July/August 2013, Volume 34, Issue 7
Published by AEGIS Communications
Carestream Dental: Innovative Imaging Solutions Benefiting Patients and Practices
Digital radiography is an ever-changing field. But as Denika Smallwood, Product Line Manager at Carestream Dental, makes clear, the litmus test for incorporating new technology is not merely constantly updating for its own sake, but rather, “Is the technology clinically useful?”
“Updating on a regular basis just because it’s the latest and greatest thing isn’t as critical as taking advantage of technology that provides a means of better patient care or generates revenue for the practice in some way,” she advises.
Carestream Dental’s wide range of digital radiography solutions, she asserts, passes this test with flying colors. The most obvious advantages for clinicians, according to Smallwood, are the elimination of time spent developing and mounting films. “With digital, that process is done instantly chairside. This means shorter appointment times and increased productivity, and ultimately equates to higher revenue generation for the practice,” she says.
The benefits of digital radiography, however, go far beyond the convenience of having instant access to the images, she points out. It also streamlines workflow for the practice. “Images can be sent to a referring doctor via e-mail, facilitating the referral process and reducing the time spent on scanning and copying films. Plus, insurance claims can be filed electronically, saving time for the front office staff,” she explains.
And, because digital images are stored in a central database, they can be accessed from any networked PC in the practice. “There is no need to pull paper files and films from a filing room. The images can be reviewed chairside with the patient on a computer screen, and the old film processing and filing spaces can be transformed into revenue-generating spaces,” she says.
Additionally, digital imaging software can be used to enhance and manipulate images to view them in ways not possible with film, leading to faster diagnoses. Also, Smallwood says, digital enhancement tools can be used to educate patients with features such as highlight tools, annotations, and case presentation applications. “This can help build the patient/practitioner relationship, which can translate to keeping a patient for life, more referrals, and increased case acceptance,” she says.
Making the switch from traditional to digital x-rays, Smallwood suggests, can tie directly to the bottom line revenue stream. “Faster workflow means increased productivity. Turning storage space into usable space means increased patient volume. Digital storage and electronic records mean less busy time and more productive time for staff,” she explains.
“Carestream Dental stands out from the pack in digital radiography by building innovative solutions on the foundations of diagnostic excellence, humanized technology, and workflow integration,” says Smallwood. She cites the examples of the utilization of RFID technology in the company’s phosphor plate systems, which facilitates workflow and reduces human errors, and Carestream Dental’s wireless sensors, which automatically connect to the WI-FI network, thus maximizing portability between operatories.
There are multiple ways for customers to access support for Carestream Dental products, including e-mail directly from the company’s website as well as remote support, which enables technicians to see exactly what the customer is experiencing. For localized onsite support and service calls, she says, Carestream Dental partners with more than 600 national service providers, all of whom are trained and certified at the company’s Atlanta, Georgia, headquarters.
Digital radiography will continue to replace film in US dental offices, Smallwood states, but she notes that other trends and innovations in technology will also impact the future of dentistry. “Smart phones and iPads are exploding on the consumer market, and these devices are becoming integrated into the dental office. With tablet PCs quickly emerging, we will soon see these becoming more popular in the dental space,” she predicts, adding that Carestream Dental is poised to support and grow with these trends. “The technology world is evolving and growing at record pace these days. For Carestream Dental, there’s never been a more exciting time to be a dental technology solutions company.”
Carestream Dental, LLC
1765 The Exchange
Atlanta, GA 30339