Th 244205

How’s your image?

April 1, 2007
Technology literally has changed the way we see the world. Television brings us live feeds from inside a spacecraft thousands of miles away, or our personal Web-cam brings us into our friend’s house across town.

by Brad Durham, DMD

Technology literally has changed the way we see the world. Television brings us live feeds from inside a spacecraft thousands of miles away, or our personal Web-cam brings us into our friend’s house across town. Just as technology has become a welcome guest in our homes, it has also become an imperative in the dental office.

Tech Cards explain the benefits of digital X-ray and other technologies
Click here to enlarge image

Digital technology is an integral part of a dental office’s total technology package, including digital intraoral X-ray, digital panoramic X-ray, and digital photography. Updating office imaging is simple and painless. Most offices are already equipped with computers, which usually support digital radiography. After an afternoon of training with the hardware and software, your team will be happy to forget the arduous task of cleaning the processor and changing chemicals.

Large monitors and TVs allow patients to get “up close and personal” with their images.
Click here to enlarge image

Digital X-ray techniques are essentially the same as for traditional film-based X-ray. Instead of X-ray film, a sensor captures the image and transmits it to a computer. The images can be reviewed immediately and the patient receives less radiation than with traditional film. In total, digital X-ray systems eliminate the need for film, processing equipment, and chemicals, thus saving time and money.

Patients equate technology with quality, and appreciate the extra effort that the dentist expends to stay on the cutting edge of innovations. In combination with other technology improvements, such as anesthesia wands, electric handpieces, and digital photography, digital X-ray demonstrates to the patient that this office keeps up with the most efficient and modern techniques.

Patients new to my practice are treated to a tour of the office, which highlights our digital systems, laser equipment, and other technology, and they receive an explanation of the value of these exceptional options. Each patient also receives a packet explaining our technologies, credentials, and services. They also receive a “tech card,” a small card featuring a specific type of technology used in their treatment. We find that patients take this home to show to their relatives and friends, stimulating conversations that promote a positive image for our office, and referrals as well.

A 42-inch plasma TV monitor in each exam room presents our radiographic images and photographs in a big way. We also videotape some of our procedures to watch later to hone our techniques, and we videotape patient testimonials describing how we have improved their dental health and even changed their lives!

Digital technology also improves patient care and diagnosis for the dentist. With digital imaging and record-keeping, I can access charts and X-rays from anywhere that has an Internet connection. Dentists can be more prepared, especially for that weekend emergency phone call.

To create an image of excellence, the proper statement cannot be communicated without digital radiographic technology. The process is less expensive than film-based X-ray, saves time, and costs less to maintain. It helps build the practice’s image, attracts new patients, shortens procedures, and basically helps you become a better dentist. With benefits this strong, there is no reason to hesitate to jump on the technology bandwagon!

Dr. Brad Durham has practiced dentistry for 25 years with an emphasis on the treatment of head, neck, and facial pain, dental cosmetics, and complex dental reconstruction. His practice combines art, science, and technology with personalized care. He is a clinical and featured instructor at the Las Vegas Institute, and was the first in the world to earn the LVI Mastership award for esthetic reconstruction. Dr. Durham teaches a series of courses titled “The Niche Practice” at LVI and his home in Savannah, Ga. Contact him at [email protected] and

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