Creating patient excitement with digital technology

Rune Fisker, key creator and driver of 3Shape’s solution-orientated innovations and speaker at the Henry Schein Digital Symposium 2018, gives an insight into exciting new innovations and trends coming to the world of digital dentistry.

I’ve been a part of 3Shape since the company was founded 17 years ago. Very early on, we could see dentistry as a major opportunity to introduce new technology and a way to develop our portfolio of 3D scanners and CAD/CAM software solutions for the dental industry. For over a decade, I’ve been working with the team to change dentistry for the better and improve treatments by introducing digital technology first into the lab and now into the clinic.

We hear a lot about dentistry as a profession seemingly being rather slow to latch onto a digital workflow. Others think dentistry is actually very forward-looking in terms of digital. I believe today there is a digital revolution going on within dental labs, yet on the clinical side the use of digital is still very low, but all this is about to change.

Tipping point

Dentistry has reached a tipping point in terms of digital acceptance with our market data telling us that 50% of all UK dentists are considering buying an intraoral scanner (IOS) within the next three years. Take the introduction of mobile phones as an example. For years, nothing much happened and then innovation on the part of manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung suddenly made the market take off. We are now at a similar point in digital dentistry.

Scanners and digital impressions have become a really hot topic in dentistry. They offer so many benefits – accuracy, safety, speed, even the ability to capture patients’ specific jaw motions for better fitting crowns and restorations. Just a few years ago, it was difficult to see a return on investment from owning a scanner, but that has all changed as costs have come down and this is another reason why IOS is really taking off. Digital impressions are far more comfortable for patients and our data shows that almost 100% of patients prefer digital impressions over conventional impressions.

It’s clear to me that digital dentistry is the most important change happening in dentistry today. It’s transforming the way we practice and is the ideal opportunity to radically improve the quality of treatments. Look at the mobile phone – what creates real value are the variety of apps they hold, and apps are going to become a big part of digital dentistry and something 3Shape is heavily involved in. Taking a digital impression is just the beginning, we can now start using apps to create additional value, whether that’s designing crowns, guided surgery or patient monitoring.

This in turn creates patient excitement – 3Shape’s main focus for 2018 and something I will talk about in detail at the Digital Symposium. We can generate patient excitement, not just by showing them a scan of their mouth, but by using apps to design their smile and show them what it will look like before treatment even begins. Using apps, we can now design and simulate orthodontic treatments, showing patients a ‘before and after’ scenario. We can monitor and measure changes in patients’ mouths between scans with micron accuracy, and communicate this with them to show the damage that is occurring. Increasing patient excitement also increases patient acceptance of their treatment and this in turn can really help a dental practice to grow.

Digital Symposium

At this year’s Digital Symposium, I will be speaking about the latest digital innovations and trends in the dental industry. My presentation will cover the latest advances in intraoral scanning, digital workflows, innovative software solutions and advances in digital manufacturing. I will demonstrate several of the latest key technological developments, discuss the digital journey and share my vision of the future of digital dentistry and how this can generate significant patient excitement.

The Digital Symposium is the leading digital event in the UK and I am really looking forward to being a part of such an exciting occasion and having the opportunity to present my visions and ideas about how digital dentistry is going to change the world – I’m going to become a digital preacher!

Register today – the early bird rate expires on 19 February! The Henry Schein Digital Symposium is taking place at the Park Plaza London Riverbank Hotel on 27-28 April 2018. For more information or to register visit, call 01634 877 599 or email [email protected].

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