By Matt Hendrickson
Orthodontic Business Director, Carestream Dental
No matter how accurate the diagnosis or how strongly an orthodontist recommends someone undergo treatment, case acceptance ultimately lies with the patient and/or their parents. And they’re not just accepting treatment; they’re accepting you as their doctor for the next several months to several years. One way to both increase case acceptance and build trust between you and your patients is to go the extra mile and produce a traced cephalometric image during each case presentation.
Automatic landmark detection software can now trace a ceph in as little as 90 seconds at the touch of a single button. The software can instantly apply a standard analysis, such as McNamara, Ricketts, Steiner and Tweed. Some will even apply your own analysis using the automatically identified landmarks. A traced ceph can aid in treatment planning and helps to predict growth in a patient. You, as the doctor, already know that, so what can a traced ceph mean to your patients?
Reading a 2D image can be difficult for the average patient, so being able to show patients a traced ceph with clearly marked anatomy and landmarks can aid in patient education. Patients feel more comfortable accepting treatment when they believe their needs have been thoroughly evaluated. Showing a patient, or rather the patient’s parents, a traced ceph demonstrates your level commitment to the case and the patient.
The orthodontic field has become more competitive over the years, and patients now have more options than ever when it comes to choosing where, and with whom, to accept treatment. Whether or not you need a traced ceph as a diagnostic aid, it can certainly be another tool in your armamentarium to demonstrate to patients that you’re the type of dedicated, attentive doctor they’ll want to be treated by for the years to come. If you can have a fully traced ceph at the touch of a single button, why not use the tracing analysis in every case presentation?