Technology, trends and techniques are constantly changing. With that in mind, Carestream Dental asked a number of experts about their opinions on what oral health care professionals should be on the lookout for in 2017. Here’s what Lisa Moler, publisher of MedMark, had to say:
By Lisa Moler, Publisher, MedMark, LLC
Staying current on dental trends is both exhilarating and challenging for MedMark’s dental journals, Implant Practice US, Orthodontic Practice US, Endodontic Practice US and Dental Sleep Practice. Latest and greatest technologies keep evolving at mind-blowing rates, allowing diagnostic and treatment options to become safer and more efficient—while staying within a reasonable budget.
Carestream Dental asked a number of experts for their opinions on what the big trends in oral health care will be in 2017. Larry Emmott, D.D.S., weighed in:
“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future”
So said Yogi Berra, and he is right. On the other hand Bill Gates had this to say:
“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.”
Looking ahead to 2017, we could make predictions that are sure to come true. However they would be so obvious as to be useless. We could make bold outlandish predictions that are exciting but unlikely to come true next year. Any dentist looking to plan ahead would be disappointed. The best alternative is to point out trends and predict how those trends will impact dentistry in the coming years.
If you’ve been on the fence about purchasing new digital equipment for your practice, this tax incentive might be all the justification you need to make the decision.
Section 179 of the IRS tax code is designed to support small businesses by giving them financial incentive to invest in their business and support the manufacturing sector that serves them. It is also intended to spur economic growth. With Section 179, business owners can deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment and/or software purchased or financed during the tax year. For 2016, that means up to $500,000, which is a large increase over previous years and can really make a difference to your bottom line.
Whether you need to encourage referrals because you are new to dentistry/the location or because the practice’s active patient database is looking a little quiet of late, there are many strategies that can be used to boost referral rates. Updating your practice’s equipment and devices is one useful option. By improving the patient experience and, therefore, encouraging word-of-mouth-marketing, as well as enhancing communication with patients and colleagues, cutting-edge technology can be used to differentiate your practice from the competition.
Educate and trust
It is agreed that imaging is an excellent tool for diagnostic and treatment planning purposes. It allows a “picture” to be understood by the clinician, with visualization that is not only better than ever before, but available in an instant. Further still, it is a highly effective way to communicate with patients and referring dentists. High-quality images can display the current clinical situation and then help to set expectations with regards to the next steps. In relevant cases, images can also facilitate discussions in complex cases. The discussion can take place with the patient whilst they are in the dental chair, making treatment more efficient for all. The patient has a better understanding and can quickly learn to trust the new dentist as he/she feels that they have “proof,” rather than just words. Continue reading
The benefit of intraoral scanning has a little to do with easy impression capture and a lot to do with better clinical outcomes.
When oral health professionals incorporate a 3D HD intraoral scanner into their implant workflow, they can create their treatment plans virtually and execute them with more proficiency. The resulting outcomes are consistently more accurate and precise.
Read this white paper to explore the various ways that intraoral scanning facilitates oral surgery procedures. It examines:
- Surgical uses of intraoral scanners
- Conventional versus digital impressions in the implant workflow
- Scanning for a standard abutment or a scanbody
- Digital workflow for the lab
- Scanning for guided surgery
- Advantages of intraoral scanning
- Return on investment
Intraoral Scanners: What They Could Mean for Your Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Practice also explores the benefits to be gained: enhanced communication with referrals, better outcomes for patients, greater patient loyalty and a healthier bottom line.
Download the whitepaper to discover how intraoral scanning can maximize the overall efficiency of oral surgical procedures:
Many manufacturers tout the trueness, or accuracy, of a digital intraoral scanner in the same breath as precision. While both are important features of any scanner, the two concepts are not interchangeable. According to a recent study1 published in PLOS ONE, an online scientific journal, “an intraoral scanner should possess high trueness…but also high precision.” Let’s take a look at the difference between the terms and why both are vital for the best digital impressions.
First, trueness is a scanner’s ability to scan an object and replicate it as closely as possible to the original item—in this case, teeth, gingiva, abutments, etc. The more accurate the scanner, the more likely the digital impression on the screen will mirror the patient’s actual teeth. Precision, on the other hand, is a scanner’s ability to produce the same results consistently. If you picture a target, an accurate shot would mean the arrow hit the bullseye; or at least came incredibly close. Precise shooting would result in a grouping of several arrows close together, though not necessarily near the bullseye.
The Global Oral Health Summit is a dynamic opportunity for oral health practitioners and professionals to learn about the latest industry technology and expand their professional networks by interacting with colleagues from across the country and globe. Utilizing social media is a prudent way to take advantage of all the benefits the Global Oral Health Summit has to offer. Here are a few tips to amplify your Summit experience.
Follow – The official social media accounts of the Global Oral Health Summit are an excellent source to find the most up-to-date information about the program, location and venue accommodations for the 2016 Summit and beyond.
- Before GOHS begins, you can find Facebook posts about the Summit’s featured subject matter experts and in-depth content related to the session subjects to help you determine which sessions meet your particular interests.
- Follow the GOHS Twitter account during the Summit for real-time updates and tips from our keynote speakers Laura Schwartz and social media expert Jesse Miller.
- When the Summit is over, the educational support doesn’t end. Whether you have decided to make an equipment purchase or implement new software, you can visit the GOHS social channels to find helpful resources that will make the transition easy.
Implant placement has become the treatment of choice for completely and partially edentulous patients. With more and more implants being placed, keeping up with demand can be difficult. However, with the ability to make your laboratory workflow more digital, time can be saved to create a more cost-effective, high-quality outcome. 1
Implant-based treatment provides infinite possibilities to practitioners, but it often represents a more time- and cost-intensive solution compared to traditional therapy alternatives with conventional tooth-supported fixed dental prostheses. Reducing the overall clinical treatment and technical production time to achieve a reasonable cost-benefit ratio—in combination with a high-quality outcome—can bring benefits to all concerned. Time is saved by eliminating many of the steps, including pick-ups and chemical-based processes. The delivery of restorations is also quicker and there is less chance of having to provide remakes and returns with a digital workflow.1
Many labs have already started transitioning to a digital workflow, as increased demand, technology advances and the growing shortage of technicians creates an enhanced need for improved productivity. Single digital work steps have begun to infiltrate classical impression-taking procedures, dental master cast fabrication, lost-wax casting techniques and individual finalization of the restoration with hand-layered veneering ceramics. For many years, dentists have taken an impression, sent their prescription off to the laboratory and waited for up to two weeks for a finished restoration to be returned. The restoration could then need further adjustments, despite the best efforts of the dentist and technician. The development of a completely digital workflow has the potential to change the entire process. At first glance, the new systems may seem complicated, but ultimately digital solutions can drastically streamline procedures for both the dentist and lab. Nevertheless, although changes are growing in the field of implant prosthetic treatment, the result of this evolution is a mixed conventional-digital workflow. Continue reading
In the 1950s, America saw the beginning of “car culture,” and today there are roughly 210 million licensed drivers in the United States. Driving is almost second-nature. However, if you’re used to driving a Volvo and I give you the keys to a Mercedes, it may take a moment or two of adjustments before you’re ready to cruise down the highway. It’s not because you don’t know how to drive; it’s just a matter of learning a new system.
A cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) system is not unlike becoming comfortable with a different make and model of car. I’ve been operating my system for years now, and can comfortably “turn on a dime” or “shift gears.” However, when I invite a referring doctor to “go for a drive,” e.g., share the 3D imaging software for collaborative cases or email a screenshot of a scan, there may be a bit of a learning curve. But once the general practitioner learns to properly view the scans, it not only helps me build stronger relationships with them, but allows for me to gain greater future referrals.
First, CBCT allows me to view a patient’s anatomy in stunning 3D detail, and can reveal much more than what a traditional panoramic X-ray could. I share these CBCT scans with the referring doctor and usually get one of two responses—“Yes, good, proceed with treatment,” or “Your system showed you all that?! Tell me more…” Of course, it’s perfectly acceptable for the referring doctor to trust my judgment and go with my proposed treatment. However, there’s something to be said about the GP who wants to gain a better understanding of the CBCT findings. Also, greater communication, increases the chances that future treatment will have less hurdles.
So if that’s the case, I take the time to meet with the general practitioner in person to go over the scan in more detail. For example, a CBCT can elucidate a proposed implant site with a buccal-lingual cross cross-sections for both horizontal measurements and for visualizing the distance from the crestal bone to the nerve canal. My 3D imaging software is also easy to share, which gives the GP a bit more freedom to play around in the scan and take the CBCT for a “test drive.” Continue reading
In the 1960s, root canal morphology was looked at differently than today. The common thought was that molars generally had three canals. Today, we know that there are often four, sometimes five canals. Have humans genetically evolved in the past 50 years? No. But new technology, such as cone beam computed tomography (CBCT), reveals minute details of root morphology like never before.
Essentially, CBCT allows us to miss less of what we did in the past by giving us high-resolution, three-dimensional scans of patient anatomy. Focused fields of view mean endodontists can review highly detailed images with up to 75 μm resolution (0.075 mm slices). Plus, when the doctor is able to see the root of the problem, it means a more comprehensive, and therefore successful, treatment plan and often times less post-operative pain for the patient.
Technology has changed dramatically over the past decades to allow us to diagnosis and treat patients in a way never thought possible. My partner recently retired, and in over 50 years, he rarely ever saw a tooth with five canals; whereas, my CBCT system has revealed dozens of cases with five canals. It’s just an amazing example of how CBCT is changing the way endodontists practice. Who knows what revolutionary technology will reveal next?