high quality achieved. Today’s digital workflow enhances communication among the dental team, allowing the transfer of more information faster and more efficiently for the benefit of the dentist and patient—and the lab.

In the days before CAD/CAM, communication between the dentist and lab technician was a lengthy process. Now, however, color matching, patient preferences, margin verifications and prep height reduction can be determined before the patient leaves the chair. Continue reading

Digital Intraoral Sensors: What Makes One Brand Different from the Next?

It’s a well-known fact that digital sensors offer greater image quality than their film counterparts. But they also have a reputation for being easy to break and complicated to use, which begs the question: are they worth the investment? The answer is yes—as long as you know what to look for.

High image quality should be at the top of your priority list for intraoral sensor technology. This is the key to keeping your diagnostic capabilities at the highest level. In addition, the ideal intraoral sensor is designed with ergonomics and durability in mind to ensure patient comfort and guard against breakage. Ease of use is also a must, because you want a sensor that will facilitate—and not complicate—your workflow.  All of these features should be your baseline to measure against as you choose the right intraoral sensor for your practice.

Watch the following video to see how the manufacturing process at Carestream Dental ensures its sensors meet and exceed the expectations of dental health professionals.

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Film vs. Digital: What Would You Do with More Time? (Infographic)

Switching from film to digital can lead to a number of well-known benefits, including reducing the cost of film-related consumables, improving patient care and increasing case acceptance. But one of the biggest advantages to busy dentists is the time savings produced by implementing digital systems.

Dental Film vs. a Digital Imaging Workflow

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Dental Practice Startup: Imaging Technology Considerations that Can Make or Break Your Practice

Dental school graduates who choose private practice have two main paths to choose from when starting their professional careers—start fresh or take on an associateship with an established practice. If you decide to venture out on your own, there are certainly some imaging technology considerations to take into account.

How can your choice of imaging technology make or break your practice? With the right imaging systems, you can:

  • efficiently capture high-quality images that improve, diagnosis, patient communication, co-discovery, and case acceptance;
  • reduce dose to your patients and eliminate time delays, and
  • seamlessly integrate digital radiography into your practice management system, thus improving care while streamlining your workflow and improving your overall practice efficiency.

Unfortunately, choosing the wrong imaging system for your practice—or one that is ”low end”—can actually waste money, which is the last thing you want to do when starting your own business. Continue reading

Misconceptions about the Switch to Digital Radiography (Chart)

“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” How many of us have used that line when we’re asked to change the way we do things? Especially when you’re already overwhelmed with treating patients as well as:

  • Managing practice operational costs – Everything from keeping payroll costs in line to controlling sundries and supply costs. (proper disposal of chemicals not related to costs)
  • Building a larger and better referring patient base – Making sure you’re attracting new quality patients and offering a service level and quality of care that distinguishes you from the competition.
  • Managing risks – ensuring that the proper documentation has been completed, complying with patient privacy legislation, and putting systems in place that help to avoid mistakes by any team member.

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Are You Being Restricted by Your Software’s TWAIN Compatibility Policy?

Imagine this scenario: you purchase a new Samsung television. At first, everything is working great—until one day you notice you are no longer able to watch Blu-rays through your Sony player. After doing some investigating, you discover that Samsung now requires that only their Blu-ray players can be hooked up to their television, unless you want to pay a charge to have Sony’s signal decrypted and playable.

While this situation is fictional—and would likely cause an uproar if it were to be implemented—the sad fact is that is beginning to happen in dentistry today. While manufacturers would love for customers to use all of the products within their portfolio, the truth is that different dental professionals have different preferences. They may prefer one dental practice management or imaging software over another, but still prefer a sensor or intraoral camera from a different company. This is where TWAIN comes in. Continue reading

Wait until all the facts are in…

Dentists by nature are cautious, fact-based folks; they want to wait until all the facts are in. As a general rule, that is a good thing when it comes to providing scientifically valid, clinically proven dental care. However ,it can also lead to the paralysis of analysis when it comes to making business decisions.

All the facts are never in. We don’t have all the facts on Lincoln’s assassination, on the superiority of dogs vs. cats, or how long posterior composites will last…The real question is not whether you have all the facts. The real question is, “do you know enough to make a decision?”

There comes a point where “waiting ‘till all the facts are in” becomes an excuse for not doing anything. No decision is still a decision. Continue reading

Digital Dental Technology Survey: Perception vs. Reality

The benefits of digital technology within dentistry are well documented; however, there are some still misconceptions about making the transition. The most common reasons why a doctor would hesitate to switch from analog to digital include:

  • time investment
  • ease of use
  • costs

In a recent Carestream Dental survey, both non-digital and digital users were asked a number of questions regarding their perception of digital technology versus the users’ actual experiences. The good news is that many of the areas that were a concern for doctors who are not already using digital systems turned out to not be a problem for current users. Continue reading

Extraoral Bitewings: When Are They Beneficial?

Patient comfort is an integral part of my practice; after all, what better way is there to retain the patients you currently have and attract others than through word of mouth? In light of this, it’s important to have a number of tools available to improve the patient experience.

In every practice, you have patients who simply hate or cannot tolerate standard intraoral bitewing X-rays. The most common issues I encounter include:

  • sensitive gag reflex;
  • claustrophobia (traditional bitewings make them feel like they’re being smothered);
  • small mouths; or
  • large mandibular tori that prohibits placing the sensor in the patient’s mouth.
Intraoral photo taken of Mandibular Tori

Intraoral photo taken of Mandibular Tori

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What Does Digital Mean?

In the most literal sense, to digitize something means to turn it into digits or numbers. In a more practical sense, it means turning something into the electronic language a computer can understand.

Digital information can be many things including words, numbers, photos, x-rays, sounds, movies or even solid objects (like teeth).

Once an item is digitized, there are three very significant things you can do with it. You can store transmit and manipulate or enhance it using a computer or a computer network; in other words, you can take a digital impression and store it on a server it does not get lost taking up space on a closet shelf. You can transmit it to a lab instantly, no boxes and FedEx trucks needed. And you can design a crown onscreen with no wax and Bunsen burner. Continue reading