Modern dental technology gives you the tools to perform modern dental care.
The dental industry is constantly evolving and improving thanks to advances in dental equipment and technology. This constant change not only improves the quality of patient care, but assists dental providers to be more productive throughout treatment. Dentists who practice orthodontics are no exception in needing advanced dental technology; in fact, it is a necessity to provide the highest level of care. Advanced dental technology is a major component and pillar of orthodontics because it allows for safer and more accurate diagnosis and treatment.
If you are a general dentist practicing orthodontics, here are some tips for implementing professional orthodontics using high-end technology.
1. Practice Management Software
All dentists need a reliable practice management software because it offers both clinical and administrative tools to efficiently run a dental practice. Practice management software creates a well-run office and allows dentists to perform several tasks including:
- Reviewing medical history.
- Recording and detailing treatment plans.
- Generating and integrating images.
- Reviewing treatment progress.
- Checking financial information.
- Sharing patient information with referral sources.
General dentists who practice orthodontics can opt for cloud-based software so that they can access information from anywhere, which increases productivity and efficiency.
2. Digital Dental X-Ray Machine
Every dental practice that offers orthodontics needs digital X-ray technology. Digital X-rays are the best option for patients because it limits radiation exposure and provides clear and diagnostic radiography compared to older film technology.
Orthodontic providers use digital X-rays to help diagnose and manage patients’ care to ensure adequate bone levels, root tip development, and the overall health of teeth so that optimal results are achieved. Digital X-rays include intraoral radiographs like periapicals, occlusals, and bitewings. They can be shared with other dental specialists if you need to collaborate on multi-specialty cases, and are also good tools when pointing out diagnostic concerns to patients.
3. Orthodontic Treatment Planning Software
Software that has orthodontic features, like imaging and treatment progress, is recommended because it is professional and makes it easier for the dentist to communicate treatment, if needed, with other providers and the patient. Management software like Dolphin or Open Dental Software-Orthodontics is customizable to your dental practice and needs.
Orthodontic treatment planning software helps the dentist discuss the diagnosis and care with the patient. It is certainly a useful tool for providers to increase their case acceptance percentage and improve production.
4. 3D CT Scanner
In order for orthodontics to be successful, a patient needs to have a clear medical history and no contraindications for treatment. It is disappointing to begin orthodontics only to realize mid-way through treatment there is an issue that could have been prevented.
A 3D CT scanner is a necessary tool for dentists practicing orthodontics because it allows a provider to visualize all the important anatomy that cannot be detected on a traditional X-ray. A 3D scanner is now the standard of care to provide orthodontic treatment because it detects irregularities like cysts, bone loss, or cancer. Performing orthodontics with severe bone loss will only result in sub-optimal, sometimes even devastating, results.
This is why an orthodontic course for a general dentist is important prior to treating patients. A course like The Basic Straight Wire Course with Williams GP Orthodontic Seminars offers long-term clinical and didactic education as well as ongoing support during patient care.
5. 3D Printing
3D printing is the future of dentistry and orthodontics. Instead of relying on laboratories for models and appliances, dental practices now utilize advanced technology to scan and print digital models and even appliances like clear, plastic retainers. This technology affects orthodontics in a positive manner because it eliminates unnecessary visits, reduces the cost burden to both the provider and patient, and is a more accurate tool for diagnosing and managing cases.
In the future, digital printers will help dentists monitor tooth movement and create appliances quickly and efficiently. If a patient breaks or loses an appliance, you eliminate the longer wait time and lab fee because you can fabricate a new appliance in your own office.
Prior to incorporating orthodontics into your practice, you need to be educated and prepared. Orthodontic certificate courses are a great start in learning to diagnose, treat, and manage mild to moderate malocclusion cases.
Once you feel ready to apply your skills clinically, your office needs to be prepared with the highest level of technology. Technology like orthodontic software and digital X-rays are not a luxury, they are a necessity to provide the standard of care and quality dental treatment to your patients.