Digitizing High-End Dentistry

high-end digital dentistry
high-end digital dentistry

The future of dentistry is digital, and that much can be observed from the gradual but cumulative and palpable shifts of the industry in recent years. That being said, there are still some misgivings from those who still are unaware of the benefits that digitization can bring to their practice.  

It takes a considerable investment of time, manpower, and resources to begin the process of digital transformation, but the payoff is well worth the trouble as shown by most successful dentists today.  

In this episode of Evident’s Digital Dentist Series, we were joined by our guest Dr. Devin McClintock to discuss the journey of digitizing high-end dentistry. Dr. McClintock is a Kois Doctor, AACD Residency Graduate, and advocate of digital dentistry, and throughout the webinar (with 38% of the audience stating that they still haven’t begun digitizing their practice), she shared valuable insights that she learned throughout her years in the industry. 

Defining High-End Dentistry 

For all her qualifications and experience in dentistry, Dr. Devin provides the audience with a clear and simple definition of high-end dentistry. Although it may seem a lofty goal, especially for smaller practices, she affirms that high-end dentistry helps your practice grow.  

She tells the audience, “High-end dentistry means providing the highest form of service you can provide to your patients. It’s a sliding scale, and the more you learn, the more you can treat your patients. Education is always at the forefront.”  

That is to say, that dentists who have continued to hone their expertise will be able to provide the best service for their patients, no matter how straightforward or intricate their case might be. Dr. Devin’s caliber of high-end dentistry is attributed to her learning experiences outside of dental school, which enables her to discern the most suitable strategy for each treatment.  

With this foundation, she possesses the necessary knowledge to approach even the most complex treatments with confidence.  

Throughout the webinar, she also mentions the integral influence her mentors and more established dentists had on her progress, especially Dr. Adamo Notarantonio and Dr. John Kois. The former has instilled in her the crucial role that photography plays in digital dentistry, even passing down one of his cameras, and Dr. Devin states it is still a valuable tool in her arsenal today.  

Photography in Digital Dentistry 

As a general and cosmetic dentist, Dr. Devin has held on to the belief that good quality photographs are essential for growth in cosmetic dentistry.   

She says that you can learn a lot from a photo, and it’s often easier to determine what’s wrong with a case in a photo than in-person. A good photo can reveal details that may be missed during an exam and provide valuable insight into how to improve a patient’s smile.  

She shared how evaluating photos helps dentists develop their eye, and how it helps them identify areas they need to improve on. By documenting everything, you can go back and see how far you’ve come, evaluate progress, and acknowledge the progress you’ve made. 

Apart from being instrumental in tracking progress, Dr. Devin also states how much dental photography can streamline communications for dentists. She shared that it has very quickly become one of her most critical tools when it comes to patient communications because sometimes dentistry jargon can be overwhelming and difficult to understand.  

Having visual materials like scans and dental photos allows dentists to approach patients with data they can easily understand. Dr. Devin, quoting Dr. Kois told the audience that it was much more effective to “let the data be the hitman, let you be the healer.”  

By being able to illustrate what the patient needs in a simple visual way, dentists can greatly improve their patient education and treatment acceptance rates.  

Dental photography is also incredibly helpful when it comes to lab communications because it helps establish what your objective or desired outcome is, and concretely indicates what you need per treatment.  

According to Dr. Devin, through photos of the patient’s case “labs have a lot more guidance and it actually reduces what communication you need to have.” This level of documentation and relaying information is crucial in the ecosystem of digital dentistry, where much of its efficiency relies on clear communication.  

The Ecosystem of Digital Dentistry 

Dr. Devin is a firm believer in the power of digital technology to improve patient outcomes. She has integrated digital scanners, CAD/CAM technology, and 3D printers into her practice, allowing her to provide more accurate and efficient treatment.  

She notes that digital technology can save time, reduce errors, and improve patient experience. In addition to that, the efficiency provided by digitization empowers dental professionals at all levels to streamline their processes and collaborate seamlessly with one another.  

In the webinar, she tells audiences about a recent case that falls on the more complex side of the scale. Thanks to the digital dentistry workflow, Dr. McClintock was able to swiftly provide solutions for a particular patient who required multiple dental implants to be manufactured and installed in their mouth.  

She sent the scan for the case to a design service and received the file for 3D printing in her office the next day. Later on, she also reached out to Evident to develop a digital wax up for the case, allowing her to effectively communicate to her patient what was needed for the treatment.  

At multiple touchpoints, and in so many treatments she has performed, digital was the way to go as it allowed her quality and efficiency at the pace she needed to go.  

This ecosystem of digital dentistry is something that Dr. Devin highly recommends integrating, not just when working with partners but also internally for any practice.  

This is where the need for properly training staff comes in, and her brand of leadership encourages dentists to lead by example, saying “I can’t expect my assistant to learn how to scan patients if I’m not willing to scan patients. Even if I never scan a patient again, I need to have that knowledge base as well.”  

High-End Dentistry is Going Digital

With the learning curve that comes with digitization, as well as the invaluable benefits that follow suit, Dr. Devin highly encourages practices to invest their time, effort and resources in building up to it, however gradually.  

Digital dentistry is not just about using scanners and software, it’s about integrating it into your practice and workflows. Inevitably, any practice would need to digitize to keep up with the shifting demands and constantly innovating landscape. But Dr. Devin and so many others like her have proven that it is a possible endeavor.  

The road to digital transformation might seem daunting, but having the right network and reliable partners is something that will ultimately help you along the way. Evident Digital’s commitment to the future of dentistry enables practices of any size to begin their digitization journey, even providing the necessary training to any staff as discussed with Dr. Devin in the webinar.  

With continued support and solutions like patient data storage, design services, and dental equipment, Evident is built to help dentists build towards successful digitization. Learn more about how Evident Digital can empower your practice today.