Dr. Weigl is back with the fourth article in this digitalization series. Last time we learned about the challenges and possibilities. Now, let us get some insights into the overall practical use of a digital implant workflow: how will it affect everyday scheduling, how can you become convinced of its effectiveness, including clinical outcomes and financial benefits, and what difference could it make for the patient experience?
Do you think implementing a digital implant workflow can make things easier for a clinician’s daily schedule?
I am absolutely sure that implementing a digital implant workflow in the daily routine of a restorative clinician makes things much easier for all the parties involved in the treatment and for the patient as well. However, those who have not started using it are not yet convinced about its advantages.
What can be done to convince practitioners?
It is really about just starting to use it. I recommend not to start with the big cases with full restorations and a lot of augmentations. Start with the easier, smaller cases that you do every day. Eighty percent of all implants are placed in a single tooth restoration, in a single tooth gap instead of a bridge. In these common cases, the digital implant workflow gives you a big advantage in the daily routine.
The great thing with a digital implant workflow is that you can work using a chairside or clinic-to-laboratory workflow. The decision is up to you. If you are interested in investing in milling or other equipment, then you can do as much of the treatment as possible with the chairside workflow. Likewise, if you’re looking for a higher turnover of patients, then a clinic-to-laboratory workflow might work better for you, as part of
the process is completed by the dental laboratory and/or Dentsply Sirona.
What difference could it make for the patient experience?
From the patient’s point of view, I think it would be great if we could explain that the whole treatment will be planned and executed on a virtual patient before we perform it in reality. This gives the patient confidence that everything is done to the highest standard and that he or she therefore benefits from enhanced reliability. Also, if a patient sees a digital implant workflow on a chairside system and sees that the machines, the computers and the software will create the abutment or the crown on the implant, the patient will feel more relaxed about the procedure. This conveys the message that you are on the cutting edge of technology, giving the patient added confidence in your competence and in your office. All this also significantly increases your chances of being recommended to the next potential patient.
Read all articles in the editorial series Digitalization with Dr Weigl: