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Digital Dentistry

Digital Dental Technology

Digital dental technology is streamlining virtually every aspect of workflow in the modern dental practice. Working from a digital platform, dentists can design complex restorations, instantly share information with team members, quickly transfer files to the lab, and visually show patients diagnoses and treatment results. The practice with digital dental technology is capable of operating more efficiently, with quicker delivery of procedures and a higher level of patient satisfaction.

What is Digital Dental Technology?

Digital dental technology includes a wide variety of tools and techniques that incorporate digital or computer-controlled technology to make dentistry easier, faster, more accurate, and more comfortable for patients. Some of today’s most popular digital dental technologies include the following:

  • CAD/CAM Restorations
  • Intraoral Cameras
  • Digital Radiography
  • Digital Patient Records
  • Digital Impression Systems
  • Occlusion Analysis Systems
  • Computer Guided Implant Dentistry
  • Computer Aided Anesthetic Delivery
  • Cone Beam Computed Tomography
  • Dental Practice Management Software

Each digital tool or method has certain advantages over conventional dental devices and techniques. Yet, many of these digital technologies are slow to be adopted by mainstream dentistry. When digital dental technology is properly implemented and used, return on investment is excellent.

Before digital dental technology, there was a lot guess work involved in placing dental implants. Thanks to cone beam computed tomography (CT scans) and computer guided implant planning software, Dr. Steinberg performs dental implant procedures much faster and with greater precision. Digital dental technology has definitely reduced the costs and treatment times associated with dental implants.
Advantages of Digital Dentistry

Today, more than ever, dentists are reaping the benefits of digital dentistry. Dramatic breakthroughs in intraoral imaging, CAD/CAM and digital impression systems have enabled modern dentists to deliver more informed diagnoses, pursue more effective treatments, collaborate more easily with dental labs, and communicate more clearly with patients. While digital dental technology offers many advantages to dental practitioners, it also provides benefits to patients. Here are the main advantages of using digital dental technology:

  • Improved efficiency — both cost and time
  • Improved accuracy in comparison to previous methods
  • A high level of predictability of treatment outcomes
  • Improved patient education, comfort and satisfaction

Dr. Howard Steinberg uses digital dental technology to design complex treatment plans and to quickly communicate with multiple team members. Digital models of a patient’s teeth are sent electronically to the dental lab along with CT scans, digital images and treatment plans. Dental lab technicians and ceramists can see a digital 3D model of the patient’s teeth which helps them understand exactly what needs to be fabricated. Dental crowns, bridges, dentures and other prostheses are created and delivered in days rather than weeks.

Before digital dental technology, there was a lot guess work involved in placing dental implants. Thanks to cone beam computed tomography (CT scans) and computer guided implant planning software, Dr. Steinberg performs dental implant procedures much faster and with greater precision. Digital dental technology has definitely reduced the costs and treatment times associated with dental implants.

Summary

Digital dental technology is positively changing the way modern dental practices operate. Advancement in digital tools and techniques have enabled dentists to deliver more informed diagnoses, pursue more accurate treatments, collaborate more effectively with dental labs, and communicate better with patients and team members. When appropriately used, digital dental technology can streamline work processes, facilitate seamless exchange of data and enable dental professionals to deliver more appropriate and timely patient care.

Author Info

Dr. Howard Steinberg

Dr. Howard M. Steinberg is a prosthodontist — a specialist in restoring and replacing teeth. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine in 1980. He then completed a 3-year residency training program in prosthodontics earning the Master's of Dental Science degree.

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