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Digital Technology to Improve Efficiency is Not the Future — it's Already Here

Streamlining your practice doesn't happen magically — it takes time, research, and hard work to implement the new dental technologies available and transition your processes. DMD identified the best in digital products to help simplify everything from paperwork to clinical documentation. Continue below to find out more.
Nikhilesh De
PUBLISHED: Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Technology doesn't catch up with you — your practice catches up with technology. 

Improving efficiency should be a top priority for any dentist, whether they run a small private practice or are part of a large chain of facilities.

RELATED: More Coverage on                New digital communication technologies, and new uses for existing technologies, are helping improve workflows and streamline diagnostic and treatment processes for dentists and patients, ultimately saving both time and money.

Improving workflow within the office is key to a better work environment. Products like Dovetail and DentiMax help dentists integrate the information from various clinical tools into one digital package, making it easy for them to see treatment plans, the results of prior appointments, X-rays, and other data about a patient.

These tools, and others like them, allow patients to complete their mandatory paperwork before ever stepping foot into your office, ensuring they are ready to be seen immediately, even on a first appointment.

Paperwork is one of the most time-consuming aspects of dentistry. Eliminating some of these responsibilities can help ensure your office has more time to spend directly treating patients, rather than ensuring every form a patient should have is filed.

Ace Dental and Dolphin Management are two software packages that cut down on paperwork through automation. Rather than fill out forms with a pen and making copies, a hygienist or assistant only must type information in once.

More importantly, these software packages make it easy to access any information with a quick search or a few taps of a button. Dentists can make notes or jot down ideas on a tablet and know that they will see the same information when they later sit down at a computer, instead of having to manually copy over data after writing it down on a piece of paper.

Ace Dental also helps dentists coordinate with laboratories to quickly learn the results of tests without waiting for a call or a letter delivery. Similar programs also communicate lab results instantaneously.

DDX Dental is another such program that integrates the clinical, external, and documentation aspects of an office together. Dentists can store all their data in one easily accessible space, communicate with labs, and check in with their proposed treatment plans without needing to grab a different file for each patient.

While streamlining an office is important, improving the clinical aspect of a dentist’s job is another role digital technology is filling. New and more accurate diagnostic tools make it easier for a dentist to ensure their patients are receiving the best possible care.

These tools, like 360 Imaging, help a dentist visualize not only a problem within their patient’s mouth, but also what possible treatments would look like.

Other digital imaging technologies like intraoral scanners make it easier for dentists to diagnose patients by more clearly identifying the issue.

While simple imaging technologies help with diagnosing a patient, more advanced products combine diagnoses with automated manufacturing to help with treatments as well. CAD/CAM products like CEREC’s complete package streamline the entire clinical aspect, reducing the time spent treating a single patient while simultaneously ensuring that the treatment is as efficient as possible.

Using a combination of HIPAA-compliant imaging and management technologies can help every office achieve a new level of efficiency, which makes both dentists’ and patients’ lives easier. Taking full advantage of already existing products makes this level of efficiency easy to achieve — the hard part has already been taken care of.

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