How Orthodontists and Patients Benefit from an Intraoral Scanner

Computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) has been utilized by general dentists for the past decade. It’s only been within the past few years that the technology that has allowed dentists to create digital impressions and mill crowns in-office has been adapted for use by orthodontists to create digital models and orthodontic appliances. Of the many tools in a CAD/CAM portfolio, perhaps the most beneficial to an orthodontist is an intraoral scanner; it benefits both patients and doctors alike:

What’s good for the orthodontist…. …Is good for the patient
High-resolution 2D and 3D images… …eliminate the need to use the alginate associated with traditional impressions.
No heaters or trolleys means… …no waiting for cumbersome trolleys to be moved from other operatories.
No need to pour molds or wait for stone models to set… …results in fewer appointments and better use of staff time.
Two interchangeable, autoclavable tips—a standard size for adults and a smaller tip for children or adults with small mouths—means…. …a more comfortable overall experience for young patients or adults with a strong gag reflex.
A unique light guidance system and high-angulation scanning capabilities aid in the capture of data during image acquisition…. …reducing the risk of remakes, meaning no “we need to you to come back in” calls to the patient.

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A Brief History of CAD/CAM

Though computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) for dentistry has been available for the past 25-30 years, it’s only been within the past decade that the technology has moved from the lab to chairside. Much like radiovisiography technology, dental CAD/CAM technology got its start in Europe in the 1970s and 1980s. However, early versions of CAD/CAM systems were so cumbersome and complicated that they were considered more of a hindrance to practice workflow than an advantage, and were mostly confined to laboratories. Fortunately, advances in the technology over the past few years have made CAD/CAM a more viable option for dentists looking to do restorations in-house. Continue reading

Friday Dental News Roundup

Happy Friday and welcome to all of our roundup readers! Trending this week, and for many weeks to come, is an update on the Supreme Court teeth-whitening case. We also have a few insightful articles for your reading pleasure including a marketing guide for your practice’s Halloween campaign, the scientific reason why orange juice and toothpaste do not mix well and a study on the London Olympic Games’ Olympic athletes and their poor oral health. When you are done reading, feel free to comment in the comments section below. We would love to hear what you have to say!

U.S. Supreme Court justices divided in teeth-whitening case
U.S. Supreme Court Justices appeared to have been divided during oral arguments in the North Carolina teeth-whitening case. This case arose from a 2010 complaint against the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners regarding cease-and-desist letters sent by the board to non-dentist teeth-whitening providers telling them that they were practicing dentistry illegally and they were being ordered to stop. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission found that the board could be subject to anti-trust claims because members of the profession it regulates are also board members. Read on for more information on the judges’ comments during the proceeding. Continue reading

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

Friday Dental News Roundup

Hello everyone and welcome to another week of the dental news roundup with Carestream Dental. This week, we have two informative articles about remote monitoring in your private practice and some simple marketing ideas to help you better your practice. Our last story is an entertaining read is about a dental lab that is painting tattoos on the crowns they make. Everything from a flower to a professional sports team’s logo has been requested and tattooed on the crown for patients to show off to all their friends!

Remote Monitoring in the Private Practice
Remote patient monitoring is already very popular in the fields of cardiology, pulmonology and dermatology. This technology has led to closer patient doctor relationships and has allowed the patient to learn more about their own well- being. Now, with more affordable and targeted technology, remote monitoring is becoming more readily available to the dental field. Read on for more information on how this type of technology can improve your practice. Continue reading

Are Your Infection Control Practices Protecting Patients from Blood-Borne Diseases?

Due to the rising number of people who have recently been infected with Ebola, the disease has become a common topic in the news. As a blood-borne pathogen that is acquired upon contact with a carrier’s blood or other bodily fluids, Ebola may not be as easily transmitted as the flu or other diseases that travel by air—but that doesn’t mean precautions shouldn’t be taken.

As doctors who work in the mouth, it is important to be mindful of the risks associated with exposure to blood and bodily fluids. Dentists can do their part to mitigate these risks by choosing dental equipment that adheres to best practices for infection control. Compliance with these practices not only protects patients, but also you and your staff. Continue reading

Friday Dental News Roundup

Happy first week of October and welcome back! We missed your weekly updates last Friday, however we have some great new articles for your reading pleasure to help make up for our week off. Our first article for the week is about an Arizona dentist who is buying back Halloween candy in order to send it to the troops overseas. We also have an interesting read on how exercise may contribute to tooth decay and a historical read on traveling street dentist, Painless Parker. Our last article is about the Dos and Don’ts for practice leadership and learning when to let someone else take charge. With all of these great stories, we will let you get reading—just remember to share your thoughts with us below! Until next time, stay informed and better your practice.

Dentist to buy back Halloween candy
Dr. Tom Turnbull, a pediatric dentist from Arizona is planning a Halloween candy buyback in which kids who bring in their sugary treats will get $1 for every pound they donate. All the buyback candy collected will be sent to the troops overseas. Turnbull started the program because obesity and tooth decay have become an epidemic in the Apache and Navaho counties of Arizona and he would like a hand in reversing it. Continue reading

It’s About the People

(This is an updated version of an article I published in 2009)

It’s not about the machine, it’s about the people. But sometimes the machine can make all the difference.

It is easy to see technology just as machines and networks but I have always believed the real significance, the real value of technology comes when we use it to improve the human condition. Dr. Tony Romanazzi, a dentist from Glens Falls, New York in the Hudson River Valley, told me a lovely story that demonstrates this idea perfectly.

Dr. Romanazzi was asked by a long time patient if he would see a relative of hers, a special needs patient we will call Jimmy. Jimmy was a mentally handicapped man in his fifties who functioned about on the level of a two or three year old. That is he could say a few words and get around the house but could not really care for himself. Jimmy had been complaining that his teeth hurt. His care givers had tried to find him some help but so far no one had been able to do much. Continue reading