Dentistry technology has come a long way since the days of clunky digitised equipment, incredibly lengthy image processing times and cabinets of printed paper files.
Advances in dental technology are occurring every year, providing more efficient systems for dentists and better services for patients. As entrepreneurs and inventors propel dentistry into the digital age of cloud-based file sharing, enhanced patient interactivity and game-changing mechanical improvements, practices that are not swift adaptors are at risk of falling behind. However, why wouldn’t you be excited about adopting more reliable, efficient and user-friendly technology in the surgery and the waiting room? We take a closer look at a handful of the latest developments in the dental industry, and how they could enhance your practice.
1. Unintimidating injections.
It’s 2018 and people are still putting off seeing the dentist because they associate it with fear. While strides have been made to banish this misconception, the fact remains that a needle to the mouth can be a painful experience. But there is good news for patients who are afraid of needles. The Wand Single Tooth Anaesthesia System is currently working hard in practices worldwide to manage fear and control pain. The Wand delivers anaesthesia without the need for an intimidating looking syringe. The release of the anaesthesia is computer-controlled for more effective pain management. The Wand can also numb smaller areas so that patients do not have to endure half or full mouth numbness for hours afterwards. Use of The Wand often decreases anxiety levels and enhances patient comfort.
2. Comfortable chairside x-rays.
X-rays are swifter, safer and more comfortable for patients when using intraoral sensors. While these devices have been on the market for quite some time, they are continually advancing to become smaller and clearer. Being able to take an x-ray on the spot, while your patient is in the chair is so much quicker than moving them into another room and positioning them at a large x-ray machine. Furthermore, digital x-ray sensors produce far less radiation than traditional methods, resulting in a safer process for both dentist and patient.
3. Apps to promote patient proactiveness.
At times it can be a real struggle to engage your patients in their oral health routines and encourage a proactive approach to maintaining a high level of hygiene. Thanks to the worldwide popularity of apps, however, this is becoming much more achievable! Apps are a fantastic way for children and adults alike to take control of their daily dental hygiene in a fun and informative way. Brush DJ and the Toothsavers Brushing Game are great for kids, as they both encourage impatient brushers to keep going for a solid two minutes of detailed cleaning. Dental Monitoring is a groundbreaking new app that can be used as a method of communication between patient and dentist to reduce the number of checkups needed during a treatment process. The app allows patients to take photos of their teeth and send it to their dentist so professional monitoring of the treatment can be carried out without making unnecessary and costly visits. A convenient tool with fantastic capabilities!
4. Intraoral cameras.
The use of intraoral cameras is another excellent way to engage your patients in their dental health. Being able to see what is going on in your own mouth is crucial for understanding what must be done to prevent infection and improve hygiene. Intraoral cameras allow dentists to take clear digital pictures of their patient’s teeth so that they can make an informed diagnosis and file images for later referral. There’s a big difference between telling your patients what needs to be done to rectify oral infections and explaining the seriousness of the issue with pictorial evidence. Intraoral cameras can send photos directly to a digital device such as a smartphone or tablet so that you can see images instantaneously. Wireless intraoral cameras also make movement freer and more comfortable for the patient.
5. Remote dentistry.
Utilising technology to provide health care for patients who live in remote areas or who experience limited mobility is now becoming the norm. Many healthcare professionals, including doctors, specialists and dentists are conducting video consultations to ensure that patients receive treatment no matter where they are. Dental hygienists can now make home visits to remote locations and nursing homes on behalf of a dentist to carry out oral checkups and procedures. They send data to a qualified dentist, await diagnosis, and then perform the recommended treatment. It’s an efficient way of ensuring that more members of the community have access to standard dental care even if dentists are in short supply within a particular area.
6. Multi-location practices.
You may be thinking that this is nothing new! Multi-location practices have been steadily growing in recent years. An advancement in cloud-based technology and progressive systems focused on cost-effective and labour-saving processes is making this type of practice expansion easier. With devices like intraoral sensors and cameras, patient images and files can be directly transferred between clinics for referrals and professional advice. Information is more readily shareable than ever, making multi-location clinics practical and highly operable. Practices adopting cloud-based systems are already looking towards future growth and expansion.
Planning on growing your dental practice to include another site? Dentifit are specialists in dental and medical clinic fit-outs, and can assist you to create a sleek and functional new practice. Contact us today to arrange a consultation.