It’s easy to think of technological innovation in terms of the things we can hold in our hands—whether it’s the latest smart phone or the latest intraoral scanner. However, software—which isn’t quite as tactile—plays a huge role in simplifying our day-to-day lives, as well as workflows in the practice. Implant planning is currently experiencing a renaissance in innovation, and in addition to the hardware—scanners, CBCT systems, etc.—that is part of that change, software is also changing the way implants are planned, placed and even ordered.
According to Mark Setter, D.D.S., M.S., an automatic implant report can also help doctors better brand their practice, build relationships with referrals and even make things easier for patients who may be moving.
Being able to create reports for my referrals based on individual images and add my office logo and notations to the report is very easy to do. I am able to do it on the fly, without having to dedicate time to do reports—this is very powerful to me as a dental specialist. Even packaging up the DICOM files to send with a patient who is moving out of the area is just a couple of mouse clicks away. We just copy the data to a memory device or CD and send it to the future dentist, with no real effort on our part. Continue reading
Very few people like to visit the dentist. Now, imagine how much less they like visiting an oral surgeon. In the patient’s mind, surgery involves scalpels, anesthesia and recovery time—it’s far more involved than the biannual dental prophy. However, I’ve found when it comes to a “scary” treatment, such as an autogenous bone graft, using cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) helps me calm the fears and address the concerns of my patients. Not only that, CBCT improves patient understanding of their treatment and can increase case acceptance.
Borrowing Bone “in the Neighborhood”
Let’s say that a patient is interested in implants. However, a CBCT scan, which lets me view the oral cavity in 3D from any angle, reveals there isn’t enough bone present. To proceed with treatment, an autogenous bone graft is necessary. When discussing bone grafts with patients, their response is typically: “Gosh, that sounds terrible; taking bone from one part of my body to another?!” However, as I’ve discussed previously, the accuracy of CBCT reveals possible donor sites within the same maxillofacial region. It’s almost like moving a puzzle piece from one area of the puzzle and snapping it in to another area to make it fit. I reassure the patient by explaining: “Actually, we’re going to borrow a little bit of your own bone while I’m ‘in the neighborhood’.” That sounds far better to a patient than informing them we’re going to go to their hip or leg to take bone. Continue reading
When patients miss their appointment, it’s more than a minor annoyance—it can result in lost revenue for the practice. In Software Advice’s recent piece on Dental Software Patient Scheduling Preferences, they look at the most effective patient reminder methods.
Software Advice, a dental software researcher, found that 30% of dental patients preferred being reminded about appointments via text; however, patients over 34 years of age preferred email reminders. The preferred time for patients to receive reminders is three days prior to the appointment. Continue reading