Spreading the word
Lino Adolf explains his vision to help laboratories convince their dentists of the benefits of digital dentistry.
Lino Adolf, dental technician and managing director of the Academy of Digital Dentistry, has a reputation as one of the world’s leading dental technicians and his decision to establish the Academy of Digital Dentistry in 2013 was a moment when the technical world sat up and took notice. As an early adopter of digital techniques, Lino recognised the possibilities of the then new technology, and as his knowledge and expertise grew, he came to appreciate the thirst of dentists and technicians who wanted to enhance their learning in this new and exciting sphere.
The Academy of Digital Dentistry delivers educational and practical courses for both dentists and technicians, enabling each side of the relationship to better understand the needs of the other, and so achieve the finest possible patient outcomes. As an authorised academy, the training is delivered in conjunction with Dentsply Sirona, which has enabled it to firmly establish itself as one of the UK’s premier digital dentistry training centres. To become a certified trainer, one must adhere to strict criteria of experience and knowledge, ensuring that the training is of the very highest quality and that dentists and technicians are consistently taught good habits.
Lino says: ‘When dentists and technicians start to diversify, they need to understand two things: firstly, the materials and equipment with which they are working; and secondly their own limitations, which are constrained mostly by a lack of knowledge. Education solves both of these challenges; it expands the possibilities of what individuals can achieve and informs them of the options available through material advances.’
Educating dentists and technicians
Lino first adopted CAD/CAM in 1998 and chose to work with Dentsply Sirona in 2009. He made this choice because of the outstanding quality of equipment and materials. He confirmed, saying: ‘I felt that Dentsply Sirona was the real innovator in this field and was most likely to provide solutions that would continue to challenge the boundaries of possibility. The diversity of material choice is exemplary and there is excellent compatibility of materials across the range. This means that as a technician, I have complete freedom of choice and confidence. I know the materials have been well researched and have evidence to support the claims made about them.’
Having worked with a fully digital workflow for almost 20 years, Lino feels that despite the expansion of digital techniques, the profession remains sceptical. Although there has been a definite shift in attitude and perception in the last five years, there is still much room for improvement. Despite this, Lino is confident that digital dentistry, on both sides of the equation, has a key role to play in the future. He says: ‘I use digital techniques because they give highly predictable results in an efficient way. To those who question the quality and accuracy, I ask them to look at my portfolio and tell me that digital dentistry has no role to play in the provision of outstanding dentistry.’
For Lino, education is key. For both dentists and technicians he believes that to be a better practitioner requires learning and the sharing of knowledge with those who have more experience. A lack of knowledge leads to frustration and in turn, can lead to unfair criticism of systems and materials.
‘Technicians have an important educational role to play with their clients. It is in the interest of laboratories that are fully realising the efficiencies of a digital workflow, to teach and educate their clients and encourage them to adopt the technology.’
The digital workflow
Digital dentistry has transformed the way in which Lino works and interacts with his clients. It has expanded the capacity of his laboratory and enabled him to take on many more cases than were possible using analogue techniques. It has also made a huge difference to the workflow as he now views intraoral scans on his phone or mobile device, enabling him to respond immediately to his clients, often whilst the patient is still in the chair.
‘Whether I am in the lab or on the move, the quality of the scans, even on a mobile phone, are quite amazing. I can see even the smallest detail, for example, on the gingival margins.’
Lino’s vision is to help laboratories convince their dentists of the benefits of digital dentistry, so broadening of the appeal of digital dentistry as a means of increasing efficiency and improving patient satisfaction.
To find out more about the extensive range of digital solutions, materials and equipment, please visit dentsplysirona.com.
You can also access a range of education resources, video tutorials, courses and CPD webinars at dentsplysirona.com/ukeducation.
To see a range of course please visit the Academy of Digital Dentistry website www.academyofdigitaldentistry.com.