“I Have A Question!”
Dear Dr. Bill:
I have been interested in the concept of incorporating digital dentistry into my practice but I have reservations. What questions do I need to explore to see if digital dentistry fits my practice?
Dear Dr. Susan:
I am often asked this question by dentists who want to know what made me convert to digital dentistry. Two words come to mind: Future and Workflow.
Future: Every indicator involved in dentistry points to a present and future digital world in dentistry. In the Cerec world, we have about 15-17% of U. S. dentists using the Cerec technology. Most dentists who aren’t involved in digital dentistry don’t realize they really are. For example, if a dentist is ordering a Zirconia crown from the lab they may not realize that the lab fabricates the Zirconia crown digitally! Zirconia crowns can’t be fabricated by hand or pressed. In fact, estimates in the digital world say that 15% of dentists and 85% of dental laboratories use digital technology in some form or another on a daily basis. The digital world is here, NOW!
Workflow: The digital workflow invites innovation and opportunity for patient care, from milling implant abutments, implant crowns, surgical guides for implant placement, to sleep apnea appliances and orthodontics. I see these areas as potential practice growth areas for more complete patient care and reduction in the patient’s time in the office.
Questions you may want to ask yourself to see if you and your practice should consider going digital are:
- “Do I currently enjoy the way I practice dentistry?
- “Is digital dentistry a better way to practice?”
- “Does digital dentistry benefit the practice?”
- “Does digital dentistry make the procedure more efficient and easier for the patient/dentist/practice?”
- “Is digital dentistry cost effective and will my staff accept it?”
Do your due diligence: Ask questions form the experts. Attend continuing education events on digital dentistry, ask your Patterson representative for an in-office demo, and engage with a Cerec Doctor about his/her experiences, positive and negative. The wave of digital dentistry will only grow and expand to the betterment of patient care and dentistry. It is never too late to get involved in the best dentistry has to offer. I love to tell the story that if and when you decide to join or catch the “digital train”, please don’t go to the train station because this train has already left the station. You will have to catch it down the tracks!
(The comments and suggestions from Dr. Bill are not to be construed as professional medical advice or treatment but are to be use as Dr. Bill’s thoughts and opinions. Your comments are encouraged and valued.)