Digital Dentistry Post COVID-19

Digital workflows have many advantages, the added health safety advantage is now more relevant then ever due to COVID-19

Digital workflows bring efficiency, accuracy and predictability to the dental lab and dentist’s environment, however in the wake of COVID-19, there will be an increased need for it from a sterilization standpoint. If you were reluctant or debating adopting a digital workflow, the current global pandemic will catapult you into it.

Analog impressions have never been pleasant for patients, but with the increased chance of transferring viral infection that comes with them, the digital workflow will become something of a necessity in offices. For those that have not yet adopted a digital workflow for whatever reason, fear not, the transition is simpler than you think. Once you experience the benefits that translate in your cases, you won’t look back. Here’s why…

The evolution of digital technology and computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) systems are creating exciting opportunities for improving the delivery of restorative dentistry. Digital systems now offer the opportunity to avoid traditional, analog impressions, including the usual impression materials, time and handling limitations associated with them. Intraoral scanners have the potential to offer excellent accuracy with a more comfortable experience for the patient and more efficient and improved workflow for the office.

More and more doctors continue to purchase intraoral scanners and are sending impressions digitally. We deal with a variety of intraoral scanners including iTero, 3Shape Trios, Prime and Medit, to name just a few. You can send impressions with the click of a button, as long as they are sent in stl form (which most scanners are calibrated to).

Digital workflows increase efficiency by streamlining the production of restorations and reducing the need for remakes. Digital impressions create a better patient experience by eliminating the need to bite into a tray of impression material, sometimes more than once and over the course of three appointments.

Three major advantages of taking digital impressions:

  • Efficiency – scans never degrade, can be reused and easily stored indefinitely and are accessible anywhere you have an internet connection.
  • Accuracy – there is a higher level of accuracy in digital impressions in comparison to analog methods.
  • Predictability – there is a higher level of predictability of outcomes

Overall, a digital workflow can increase clinical success and reduce remakes in the long run saving you time and resources and in the aftermath of COVID-19, being mindful of viral transfer that comes with analog impressions will be top of mind for you, your staff and your patients.