Dentists and Technology: The Dos and Don’ts

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At sea aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Jan. 24, 2003 -- Navy Dentist Lt. Benjamin Anderson (seated left) from Farmville, Va., and Dental Technician Lennard Henry from Ashland, Ky., perform a routine procedure on one of the shipÕs crew. Aircraft carriers have extensive dental and surgical facilities designed to support the entire carrier battle group.  Theodore Roosevelt is currently underway in the Caribbean Sea conducting training missions before deployment.   U.S. Navy photo by Chief PhotographerÕs Mate Eric A. Clement.  (RELEASED)

The world of dentistry is quickly evolving. New  technology becomes available every year, all claiming that they will exponentially improve your practice. Medical devices can cost upward of $100,000, so knowing which products to invest in is critical. One thing is clear – digital is a must.

Digital technologies have the power to improve patient care and comfort and maximize your time.

Invest in digital radiography

Digital radiography is the digital version of x-rays. Unlike traditional x-rays, these produce significantly less radiation, produce clearer images and can be seen easily by patients and dentists alike.

Invest in computer-aided design, and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM).

If your patient has a cracked or broken tooth, giving them a crown used to take multiple visits. Moldings had to be finished out of the office, a process that would take two to three days. However, with CAD/CAM, the procedure can be finished in one office visit and all moldings are finished in house. How is this done? Digital scans of the mouth using intra-oral cameras send images to a computer with a three-dimensional layout of teeth and gums. Dentists have the ability to fine tune virtual restoration before sending the digital dimensions to a ‘milling’ machine, which carves out the crown and manufactures it on the spot. The ‘same day crown’ process takes less than two hours.

Invest in cone-beam computed tomography

Another digital technology that dentists should invest in is a cone-beam computed tomography, or a CT scan for the teeth. This x-ray machine rotates around a patients head and delivers a three-dimensional shot of the teeth, gums, and jaw. Not only does this improve regular patient care, but it also has the ability to identify possible tumors and diseases that don’t appear on traditional x-rays.

Investing in these new digital technologies can set your practice apart from the competition, make your office more efficient, draw patients in, and keep them coming back.

The information contained on this page is for general informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and should not be relied upon in making borrowing decisions. Fundation loans are subject to lender approval.

 

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