Pearls for your Practice

These products could make a huge difference in how you practice. Find out what Dr. Joshua Austin has tested for you.

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Yapi dental software

I often think about what my dad did in his private practice and how different it was compared to what we do now. Clinically, there were obviously huge differences. Amalgam, cast gold, dentures, and removable partial dentures made up the heart of his practice—all things I rarely do these days. CAD/CAM, implants, resin composite, and sleep apnea are all things I do on a daily basis that would blow my dad’s mind. In addition, I think his mind would be blown with the amount of paperwork that we have to do. For every area in which we advance, we seem to regress in others. What was needed to run a successful hygiene recall program in my dad’s practice in 1973? Maybe some postcards and note cards. It was just that simple. Now we have to manage so much more. This is where Yapi comes in.

Yapi is a dental software plug-in that works with your practice management system to help you automate and run your practice more efficiently. Yapi helps your team stay on top of tasks in a digital, paperless environment. Yapi interfaces and syncs with most of the top dental practice management software programs. This seamless integration simplifies all of the processes modern dental practices need to execute to stay compliant and mitigate risk.

Yapi is primarily known for handling consent forms in a simple digital, paperless manner. Most of the consent forms you need are preloaded in Yapi. Simply hand your patient an iPad and ask him or her to read it and sign with a finger. That consent form will be transferred to your patient’s account in your practice management software automatically. No more printing, scanning, or shredding! In today’s litigious climate, this feature alone is a reason to buy. 

Yapi has other great features as well. The Practice Dashboard is an integral feature that gives you an overview of the patients currently in your office and their status. This centralized hub of information keeps everyone on the same page, so the whole team knows who is ready for an exam, who just arrived and is filling out forms, who is in the consultation room with the office manager, etc. The Practice Dashboard helps your day flow more smoothly because everyone in the office knows what is happening in real time. As someone with a hectic restorative practice, I consider this dashboard to be a massive headache saver.

Yapi also automates patient reminders and recall. While there are many software programs that do this, having it in addition to all of Yapi’s other great features makes using this program a no-brainer. It saves me from having yet another software subscription fee running up my overhead every month. 

Add in the ability to have discreet team communication, remote practice access, integrated caller ID, and online review assistance, and Yapi becomes a key differentiator for your practice. We ask our teams to do so much in our practices. We should be eager to give them the tools they need to succeed. Yapi is one of those tools. Solo home run to right field for Yapi! 

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Calaject by Aseptico

It’s 2019. We have self-driving cars. We have phones that we can use to get anything we want delivered at any time. We can see Tupac in concert again with holograms! Why are we stuck in 1964 with our delivery of local anesthetic? Calaject is one of the best candidates yet to take us into the 21st century of local anesthesia.

The name Calaject comes from the term computer-assisted local anesthesia. It comes in the form of a small piece of equipment that can transform your patient experience. The first comparison that will pop into your head is the Wand, also sold by Aseptico. The Wand was revolutionary. However, it had a drawback: consumables. The biggest problem with the Wand was being locked into a single-use needle and tube that needed to be changed for every patient. That disposable cost for the Wand drove up the price per use. In my Pearl about the Wand, I suggested that fee-for-service practices could simply raise their fees by $5–$6 per visit. Unfortunately, most of us are locked into some sort of fee schedule, which could make that difficult. 

The Calaject has no disposable fees! You can use the needle tip of your choosing, and there is no disposable tubing. That makes the per-use cost of the Calaject on par with a traditional syringe (obviously after the cost of the Calaject itself). And Calaject offers some other significant advantages. 

Like the Wand, the Calaject automates the pressure at which the anesthetic is injected. There are three separate programs on the Calaject, and it can be used for infiltrations, blocks, palatal, and intraligamentary injections. Program 1 is mainly used for intraligamentary and palatal injections. The speed of flow is considered slow and very slow. Using Program 1, it takes 3–5 minutes to empty a cartridge. This seems really slow, but this is what is needed for an intraligamentary injection. If done properly, this mode can give you the elusive single-tooth anesthesia that we are looking for with these types of systems. Program 2 is used for infiltrations. It starts slowly for a few seconds, and then the speed slowly increases. It takes around one minute to empty a cartridge. Program 3 is for blocks and allows you to switch between two different speeds. It starts slow and can be gradually increased with a tap of the foot pedal. You can easily switch between speeds midinjection if desired. You can deliver a block in as little as 45 seconds if you desire.

The Calaject looks super cool. It was obviously designed by a minimalist, almost in a Bauhaus-inspired style. It’s small and it looks great on the countertop. However, I think the Calaject is best stored on a small cart, so it can be moved to whichever operatory needs anesthesia. There’s no need to purchase a separate one for every room. Its small size makes it mobile. The unit is probably a third of the size of the Wand. 

We know that our patients dread nothing more than the injection. If we can make that process better for them, their overall experience is better—which means happier patients who are more likely to refer their friends and family. If I can give them that experience without dropping tons of coin on disposables for the life of the machine, even better. Ground-rule double to center field for Calaject!

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CheckUp by BlueLight Analytics

Imagine never changing your vehicle’s oil. Imagine never even checking it. Seems ridiculous, right? This is essentially what happens to curing lights in the vast majority of dental practices. We assume that, as long as the dang thing turns on and some kind of blue light comes out, it’s functioning at the top of its game. Most dentists don’t check the health of their curing lights regularly. When you take into account that typically more than half of our practice earnings are reliant on our curing lights, why would you not ensure their proper function? CheckUp by BlueLight Analytics is something that every single dental practice needs to have. 

Simple radiometers have been around for decades and are great for checking the health of a curing light, but BlueLight Analytics has added a ton of functionality to CheckUp to make it the best product in its class by a long shot. CheckUp takes it to the next level and gives context to the output numbers. This is not just a radiometer—it’s a Bluetooth-enabled, app-assisted radiometer. 

To use the radiometer, download the CheckUp app on your smartphone or tablet. Turn on CheckUp and pair your devices. This process takes around five clicks and is very simple. The next step is what sets CheckUp apart from every other radiometer. Add all the light-cure restorative materials you use to the app, including composites, flowables, adhesives, and cements. If you light cure it, it’s in the app. Once you’ve added the materials you use, the next step is to add your lights. Every curing light on the market is in the app. Now, it’s finally time to test. Touch the Test button and follow the on-screen instructions. What will result is an entire report about the health of your curing light as well as information about curing times with your light and all the materials you use. 

For instance, my 3M Elipar Deep Cure-S tested at 1,231 mW/cm2 of output power. CheckUp tells me that there is a potential heat concern at 15 seconds. It should cure 3M Scotchbond Universal in 10 seconds. It should also cure a 3.1 mm increment of Omnichroma by Tokuyama in 10 seconds. What about my favorite cement? Panavia V5 by Kuraray will cure in 10 seconds. These times are all based on my curing light, not some laboratory light somewhere in Germany. This is granular, real-time information that is massively important to me as a restorative dentist. No other product on the market can give me information this rich that affects my everyday dentistry. 

I have long been a proponent of dentists actively taking measures to verify their curing lights are working properly. I used to suggest that dentists get a radiometer, any radiometer! It didn’t matter. I just wanted them to be testing their curing lights. Now, we can easily do even more. CheckUp is reasonably priced at $399. There is a low yearly fee for updates to the information in the app. This is a small price to pay for the assurance that your restorations are being appropriately cured. Let’s raise the bar of adhesive dentistry together. We can start by making sure that no curing light is left behind. Grand slam home run for CheckUp by BlueLight Analytics!  

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