The positives of cost-cutting change

The positives of cost-cutting change

Ken O’Brien considers how money and time can be saved in everyday practice to help in these financially challenging times.

Every aspect of dental practice needs to be considered when we’re looking save time and money without affecting the quality of patient care. That’s a no-brainer. But more challenging is this – where do you start?

Prices are going up in every sector, from your pasta at Tesco to – potentially – lab work. Alongside materials and equipment, we need to factor in the time patients spend in the chair. As much as we are focused on health care, the adage remains true that time is money.

Cutting cost, not corners

So, where might savings be made without affecting the quality of care that we are all dedicated to providing? For this, we need to look to some of the incredible technology that is available in modern dentistry.

For instance, as I alluded to briefly above, some of your largest invoices probably come from dental labs. And, if you are providing implant care, from implant companies. The key to getting the greatest value from these aspects of dentistry are two-fold:

  1. Streamlining
  2. Looking beyond the ‘big’ brands.

Let’s consider streamlining and the role of digital dentistry first. If your toe isn’t the digital water yet, then labs are having to charge you for things that wouldn’t be needed if you had a more digital-focused workflow in the practice. Modern labs are well-run, efficient businesses and having to create workarounds for clients stuck in the past is inefficient, so rightly they charge extra, with some labs simply refusing that type of work at all.

Added benefits

For example, statistics indicate that almost half of traditional impressions submitted to laboratories in the UK are unsatisfactory, requiring remakes. There’s a lot of money tied in just there, in chair time, materials, and postage, not to mention the disruption to the patient’s schedule.

On the other hand, if an IOS system is available for the team to use, it will reduce chair time and the number of visits. It will also eliminate significant hardware, production, and personnel costs, with the added benefit of advocates saying it has improved their dentistry.

You may think there is still plenty of time for you to join the digital dentistry revolution. But I would certainly suggest making the change sooner rather than later.

Digital dentistry is not the future, it is the here and now and some of the benefits of using IOS are:

  • Improved patient experience
  • More efficient communication with your lab
  • Time and cost reduction over the long-term.

Stop being swayed

As for implant brands, you don’t need to tell me the biggies – they are indelibly etched in our minds. But why? They absolutely have a proven track record but are they the only ones? Definitely not – they have, perhaps, just been around longer and maybe have a marketing plan that has raised the greatest awareness.

It is time to stop being swayed by the big names and being product driven. Instead, we need to be casting our nets further afield. Consider the evidence base and proof of success with various implant systems irrespective of their brand. It is the big companies that pushed this ethos by investing and putting their name to the lesser-known implants.

My advice is to do your implant homework. Without a shadow of a doubt, there are value-driven brands out there that do the job just as well. They just don’t have names that are as well established.

There is no suggestion here that you drop your standards or expectations. Rather, make sure there isn’t something equally good out there that might cost you a little less.

It is entirely possible you could save time and money if you connect with the right implant company for you, whichever that may be. At Quoris3D, we work with them all. There are some very clever features with some systems that can save both time and money for practices.

Less time in the chair

All that bring us nicely on to a particular favourite of mine called Chrome Guidedsmile. This implant system offers pioneering full-arch stackable guide technology and was developed for dentists who desire a pre-planned, predictable guided ‘All-On-X’ type of surgery.

Chrome delivers anchored bite verification, anchored bone reduction, anchored site drilling, accurate anchored provisionalisation, and a method for transferring all surgical and restorative information for the final restorative conversion phase.

Now, that is all well and good – interesting information at the very least. But here is the crux of the issue – our internal figures at Quoris3D tell us that each case done utilising Chrome saves the clinician an average of seven hours per arch.

Let’s consider how, using a real-life example. Chris at Infinity Blu said: ‘Once you have seen and felt Chrome in action, you just know it has been thought through by some very clever people. In saying that, the product itself soon became secondary; it was what the product did for my business that has been game changing.’

Obvious benefit

Here is an example of Chris’ journey with Chrome. Once he has submitted the information required (DICOM, STL and photos, etc.), it is checked by the team at Quoris3D. This is led by dentists and technicians.

Once that is all approved, Chris is sent an invitation to a planning meeting. Thirty minutes after the planning meeting is finished, he has a full patient plan for a full-arch reconstruction, which he signs off. Right off the bat, the time saving for him, and therefore the business, is immense.

Back to Chris again, who told me: ‘The patient chair time really struck a chord. We are saving, on average, eight hours’ patient chair time over the entire treatment per patient. When I look at doing 50 arches in 12 months as an example, that equates to 400 hours of patient chairside saving.

‘The benefit for each patient is obvious. However, 400 hours for a small dental group to be ‘found’ in an instant by switching to the Chrome Guidedsmile workflow was clearly one of the big benefits.

‘That basically released 50 days of chair time for me and helped reduce our patient waiting times. The other benefit is that the costs are constant.’

Here to help

At Quoris3D, we are on the side of the dental team and the patient. That is always at the forefront of everything we do.

If you like the sound of that and the ideas shared here to reduce costs without cutting corners, simply email [email protected] or visit to find out more.

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