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Maximizing Your Technology Investment

by Alicia Murria

Why Integrate Technology?

Technology integration is an integral part of every high-level dental practice.  When used properly, digital scanners, intra-oral cameras, AI diagnostics and others have the potential to dramatically improve workflow efficiencies and diagnostic accuracy. They can also support documentation and permanent records.

These technologies can improve patient education, promote patient communication, and can be used as a diagnostic aid. In addition, digital technologies can build your patients trust and as a result, improve case acceptance.

When high-level technology is implemented in the hygiene department, the quality of the recare and new patient appointments is increased. With technology integration, the hygiene/doctor handoff is more productive, the patient benefits with visual aids, and the doctor can easily identify treatment opportunities with digital assessments to support his/her diagnosis and treatment plan.

Train Your Team

Confidence is key. Without basic skills, many team members will run away from the idea of implementing new technology into their workflow. Virtual training options may offer verbal skills and a basic understanding of the technology. However, there is an added benefit to having an in-person training workshop that is separate from your regular workday. Training workshops offer skills improvement through hands-on experiences and real-time feedback. The in-person clinical interaction with an experienced trainer also improves skills for relationship building, and ultimately builds more confidence in each team member because they are able to ask questions and utilize the technology with the assistance of the trainer/coach.

Improve Communication Skills

Learning how to use technology is one thing, results interpretation is another. Once your team has the fundamentals in place, they are now ready to deep dive into interpretation of the captured data. Does your team know what to look for? Do they know how to present their findings in the present that can improve case acceptance? Are you leveraging technology for calibration and more productive treatment conversations? If you are not, communication may be a factor.

Empower Your Hygienists

With clinical confidence and effective communication skills, your hygiene team may now feel empowered to integrate digital technologies into their workflow. Sharing your treatment philosophies on clear aligners, implant maintenance, and occlusion may empower the hygienist to be assertive in the restorative co-diagnosis. Allowing time and encouraging teamwork supports technology integration which may ultimately yield happy patients, clinicians, and larger profits.

How to get started

Decide on the technologies that will make the biggest impact for your practice. Create a practice plan that starts with how you’re using the technology you currently have and how you can maximize utilization. Next, plan for new investments. The world of dental technology is growing at a rapid pace. Here are just a few that we’ve seen make an impact in our client practices:

  • Digital scanners
  • Intra-oral cameras
  • Ultrasonic scalers
  • Voice activated charting
  • Digital anesthesia delivery
  • AI radiographic diagnostic aids
  • Patient communication software
  • Call tracking software

Inspired Hygiene can help guide your technology strategy and planning with a hands-on technology workshop led by Alicia and the coaching team.  Get started today!  

Alicia Murria

Alicia Murria, RDH, MS is an inflammation prevention specialist, quality care enthusiast, and one of RDH Magazine’s top influencers of 2022! She is passionate about quality care and is a key opinion leader for dental hygiene education, public health, integrating technology and implementing clinical practice guidelines. Alicia has developed continuing education courses that empower dental professionals to get the most from their careers, practice with integrity, and utilize the dental hygiene scope of practice as a template for high-quality dental care. In addition to actively practicing as a traveling dental hygienist, she travels the world serving private practices as a technology implementation strategist. Alicia's research and studies have been grounded in emotional intelligence, communication strategies, and implementing digital scanning technology within the hygiene department.

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