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    4 practice-changing technologies

    These four technologies could make your day much, much easier.

    Technology is an interesting thing. Most times we get into it hoping that it will provide an amazing opportunity for us to do some things we haven't done before. However, like most things, it always seems to work out better in the lab then in the real world. That's not to say, that technology is a disappointment; I like to think of technology as an adventure!

    So for this column I'd like to take a look that some of the things I've discovered over the years that have truly made a tremendous difference for my practice and myself.

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    The intraoral camera

    While this one probably goes without saying, one of the best investments that I have ever made was done so in the mid-1990s. That was when, on the advice of my father, I purchased my first intraoral camera.

    At the time, the camera was a $15,000 purchase and I had not been in practice very long. I barely managed to scrape together the necessary money comma but I soon discovered my father was right. He had told me “ think like your patients not like a dentist.” By that, he meant to endeavor to see things from the perspective of my patients and not from my own.

    Of course we all know that he was right. Being able to show my patients their problems and conditions  in a way that made it easy for them to understand unlock the door to better communication and more and better treatment.

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    Digital radiography

    Another great visual technology and I am truly glad I invested in is digital X-ray. While the cost was even greater than the intraoral camera, the payoff was just as great and over the lifetime of the technology allowed me to communicate better and better with those I was treating.

     I am a huge fan of sensor-based technology. While any digital X-ray system is much better than its film based cousin, the speed, image quality, and portability make this by far and away my favorite way to take X-rays in my office.

    Digital X-ray also goes hand-in-hand with being able to communicate and co-diagnose with your patient. To do this properly requires a good way to get the images in front of your patients. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, but my favorite is still a dual-monitor setup. This provides one monitor for the doctor and staff as well as another for the patient to view things such as their photos, their X-rays, patient education systems and entertainment. While there have been some upgrades to this idea over the years, I still find the traditional dual-monitor setup to be the best for me.

    Continue to the next page to see the other two technologies...


    Dr. John Flucke
    Dr. John Flucke is in private practice in Lee’s Summit, Mo. He also serves as technology editor for Dental Products Report magazine and ...


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