Building the patient-centric dental practiceDental practices have built-in challenges which is why creating a top-notch patient experience is critical to on-going success. A cosmetic dentist in Beverly Hills shows how any profession can win new customers and maintain their loyalty. The strategy combines skill and technology.
Imagine having a business where most customers are anxious and would rather never see you. That’s one of the tough conditions in the marketplace facing dentists. Combine the fear with the busy schedules of patients and it’s easy to see why a Centers for Disease Control survey found in 2014 that 38% of all adults ages 18–64 didn’t have a dental visit in a year or longer.
Digital dentistry, though, is bringing changes to the profession. Tools like lasers and CAD/CAM systems include less pain and more convenient treatments. Dr. Sam Saleh of Ora Dentistry Spa in Beverly Hills, has developed patients from around Los Angeles and around the world. They’ll mark their calendars for a specific treatment date and visit the office when they arrive.
“I can deliver a crown or even a full set of veneers and crowns within one day and there’s no way I could have done that before,” he says. Dr. Saleh, who studied dentistry at King’s College in London, has been an early adopter of new technology and promotes the benefits. Restorations fit perfectly in much less time than traditional methods.
A laptop displaying 3D images is used as often at his practice as picks and floss. The CAD/CAM process is made up of three phases: scanning, designing, and milling. Scanning changes the shape of the prepared teeth into three-dimensional units of information. The computer software translates that info into a 3D map.
Dr. Saleh designs a restored shape and tracks his work on a monitor. This generates a tool path that the milling device uses to create a shape from restored material.
Technology is convenient, but the dentist is still the decision-maker. Dr. Saleh that technology enhances the skills that a dentist should already have. “Dentistry is technique sensitive,” he says, “and work that’s done well can last for up to 40 years.”
When the cost is amortized over a few decades cosmetic dentistry procedures become affordable. The use of ceramic and porcelain implants can literally last decades, says Dr. Saleh. “There are no set timelines like there are for other cosmetic procedures like silicon implants.”
Despite the accuracy and convenience of digital dentistry many offices have not fully embraced the trend. A February 2016 article accessible through Medscape.com noted that “a minority of dental practices in the United States and elsewhere have converted to digital radiology or other digital systems.”
Expect more dental offices in the future to implement digital dentistry. As the American College of Prosthodontists notes, “Patients treated with digital solutions benefit from the combination of efficient processes, accurate high-strength materials, and beautiful esthetics.” For some dental offices, the future is already here and for patients near and far scheduling a trip to the dentist has become much easier with less anxiety.
Originally published at www.examiner.com on June 27, 2016.