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A mentor once gave me some advice for a successful practice: “As a dentist, it is all in the diagnosis.” From that time on, I have strived to adopt technology that is integral to diagnosis, especially concerning imaging. The use of technology has changed the way I communicate diagnostic findings with patients. In fact, it’s instrumental in meeting one of my most important goals, creating patient trust and loyalty.
The imaging technology I’ve chosen to implement is my DEXIS® Platinum sensor (with DEXshield™) and the DEXIS software, intraoral cameras, and my new CariVu™ caries detection unit. These items give me the opportunity to offer my patients the best in diagnosis along with other benefits such as reduced radiation. For sharing images and my findings, I use DEXIS go® on an iPad®.
A recent laboratory study indicated that the DEXIS Platinum sensor yields the best image and at the lowest dose*. But I didn’t need the study to tell me that. We love the image quality!
Plus, we adjusted the settings down on our X-ray heads when we started with digital X-ray, and lowered them again with the Platinum sensor. And now we can save patient exposure yet again by adding DEXshield. It is also really wonderful in light of the patients’ radiation concerns.
Dr. Brattesani utilizing DEXIS Patinum sensor and DEXshield.
CariVu is now part of my mainstream armamentarium-we use it on new patients, second opinions, skeptics, young patients, emergency patients and periodic oral exams. CariVu’s transillumination technology, a type of near-infrared light, lets me “peek” inside the teeth and come out with visible, tangible images without exposing the patient to any radiation. I can identify occlusal, interproximal and recurrent carious lesions and cracks.
DEXIS CariVu and software being used in Dr. Brattesani's practice.
For communications, I can then pull up all the patient’s images on an iPad with the DEXIS go app to share what I see and recommend in a very personal way. With the iPad in the patient’s hands, it’s like I can help them visualize what I visualize in reaching a clinical diagnosis. Before I could neatly display all my radiographic and camera images into one software or iPad, the patients had to just imagine what was happening in their mouth as I verbally described it. Now, this information is transferred to them in an innovative and different way that is really exciting for both of us.
These are the easy, streamlined steps to using my diagnostic imaging tools and presenting the information to the patient:
Of course, everyone on my team knows how to take clear, digital X-rays with the Platinum sensor when necessary-it’s fast and easy. The addition of DEXshield [Fig. 1] does not change the workflow at all, but decreases exposure to the patient by 30 percent. We have CariVu ready to go, as well-it’s easy and fast, too, and very portable [Fig. 2]. In most cases, the hygienist can use CariVu to screen the patients during their periodic oral exams in the hygiene room, even before I join them.
Meanwhile, images are automatically visible in the software or on my iPad with DEXIS go! The diagnosis starts here. When I enter the room, the images are ready for my review. In the software, I can see the X-rays, camera and the CariVu images side-by-side [Fig. 3].
With the tap of a finger on the iPad with DEXIS go, we easily bring up images to discuss with patients [Fig. 4]. Because CariVu images appear similar to X-rays, I explain that we are now both looking through the structure of the enamel, illuminating inside the tooth. Then, I point out that the darker area within the tooth constitutes the decay and make my treatment recommendations. This is the way we examine patients every day since I started using CariVu.
Screenshot of DEXIS CariVu.
As an early adopter of technology, the implementation of these innovations helps me to establish trust with the new patient and maintain loyalty with my existing patients. I have never had such a comprehensive view of the dentition for diagnosis like this before. It makes me a better dentist, and sets my practice apart from the others. I not only communicate with patients, but now, I also connect with them. It’s a winning situation for all of us.
Dr. Brattesani using DEXIS go on her iPad to show her patient the digital x-rays.
*Data on file with DEXIS, LLC