In dentistry, the gains in productivity, efficiency, and precision associated with moving from analog procedures and workflows to digital ones are readily apparent. Whether only one step in a process or the complete process itself is digitized, the benefits are abundant. However, there are some advantages to adopting digital dentistry workflows which, while more difficult to calculate an ROI, are just as important. Here are three often overlooked benefits of going digital.
1. The Fun:
Integrating digital processes in the dental practice and lab can be challenging. However, it can also be fun. The transition from analog to digital forces the practitioner to think about workflow and procedures in a different way. Such a change can be energizing and serve as a wakeup call from what can be a daily grind. And after the initial learning curve period is over, that’s when the real fun begins. The sheer act of adopting a digital step in the dental restorative workflow is a catalyst for the practice/lab. The energy of the move into digital dentistry starts a series of other positive, fun questions. What else can be improved? What more can be done better? Why did we wait so long to change?
2. The WOW:
At the heart of any business is client service. Dental practices and labs are no different. Digitizing even just one step of the traditional workflow can have a tremendous WOW factor for patients and dentist clients. Make no mistake; any transition from analog to digital should be celebrated with the practice or lab’s customer base. Host an open house, get the staff talking about it, include it in an email newsletter. Celebrate! The investment in digital technology is really an investment in providing better work, better care. It’s an investment in your clients. Let them know you’re on the forefront of your craft. Passion can be contagious.
3. The Teamwork:
Inherent in today’s digital dental technology is a real secret gem. Digital dentistry fosters a <higher level of communication and collaboration< for better patient care. It’s about more than reducing shipping & supply costs. With the advent of secure, compliant, cloud-based communication services for dentists, specialists, and labs, teamwork outside the walls of the dental practice has never been easier. Comment on photos, annotate digital X-Ray files, and view digital models from STL files in real time to collaborate on the best solutions for each individual patient. By moving from analog to digital, the dentist, specialist, and lab can all be on the same page for improved interdisciplinary care.
There is no argument that the effects on costs, efficiency, productivity, and precision are important considerations when adopting digital dentistry technologies and workflows. However the intangible benefits are just as important. Ultimately they have a large impact on the day-to-day work in the dental practice and lab. The fun, “WOW factor”, and increased teamwork enabled by digital dentistry are advantages not to be overlooked. They are truly priceless.