As I’m meeting with my dentists recently, we are discussing about improvements for their dental practice.  My dentists are acknowledging that their old ways of running their practice is no longer working.  Dentists are looking to improve their practice so they can meet their patient’s expectations and run an efficient office.  Patients are more informed and research about their procedures before they even walk into the dentist office.  Patients use technology as a measuring stick for quality of service.  Patients believe that if a dentist office utilizes technology, the dentist cares about accuracy, efficiency, and communication.  Some of my dentists told me that they lose patients because they don’t have the latest technology even though they have been practicing dentistry for decades.  Now is the time to improve your practice if you want to stay in the game.  I’ve done some research and came up with the following trends for 2015.

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Intelligent devices. Expect more “Internet smart” dental equipment that periodically updates itself. Examples of these are SciCan Statim G4, iOptima and Bien-Air iChiroPro which are run by apps.

Cloud-based practice management software. If you’re tired of doing time-consuming system upgrades and backups and you want to cut back on the cost of hiring someone to do it, then it’s time to use the Cloud. Many dental offices may shift from traditional management software to cloud-based software, which constantly updates itself, to keep and secure their patients’ data and information. The Cloud also allows you to access your data anytime and anywhere as long as you are connected to the internet.

CAD/CAM dentistry. As everything else seems to be going digital, the dental world is not logging behind either. Quite the opposite of what many dentists and dental labs think, CAD/CAM technology does not and will never replace the skills of dentists and dental laboratory technicians. Their skills are still required in ensuring the accuracy of taking the patient’s digital impression and creating restorations. What the CAD/CAM technology does is to improve turnaround time, increase accuracy, and give better long-term restoration results.

3D virtual treatment planning. Expect to hear more about 3D integration in completely visualizing guided implant surgery as many dental offices are already using treatment planning software. Many dental practitioners are waiting for the evolution of 3D integration that would allow designing and creating the restoration virtually.

Magnification. With the current development of magnification in dentistry like the use built-in LED lighting systems in surgical telescopes and Orascoptic Eye Zoom, we can expect best magnification systems in the near future.

Security and backups. If you want to avoid major break-ins and data theft, then it’s time to hire an IT professional with dental experience. You must also make sure that you have antivirus software and a firewall. A good backup system is a must for you to continually monitor your systems. Make sure you have an offsite and onsite backup in one system, like DDS Rescue.

Electronic dental record. Say goodbye to tiring and time-consuming paperwork and embrace electronic dental record system which provides quick to access, accurate, updated and comprehensive patient information at the point of dental care. It reduces dental errors, enhances privacy and security of patient information and enables quicker and safer prescribing. Storing your patient’s dental records electronically can help you provide better and safer dental care to patients while enjoying the ability to exchange health information electronically with other health care providers.

3D printers. With the advancement in dental restorations technology, having a 3D printing system for dental restorations is not far from reality. These trends should be shaping your strategy in dental practice and in the conduct of your business to enjoy a promising career this 2015.

Ray Alde

Chief Smile Executive Officer