Digital Dentistry Digital Dentistry

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The Future of Dentistry with Augmented and Virtual Reality

How VR and AR can and will affect clinical dentistry and the patient experience.

Dentistry is one of the world’s oldest medical professions, dating back as far as 7000 B.C. – so it’s no surprise that we’ve come quite a ways since then.

What many may not have seen coming, however, is how great of an impact emerging technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality would have on the dental field. The effect is quite astounding.

Many dentists, like most people, find themselves a bit fuzzy when it comes to identifying the exact distinctions between augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). After all, they’re both interactive,  visually-based technologies. However, they differ greatly when it comes to the user experience.

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How 3D Printing Is Revolutionizing the Dental Industry

Additive manufacturing is here to stay – is your practice on board?

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is that rare once-in-a-generation technological innovation that has the ability to transform global manufacturing industries and commerce in general as we know it.

To be honest, it kind of already is. In fact, according to the most recent Worldwide Semiannual 3D Printing Spending Guide from International Data Corporation (IDC), revenue in this amazing industry is projected to reach $28.9 billion by 2020.

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Understanding Dental Bone Particulate

When it comes to grafts in the US dental market, by far the most commonly used is human bone particulate from a tissue bank. I think it is safe to say that dentists generally know very little about the source and processing of graft materials. This article is intended to close that gap.

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What Dental Lasers and Early Cavity Detection Can Mean for Your Practice

As many of you may already know, the use of laser and light technology is vastly altering the medical and dental industries. Many dentists have discovered the number of benefits of incorporating laser technology into procedure implementations and treatments. Lasers have been noted to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of procedures and can diminish the amount of time necessary for treatment and recovery. Whether it is used for shaping a patients gums after periodontal disease or whitening teeth, as time passes the uses of dental lasers in cosmetic dentistry has become increasingly evident and popular.

One of the lesser known uses for a dental laser is the role this technology can play on tooth decay and carries detection. Until recently, detection of tooth decay has been difficult to detect in its earliest stages. Often evidence of decay can only be seen once it has progressed and begun to permeate through the surrounding tissue causing visible damage. The primary reason for this is that decay can move into microscopic tears in enamel where it can go unnoticed. In fact, decay cannot be seen until it is one-third the width of the tooth. This can give the bacteria a chance to do damage to the teeth and dental structure that could have been avoided if detected early. As decay progress it becomes more difficult to treat and can lead to a number of dental disorders. Until recently dentists needed to take x-rays and physically probe teeth to find evidence of decay. At this point the decay has already began doing damage to the enamel of the tooth. With the use of dental lasers however, cavity detection can begin much earlier.

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Practice Technologist

Times are changing fast and technology is the primary driver of change.

You will Lose Your job to Technology, Unless…

For years I skated around the worry that technology would take jobs away from dentists and dental staff. I can no longer make that claim. Your job in dentistry will go away or at least be severely limited by technology in the future. There is one sure fire way to ensure that you will still have a job in the high tech revolution. Become the

“Practice Technologist”.

If you believe your job is to poke teeth with an explorer and take impressions you are fast becoming out of date. If you believe your job is to understand and use digital diagnostics and digital impressions then you are ahead of the pack.

If you believe your job is to pull charts and answer phones your job is in jeopardy. If on the other hand you believe your job is to maintain paperless charts and set up an online system to answer questions and take payments then you are secure.

The person who believes that their job is to understand and use technology effectively, can easily add new systems to the mix and embraces change will become indispensable; They will be an MVP the most valuable person in the office.

Here are three simple examples:

Practice Staff Person Practice Technologist
Pulls charts every day, spends time hunting for the lost chart then puts them all back again at the end of the day. Knows the management software well enough to create and maintain completely paperless records.
Hands a clipboard to patients to fill out forms then re-enters all the information in the computer. Sets up and uses online forms that synch with the electronic records. No paper and no dual entry.
Spends considerable time every day phoning and mostly leaving messages with patients to confirm (remind) them of an upcoming appointment. Sets up and maintains an online e-service that sends daily reminders with no additional input from office staff.

It is vitally important that the dentist understand the technology available to the office. As the practice leader the dentist needs to know what is possible in order to create a vision and lead the team.


Three days of Adventure C.E. that will change your practice, your Team, and your life!
Technology on the Rocks – May 18-20, 2017

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