By Neal Patel, DDS
As new technology continues to flood the dental industry, it's easy to get swept away and find yourself buying products that don't provide real value to your practice – either clinically or on the business side. My challenge to you is to implement a new dental technology every six months that really impacts the patient experience. If you're up for the challenge, I'd like you to consider a product that is sure to create a buzz in your office and with your patients: The iChiropro from Bien-Air.
The iChiropro is an implant surgery device that is both a technological leap forward and clinical masterpiece. It also leaves a lasting impression with the patient. I recently integrated it into my practice and it continues to generate excitement among my staff and patients. Why, you ask? The iChiropro has something the general public knows and loves: an Apple iPad!
The iChiropro allows you to run your implantology and surgical systems using the iPad interface. It doesn't look like a strange piece of medical equipment at all. Trust me, patients will ask about it as soon as they see it on your countertop. They will usually go out of their way to ask, "Do we get to use this for my procedure today?"
Aside from patients' intrigue with iChiropro's iPad interface, your staff will fight over who gets to work with the unit. You may end up getting a couple once your staff gets ahold of it!
Surgical specialists, you should not hesitate to invest in this unit. You truly will appreciate the thought and engineering that Bien-Air put into it. It's practical, ergonomic, and extremely easy to use. (Just ask my seven-year-old daughter. She can give you a lesson!)
For the general practitioner, you may not be interested in placing your implants. But the iChiropro may change all that. It honestly is the best surgical motor system I have had the opportunity to work with.
Although Bien-Air did not make the iChiropro for this purpose, it is the only electronic torque control unit on the market. You can use the surgical handpiece with an appropriate implant driver and use it for restorative work, all while having complete control over the torque settings.
Before I get more into what I love about the iChiropro, let's talk a minute about implant dentistry.
I am often asked by clinicians, "Where do I learn how to place implants?" My answer is this: There are so many outstanding, comprehensive courses, but sometimes it is best to gain experience and comfort with your own patients. Now, I am not saying you should start drilling into your patients without education! What I mean is that you can take small, progressive steps to increasing your comfort level. Start with minor surgery, which will lead to better preparation when you consider placing dental implants.
Let me explain this a little further. Many of us already extract teeth. Well, this is the first step! Instead of just a simple extraction, practice and improve your skills by offering to your patients closure of the site with sutures. Then you can eventually progress to placing a collagen plug with sutures. Next, graduate to placing a particulate graft and membrane as a socket reconstruction procedure.
Monitor your progress, improve your technique, and get comfortable doing simple surgeries. Do it for free if it makes you feel better! Practice is the best hands-on course you can take, and your patients will appreciate the extra effort.
Through all this, you are simply planting the seed for the future implant. Once you feel comfortable, use your iChiropro for surgical extractions. Again, do this in baby steps. You will know when you are ready to place implants safely and have the proper education and training.
I am sure the specialists are not going to like me saying this, but honestly, you need to support general dentists who are interested in placing implants. You can educate them, help them understand what cases they should feel comfortable in placing, and train them as to which cases are complex and must be referred. Your referring dentists will be more educated, develop treatment plans for more implants, and become stronger referrals because of their newfound passion for the procedure. Trust me!
This is going to hurt, but you have to realize that a progressive practice in 2014 is no longer "crown and bridge," but "crown and implant." Embrace it, and you will be rewarded!
Okay, back to the iChiropro. First, let's talk clinical use.
The iChiropro by Bien-Air is the only surgical motor with an iPad control system offering preprogrammed operating sequences for major implant brands. Literally, you can select "Nobel Active," and it will automatically understand the appropriate drill sequence and settings. You can easily adjust presets and tweak them to your liking.
The iChiropro offers the perfect working balance between the iPad and the MX-i LED micromotor. The electronics are exceptional. It is easily the most powerful motor that I own. The built-in dual LED lighting (with exceptionally long service life) is great for visibility. When I use it, I control the brightness through the iPad interface.
The handpiece is sleek and ergonomic, but what I enjoy most about the iChiropro is the built-in irrigation line. I usually struggle getting appropriate irrigation, dripping all along the way to the patient's mouth, spilling over the side of the patient's face, apologizing for getting the patient completely wet … and when I finally get the drill to the mouth, the irrigation is spraying off to the side instead of at the surgical site. The iChiropro is completely different. With iChiropro the irrigation problem is totally solved!
As a clinician who constantly wants to improve my skill set, the iChiropro helps me monitor my past surgeries by recording data for each patient (e.g., torque of drilling) and stores it under the patient's name. The live drilling feedback – let's call it biofeedback – allows me to visually confirm the density of bone that I am working on. Indeed, good old tactile sense is not replaced by technology, but how sweet it is to see the actual torque of the drill as you are performing the osteotomy.
Now let's talk about how the iChiropro impacts your practice image.
The iChiropro is probably as progressive as it gets in the eyes of your patients. There are certainly more costly technologies that are available to us, but the goal is to implement technology that works and has an immediate impact on your practice – without forcing you to sell your vacation home. The buzz that it will create is immediate for you, your team, and your patients. Display it with pride.
The iPad we use for our unit also floats around the office for patient education (videos, before-and-after pictures of our work, X-rays, postop instructions, etc.). The iPad interface also gives patients a sense of comfort. Patients want to know they are in the hands of a progressive dentist when it comes to technology because, quite honestly, it paints an image of quality clinical dentistry. In reality, patients have no idea how to evaluate your clinical skill set, so they usually judge you by your cover. I hope your "cover" has technology that they can identify with: the iChiropro by Bien-Air.
Neal Patel, DDS, created a completely digital practice where he utilizes digital technology throughout (all-digital planning, fabrication of splints, surgical guides, and prosthetics), bypassing traditional analog methods. Widely published, he is best known as an international educator on 3D digital imaging, treatment planning, and computer-guided implant surgery. He can be reached via email at [email protected].
Past DE Issues