Happier patients thanks to digital technology – how is it possible?
Digital impressioning with an intraoral scanner is undoubtedly a faster and more comfortable process than conventional impression taking. However, this is only one of the many advantages for the patient. Read on to find out what your work with an intraoral scanner can actually mean for your patients.
Dental medicine has fully embraced the digital future. A growing number of processes is undergoing digital transformation. Currently, intraoral scanners are receiving a lot of attention. Many dental clinics are already using these devices because they are aware of their advantages. Reports about the clinical benefits of these scanners are published by the professional media on an almost regular basis. Furthermore, scientific studies impressively show what state-of-the-art oral scanners are capable of doing. However, over and above the opinions of professionals and scientists, those of patients must also be considered. Intraoral scanners are changing the dental experience for both clinicians AND patients.
Clinical dental procedures are evolving and becoming more flexible and plannable and above all more comfortable and comprehensible for the patient.
Digitalization is what you make of it: intraoral scanners
Digital transformation affects many different parts of the dental practice. Some of the changes are imperceptible to the patient, while others are very obvious because they affect the dental treatment: for example, digital impression-taking. Intraoral scanners have developed rapidly in recent years. Today’s scanners produce high precision results, they are easy to operate and they are light and compact. Modern intraoral scanners heighten patient comfort and they optimize the quality of diagnostic and treatment measures.
Intraoral scanners are more than “just” an alternative to conventional measures.
Patients benefit from the following features:
- Impressioning without a tray, so no gagging,
- Fewer treatment appointments save time,
- Clear picture of the situation,
- Simulation of the potential treatment result,
- Optimized diagnostic systems (e.g. orthodontics) and
- Targeted monitoring (recall appointments)
Intraoral scanners from the perspective of the patient
Patients are eager to obtain information about modern dental techniques. They consult social media networks, consumer media, dental websites and information platforms for this purpose. That is why not only young patients expect to find digital technologies being used by their dentist to make treatments more comfortable.
Comfort: In many cases conventional dental impressions can be replaced with digital scans.
→ Heightened comfort; no gagging, no unpleasant taste of the impressioning material
Communication: Presentation of the dental situation, clear diagnosis and consultation
→ Better understanding of the required treatment
Simulation: Visualization of the treatment result and possible tooth movement
(e.g. orthodontic treatment).
→ Clearer comprehension of the treatment measures and increased motivation
Efficiency: Fewer steps during a dental treatment, e.g. tooth replacement.
→ Time savings
Confidence: Less susceptibility to error compared with conventional impression-taking (immediate checking and adjustment of scans).
→ High level of accuracy and reliability
Documentation: Easy monitoring (e.g. periodontitis). At the annual recall appointment, a full-jaw scan is made and superimposed on the previous situation; changes are revealed (e.g. gum recession).
→ Timely recognition of clinically necessary measures
Data capture: Full-jaw scan for digital “freezing” of the actual dental situation
→ Targeted reconstruction of the original tooth shape, e.g. after trauma
One of the most salient benefits of intraoral scanners is that they improve the way in which the dentist communicates with the patient. The images provided by intraoral scanners allow the clinician to advise their patients more clearly. The virtual model shows the situation in the mouth. The result of potential treatment options can be displayed or hidden as required to show the treatment that is medically necessary together with additional potential treatments. The patient can then take their time to make a decision in the knowledge that they have all the important details.