Building the Patient-Centric Dental Practice
Scheduling dental procedures has never been a pleasant task and patients who fly in and out of Los Angeles on business trips have faced extra complications in completing their treatments. Digital dentistry has made the patient’s life easier since procedures can be completed in the same day. There are patients who fly internationally to see a specific cosmetic dentist in Beverly Hills and they can easily mark their visit on the calendar.
Dr. Sam Saleh, owner of Ora Dentistry Spa on Rodeo Drive, has been an early adopter of new technology and promotes the benefits. “I can deliver a crown or even a full set of veneers and crowns within one day and there’s no way I could have done that before.”
The result is a restoration that fits perfectly in much less time than traditional methods. Dr. Saleh studied dentistry in London’s King’s College and the convenience factor coupled with his skills has earned him a strong following.
A laptop displaying 3D images is used as often at Ora Dentistry Spa as picks and floss. The CAD/CAM process is made up of three phases: scanning, designing, and milling. Scanning changes the shape of the prepared teeth into three-dimensional units of information. The computer software translates that info into a 3D map.
Dr. Saleh designs a restored shape and tracks his work on a monitor. This generates a tool path that the milling device uses to create a shape from restored material.
Technology is convenient, but the dentist is still the decision-maker. Dr. Saleh that technology enhances the skills that a dentist should already have. “Dentistry is technique sensitive,” he says, “and work that’s done well can last for up to 40 years.”
When the cost is amortized over a few decades cosmetic dentistry procedures become affordable. The use of ceramic and porcelain implants can literally last decades, says Dr. Saleh. “There are no set timelines like there are for other cosmetic procedures like silicon implants.”
Despite the accuracy and convenience of digital dentistry many offices have not fully embraced the trend. A February 2016 article accessible through Medscape.com noted that “a minority of dental practices in the United States and elsewhere have converted to digital radiology or other digital systems.”
Expect more dental offices in the future to implement digital dentistry. As the American College of Prosthodontists notes, “Patients treated with digital solutions benefit from the combination of efficient processes, accurate high-strength materials, and beautiful esthetics.” For some dental offices, the future is already here.