In Tough Economic Climate, Different Is Good

Author : Dental Product Shopper
Published Date 06/03/2011
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ST. LOUIS, Mo.?In this economic climate, it is important to offer procedures that separate your practice from the dentist down the street, according to a speaker at the Updates in Contemporary Dentistry Meeting, held here recently.

ST. LOUIS, Mo.?In this economic climate, it is important to offer procedures that separate your practice from the dentist down the street, according to a speaker at the Updates in Contemporary Dentistry Meeting, held here recently.

Ron Kaminer, DDS, challenged the dentists in attendance to try new things to improve the way they practice dentistry, including trying new techniques in minimally invasive treatment. He said innovations in diagnostics and therapeutics have enabled his practice to attract new patients, even in a tough economic climate.


Next Generation Diagnostics

As an example, Dr. Kaminer cited the Suni3D unit, which he said is the ?next generation? in diagnostics. ?When you have cone beam technology in your office, it shows that you are investing in your patients, and it separates you,? Dr. Kaminer said. ?I purchased a Suni3D because the image quality was phenomenal.? Addressing recent reports about the amount of radiation generated by these types of units, he noted that although a cone beam should not be used on every patient, they do help him make good diagnostic judgments about patients for whom he is considering implants.


GI Advantages

Changing gears from diagnosis to treatment, Dr. Kaminer mentioned the desirable properties of glass ionomer cements like those in GC America?s Fuji IX and SDI?s Riva, making them useful materials in the restoration of carious lesions in low-stress areas. These products offer unique advantages over flowables and straight composites because they are antibacterial in nature, they chemically bond to enamel and dentin, and they release fluoride. Additionally, these cements minimize microleakage in both the occlusal and proximal surfaces.

When treating children, Dr. Kaminer said he prefers to use a glass ionomer because of the fluoride release and the fact that these products typically are not as moisture sensitive as composites.


Patients Still Whitening

Another offering that can set practices apart is whitening. Dr. Kaminer cited data that showed one of the top cosmetic items that people are getting, even in this tough economy, are whitening procedures.  He said many patients having their teeth whitened and requesting relatively inexpensive cosmetic procedures to impress potential new employers.

?Even in this economy, people will do what they can to look better, as long as it doesn?t hurt,? Dr. Kaminer said. He discussed SDI?s Pola line of products, which he noted is a 38% hydrogen peroxide tooth whitening product. ?Just go ahead and put the Pola Office Chairside gel on the teeth, leave it on for several minutes, suction it off, and they will see a difference,? Dr. Kaminer said. With Pola, whiter teeth are achieved in about 30 minutes, including preparation, efficiently providing results without excessive time wasted at chairside. 


Caries Considerations

Dr. Kaminer stressed the importance of early caries detection, and defined minimally invasive treatment as performing the least amount of treatment to accomplish the task while conserving the most amount of dental anatomic structures.

?Anything acidic contributes to caries,? he said, noting that even some commonly used mouthwashes contain acids. ?You have to realize these products are millions of dollars a year business, and acidity means a better shelf life.?

He stressed the importance of using saliva as a diagnostic tool, and said that there are several caviation systems on the market to help with detection and diagnosis.


Taking A Team Approach

Dr. Kaminer also stressed involving dental hygienists and patients in preventing caries. For hygienists, he highlighted the importance of testing saliva, counseling about altering diets and saliva when necessary, emphasizing normal brushing including a rinse, and administering GC America?s MI Paste once a day after brushing when needed. He noted that MI Paste is available with and without fluoride. This is important to note, he said, because of some parental concerns about children swallowing fluoride. He recommends the paste for adults and children with cavitations and positive caries tests, children undergoing orthodontics, people with sensitive teeth, and for people taking medication that may alter the quantity and quality of saliva.

Dr. Kaminer summed up his presentation by urging the dentists in attendance to invest in technology to grow their practices. He said even in this tough economic climate, good patient relations, coupled with an array of offerings, can set your practice apart. - Colleen Platt