5 Hot Technologies You Will Want for Your Dental Practice

October 25, 2016
Mary Lenefsky, PharmD

New technologies and services to take your practice to the next level.

At the American Dental Association’s 2016 Meeting in Denver, CO, Marty Jablow, DMD, highlighted 5 technologies available for use in the dental practice for the year 2016.

Carries Detection

There are multiple digital imaging devices available to detect caries, Dr. Jablow said. The use of LED lights and Doppler radar can produce diagnostic images that allow for the improved detection and the ability to track the progression of a carry over time. Additionally, some devices have the ability visualize fractures.

The Cellerant Best of Class Technology Award for 2016 was awarded to DEXIS CariVu detection device with its transillumination technology. Other brands include SOPROCARE and Air Techniques CamX Spectra.

Cone Beam

Cone beam technology allows for 3D imaging and also limits the amount of radiation exposure to patients. Additionally, the technology may prove helpful for guided surgery planning, Dr. Jablow said.

Keep in mind, a dentist carries the responsibility to critically evaluate the 3D images. If unclear on how to interpret the images, the dentist should employ the use of a radiologist, or send the images to a company like BeamReaders, Dr. Jablow said.

The Cellerant Best of Class Technology Award for 2016 was awarded to Vatech Green CT 10x8.

Digital Impressions

Many positive outcomes are due to the high accuracy of the digital images, including instant preparation and impression validation, high quality restoration kits, reduced adjustment, and reduced grinding during seating. Additionally, less time to insert, no impression mess, reduced shipping costs, improved clinical results, and better patient acceptance are also positive outcomes associated with the use of digital impressions.

There are many different devices on the market. Cost and size of the device (some are handheld; some are not) will play a role when selecting one.

The Cellerant Best of Class Technology Award for 2016 was awarded to 3Shape TRIOS 3, depicted in the image at the top of this article (image courtesy of 3Shape).

Other brands include iTero Element, Planmeca FIT, Sirona CEREC Omnicam, and the 3M True Definition Scanner.

CAD/CAM

Dr. Jablow pointed out that costs for lab-made crowns are decreasing. A dentist needs to make more crowns to see a larger return on investment. Therefore, Dr. Jablow questioned the value of in office milling devices. He advised dentists to really consider if a milling device fits into their practice.

Dr. Jablow mentioned that the Roland Mills are usually less expensive, and often compatible with multiple materials.

Software For Social Media Management, Patient Acquisition, and Practice Management

The importance of social media and electronic documentation systems cannot be understated. Many dental offices need to consider increasing their presence on social media. Companies such as My Social Practice and Banyan produce social media for the dental office. “Social media is not set it and forget it,” Dr. Jablow pointed out. This is an evolving entity that needs to be consistently managed, he added.

There are also software companies that provide patient acquisition and practice management capability. One example of a company like this is MMG Fusion, which uses social media and other office statistics to provide analytic data. HISCOX provides software management to deal with human resources concerns such as ensuring employees have signed necessary paperwork.

Other companies offer cloud computing allowing for web-based practice management. Companies such as this include Dentrix Ascend, Carestream Dental, Curve Dental, and MOGO.

Despite the advances in technology, there are still instances when servers go down and computers malfunction. It is important to have a backup plan in mind should this occur. DDS Rescue received the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Award for 2016. This product can restore practice data in minutes and recover deleted files and corrupt databases immediately.

Mary Lenefsky, PharmD, is a consultant pharmacist and medical writer who specializes in the creation of medical education content for pharmacists, nurses, physicians, and other healthcare providers. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. She then completed two years of post-graduate residency training at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, specializing in the care of the critically ill.

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