Personal Technology Goes Pro

May 14, 2012

Issue 5

While high tech options continue to evolve and offer us ways to simplify our personal lives, transferring those same advantages into the dental office just makes sense. Here are the stories from dentists, like you, who are already finding success using some of these most recognized technologies in the dental practice setting.

While high tech options continue to evolve and offer us ways to simplify our personal lives, transferring those same advantages into the dental office just makes sense.

Here are the stories from dentists, like you, who are already finding success using some of these most recognized technologies in the dental practice setting.

Carestream Dental’s Practice Expert and Reporting Library (PEARL) Module

Dr. Bradley Dykstra

What attracted you to this type of technology?
First of all, I tend to be an early adopter, especially if the benefits are clear. PEARL looked to be and is a simple, easy, quick way to access practice data (financials, patient information, schedules) when I am out of the office.

How does this technology make you more efficient? How does it help improve patient care?
The biggest benefit of PEARL is that when patients call after hours, when I am not in the office, I can access their patient records, prescriptions, treatment notes, radiographs, etc. while I am talking to them. I am able to respond with the correct information to best help them. This is especially important to screen for people who call in search of drugs.
 
What are the main benefits to your practice?
With PEARL, I can stay in touch and have the heartbeat of the practice whether I’m in South Africa, Dubai, Barcelona, Phoenix or Hawaii. When my staff and associates know I can check on every patient every day, the daily production and schedules, it adds a level of accountability.  

Why would you encourage other oral health professionals to use Carestream Dental’s PEARL?  
It keeps you in touch, informed and in control wherever you are. This is increasingly important as our society and patients become more and more mobile and digital.

Is there anything else you’d like to mention about Carestream Dental’s PEARL?  
Don’t agonize over whether to do this or not. Just do it. You will never be sorry, only that you missed out on the benefits until now and did not do it sooner.

Henry Schein's Dentrix Mobile

Dr. Gina AnderslandWhy did you decide to try Dentrix Mobile?
One of the main reasons is we don’t have a computer for the doctors to use, so it’s nice to have Dentrix Mobile on our iPads so we can pull patient information up. At the end of day when we call patients we can pull up their phone number on an iPad and we don’t have to bug someone else to use their computer.

What are the main benefits of Dentrix Mobile?
I like that I can view my schedule at home and I can look up a patient to make sure they’re a patient of record. We get a lot of emergency calls, so to be able to check and make sure they’re a patient of record is a big deal, that’s really nice.

Why would you encourage other dentists to use Dentrix Mobile?
They can see their schedule when they’re not in the office. We’re not using this yet, but you can put in prescriptions and medical alerts and things like that. We’re probably going to start using those features more when we get into digital charting.

Beckmer Products’ Dental R.A.T.

Wendy Profit, RDHWhat are the Dental R.A.T.’s main benefits?
Basically it’s time management. I work on a tight schedule so waiting for someone to come in and chart for me on the computer puts me behind a little bit if the person can’t come in right away. For me having the Dental R.A.T. in the room where I’m doing it myself is a big difference. I have a system where I start out with a health history and then get them in there to take a look and then do perio charting. I can stick to my schedule because I can do it all myself. I don’t work with an assistant. I’m in an office where I have to do everything pretty much on my own and that means charting, charges and sterilization.

What do you like most about the Dental R.A.T’s audio feedback feature?
For me it is confirming what I’m doing. It’s hands free. I don’t have to keep looking at the computer and making sure what’s being put in is correct. I already know. Without it I would have to look in the patient’s mouth and then up at the computer screen, and my computers are set up behind me. It makes a big difference. Plus, my patients are hearing the numbers so when there’s a deeper number they’re kind of like ‘what’s that, why is that different than this one?,’ and it opens up communication with them as well.  

The audio feedback was an upgrade for us. I’ve used it with and without it. It’s progress. When my patients see me using it they know it’s progress and they say ‘hey, that’s a neat feature.’ It makes them feel good that we’re still learning and updating. Most people are scared when they go to the dentist so anything new that makes the appointment easier, faster and smoother makes them feel better.

Why would you encourage others to use the Dental R.A.T.?
Change is hard and some older hygienists would rather have someone in the room charting for them. I would encourage them to make that first step to try it and give it a chance. They’re going to see how much smoother and how much easier it’s going to be on them because they’re going to keep to their own schedule and won’t have to worry about running behind or having to skip out on half their lunch.

Curve Dental’s Web-based software

Dr. Mark ColonnaHow long have you been using Curve Dental Web-based software and how did you learn about it?
We started using it last June. I heard about it online and then I got a few emails from them marketing wise. I had gotten on iCloud with my Mac and had so much success I thought “this is where I want to go.” It looked like a great way to go. I’m on the road a lot so being able to access my software to see patients and charts while I’m all over the country was really important to me. So that’s why we switched over. We looked at other software but nothing looked as nice as being in the cloud.

How does Web-based software make you and your team more efficient?
It saves us money because we don’t have a server or an IT expense. As far as efficiency, the software works in each operatory and we can access it via a Web browser.

What are the main benefits of Web-based software?
We had a power outage the other day, which doesn’t happen often. I used a MacBook to hook up to my phone and I had access to the Internet, so we could check a few patients out and make a few phone calls because we had the information in the cloud. If we had a normal server we would have been stuck and out of business.

Another benefit is the company upgrades it every day behind the scenes. No IT person, and there’s no expensive software. It’s all done via the Web at their place.

Why would you encourage other dentists to give Curve a try?
As I lecture I see doctors looking for solutions and I think the biggest thing they’re looking for is a system to help them go paperless. This is a freestanding product, and the fact that it’s Web-based eliminates issues you have with software. If your server goes down you lose all your data. With Curve, all your data stays in the cloud so no matter where you’re at, if the office burnt down or somebody ripped off your computers, it doesn’t matter because your data isn’t in the computer it’s in the cloud. It’s less expensive in the long run. The monthly fee is reasonable and you don’t have to pay an IT guy to maintain the system.

And the company has been great. The training is awesome and the support has been very good. For most people who switch software, the nightmare is taking existing practice management software and transferring the data. That process was so easy it was ridiculous.

XLDent’s practice management system

Dr. Treva WillisHow long have you been using the XLDent practice management system? How did you first hear about it?
We have been using the XLDent practice management system since September of 2009 and our dental equipment specialist introduced us to the software at the time.

What do you like about the ability to use the software on a tablet? What attracted you to this type of technology?  
The ability to use the software on a tablet is great because it affords mobility with the ease of using a “pen” to fill out forms for patients. It was important for us to accommodate all our patients with our technology, while avoiding intimidating them with it. XLDent in my opinion achieves this goal.

What are the main benefits to the practice? What is your favorite feature?  
The main benefit to the practice is the user-friendly features for patients, administrative and clinical staff alike. The support is great and any time we have a suggestion to make the product better the software engineers can usually incorporate it into the next upgrade.

How would you say this software makes you more efficient?   
The remote access feature helps tremendously with anyone who has a busy lifestyle outside of the practice. I can manage schedules and effectively communicate with my team even if they are there and I am not.

Why would you encourage other clinicians to try XLDent?
I would encourage others to try XLDent because it has, above all, great customer support. That was our most important factor because it inevitably will be needed at some point in time.

Is there anything else you’d like to mention that we haven’t hit on?   
The clinical portion graphics and ease of communication are phenomenal. Additionally, the XLTeach is one of the best patient education software programs I have used.

Patterson Dental’s CAESY Cloud

Dr. Marty Jablow

You Beta-tested CAESY Cloud for Patterson. What did you like about it?
CAESY Cloud installation was a breeze. There was no software to load; all you have to do is open your favorite web browser. Navigation in the software was easy and straightforward, requiring no real training for the staff or myself. Staff members are now capable of explaining procedures to a patient from any operatory computer or, with provided links, the patient can view videos from his or her home.
 
What are the main benefits for your patients?
CAESY Cloud videos allow patients to better understand their dental condition. The better they understand, the more likely they will be to accept the recommended treatment.

How does CAESY Cloud help make you more efficient?
CAESY Cloud videos provide a consistent and clear message that simplifies complex dental information. Using web-based videos, dental staff can educate the patient while the dentist performs other tasks, knowing a consistent message is delivered to the patient. For many dentists, this simplifies the treatment plan presentation.

Officite’s Mobile Ready Websites

Dr. Dan StrobelWhat are Officite’s mobile ready sites’ main benefits?
Seeing as most of our clientele are young professionals, we were excited about this opportunity to reach our target audience. Ever since I got an iPhone myself, I have appreciated the advantages of mobile-specific sites. In our case, it makes things much easier to navigate for our patients. It allows our practice to reach our patients the way they prefer to communicate, via smartphones and tablets.  And secondly, it brings new patients to our office, resulting in more beautiful smiles to create!

Did you use this technology first outside dentistry?
I felt that mobile sites were becoming more and more common outside of dentistry. I found myself bypassing, more often than not, sites that were not programmed for mobile devices. I was excited to be among the first in our industry to provide this technology to our patients.

Livescribe’s Echo Smartpen

Dr. Bill Busch

What are Livescribe’s main benefits?
Livescribe is perfect for taking notes with the patient when doing a new patient interview, staff meeting notes, or even discussing and planning treatment plans with patients. Rather than typing in information during an interview, you’re engaged with the patients; you’re looking at them and taking notes and now they’re electronic instantly.

But here’s the kicker: it records the audio at the same time. So you can take your pen and write a paragraph in ink then take the pen tip, touch anywhere in that paragraph and listen to the live audio from that spot.

Why would you encourage others to use Livescribe?
With this there’s no misunderstanding and it doesn’t matter what software you use. It’s great with patients in the practice and it’s perfect for lectures. The best part is it can take you right to the spot where you want to go in your notes. It streamlines it.

Eye-Fi's WiFi SD Card

Dr. John Flucke  

What are Eye-Fi’s main benefits?

Eye-Fi is an SD memory card that’s used to store pictures in a digital camera. However, it also happens to have the built-in ability to connect to the wireless network of the office. What this means is that after configuring your Eye-Fi to your wireless network (a fairly quick and easy task) you can specify a folder on the network where your photos are stored. As you take photos with your digital camera, Eye-Fi will seamlessly transfer these photos from the camera to the specified folder via the wireless network. As soon as the photos are transferred to the designated folder they can be opened and displayed, edited, whatever. The idea is efficiency.

How does this product help with your efficiency?
This efficiency allows you to almost immediately take a picture or series of pictures and then begin showing them to the patient. There is no need to take the memory card out of the camera, put it in a card reader, or attach a USB cable to the camera. Because the pictures are readily available in almost real time, having meaningful discussions with patients about their situation can happen without delays or fumbling with the photo transfer process.

It’s also incredibly cool when the patient first realizes the pictures are just “showing up” with no outside intervention.

Elo TouchSystems Touch Monitors

Dr. Jim ArmbrusterWhat are EloTouch Systems’ main benefits?
We have touch monitors in four operatories and it clears up a bunch of clutter on the counter. It cleans out the keyboard, the mouse, there’s no other physical computer and there’s no noise from the fan. It’s clean, it’s very neat and it’s very professional. But the best thing for us is we use the 19-inch touch monitors and it’s extremely high resolution. It’s great for patient education but it’s also great when working on root canals and with implants.

How has using this technology helped your patient care?
We use the touch monitors with Cleartooth Digital X-Ray and the images are there instantly, very large and very clear. The patient sees it the second I see it. Using this cuts down on time dramatically for implant procedures and endo, which I do a lot of. We also show patient educational videos and  it’s like they’re watching high-definition movies while sitting in the chair.

Schick WiFi

Dr. Dee Dee MeevasinWhat are the main benefits of using Schick WiFi?
In our office the main benefit of the Schick WiFi is convenience. Being cordless makes it easier to work around the patient and take it from room to room. As a bonus, it has become a conversation piece with patients.

Why would you recommend this product to a colleague?
Schick WiFi is simple to use and maintain. It requires a minimum amount of training, captures superb images and integrates seamlessly with our dental software.

How does using this technology improve the efficiency in your practice?
Being wireless is a huge time saver for the Schick WiFi. It’s touch-sync feature is easier than plugging in a USB cable and being cordless makes it a breeze to sterilize. Also, images appear instantly so reshoots can be done in a matter of seconds.

What attracted you to this type of technology?
Although comfortable around computers, our staff is not the most tech savvy group. The fact that this sensor had a short learning curve and required little technical knowledge is what attracted us to the Schick WiFi.