The Same-Day Dentistry Roadmap

Jul 20, 2020

A guided tour from analog workflows to digital dentistry.

There’s no doubt transitioning to a digital workflow brings significant benefits to a dental practice. Increased efficiencies, an improved patient experience are all benefits of same-day dentistry. In addition, practices enjoy increased revenue when moving away from traditional methods. The question, for many dentists, is not about if they want to incorporate digital CAD/CAM technologies into their practice, but rather where to start.

CAD/CAM ROADMAP
CAD/CAM ROADMAP

To help dentists understand which path makes the most sense, take our quiz and let this Same-Day Dentistry Roadmap be your guide.

The Path Ahead

Here are the waystations along the route to CAD/CAM success.

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Getting Started 8+

You are ready to buy, but which system is right for you? Developing an evaluation criteria is your first step. Here are some topics to consider when looking at different manufacturers. Some might rank more important than others, and some criteria may be personal such as your relationship with your local rep, manufacturer reputation or simply intuition, but they all play a role in making the right decision.

Evaluation Criteria
  • Understanding total costs

There is of course the initial investment, but you need to also understand the total cost of ownership. Find out if there are any continuing fees you’ll need to pay once the system is implemented, such as monthly subscription fees, ongoing data and or file transfer fees. What are the service and support fees? How long is the warranty? Do you pay for software updates? What other equipment is necessary for the types of restorations you would like to mill?

  • System Integration

Clinicians should consider what equipment and software are currently used in the office and understand if any complicated and time-consuming workarounds might be necessary. Understanding the limitations of a closed system is critical to avoiding buyer’s remorse. Purchase decisions now may dictate future purchases.

  • Ongoing Support

How long is the warranty period? What does the ongoing support look like? What if your staff has a question six months down the road? What happens if you need assistance while the patient is in the chair? You’ll want to understand all of these scenarios before you invest.

  • Training and Education

Understanding how to use your CAD/CAM system is critical for success. Who is providing your training? The manufacturer, dealer, or a third party? Are there advanced training options as your staff becomes more comfortable with the technology?

Take a Test Drive

Suggest asking a rep to take you to an office that uses this technology to see it in action up close. Consider attending an open house at the manufacturer site. Attend local and national tradeshows so you can see the products firsthand.

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Getting Started 5-7

Determining whether to purchase a full CAD/CAM system or potentially implement digital dentistry in stages, your path is about gaining knowledge, so you are confident in your decision. Here are your next steps.

ROI Evaluation

Typically, a manufacturing rep can take you beyond the Same-Day Dentistry Roadmap Readiness Quiz and help you decide if you are on the fence. A good ROI calculator goes beyond how many crowns you do per month and looks at multiple areas of your practice. Lab costs, type and number of composites, the impact of the second appointment on your hourly production and the value of new patients should also be factored.

Peer Recommendations

See what other doctors say about the technology. For Dr. Laura Justice, a Planmeca FIT user, says same-day restorations have become a huge selling point with her patients. They love the fact they only need to come in once, and that they don’t have to worry about the sensitivity and other hassles associated with temporary restorations. (No one wants to return for an extra visit because the temporary came out.)

“Patients can sit in the lobby, run a quick errand or watch TV in the chair and within an hour, maybe even 45 minutes, the restoration is done. It’s designed and milled, stained, glazed and crystalized,” Dr. Justice says. “That has been a positive change in my office and my workflow. And the restorations look as nice as any coming from an outside lab, which was a big deal to me.”

Offering same-day dentistry can be especially beneficial for practices in rural areas such as Dr. Brian Cotant’s office in Wyoming. Patients may need to drive an hour or two to get to the office, so knowing they only have to do that once makes treatment much more convenient.

Initially, Dr. Cotant only had the scanner on his radar. He wanted to take impressions without dealing with the goop and hassles that come with impression material but still wanted to involve the lab in the process.

After using the ROI calculator, he realized he would see the return quickly as crowns and bridges are a significant portion of his practice. Investing in a complete system became a no-brainer for Dr. Cotant.

Evaluation Criteria
  • Understanding total costs

There is of course the initial investment, but you need to also understand the total cost of ownership. Find out if there are any continuing fees you’ll need to pay once the system is implemented, such as monthly subscription fees, ongoing data and or file transfer fees. What are the service and support fees? How long is the warranty? Do you pay for software updates? What other equipment is necessary for the types of restorations you would like to mill?

  • System Integration

Clinicians should consider what equipment and software are currently used in the office and understand if any complicated and time-consuming workarounds might be necessary. Understanding the limitations of a closed system is critical to avoiding buyer’s remorse. Purchase decisions now may dictate future purchases.

  • Ongoing Support

How long is the warranty period? What does the ongoing support look like? What if your staff has a question six months down the road? What happens if you need assistance while the patient is in the chair? You’ll want to understand all of these scenarios before you invest.

  • Training and Education

Understanding how to use your CAD/CAM system is critical for success. Who is providing your training? The manufacturer, dealer, or a third party? Are there advanced training options as your staff becomes more comfortable with the technology?

Take a Test Drive

Suggest asking a rep to take you to an office that uses this technology to see it in action up close. Consider attending an open house at the manufacturer site. Attend local and national tradeshows so you can see the products firsthand.

Click to Jump to From Purchase to Success

Getting Started 0-4

With so many intraoral scanners on the market, it can be challenging to decide which one to purchase. All can capture data, but knowing what features and benefits are important to you can make the difference between an investment you’re happy with and one you may regret.

Evaluation Criteria
  • Understanding total costs

There is of course the initial investment, but you need to understand the total cost of ownership. Find out if there are any continuing fees you’ll need to pay once the system is implemented, such as monthly subscription fees, ongoing data and or file transfer fees.

  • System Integration

Intraoral scanner customers need to understand the kind of work they will be doing with the scans. Are you offering clear aligners? Can you use the scanner in multiple operatories? Can these scans be imported into your existing imaging software for implant planning? Are there import and export processes or complicated workarounds that will affect practice efficiencies? Is it an open or closed system? As with a full CAD/CAM system, purchase decisions now may influence future purchases.

  • Ongoing Support

How long is the warranty period? What does the ongoing support look like? What if your staff has a question six months down the road? What happens if you need assistance while the patient is in the chair? Are there software update and upgrade fees? You’ll want to understand all of these scenarios before you invest.

  • Training and Education

Understanding how to use your scanner is critical for success. Who is providing your training? The manufacturer, dealer, or a third party? Are there advanced training options as your staff becomes more comfortable with the technology?

  • Future Considerations

When evaluating scanners, what is your long-term goal? If you eventually plan to add a mill, it’s best to consider a company that offers a complete solution, so you have plug and play capabilities.

Take a Test Drive

Schedule a demo with your rep to see your top two or three scanners. Try the scanners on a staff member to experience how easy or difficult it is to operate. Is it comfortable and lightweight? How does it feel from a patient perspective? If you can’t get an in-office demo, consider attending an open house at the manufacturer site. Attend local and national tradeshows so you can see the products in action up close.

Continue on to From Purchase to Success

From Purchase to Success

Purchase Equipment

Meet with your dealer representative to understand your financing options, inquire about any current promotions and sign your order. Celebrate! You are on your way to a new world of digital dentistry.

Get your team fired up

It’s crucial to get staff on board and excited about the technology, as they’ll be working closely with the system. Help them understand that this is an opportunity for career advancement, giving them a new skill that makes them even more valuable. It will also make their job more rewarding as they’re able to improve the patient experience and help grow the practice.

“Staff buy-in is vital because if they’re excited about the technology, they’ll promote it,” Dr. Justice says.

Schedule Training

Regardless of the manufacturer, you will need to set aside time to get your team trained. This typically involves initial training and follow up training, so be prepared to make accommodations in your schedule.

Spread the Word

Let your patients and the community know they can have same-day-crowns at your practice. Patients want this service and is a proven growth driver. Put information at the front desk or in the waiting area. Share it on your website and through social media. Send out emails and even snail mail about this new service you provide.

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CONCLUSION:

The good news is, regardless of which road you take and which manufacturer you choose, adding digital CAD/CAM dentistry in your practice is a solid decision. Dentists who have incorporated this technology enjoy increased production, material and lab costs savings and happier patients.

Interested in beginning your journey?

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