Dentistry has seen remarkable advancements in technology that have not only revolutionized patient care, but also elevated the standard of oral health. However, the story of technology in dentistry is not solely about manufacturers developing cutting-edge materials and equipment. Equally vital is the commitment of dentists to embrace and implement these innovations into their practices; this collaboration between dental manufacturers and practicing dentists is crucial for the continued evolution of dentistry.
I recently had the privilege of visiting a dental material manufacturing facility and it was awe-inspiring to see the how some of our most reliable dental materials are made and the incorporation of robotics in production. Gone are the days of humans working along a conveyor belt; robots can perform tasks faster and with more efficiency. When inefficiencies or errors occur, it can lead to a loss of profitability and a tarnished reputation. When dentists identify an inefficiency in their practice, technology can be the appropriate remedy. This is particularly true as many practices are still struggling to find suitable team members. Technology alone doesn’t work; for technology to be properly implemented, the dentist must educate themselves and the dental team, and this usually requires an investment.
This is an exciting time for dentistry, as new innovations are flooding the marketplace. Artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly relevant, as are other new approaches to improve clinical outcomes and practice management metrics. This month’s issue highlights technology in dentistry—I hope it helps you discover new advancements that are worth consideration to improve your systems and clinical outcomes.
Investments in technology or updates to existing equipment are sometimes made to make the practice attractive to an associate dentist, improve the value of a practice, or as a tax-savings strategy. Ultimately these approaches are intended to improve cash flow or to raise the value of a practice. There are many strategies that can be employed to ensure success. Some strategies are better than others, and it can be challenging to identify which are right for your situation.
Editor's note: This article appeared in the October 2023 print edition of Dental Economics magazine. Dentists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.