As a dentist with 37 years of experience, I have always sought ways to improve my practice and provide the best care for my patients. Recently, I made a significant change that has revolutionized the way I approach dentistry. In this article, I will share my personal journey of transitioning from traditional impressions to digital impressions using an intra-oral scanner (IOS). Discover the motivations behind this decision, the initial concerns I had, and the incredible benefits my team and I have experienced firsthand.
Motivations and Initial Concerns:
Being exposed to articles discussing technological advancements in dentistry, I became increasingly curious about the potential benefits of digital impressions. The improved crown production and user-friendly interfaces presented an exciting opportunity. However, after three decades as a dentist, I had reservations about the learning curve involved in adopting this new technology. To ease my concerns, I drew inspiration from my father, a mechanical engineer, who successfully embraced a similar transition in his career.
Choosing the Perfect Intra-Oral Scanner:
Embarking on the journey towards digital impressions, I sought guidance from my dental sales representative. They connected me with various manufacturing representatives, allowing me to gather information and witness live demonstrations. Although the prices of the scanners fell within my desired range, I relied heavily on the insights of my trusted dental sales representative. Their recommendations, based on the scanner company’s reputation and feedback from other dentists, guided my decision-making process.
Addressing Concerns and Team Integration:
My primary concern about digital impressions revolved around the learning curve and the potential impact it might have on our team. Thankfully, I am fortunate to have an incredible team that is open to change and eager to embrace new technologies. They quickly recognized the advantages offered by digital impressions, enabling a smooth transition for the entire team.
Since fully transitioning to digital impressions, I have been amazed by the unexpected benefits that have transformed my practice. First and foremost, my patients have expressed their gratitude for the elimination of uncomfortable traditional impressions, often described as a “mouth full of goo.” The switch to digital impressions has made their experience significantly more comfortable and pleasant, resulting in higher patient satisfaction.
Additionally, implementing digital impressions has improved our laboratory workflow’s efficiency. The turnaround time for crown production has drastically reduced, allowing for faster completion and delivery. Moreover, the accuracy of digital impressions has minimized the need for crown adjustments during the final delivery, simplifying the treatment process for both me and my patients.
Fortunately, the lab I have worked with for years, WhiteRock Dental Lab, has also made the investment and commitment to digital workflow, so cases are now input into their “WhiteRock Connect” platform, allowing my team to track cases, monitor progress, and communicate more efficiently. Their Digital Specialist is also available to help if we have any hiccups or need to train a new team member.
The Life-Altering Impact:
Reflecting on the impact of digital impressions on my professional life, I cannot overstate the positive changes it has brought, particularly in our delivery appointments. The process has become incredibly simple and quick, much to the delight of our patients. Providing efficient and seamless services has become a source of immense satisfaction for me personally, and I am thrilled to witness the positive impact on my patients’ experience.
My journey from traditional impressions to digital impressions using an intra-oral scanner has been nothing short of transformative. By embracing change and overcoming initial concerns, I have witnessed firsthand the remarkable benefits this technology brings to my dental practice. Improved patient experiences, faster crown production, and streamlined delivery appointments have become a reality.
I hope my story serves as an inspiration to my fellow dentist-owners who are seeking ways to enhance their practices through the integration of digital solutions.