Restorative Digital Dentistry, Part 1: The Journey to New Paradigms

We are living in a world where the pace of technological developments is ever more rapidly changing the way we live our lives. The manner in which we perform daily tasks and how we interact with the world around us are changing. These advancements have had far-reaching consequences on society in a similar way to how RDD is affecting the landscape of restorative dentistry. 

Dr Gary Kaye ConnectDental Integration Stories Mar 2016

Dr. Gary Kaye of Kaye Dentistry in Manhattan is an inspiring leader of dental integration. His practice is a power user of Dentrix practice management. Literally every function in the practice flows through it, which has led to explosive growth for his practice and a loyal following of patients, some who travel internationally to receive treatment.

CHALLENGES BEFORE INTEGRATION

Today, Dr. Kaye’s office is a gorgeous, ultra-modern practice that sits on renowned Madison Avenue in New York City. He counts some of the world’s most well known celebrities as his patients, and his practice, which includes associates Dr. Beatrice Deca, a specialist in complex
aesthetic and prosthetic cases, as well as Drs. Vincent Carrao, Eric Novison, Kristina Rodriguez Salaverry and Amnon Hanimov, has earned a reputation for expertise in the field of digital dentistry. But, Dr. Kaye began his career like many others, in a small office with dated equipment that he had purchased from a retiring dentist. He credits technology with the evolution of his practice.

STEPS THAT LED TO TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION

“The equipment in my first office was from the Stone Age,” joked Dr. Kaye, “and I was uncomfortable with it. The office was very antiquated and still used paper files and X-rays that were not digital.” He began to update the equipment, including the dental chairs. Five years later, Dr. Kaye moved to a larger space. Technology was not the driving force behind the move; he had outgrown the space and his lease was up. However, he now had square footage in which to expand into more cutting-edge equipment.

He purchased a CAD/CAM system and digital X-rays; however, because the two systems were not connected, there were definite inefficiencies. “Each piece of early technology was stand alone; it didn’t integrate with anything else,” remembered Dr. Kaye. “For example, if a computer went down, the patient data remained in there and was unavailable.” Because of the appeal and streamlined processes of the CAD/CAM and digital X-rays, his practice began to expand and he gained a reputation in the industry for same day restorations. He used that first CAD/CAM system for 12 years, but he admits it was often a struggle. When he heard about a new system launched by Planmeca (formerly E4D Technologies) in 2008, he went to Dallas with his Henry Schein representative for a demonstration and was impressed.
 

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What are the parameters that ensure success with digital dentistry?

Based on our own experiences, our training, and our consulting, we have identified a full set of key success and frustration factors, and have devised numerous techniques and adjustments that can help make the adoption of these technologies smoother, quicker, and less stressful. These are some of the things you need to achieve digital dentistry success.

How the use of digital technology is changing our patients' perceptions

Overall, I have no doubt that technology in all its forms can strengthen the fundamentals at the heart of the dentist/patient relationship. Most patients are comfortable with the growing role digital dentistry is playing in their care experience, but they are less accepting of the technology if it compromises their conversation time with their dentist and undermines the relationship fundamentals.

Does digital dentistry make you a better dentist?

Improvements in dental materials and techniques give rise to longer-lasting and better-functioning restorations. In line with the goal of producing long-term benefits to our patients, reducing overall caries gives rise to better patient outcomes and lower long-term costs, namely fewer restorations over time.

Integrating Technology into the Dental Practice

Integrating Technology into the Dental Practice

The world is going digital, and dentistry is no exception. As practices strive to stay up-to-date, digital technology can be incorporated into practices to enhance and simplify procedures, helping dentists to achieve the maximum return on investment in more ways than one. Newer technology allows dental offices to offer advanced, more streamlined services, accept more patients, and provide treatments with greater efficiency.

What Restorative Digital Dentistry Strategy Should I Embrace?

Restorative digital dentistry (RDD) can be a complicated thing at first glance. It can be frustrating, demanding, confusing, and even exhausting to master. But there is no doubt that it can also be extremely rewarding! It revolutionizes the patient's experience, office professionalism, and profits. It is a tool that can enhance the quality and scope of a practice significantly.

The Restorative Digital Dentistry Puzzle

The Restorative Digital Dentistry Puzzle

Various digital technologies have been available for several years, and the benefits they bring - streamlined workflow, same-day restorative abilities, and simplified procedures - are all well established. Many dental practices that integrate digital technologies are reaping rewards in all facets of their businesses, from increased productivity, professionalism, and profitability in the workplace, to happier teams, patients, and overall practice environments.

Integrating CAD/CAM

"My team was fully engaged in discussions about my vision. They responded enthusiastically, especially when they learned about many of [the E4D System’s] benefits."