Q&A: Streamlining the Restorative Workflow
WITH JOHN COX, VP TECHNOLOGY SALES, HENRY SCHEIN DENTAL
Coming off this year's IDS meeting, are there any new game-changing restorative products or technologies?
I think at every IDS, we see a tremendous number of product enhancements where technology is becoming faster, easier to use, and easier to implement and adopt—and with most technologies, the cost of acquisition continues to come down as more options become available for clinicians. We continued to see development in guided implant placement, digital impression scanning technology with added functionality, and orthodontic solutions around clear aligners, and Henry Schein recently introduced our own line—Reveal Clear Aligners. Also, 3D printing was certainly a featured technology at IDS, with a new player in seemingly every aisle.
What is important to today's dentist when it comes to the restorative workflow?
At Henry Schein, one of the things we focus on is helping dentists understand how shifting to an integrated digital workflow can contribute to an enhanced patient experience and improved overall restorative outcome. This entire process helps to engage patients at a higher level, where they become part of what we would refer to as a "self-diagnosis," thereby increasing treatment acceptance. And when we refer to an integrated workflow, this starts with the patient record and incorporates any digital image or file that can be used to: 1) educate the patient, 2) communicate the plan to all stakeholders (specialists, labs), and 3) facilitate and, in some cases, automate effective billing procedures so the practice optimizes its cash flow. This integrated process is enabled via our unique Smart Image technology found within Dentrix.
What do you feel is next in the evolution of restorative dentistry?
We are extremely optimistic that 3D printing will continue to evolve and bring new materials and a simplified workflow to the practice. Digital impression scanners will become smarter and capture more diagnostic information and be multifunctional—and will likely be found at every dental chair in the future. These capture devices will power big data to provide more automated solutions to reduce patient chair time and improve efficiency. These types of automated workflows will continue to emerge as technology and materials advance.
Henry Schein believes the future of dentistry is very digital, very bright, and very exciting, fasten your seat belts… this evolution is just getting started.