May 2011, Volume 32, Issue 4
Published by AEGIS Communications
Solutions for Better Dentistry from D4D Technologies
The best thing about all of this technology is the range of options it brings to every practice, says Gary Severance, DDS, Vice President of Marketing and Clinical Affairs at D4D Technologies. "For those practices that have embraced the technology advances available in the area of chairside CAD/CAM dentistry—it literally has changed everything," he says. "Dentists can now take complete control of every phase of the procedure and offer the same—or better—quality in a fraction of the time."
Severance believes that many clinicians looking at chairside CAD/CAM dentistry fear the change it will bring to their schedules and their workflow, especially if they lack expertise in utilizing computers. "But instead, they should look at all the options they will have," he says. "They can offer same-appointment, same-day, next-day, or next-week dentistry, based on their preference and what works best for their patients. They can delegate more to their chairside assistants, while they concentrate on other productive areas. Most of all, they have options to offer patients that are both a differentiator for their practice and truly a better way to provide oral healthcare."
CAD/CAM dentistry allows the dentist or practice to have more control of the schedule, team involvement, and results. Having the ability to offer the patient more than one solution (material and time) provides a convenience factor to the office and to the patient. "Reducing the number of visits to the dentist, but still keeping the same quality of care is an amazing experience for patients," Severance says. "The convenience of scanning, designing, and milling—reducing impressions, models, waxing, and basically cleaning up the whole procedure—is impressive to patients who are expecting only conventional care."
Of course, profitability for the practice is another significant advantage. "With the majority of crown and bridge dentistry still being single-tooth posterior cases, it is rare to find an office where chairside CAD/CAM dentistry doesn’t work for them with an immediate ROI," Severance explains. "They just need to decide if they are ready to take control, differentiate their services and practice, make more money, and embrace all that is available today. Not a matter of if, but when."
However, Severance notes that clinicians may have a fear of change, even though chairside CAD/CAM has been around for 25 years. Those who had a negative first impression or experience may feel that they’ve been there, done that. "But this can leave practices behind when embracing technology that would improve care," he says. "Chairside CAD/CAM has evolved to be a viable solution for all-ceramic restorations in terms of form, function, and esthetics. Unfortunately, many still associate it with past experiences of more difficult and inconsistent results. If you haven’t taken a fresh look at a chairside CAD/CAM system in the past year, it’s like never having looked at all. There are two great systems that can scan, design, and mill restorations that will meet and exceed your dental needs and the patient’s expectations. There is no compromise to what these systems can provide in terms of form, fit, function, and productivity."
D4D Technologies’ expertise has been concentrated on making a very precise technology (laser scanning and micron-precise milling) intuitive and easy to use for the entire team. Whether it is an advancement in scanning—like E4D Smart Scan Technology™, which analyzes the scan before it is taken, eliminating any scans with insufficient or low-quality data—or the ease of use of simply clicking and dragging the mouse to make changes, the whole process is built for efficiency and simplicity. "We also focus on service, with E4D’s Support On Sight™ (SOS), which essentially provides expert virtual handholding and mouse holding during your early and ongoing use of our system," Severance explains. SOS allows customer service representatives (hardware and software experts, dental technicians, designers, and dental assistants) to remotely log into each system to assist in utilizing the system and its components.
The company has also designed a comprehensive Total Care Package™ that covers the key aspects of owning and operating an E4D system. Training at E4D University is a major component of this package, with both basic and advanced classes to assist all dental professionals in perfecting their techniques and gaining new skills. In addition, there are extensive printed reference materials and remote learning resources, such as online videos and interactive learning labs where customers can practice using the system from their own computers.
"In this type of technology no one can predict the routes that will be taken to a solution," Severance admits. "However, you can rest assured that more and more dentistry will become virtual and digital, from diagnosis through prosthetic care. Every level of care will become more predictable and efficient—and for the patient, more convenient. Access to care for dentists and for patients will be enhanced through continuous improvement and utilization of technology to make dentistry better, more cost effective, easier and more efficient for all parties. And I can guarantee that D4D Technologies will be at the heart of the digital revolution."