Increase case acceptance with digital workflow By Zac Fine. September 14, 2016.
John Anderton is the MD of Digital Dental and has spent more than 15 years helping dentists install open source 3D imaging technology that improves patient journeys.
Full imaging makes dentistry a lot less scary, particularly high value treatments such as implant supported dentures, and it therefore delivers significant improvements in your average treatment plan value and your treatment plan conversion rate — two of the most important Key Performance Indicators for building dental practice revenue.
Here John, who will be speaking at our Meet The Dental Disrupters event on September 23, explains why the upshot is less lab work, quicker treatment times, less invasive dentistry and a more informed patient, which is why top tier practices are lining up to integrate this 3D digital workflow.
“Like most modern technology dental imaging is getting better, faster and smarter. Combining data from different sources like 3D cone beam CT, 3D model scans and 3D digital impressions to deliver a virtual patient really aids treatment planning and improves case acceptance.
You can take a photo or video on your smartphone and easily share it with anyone in the world, so why is not as easy to combine and share dental imaging data with colleagues and partners? The problem has been that all of the different formats didn’t easily talk to each other.
Now there is a drive towards open software which can combine different standard formats. The open software programs let you load Dicom (CT) scans from any CT scanner into the software and then to load STL (CadCam) files. These imported surfaces can then be merged, overlaid, and aligned.
How does this help?
An aging population and growing demand for cosmetic dentistry are key to fuelling the growth in demand for single tooth implants. The new combined data approach will assist in planning and placing these implants.
Take the 3D X-ray from the cone beam CT, then overlay the data from the 3D digital impression or model scan to show the soft tissue surface. Now accurately plan the implant placement using a large library of implants from all of the major manufacturers.
Now you can transmit that combined data set to a lab so they can produce an effective surgical guide to give a predefined insertion path and precise guidance. No need to send any physical models or impressions.
To maximise your return and speed up the treatment, new software enables you to design and fabricate your own surgical guides, study models and digital wax ups using an in-office 3D printer.
For a complete digital workflow, integrating a digital impression scanner means you can completely remove the need for traditional impressions. Scan the implant site with a scan body in place and transmit that data to the lab so they can design and manufacture the restoration. Alternatively, use a chairside restoration system to produce your own screw retained or bonded implant restorations.
Effective and accurate planning on a virtual 3D patient helps with all of your clinical and treatment planning needs. The combined data set provides an artefact-free model of your patient’s dentition including bone, crowns and soft tissue. This offers valuable new options for implant planning, surgical guide manufacturing, orthodontic purposes and orthognathic surgery. Combining all imaging and CAD/CAM work under software on one platform, dental professionals can remain focused on what is most important – patient treatment. Demonstrating this combined approach impresses patients and is sure to increase case acceptance.”
If you’d like to see how digital workflow can boost your dental practice revenue, get in touch with us for a chat at [email protected] or 07860 672727.
“Demonstrating this combined approach impresses patients and is sure to increase case acceptance”
John Anderton, MD of Digital Dental