How digital workflows are empowering dentists

Align Technology introduces its webinar exploring the benefits of its digital workflow with Dr Karla Soto and Dr Luis Ilzarbe.

The sixth webinar of Align Education’s 2023 Digital Excellence Series was titled ‘How to achieve exceptional clinical outcomes with a seamless ortho-restorative approach’.

It brought together Dr Karla Soto, who practices in Florida, USA, and Dr Luis Ilzarbe of Valencia, Spain. They each presented a range of case studies to illustrate the functionality, efficacy and flexibility of Align Technology’s digital workflow using the iTero intraoral scanner and the different components of ClinCheck software on Align Digital Platform.

Dr Soto’s presentation demonstrated how using a full digital workflow can inform treatment. Also, how it can be used as a patient communication tool in response to patient demands for answers.

‘Digital really empowers us to see the end before we begin,’ she stressed, pointing to Align Digital Workflow in which doctors can diagnose and plan treatments, ranging from alignment to complex orthodontic and restorative cases. ‘In this workflow we can add restorations, we can foresee where we want to move teeth, and we have that blueprint for where things belong in the future.

‘If we want to do ortho or restorative seamlessly, we need to start with the outcome in mind, which is what it looks like in the face. And then we can communicate that to the patients.’

‘Much more predictable, much more seamless’

Dr Soto explained the digital workflow including the iTero intraoral scanner, Invisalign Smile Architect software and exocad CAD/CAM software. This enables doctors to see where they want teeth to move to. And more importantly, to understand how restorations could be completed in the most minimally invasive way possible.

‘When we look at the space distribution and we know where we’re going, everything starts being much more predictable, much more seamless. It allows me to see what my limitations are, where my restorations could go – I get to foresee where I want everything.’

According to Dr Soto a digital workflow allows patients to see video simulations of their future smile. This in turn helps them to understand why they may need alignment as well as restorative treatment.

‘I use my iTero scanner for everything, be it a health scan for a new patient, to repair a single crown, a full mouth reconstruction or surgeries. We also have ways of monitoring patients using Invisalign Virtual Care.

‘So, I guess a good question would be, if all of this is available to you, why would you not use it? I’m on a full-on mission to change the dental experience, and it’s not just for patients, it’s also to maximise our potential and excite our teams to enjoy the full meaning of what we do – to fully embrace the possibilities.’

The perfect communication protocol

Dr Luis Ilzarbe is equally emphatic about the benefits of a digital workflow.

‘Digital dentistry for me means being more efficient, being more predictable in my work. I am more consistent in my planning and of course it helps me to communicate with my team and my patients, which in the end is totally beneficial for our patients.’

The first step to a digital workflow according to Dr Ilzarbe is the iTero scanner. He uses it for all his restorative work, helping him – and his patient – to understand why treatment is needed, and in a minimally-invasive way. He also shares all the scans and relevant information with his lab to decide how each restoration should be approached.

‘That’s why I love digital dentistry and working with my intraoral scanner, because it’s easy and more efficient. It allows me to explain and have an effective communication with my patients, to share observations and why we might need to move teeth to achieve the end goal. It also helps in discussing the alternative treatment options with them and switching from a subjective approach to an objective one,’ Dr Ilzarbe, concluded. ‘It’s the perfect communication protocol.’

Watch the full webinar on demand.

The next in the Digital Excellence Series is on 13 December at 7pm CET/6pm GMT. ‘Going digital in 2024 – impact to general dental practice’ is being presented by Dr Eoin O’Sullivan and his lab partner Angelo Plini, Cat Edney, and Dr Gianluca Plotino. Simultaneous translation into French, Italian, German, Spanish, Polish and Turkish is available.

To register for free access to this live presentation, please visit

To find out more about iTero digital scanners visit

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