The insert “Health” of Corriere della Sera dedicates an entire page to digital oral surgery focusing on words such as speed, safety, predictability.
The speeches that appear in the Special Health dedicated to the dental are by illustrious dentists who explain the technologies applied to their profession and that of their employees and colleagues. Here are some of the strengths of the new dental frontier highlighted in the dedicated column:
– the number of appointments that gradually decreases with a relative increase in comfort for the patient (saving in terms of time and money)
– the possibility of speeding up operations that previously required more sessions; this is also a benefit for the dentist who, through the use of technologies, can plan, operate quickly, accurately, precisely and with reduced margins of risk of error
– Surgery and therapy in total safety with the help of personalized surgical templates, designed on the computer and printed in 3D
– reduction of discomfort for the patient
– the scientific evidence in digital, i.e. the proven validity by the International Scientific Society that allows the use of these devices (scanners, cone beam computed tomography, milling machines and 3D printers)
This insert gives an idea of how, for example, guided implant surgery is of great help in aligning the “Craft” to the generalized computerizing of almost all existing jobs with obvious benefits on several fronts.
Digitization: why not?
Digital technologies have changed and will increasingly change the clinical practice of dentistry both from the diagnostic point of view (instrumental investigations such as CT Cone Beam, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasonography) and in the operational approach (CAD-CAM technologies, intraoral and laboratory scanners, 3D printers).
The digitization of the doctor’s office is an inevitable process, despite this growth does not seem to present relevant data to support the change (for example, the intraoral scanner to take impressions is present in less than 5% of dental practices).
As we mentioned some time ago, the problem of “dissemination” of this important and profitable innovation could be the initial investment and the chronic reluctance to change by the medical sector in question. It is clear that digital is present and applicable in every dental activity, particularly in radiological diagnostics, so much so that the digital design of prosthetic products has been the prerogative of dental technicians for years, and many of them are much more advanced than dentists in this field. Possession of these cutting-edge skills would bring undisputed advantages, especially to the new generations of Dentists and Dental Technicians who find it difficult to emerge in the sea of competition, but the resources seem to them insufficient in the face of the initial investment. But if you think that, in a single day of work, a trained professional can make interventions and products that previously required several sessions, it is obvious how to amortize an initial expense that seemed prohibitive. Reduction of time, costs, waste, but above all satisfied, paying, loyal patients who return, speak proudly of their dentist and expand the circle through word of mouth or sharing of various kinds (e.g.: social networks).
How does the social scenario change inside and outside the dental office? What do these “advanced practices” mean in terms of harmony within the dental practice team? And what benefits does the patient derive from outside?
The digital approach has significantly improved communication in the dental team between the various specialists and dental laboratories: the acquisition of multiple data (CBCT, intra- and extra-oral scans, virtual aesthetic and implant planning) has favoured the interpenetration of executions, integrating them in order to optimize the diagnostic process and monitor over time the changes in oral tissues and restorations.
The introduction of digital systems has also improved the relationship with patients who benefit from greater comfort considering the elimination of impression materials and the advantageous time management; it is possible to verify in real time the correctness of the impressions, to store the data no longer having the need to produce physical models and to carry out three-dimensional digital checks.
The possibility of commenting on the video on the virtual aesthetic planning of the “smile” together with the patients themselves, is certainly a motivational and communicative contribution not to be underestimated. Feeling so involved, patients willingly accept the treatments, limiting misunderstandings (concerning the therapeutic and economic treatment).
Are digital methods within everyone’s reach?
Do they require prolonged learning curves over time or are they easy to acquire?
Logically, it is right to report also some aspects that lead to mistrust in the approach to the “new”: in the common imagination, we speak of rather complex learning curves and significant investments with high costs. Although there is a fund of truth about the onerousness of training and instrumentation, virtual planning equipment (surgical and aesthetic) has very intuitive interfaces and methods of use. It is necessary, as for all things, to practice to optimize their use, progressively reduce time and enhance their performance. They are within everyone’s reach but require a learning curve that varies according to the operator’s experience and the number of cases treated. The Digital Dentistry is a new figure of professional who has specific skills in the field, a qualification that requires continuous training. Digital will be the usual way of working because the dental supply chain goes in this direction.
Those who do not want to face change have as their only choice to close themselves to the future and unfortunately see the decline of their employment. For those who still have a few years of activity ahead of them, refractoriness (both in terms of learning curve and costs) can be understood and shared, but for those who have an entire career ahead of them it is a deliberate damage to their future (already extremely uncertain) to cling to the old analogue methodology.
BioService and Matrix have long been supporting and encouraging change by embracing the demands of dentists with the latest news in the industry offering advice and components for digital dentistry.