SoproCARE Prophylaxis Camera: Improved Patient Communication Leads to So Much More
It is wonderful to watch the rapid evolution of technology within dentistry that enables dentists and their staff to be far more productive than ever and provide better care for their patients. The ideal technology should begin with improved patient communication, which then leads to many other clinical opportunities for both clinicians and patients.
The SoproCARE prophylaxis camera (ACTEON North America, Mount Laurel, NJ) is a perfect example of this type of technology; it improves patient communication by allowing patients to see the problem at hand so they can better understand the diagnosis, treatment options, and cost of care.
SoproCARE is the most recent innovation to SOPRO's dental imaging system and diagnosis tool that started with the SoproLIFE in 2010. Using autofluorescence and chromatic amplification to reveal caries, dental plaque, and tartar, SoproCARE is the only product on the market to reveal gingival inflammation in real time.
Improved Patient Communication
SoproCARE allows dentists, hygienists, or assistants to capture a thorough and rapid assessment of a patient's oral health by implementing 3 clinical modes:
1. PERIO Mode: Highlights dental plaque and gingival inflammation, even at the earliest stages (Figure 1). Clinicians see and show patients where the lack of proper dental hygiene is, which creates the need for more involved in-office periodontal therapy. The system can highlight and reinforce a patient's need for additional attention or tools to better manage the condition at home.
2. CARIO Mode: Helps detect enamo-dentinal caries easily (Figure 2), from stage 1 (code ICDAS II), so that minimally invasive dental care can be performed to maintain as much of the tooth as possible.
3. DAYLIGHT Mode: Macrovision makes imperceptible flaws visible and allows clinicians to watch the stability of microlesions and their evolution (Figure 3). This improved patient communication leads to all the ways SoproCARE can benefit a dental practice?increased case acceptance, early diagnosis, less invasive treatment options, increased office efficiency and production, and marketing opportunities.
Increased Case Acceptance
Patient engagement and involvement increases dramatically when patients can actually see and perceive what a dentist, hygienist, or staff member is trying to communicate. SoproCARE offers a unique benefit?the ability for virtually everyone in the practice to offer an improved level of service to patients. With SoproCARE, patients can now see the problem, understand the recommended treatment, recognize the time needed to resolve the issue, and acknowledge the financial impact of the treatment.
Patients can see the problem in the operatory as the clinician discovers it, then when they move to the treatment coordinator, the assistant can explain the areas of concern. By using visual aids, patients are again reminded of the problem and see the issue while it is being discussed.
As the treatment coordinator solidifies the financial aspects of care, there is no miscommunication regarding the necessary treatment and the fees incurred. In addition, the office can use the images to assist in possibly gaining better reimbursement rates from dental insurance carriers. The visual communication from the dentist to staff members can be seamless, improving the patient experience and increasing case acceptance.
Early Diagnosis and Minimally Invasive Treatment
A simple explorer is about 50% accurate in finding decay, and radiographs are not much better as they are approximately 68% accurate. SoproCARE provides both dentists and hygienists with enhanced diagnostic capabilities, allowing for early diagnosis and typically less invasive treatment, including remineralization therapies and earlier intervention with oral hygiene care.
With SoproCARE's early diagnosis capabilities, clinicians can offer more minimally invasive protocols to treat various dental conditions. If traditional treatment is deemed necessary, then patients can benefit from clinicians finding pathology when it is smaller.
In addition to the CARIO Mode, the PERIO Mode allows the hygienist and hygiene department to better demonstrate and educate patients on the health of their gum tissues and the accumulation of plaque and calculus on their teeth. The educational discussion of gum disease becomes more relevant and personal when patients can see firsthand the level of their oral health. Less invasive therapies are then possible with earlier diagnosis.
Increased Office Efficiency and Productivity
SoproCARE's 3 modes allow dentists and hygienists to quickly and accurately evaluate various surfaces of teeth, integrity/patency of restorations, and periodontal health. Capturing images using SoproCARE can be delegated to dental assistants or hygienists, accelerating the diagnosis process so dentists can be more productive. This streamlined examination process can help move the patient toward treatment acceptance more quickly.
With SoproCARE, dentists can delegate more procedures to staff members, improving efficiency that can be a huge advantage to the bottom line of the dental practice. Sopro-CARE's small, portable system can be cleaned easily and moved from operatory to operatory, allowing each clinician to implement it with virtually no down time.
In addition, the front office staff, armed with this technology, can refer to the images any time there is a discussion regarding treatment and recommendations for management.
SoproCARE can be implemented into a marketing campaign outside of the practice through various traditional media outlets as well as the practice's website and social media. Modern technology that offers sensory feedback to patients can become an instant marketing platform and referral system for a dental office.
Many patients seek a secondary consultation; a practice that offers services that others do not can be a great way to create new patient opportunities. Using marketing tactics, a practice can explain SoproCARE's features and benefits, which patients may not have seen in other practices.
A common patient concern is whether recommended treatment is truly necessary. Without visual aids at other dental practices, patients typically do not see the actual problem and are not sold on the treatment. When patients seek a dentist for a second opinion, they may be more receptive to a practice that has optimized its Internet presence with tools that can answer patients' questions. With an informative online presence, a practice has a better opportunity to acquire new patients.
The ability to offer patients a better understanding of their oral health condition through a visual presentation offers many benefits to patients, staff members, and dentists. Earlier diagnosis as a result of using SoproCARE leads to more noninvasive or minimally invasive options that might not be available because of finding the pathology later in the process. When patients visually perceive their problems, it allows for a quicker response to necessary care. Finally, a faster implementation process for staff members, while having the time to see more patients, can allow the entire dental office to be more productive.
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2. Tassery H, Levallois B, Terrer E, et al. Use of new minimum intervention dentistry technologies in caries management. Aust Dent J. 2013;58(suppl1):49-59.
3. Terrer E, Koubi S, Dionne A, et al. A new concept in restorative dentistry: light-induced fluorescence evaluator for diagnosis and treatment: Part 1: Diagnosis and treatment of initial occlusal caries. J Contemp Dent Pract. 2009;10(6):E086-94.