Digital dentistry has already proved to be an effective tool in practical treatment terms. The British Dental Journal (BDJ) has reported that the take-up of digital dentistry is both rapid and widespread.
Increasing numbers of dentists have purchased equipment such as intraoral digital sensors; while digital cameras are also proving popular.
However, alongside the clinical benefits, digital dentistry also has the potential to help make commercial dentists more competitive. This is because digital dentistry is a marketable asset.
What is the Impact of Digitalisation on Dentistry?
Current digital technologies available to dentists include: intraoral cameras and scanners; digital x-rays; CAD and CAM milling machines; CBCT scanners; and 3D printing.
Obviously, some of these are more advanced and specialised than others, with intraoral cameras and x-rays being the more commonly adopted items.
Digital imaging has revolutionised dentistry, and how patients experience dental treatment.
All cameras used by dentists are now digital. Furthermore, they are now integrated fully into state of the art dental chairs.
What this means for dentists, and for their patients, is that the whole experience of treatment is streamlined, with analysis, data records and active, practical treatment, all focused in one area – the dental chair.
With a digital dental camera, positioning is versatile and the dentist can then create multiple images of the area of concern.
Similarly, digital x-rays in dental practices have clear advantages over their analogue predecessors.
They offer an immediate preview of the image, combined with a much lower cost of processing. There is the opportunity to enhance and manipulate digital x-ray images to help with diagnoses. The patient also is exposed to less radiation.
How Patients Benefit from Digital Dentistry
While there are undeniable benefits to the practice of dentistry when it comes to digital technology, the key thing is how digital dentistry benefits dental patients.
For commercial dental practises offering elective, cosmetic treatments, alongside other services, the patient experience is paramount.
What digital dentistry does is offer greater visibility to patients, and enables dentists to demonstrate what outcomes will be using clear imagery.
Moreover, the use of equipment such as intraoral scanners allows dentists to better refine the bespoke nature of what they offer when it comes to crowns and restorations.
This then makes digital dentistry a marketable asset for commercial dentists. Where people are choosing carefully what treatments they want, and, crucially, where to get them, technology offers dentists a competitive edge.
Return on Investment and Accessibility
Digital dental equipment is now much more affordable and in financial reach of most dental practices.
However, while it is increasingly routinely used, it makes sense for modern dental practices to explore the options thoroughly, to find the equipment that best suits their needs, and, of course, those of their patients.
The benefits are significant: effectively meeting clinical requirements, while potentially exceeding patient expectations.
That clearly makes digital dentistry a marketing asset.
“Choosing the right dental equipment, so you integrate it completely into your practice’s workflow and communication, can boost not just the services you offer to patients, but also your whole professional image, and how patients, and potential customers, perceive what you can offer them.”
Pete Higson, RPA Dental