Advances in Dentistry Technology: 2018 Digital Trends for Dentists

One trend that continues an upward trajectory is the growth of multi-location practices. That very growth has been made possible by certain advances in dentistry technology, like cloud solutions, which have revolutionized the way you work. In fact, if you’re already in the cloud, you probably wonder how you could have managed without it.

As we soar full speed ahead into 2018, the new year holds promise. Besides the buzz of cloud technology in the air, developers bring to the market more digital advances in dentistry technology.

Six Brilliant Advances in Dentistry Technology

1. Teledentistry

While Teledentistry isn’t new, it’s gained new usability. The original concept predates the internet and used to involve — you guessed it — telephone consulting. A general dentist would call a specialist for advice while treating a patient.

In 2018, teledentistry gets inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame. In other words, the American Dental Association is implementing CDT code in the new year. It’s kind of a big deal.

What it means, for starters, is that patients can now have a virtual dental visit from home. This includes treating seniors in Care Homes or Nursing Homes.

How It Works

Dental hygienists can take portable equipment out to makeshift clinics in the community. After assessing a patient, the hygienist sends data to a licensed dentist via cloud-based software for diagnosis. It can even be sent directly to the patient’s insurance provider.

Patients can consult a dentist either online or by telephone. The benefits of teledentistry will be far-reaching, allowing dental practitioners to provide oral health care in remote areas and nontraditional environments. Teledentistry even makes it possible to collaborate with primary care physicians and emergency room doctors.

Imagine the benefit for lower-income patients and those with mobility issues. The cost of teledentistry will be much more manageable for millions of Americans, as off-site dental exams cost less than exams in dental offices. This means better access to oral health by those without dental insurance.

2. The Planmeca Emerald™ Next-Gen Intraoral Scanner

This lightweight digital intraoral scanner is simple to use and efficiently delivers accurate, detailed images. The vibrant colours of the images enable dentists to quickly distinguish the difference between soft and hard tissue.

In early days of intraoral scanners, the wands were not only expensive but generally not small or agile enough to get good scans on molars. Now, intraoral scanners like this one with smaller wands bring benefits to both clinicians and patients.

This software, easily accessed from your chairside tablet, was built on an open system. It readily integrates with other systems, which means easy collaboration with labs and seamless workflow.

Planmeca Emerald™ Next-Gen Intraoral Scanner
Small wand scanners, like the Planmeca Emerald™ Next-Gen Intraoral Scanner, bring benefits to both clinicians and patients.

3. The Wand Anesthesia System

Pain control is at the heart of best practices in general and pediatric dentistry. Fear-related behaviour presents challenges in patient management. No wonder, because injections are terrifying for some people. In fact, injections cause pain and increase both heart rate and anxiety.

The Wand (or STA — Single Tooth Anesthesia) System, introduced by Milestone Scientific in ‘97, delivers anesthesia without a traditional syringe. Pain and anxiety are eliminated or reduced as a result of:

  • No visual stimulus of the syringe
  • Computer-controlled slow release of the freezing into the mouth
  • Computer-controlled pressure sensors that enable you to locate the best spot for the freezing (near the tooth that you’ll treat)

Patients love this technology because the anesthesia is directed to the single tooth that will be treated, rather than the whole side of their mouth. So after the treatment, patients can go about their day — even eating and drinking — without slurring or feeling self-conscious.

Taking Dental Data Into The Complete Cloud™: A First for i-CAT™ Tx STUDIO™ 3D Images

4. Lensiora® Intraoral Camera

Dentists applaud this camera for various reasons, including picture quality. The wand-shaped device weighs only 2 oz., “has a good, tactile feel”, is easy to use and view pictures, and seamlessly integrates with all other applications.

One dentist said he would even recommend Lensiora® for its outstanding service alone!

This device was designed for USB 2.0 or 3.0 connectivity. It works with all versions of Windows, supports both 32 and 64-bit systems, and integrates with all dental imaging applications. Don’t worry if you don’t have your own imaging application. Lensiora® comes with its own software. All you need is your computer, tablet, or laptop.

It’s easy to use, too, just point and zoom in — the 1060 lense at the tip of the wand with 6 LEDs ensures you get a precise view. An optional foot pedal also helps you get the view you need. Then, voila, click one of the four buttons on the wand.

The images go straight into the patient’s file for you to examine later.

This slender wand is a breeze for dentists to use and patients will benefit on two main counts. First, they’ll appreciate the opportunity to quickly get high-quality images of their teeth so their dentist can make informed decisions. Two — it’s educational. This process helps the patient understand what’s going on in her mouth, and why the dentist makes specific decisions.

Lensiora® Intraoral Camera comes with free installation, free-for-life technical support and software updates. The company backs up their product with a 30-day money-back guarantee. And if that’s not enough, this camera is so affordable that dentists report buying “one for each room”.

5. The LiveSmile App

In addition to the above advances in dentistry technology, here is an app with great potential to engage and empower patients. It’s a tool that enables them to take charge of their own oral health. Patients can interact with their personal treatment plans, and as a result, learn about their oral health. The traditional patient education program in the dental office can effectively be replaced by a far more dynamic, stimulating program.

The LiveSmile App encourages patients to take interest in their oral health.
The LiveSmile App encourages patients to take interest in their oral health.

6. 3D Dental Images via The Complete Cloud™

At MBS Secure we use our 3D patented data center technology with software such as i-CAT™ Tx STUDIO™ imaging. What this means is that our 3D cone imaging support enables you to view your images anytime, from anywhere — with endless possibilities.

Imagine being able to:

  • Reduce your IT in-house spending.
  • Review images with colleagues at other locations.
  • Give recommendations for emergency procedures when you can’t be there.

This technology is useful not only for orthodontics. It also enables you to view more complex issues at once, such as planning for impacted teeth, TMJ, detecting tumours, length of roots, and much more. Unique to 3D cone imaging is the ability to view bone and tissue at the same time.

Having secure, easy-access images in the cloud is a BIG DEAL for multi-location dental practices. It means you can reduce IT costs and increase your patients’ trust in you. Building relationships with your patients is, after all, a top priority for you, right?

Turn up the Volume on 2018

As we speed toward 2018, we see digital advances in dentistry technology that promise to bring more flow to your practice than ever.

What’s worth shouting from the rooftops is this. Advances in dentistry technology enable us to place most if not all of this software in the cloud. The best part is that MBS Secure and The Complete Cloud™ make it easier than ever to host these and other digital applications in the cloud.

We have proven expertise in a range of verticals, including Dental. If your business needs it, we can place it in the cloud. Our experience in migrating legacy applications and devices includes — but is not limited to — the following integrations: Dentrix, Dental Vision, Dentrix Enterprise, Eagle Soft, Easy Dental, Endovision, Dentsply, Planmeca Romexis, and Orthotrac.

Hold tight — if you don’t see the application(s) you want in the cloud, chances are we can get you there.

Contact us today to learn more.

Or, if you want to find out if your practice is ready to move to the cloud, please take a minute to fill out this form and let us make your cloud transition as seamless as possible.

Taking Dental Data Into The Complete Cloud™: A First for i-CAT™ Tx STUDIO™ 3D Images

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