The most overrated trends in dentistry

Two dental industry leaders recently connected with Becker's to discuss the most overrated trends in dentistry.

Note: Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Brant Herman. Founder and CEO of MouthWatch: We don't know that it's a trend, but something we have seen as a standard practice within many dental groups is an idea that all postoperative appointments and treatment plan presentations must take place in the office setting. We have seen great success with programs implementing teledentistry that have been able to shift many of these appointments and consultations to virtual, freeing up chair time and provider time while maintaining clinical quality and exceeding patient expectations. We believe that these practical examples of ways to incorporate virtual care into practices can provide a lasting solution to efficiencies that help offset staffing challenges while also meeting provider expectations for life-work balance.

Samuel Low, DDS. Vice President of Dental Clinical Affairs and Chief Dental Officer at Biolase: Embracing technology only for a monetary return on investment. As dental business owners, we always have the responsibility to manage our overhead resulting in a consistent positive outcome. And technology companies reinforce such with their respective sales pitches including ROI calculators and how many procedures over time to actually begin to visualize a return over cost.

However, while the actual dollar return to value added procedures is a tangible measure, there are other factors in consideration of adoption of a new technology. Our personal, mental and physical health is becoming a priority for us as partitioners and equally important for our team.

1. Ergonomics is critical for our physical health. Operating equipment such as our chairs, and technology such as voice-actuated periodontal charting and guided biofilm removal with medicinal air delivery to reduce chair time makes a significant difference.

2. Workflow/stress reduction. Managing fewer patients in a time-effective manner decreases overall physical and mental energy. For example, digital scanners and digital workflow.

3. Positive patient case acceptance. Patient attraction to your practice with demonstrable technological advancement utilization such as lasers

4. Retention of your team and recruitment. Teams gravitate to a positive work environment where the doctor's dedication to enhancing the workplace is evident.

We are in a new era of oral healthcare where not only is our patients' welfare important, our well-being is equally a priority.

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