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Technology in two minutes: How a 3D navigation system can set your implantology practice apart

March 22, 2022
Like any business, dentistry can be a very competitive arena. With prospective patients comparing facilities, staff, and prices, investing in the latest and greatest technology is a great way to set your practice apart. Dr. Salierno has more.
Chris Salierno, DDS, Chief Dental Officer, Tend

“Hey, Doc, there’s a guy down the street who charges half.”

Do you hear that? That’s the sound of dental services becoming commoditized. Despite our experience, skill, and ability to deliver an elevated experience, a patient can still treat the services we provide like they’re shopping for a new car. The two major effects of this way of thinking are that we must further distinguish our services, and we must contend with a downward pressure on our fees.

Dental implantology is not immune to commoditization, despite being one of the most sophisticated and clinically challenging procedures we perform. We can lament the changing public perception of our services . . . or we can rise to the occasion.

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If you’re serious about placing implants in your practice, one way to distinguish yourself is to invest in a 3D navigation system, such as the X-Guide workflow with DTX Studio. Traditional guided surgery relies on the production of a static, physical template with holes. There’s a need for additional time and materials to fabricate the guide, and the clinician cannot deviate from the plan. A 3D navigation system directs the clinician based on the position of the patient and the surgical handpiece with a 360-degree, real-time view of the field during osteotomy and implant insertion.

This workflow also offers the ability to begin cases more quickly, even same-day. Traditional guided surgery required time to fabricate the physical template. When your surgery is being guided live with cameras rather than a piece of acrylic, you can move from diagnosis to treatment planning to execution in minutes. Capture your cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) and intraoral scan, push to X-Guide, and plan.

If the clinician discovers a need to deviate from the planned surgical position, they can update the software and carry on. In these instances, a physical template would have to be discarded and the surgery would proceed freehand. For this reason, a 3D navigation system enhances clinician accuracy and predictability, whether you are an experienced surgeon or still building confidence. Better clinical outcomes, both surgically and restoratively, are significant additions to your unique selling proposition.

Bringing advanced technology like a 3D navigation system into your practice will set your services apart from your colleagues. It represents an evolutionary step forward, similar to how digital impressions and digital radiographs radically transformed our capabilities. It marks a demonstrable departure from traditional workflows that have unfortunately become commoditized, and it is gaining traction quickly with X-Guide citing over 150,000 implants placed globally with its product. Fortunately for your practice, there is an opportunity to stay ahead of the curve. If you want to see the future available to you now, I’d like to connect you with experts in the 3D navigation space who educated Dr. Shuman and me. Reach out to Dr. Pascal Kunz at [email protected] to see this in action. 

Editor's note: Technology in two minutes is a new, monthly column that showcases technologies you should consider incorporating into your practice. This installment appeared in the March 2022 print edition of Dental Economics magazine. Dentists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here. 

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