“This Year's Top Three Takeaways for the Dental Industry”

For many dentists, providing patients with the highest quality of dental care while running a profitable, efficient practice is their top priority. But today’s environment presents additional challenges and opportunities for dental providers – like evolving consumer demands, increased competition for patients, and new technology to consider and integrate into their practice.

Align Technology, designers and manufacturers of the Invisalign system, iTero intraoral scanners and services, and exocad CAD/CAM software, recently hosted the 2021 Invisalign GP Summit with a theme of “digital is the answer” to the questions and challenges facing today’s dental practices. The Invisalign GP Summit brought together Invisalign providers and their teams looking to transform their practices for the demands of the future, with the most peer-to-peer presentations of any Invisalign treatment education event.

For those who may have missed the in-person and virtual event, here are three of the biggest takeaways expected to define the year ahead and help Invisalign practices deliver exceptional patient treatments and experiences.

1. Digital is the answer. “Constructive,” not disruptive technology.

Many practices today are thinking about the nature of digital dentistry, if and how it should be embraced, and where it is headed. Digital transformation is often framed as “disruptive.” But according to Align Technology CEO Joe Hogan, digital transformation in dentistry is embracing “constructive” technology. Digital transformation is constructive because it creates better systems, better workflows, and better treatment outcomes and experiences.

To thrive in a digital environment, practices should carefully consider their technology decisions and choose an integrated platform that can meet their treatment and workflow needs today and scale for the future. They need to trust their vendors as partners, not just technology providers. Align Technology is setting the bar for strategic partnerships, leadership, and constructive change in our industry by constantly innovating to bring new and better solutions to doctors and their patients that focus on solving the problems and issues they face.

Through digital transformation, doctors are using chairside monitors and displays to show patients how their teeth are aligned, the problems that misalignment cause, and how proper alignment can lead to a healthier future smile. With these images, doctor-patient conversations are guided to solutions that patients can more readily visualize and understand. Align Technology’s iTero intraoral scanners are designed to deliver outstanding visualization capabilities that benefit doctors and patients, while increasing speed and reliability through intuitive features and ease of use.

2. Orthodontic treatment has a clear role in restorative treatment.

There is a huge opportunity to leverage orthodontic treatment as part of restorative dentistry.

When replacing a missing tooth with an implant, it’s important to make sure there is enough space between the two adjacent teeth for the implant crown. When teeth are misaligned or even missing, adjacent teeth can migrate into this edentulous space, thereby limiting the amount available space for the restoration. An invasive option is to remove healthy enamel to create enough space for restorative procedures, but this removes healthy tooth structure. In general, dentists prefer maintaining as much healthy tooth structure as possible. With Invisalign treatment, GP dentists can leverage a more holistic approach to create sufficient space for implant crown restorations without the need to remove healthy enamel. 

3. Direct doctor involvement is essential to treatment success.

Align Technology has been an innovator and leader in digital orthodontics and dentistry for almost 25 years.  Throughout that time, we have remained committed to direct doctor involvement in every step of treatment planning and implementation. We firmly believe that doctor involvment is essential to great outcomes and great patient experiences.

The Invisalign system is prescribed to patients through Invisalign-trained orthodontists or GP dentists. That foundation of initial training is amplified through Align Technology’s wide range of clinical education programs – including the Invisalign GP Summit – and other practice resources designed to help orthodontists and GP dentists optimize Invisalign treatment options in their practices.

The 2021 Invisalign GP Summit has come to a close, but the dialogue around these key learnings will continue. For more on the Invisalign Summit and Align Technology, visit:  https://www.aligntech.com/.

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