Human Evolution or a Technological Revolution?

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?

Guest Post: A New (Virtual) Front Door for Your Practice

Online reputation management: Attract new patients and position your practice for success

In today’s complex economy, your patients work, shop, socialize, and connect digitally— living online as much as they do in the “real world.” But amid all the transformation, one thing hasn’t changed: the importance of first impressions. To attract new patients, you must make each first encounter count.

Not long ago, patients would get their first impressions of your practice through advertising or “curb appeal”—the image you projected for the world to see. Today, however, a prospective patient’s first encounter with your practice is overwhelmingly likely to happen online. So what replaces that moment when a patient decides to step through your front door? Continue reading

Using a Digital Workflow to Plan an Implant Case from Start to Finish

Delivering predictable restorative outcomes is essential in implant cases. Through advancements in 3D and CAD/CAM technology, oral surgeons are better able to use a complete digital workflow to plan a case, fabricate a custom abutment, and fabricate and insert the crown.

In the Implant Practice article below, I describe how I treated a patient who presented with a congenitally missing left mandibular second premolar as well as the efficiencies experienced through the use of an integrated digital workflow.

Overall, when compared with conventional dentistry, a digital workflow allows us to complete a case—such as this one—in fewer steps and with enhanced patient comfort and satisfaction in mind.

Running Patient Last Visit Report in CS SoftDent v16

Automated reports can eliminate the more cumbersome aspects of your practice management software. In particular, the Patient Last Visit Report offers a number of benefits to CS SoftDent users:

  • Staff can visibly compare workflow throughout a given period;
  • display active vs non-active patients; and
  • see an overview patients seen by a specific Provider.

The following steps will help you run this report, as well as save you and your team valuable time.

While in CS SoftDent, select reports from the top ribbon, hover the mouse over patients – side menu will show – and select Last Visityou can access this list while on any screen.

PLV1 Continue reading

Digital Alternatives and the Payoff to Your Patients and Practice

Many areas of the dental practice are now influenced or controlled by digital features. Most practices have already adopted some element of technology to help improve the efficiency of the business and the outcome for their patients. The majority, however, still have opportunities to integrate further digital alternatives.

Why haven’t practice owners converted to digital wherever possible? There are a number of reasons why, but they usually come down to two: cost and time. In comparison, the lucky few who have adopted digital dentistry are “innovators,” embracing technology to the fullest, and reaping the rewards.

Where is digital dentistry in the practice?

In the last few decades, digital options have become available in both the clinical and business side of dental practices, including:

  • Radiography
  • Shade matching
  • Photography
  • Computer-aided design and manufacture (CAD/CAM)
  • Diagnosis and analysis, such as detection for caries, temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders
  • Practice management

The latter, although it does not have a clinical application, is becoming increasingly important in this era, since records and reports are essential to meeting organizational and legal standards. Improvements in practice management software—and the range of products available—mean that practices are becoming more efficient as businesses. Continue reading

What Questions Should Endodontists Ask When Investing in CBCT?

While there are many benefits when it comes to implementing cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) into your endodontic practice, purchasing a system is still a significant investment. In the Endodontic Practice article below, Jordan Reiss, Carestream Dental’s 3D imaging sales director, discusses the questions endodontists should ask when buying a new CBCT unit.

 

Are there any additional questions you would ask when investing in CBCT? Let’s discuss your thoughts below.

Millennials, Minor League Baseball and Mouth Guards

IMG_6789As the oral surgeon for the Rockland Boulders, a minor Canadian/American league baseball team based in Pomona, NY, I am dedicated to ensuring the players’ oral health. As part of this responsibility, I recently visited the team’s stadium to capture digital impressions in order to fabricate mouth guards.

Dental injuries are the most common type of orofacial injury sustained while playing sports, which makes properly designed mouth guards a necessity for injury prevention. In fact, one study estimates that mouth guards prevent approximately 200,000 injuries each year in high school and collegiate football alone. Using a highly accurate digital impression to produce a custom mouth guard promotes stability, proper fit and ease of breathing—and can ultimately help prevent concussions and dentofacial injuries.

To capture digital impressions for the team, I used an intraoral scanner that can be plugged via USB into the laptop—making it easy to pack in my car and bring to the stadium. When I arrived, the team members were ready to be scanned.

As true millenials, the players were impressed by the digital technology and liked seeing the images show up instantly on the screen; in fact, some of them called their teammates into the room to check it out. Continue reading

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

Go All In—Top Five Reasons to Go to the Global Oral Health Summit

By Mary Conditt, Director of Industry Relations

Top Five Reasons

  1. What you Learn in Vegas Doesn’t Have to Stay in Vegas

What do selfies, embezzlement, sleep apnea and edentulous surgical guides all have to do with each other? They’re just a few of the topics that are covered at the Global Oral Health Summit. Respected doctors and prominent industry consultants help you stay up to date with the latest trends and best practices. You can prioritize the courses that are most relevant to you with tracks based on specialty. Take what you learn back to your practice and immediately put your new-found knowledge to work. Click here to view the full program.

  1. Sweeten the Pot with Software Training

Quick, tell me everything you know about the Y screen in your practice management software! Depending on your role in the office, you may shrug and think it doesn’t apply to you, or you may get the uncomfortable suspicion that there are features of your software that you’re missing out on. No matter what your role, an efficiently run front desk affects the whole practice. At the Global Oral Health Summit, Carestream Dental’s experienced software trainers share with you all the tips, tricks and hacks you never knew you needed to streamline your workflow and reduce costs. Special tracks are available for CS SoftDent, CS PracticeWorks, CS OrthoTrac and CS WinOMS.

Continue reading