[Video] The Doctor’s Role in New Technology Training

A doctor’s role in bringing in new technology doesn’t end with writing the check—it also includes attending training sessions along with your staff and harnessing the full power of your new system. Mark Setter, DDS, MS explains the many benefits proper implementation will have on your practice.

While incorporating digital technology into the practice can streamline your overall workflow and enhance diagnoses, being fully trained on your equipment can have a positive impact on you and your staff for years to come.

Gain Exclusive Access to Carestream Dental Innovators and Shape the Future of Technology

User-centered design and the voice of the customer drives innovation at Carestream Dental. Designers, developers, researchers and product line managers are sent into the field to observe the day-to-day workflows of real practices. Once a product is in the development stages, industry leaders are invited to the company headquarters to put the technology through its paces to ensure engineers are working in the right direction.

At the Global Oral Health Summit—being held Nov. 9-11 at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center just outside Dallas, Texas—this focus on the end-user can be seen throughout the event. Not only was the educational program designed with the input of real software users, but Carestream Dental’s designers, developers and leadership will be onsite seeking feedback and insight from attendees on the future of Carestream Dental technology. Numerous unique opportunities have been included in the program to give attendees and Carestream Dental staff time to interact and discuss what’s up-and-coming in the oral health field. Continue reading

[Video] How Should Dental Practices Use Videos in Marketing?

Online marketing is changing the way businesses market themselves—and that includes dental practices. Today, prospective patients want to see more than the website. They also want to see the doctor and staff that they will interact with.

In this video, Janice Hurley, Dentistry’s Image Expert, explains the role that videos play in your marketing. From using professional videos on your website to shorter, more informal videos on Facebook, video marketing allows practices to connect more with people than images alone.

 

Has your practice embraced the use of videos in your marketing plan?

An Educational Program Designed for Attendees, by Attendees

User-centered designed has driven software innovation at Carestream Dental for the past several years, and listening to the voice of the customer has always played a key role in developing new products. The educational program for the 2018 Global Oral Health Summit is no different. When it came to assembling the program, Carestream Dental sought the feedback of past Summit attendees to learn more about what real users wanted to learn more about.

The expertise of Dawn Hill, Jan Odell, Angie Minks, Misty Mattingly, Jerilyn Bird, Barb Nissen, Carol Chambers and Barb Houser, all volunteers, were called upon to help the Carestream Dental team develop a carefully curated program and event experience. Along with user experience designers and trainers, the volunteers, reviewed all purposed sessions and provided valuable feedback to ensure the educational program would meet the needs of attendees by addressing the challenges real practices and teams face every day.

Ultimately—and in keeping with the workflow-based theme of the Summit, “Where Your Practice Meets Proficiency”—the courses selected for the Summit support one of the following concepts: Developing an Effective Dental Practice, Patient Engagement, Consultation, Case Acceptance, Patient Care and Treatment and Patient Billing and Patient Follow-Up. Continue reading

Grapevine, Texas, and the Gaylord Texan: Two Stunning Summit Destinations in One

Just outside of Dallas, Texas, is the charming town of Grapevine. Known for its historic downtown and wineries, it’s also host of the 2018 Global Oral Health Summit. Between the town itself and the fantastic amenities of the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center, attendees are won’t run out of things to see and do during their downtime at the Summit.

Arriving at the Airport

Grapevine is conveniently located 30 minutes outside of Dallas. Dallas itself is home to two major airports and its central location makes it an easy flight from almost anywhere in the country. Plus, Carestream Dental is offering special rates through United/American Airlines and Delta Airlines for Summit attendees. After landing, attendees can take advantage of Uber, Lyft, Wingz, taxis or rental cars to quickly reach their final destination: The Gaylord Texan. After settling in, attendees can take the Grapevine Visitors Shuttle directly downtown to do some exploring before the Summit.

Getting around Grapevine

The historic downtown of Grapevine has been carefully restored reflect its original 19th and 20th century allure. Visitors will find wineries, museums, activities on Lake Grapevine, spas, fine art and even a vintage railroad to explore. For a full list of everything there is to do in Grapevine, visit the city’s visitors and convention bureau website.

Retreat to the Resort

Back the Gaylord Texan, there are just as many Texas-sized attractions to keep attendees occupied when not attending Summit courses. Designed to look like a cattle baron’s sprawling ranch, the resort and convention center features four-and-half acres of indoor gardens and waterways. Restaurants that offer everything from local Tex-Mex favorites to flavors from the coast of Italy give attendees multiple options for team dinners in the evenings. An onsite nightclub, 10-acre pool complex and world-class spa round out the Gaylord Texan’s amenities.

Easily accessible and with something for everyone, Grapevine, Texas, and the Gaylord Texan combine to create the ideal Summit location. Register today and take advantage of this not-to-be-missed travel destination.

Intraoral Scanners—Saving the Earth, One Impression at a Time

Conventional impressions in landfill graphicDoctors are always looking for ways to save—save teeth, save patients time, save money. What about saving the environment? Without even realizing it, dentistry has a huge impact in the Earth: plastic impression trays pile up in landfills, paper charting can use up to 10,000 pieces of paper a year. The overarching solution is to switch to digital solutions, e.g., digital scanning instead of using impression material, digital charting instead of paper files. Today, in honor of Earth Day, we’ll take closer look at one such digital solution that can decrease dentistry’s footprint on the environment—intraoral scanning.

Let’s compare some of the aspects of the traditional impression workflow with using an intraoral scanner and how each affects the environment:

 

Traditional Impression

Environmental Impact Digital Impression Environmental Impact

Plastic tray to take impression

Ends up in landfill; 450 years to break down Few consumables, no trays whatsoever

Minimal

Polyvinyl siloxane (PVS) impression

Ends up in landfill; never breaks down Impression is digital, no physical impression

None

Courier drives to practice to pick up impression

More cars on the road; carbon emissions Digital impression is sent via secure portal to lab

None

OR Impression is shipped to lab

Paper, cardboard or styrofoam packaging; fuel used by delivery truck or airplane

Digital impression is sent via secure portal to lab

None

Continue reading

The Power of Purpose in Business and Life

By Roy Spence
Co-Founder & Chariman, GSD&M/Co-Founder & CEO, The Purpose Institute

Aristotle once said the purpose of life is to do good and be happy. It’s so simple yet so powerful, and it’s a thought that has shaped my thinking around the idea of “purpose.”

Defined simply, purpose is the reason why you exist and should be what drives you towards all your goals in life. It’s a concept that starts at home; essentially, stop asking your kids what they want to do and instead ask them what they love to do. And wouldn’t be great if schools put more emphasis on developing a sense of purpose and talent in students rather than simply passing tests? Once you have established your purpose, it will influence every aspect of your life.

I highly encourage individuals to find their purpose, but it’s an idea that easily translates to business as well. A practice’s purpose differs from its mission in that purpose is the practice’s “why” and mission is its “how.” Why does your practice exist? To provide every patient with a beautiful, healthy smile. How will your practice accomplish that? By delivering exceptional patient care. Vision, by the way, is how you see the world when you’re fulfilling your purpose, i.e., your practice can see a time when everyone will have access to great oral health care. It’s so important that practices clearly establish their purpose and rally their team around it. It’s the difference between waking up in the morning and thinking, “Today, I have to take 10 X-rays, perform 15 prophies, do two extractions…” and “Today, I get to make a difference in a patient’s life!” A practice’s purpose is a higher calling that motivates and encourages engagement. Continue reading

Are Patients Judging You by Your Technology?

In oral healthcare, clinical expertise and experience should count for more than technology—but the truth is that patients do judge their doctors by the technology they use. It can take as many as 25 years to become a great dentist or specialist, but these days it only take 25 minutes to look the part, especially when leveraging technology at a higher level.  Patients often judge practices by their technological expertise and their perception may even start when looking at your Internet presence (website, reviews, etc.) From there, it continues with their interaction with the front desk staff all the way throughout their clinical exam. For this reason, it’s imperative that the impression you make with your technology is a good one from the start.

Keeping your patients happy has a direct impact on your bottom line, which includes:

  • Attracting new quality patients
  • Increasing treatment acceptance
  • Retaining patients and decreasing patient turnover

The following chart also demonstrates how technological competency plays a role in improving the patient experience.

Expectation How It Helps Patients How It Helps You
Instant Access to Images Patients these days are busy. Whether a parent has taken his or her child out of school for an ortho records appointment or your patient is missing work for dental restorative appointment, reducing the length of patient visits is important. With fast image acquisitions and efficient access to historical image data, you can get patients in and out in a timely manner without them feeling rushed.
  • Digital technology produces images instantly—without the delays caused by processing film.
  • By capturing images with digital technology—such as direct digital sensors or phosphor plates—you no longer have to purchase expensive consumables, such as film or chemistry.
Co-diagnosis Patients want to feel in charge of their health. By “co-discovering” problem areas with you via a monitor, you give them the opportunity to play an active role in their oral health.
  • Allowing patients to co-discover problems with you improves understanding and increases case acceptance.
  • Patients who are satisfied with their care are more likely to return and also recommend your practice to their friends and family.
Education Some dental symptoms are asymptomatic, so patients aren’t often aware that a problem exists. By putting an image on the monitor, patients receive visual cues about the treatment needs that must be addressed.
  • When patients are able to visualize the problem, they are more likely to accept your treatment recommendation.
  • Digital images are usually displayed larger than those captured with film, which allows patients to participate more than before.

 

Patients are more likely to refer others to you if they feel safe and if they believe that you’re investing in your practice. You show them how much you care when investing in technology that aids in efficiency and raises your diagnostic accuracy.

Updating your technology will not only have an impact on your existing patients but it can also impress prospective patients as well. Featuring technology as an important part of your treatment philosophy enables you to stand apart from other practices in the community and allows your philosophy of technological competency to ring out loud.

Have you found that your patients judge your practice based on your technology? How has it affected your practice?

The Importance of Team Training When Implementing a New Practice Management System

Today, there are very few dental practices that do not have a practice management system installed. The days of front office staff flicking through a paper diary and shuffling notes from dentist to hygienist are long gone for most. Owners and practice managers spend hours researching the best system to suit their practice’s needs; perhaps they are a multi-site practice and so need a system that can cope with different locations, or maybe they require a piece of their existing equipment to integrate seamlessly with the software. The decision is an important one, as a lot of time and money is being invested. Sometimes, the area that can get overlooked due to resource constraints is the dental team’s involvement. Their inclusion and motivation for the practice management system is essential in its long-term success and full utilization.

Training the Team

If you are about to install a new system—or you are changing to alternative software—the initial training and ongoing support of the whole dental team is pivotal in its success. Even if there are members of the team who will use it to a lesser degree than others, their understanding of how the program works and where they can find certain information might prove beneficial in the future. Suppliers of practice management systems should offer comprehensive guidance and support for all members of staff; this should also be part of the decision maker’s criteria when assessing which system to purchase. Often, the training provided is an assortment of face-to-face teaching, self paced online training and written instructions, and then—when needed post-launch—webinars, telephone interactions and online forum support as appropriate. Continue reading

Interpreting Advanced Imaging: It’s Best to Know Nothing

by John Khademi, D.D.S, M.S.

Interpreting advanced imaging, such as CBCT imaging, is tricky. Evidence of just how tricky becomes apparent during lectures I give on the subject. I will show a study to the audience and discuss it for several minutes. When I take it down, I ask them which side was buccal? Which side was palatal? Was it tooth number 14 or number 3?

The audience will start guessing, because they really don’t know—even after looking at the tooth for 5-10 minutes. They would never mistake buccal for palatal, or the tooth numbers, with 2D radiography. But with 3D radiography, it happens all too often. I’ve been evaluating 3D imaging everyday in my endodontic practice for eight years now, and I can still make this kind of mistake. The issue is this: we don’t have that same set of skills with 3D radiography that we do with 2D radiography, but we think we do.

In medical radiology, however, they’re well aware of the complexities that go along with interpreting imaging. That’s why medical radiology is a four-year specialty after medical school—with sub-specialties after that. You don’t want a mammographer evaluating the CT of your head or a thoracic radiologist reading your mammogram.

The need for specialization is clear: interpreting 3D imaging calls for a well-trained eye. That’s why we have to be very careful when we interpret with CBCT. For this reason, I’ve developed a strategy for interpreting 3D imaging based on what has been learning in medical radiology.

It’s important to note that I don’t automatically order an imaging on every patient. Whenever possible, my staff provides me with the minimum information necessary to determine if an advanced imaging study should be prescribed.  This very counter-intuitive finding is captured in the title of a 2002 paper in Radiology from noted radiologist Dr. Thorn Griscom: A Suggestion: Look at the Images First, Before you Read the History.”

Whenever possible, the preferred method involves doing two reads—first, without looking at the projection radiograph, doing a clinical exam or talking to the patient first about their symptoms or getting the history. My goal is to not have any preconceived notions about what the findings may be, let alone the diagnosis. Of course, with CBCT—especially with the focused field—if it’s an upper left side, I have a pretty good idea of where the problem is. But that’s all I really want to know.

I evaluate the study through that lens. I then get the history, look at the projection radiograph, review all the clinical information and perform the clinical exam. After that, I go back and look at the CBCT study again. This approach is very counterintuitive and not widely appreciated.  Current recommendations for approaching are as follows: conduct a thorough clinical exam and radiographic exam before prescribing imaging. In my opinion, that’s backwards, and not based on what has been learned about the interpretive process through careful research in medical radiology. Continue reading