Does Your Intraoral Scanner Meet Best Practices for Infection Control?

For dentists, the health and safety of their patients is of paramount importance—not only for maintaining a trusting relationship, but also for shielding them from potential sources of cross-contamination and possible infection. As such, proper sterilization is critical when it comes to controlling the cross contamination of bacteria throughout the dental operatory. By following best practices for sterilization, dental professionals can reduce the spread of infectious diseases to themselves, patients and practice staff.

As intraoral scanners increase in popularity, more questions arise regarding the correct sterilization procedure. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, as released by the American Dental Association (ADA), intraoral scanners tips are a member of the semicritical category, as the tip comes into contact with mucous membranes or non-intact skin due to the nature of restorations. Continue reading

Friday Dental News Roundup

Welcome back to all of our loyal roundup readers! This week we have some great articles on how to handle customer service and treatment refusals as well as other interesting reads about financial pressure and the affects of mouthwash on oral health. Read on for more details and share your thoughts and experiences with us, we would love to hear them. Until next time, stay informed and better your practice.

When financial pressures affect a dentist’s diagnosis:

In the dental field, there is a tricky balance between serving the client’s best interest and serving the best interest of the practice. In a struggling economy, some dentists are tempted to embellish their diagnosis to put some extra cash in their pocket and keep their practice afloat. To battle this thought process, it is up to you, the dentist, to empower your patients with knowledge so they can protect their mouths from needless treatments and protect their wallets from pricey procedures.

Mouthwash and cancer in the news again!:

The great debate regarding mouthwash and its affect on oral cancer is making its rounds again as a new European study has been released. In this study, researchers found that the people with the poorest oral health had a more than doubled risk of oral cancer compared to those with the best oral health. Researchers also found that the link between oral cancer and mouthwash is still unclear, only finding an association when users rinsed more than three times a day with mouthwash.

The Customer is Not Always Right:

The age-old slogan, “the customer is always right” may not always hold true, especially when it comes to the office no-show. When a no-show does occur, Chris Salierno, DDS advises you to politely and firmly remind them of your policy and charge them a missed appointment fee. According to Dr. Salierno, keeping policies like this in place keeps the practice organized and keeps patients from taking advantage of them. Read on for more suggestions on how to improve your customer service without compromising your business!

Blind Spots: When a patient refuses non-elective treatment:

What do you and your practice do when a patient refuses mandatory treatment? Do you let them just slip out the door? Jan Keller explains that the best way to handle this situation is by having the patient sign a Refusal to Consent to Treatment letter. This letter explains the treatment prescribed, the benefits to the treatment and what can happen if treatment is delayed. Often times, the letter forces patients to realize the importance of their treatment when they are presented with the facts and the consequences of their refusal.

Have you ever had a patient refuse non-elective treatment? If so, share your experience in the comment section below and tell us how you addressed the situation.


Interoperability: Is Your Intraoral Scanner Limiting Your Choices?

digitalimpressionsImagine a world in which—if you owned a BMW­—you could only fill up at a BMW gas station using BMW gas. Ford gas won’t work. You can only drive in the BMW lane and take the BMW off ramp. If the BMW off ramp is closed for repairs, you can’t take the Ford or Toyota off ramp. That whole scenario is preposterous but it is basically what happens when we use closed proprietary dental systems.

Interoperability is the ability of different systems from different vendors to work together. The opposite is proprietary, where users are restricted to one vendor’s products. The classic examples of this are VHS vs. Beta and MAC vs. PC. Open systems give users more choice at lower cost.

When shopping for a digital product, let vendors know that open systems are an important buying factor. Ask the sales person if you can transfer the digital impression to any lab of your choice or if you can load the impression into design software of your choice. In many cases, the answer will be no. Let the sales person—or, better yet, the sales managers and product managers—know that you won’t buy a closed system.

I promise you that when you do this the salesperson will be prepared with a very plausible sounding reason that their closed system is better and it is in your best interests to play in their private sandbox. Continue reading

Friday Dental News Roundup

Welcome back to all of our roundup readers, we hope you all had a great Fourth of July holiday! This week we are back to providing you with the top dental new stories for the week. In this edition, we learn about the risks of student interns, big developments in research and how to effectively market your independent practice so it gets noticed! Until next time, stay informed and better your practice!

Student Interns: Free Labor or Unnecessary Risk?:
The competitive landscape is endless for students trying to polish their resumes and gain valuable experience in their future field. Therefore, it may seem like a no-brainer to offer local students unpaid internships at your practice. However, before you bring the student on board, there are several steps you need to follow, in conjunction with the Department of Labor, to ensure you are protecting yourself, your practice and your patients. Follow these key steps and you will be creating a better experience for the student and for your business!

Are you feeling the pinch of competition in your dental office? It hurts!:
The dental field is expanding and stand-alone practices are struggling for new patients. Regional and corporate practices with large marketing budgets and professional marketing support are dominating the new patient pool, making it harder for independent practices to grow their existing client base. Despite these findings, stand-alone practices have many options that can effectively market their practice, such as highlighting elective services, which can give the big-guys a run for their money! Continue reading

The Digital Difference: Keeping up with Impression Technology

The best feature, by far, of a digital impression is simply that it is digital. That changes everything. To understand how significant this is, let’s compare it to another digital system you are more familiar with—digital photography.

Infrastructure: Last century, BC (before computer) we took photographs with a film camera. This required a complex infrastructure that was purpose built and exclusive to photography. That is the film, the camera, the chemicals, the processing equipment and the printing materials were all exclusive to photography. In other words, you could not use the photography system to send a post card or take an impression. Continue reading

How Do You Choose the Right Intraoral Scanner for your Practice?

All digital scanners will produce a clinically acceptable image, but they are not all the same. The scanner is the device that actually captures an impression of the tooth. It is sometimes called the impression wand or the camera.

Whatever you call it, like most other every high tech device, impression image capture systems have come a long way in recent years. Developments in photo, video and laser 3D technology have made digital impressions extremely accurate. If we assume clinically acceptable image quality, what features should dentists look for when choosing a scanner? Continue reading