Cost Effective Digital Dentistry.
Edited by-DentistChannel Online
Digital processes are becoming an integral part of our routine affairs. Healthcare today is solely Dependent on Digital Equipment & Services. It’s hard to imagine Life without a touch of Digital aspect in it. Dentistry in 2020 would be back breaking & difficult to sustain without CAD CAM solutions, be it in clinic or dental lab. Dentistry, therefore, will soon be “termed as Digital Dentistry”. Infact, it is largely in practice in the Western Countries and moving ahead with a rapid Crescendo. There’s a Dire need to boost Digital Dentistry in a Country Like India where an Immensely growing Population is also resulting in an increase in Problems relating to Dental Health & Oral Hygiene. Digital dentistry is the fastest growing technology platform, rather a revolution to impact all dental professionals. No matter what we think, how limited are the budgets and expertise we need to move with effective tech decisions. What’s Astonishing is every Exhibition, Symposium, Conference, Trade Show in Dentistry are strongly focusing on Digital Dentistry. Digital, Digital & Digital is what you get to hear everywhere!
However, the reality is, often the technology-based projects fail to achieve the intended results and return on investment due to lack of understanding and limited use of such innovations. Moreover, Dentist have confined themselves to learning the traditional style of Dentistry where even a very small case took days to complete, thus creating an inconvenience and Hassle to the Patient. This was the root cause of Ignoring Dental Related Problems as Patients didn’t have the patience to wait till the entire procedure was completed. This can now be termed as once upon a time in Dentistry, Thanks to the Advancements and Same Day Dentistry. When we adopt different technologies in our practice, we must know the total cost of ownership of that technology with a deep understanding of operational cost. The intricacies of “cost” & “price” and the difference of the two as “earning” is a tough preposition to balance and derive satisfactory professional fees with returns on investment. When we price any product, we must know our cost based on calculations, not merely on random evaluation of the market and the similar products available in that segment.
Dentistry comes highly variable pricing across the globe however, the products used to provide services are from common manufacturers. This is quite similar when compared to other healthcare services globally. So, when we adopt digital solutions in dentistry, we must consider all sorts of direct and indirect costs before we price our products and services. Broadly three types of costs are required to be considered: financial, time, and energy.
Deep understanding of various costs associated with new technology allows us to take better decisions. Cost can be controlled by judicious selection of your service line, your vendor to provide technology, support and services, operational cost and consideration of unanticipated consequences, hidden costs, and unplanned strategies.
Limited budgets and subject expertise often disturb small practices from making effective decisions. But if we understand hidden technology costs, we can reduce unnecessary expenditures and reallocate resources to more important functions of our practice resulting in a massive amount of savings which could be subsequently used to procure any other Digital service.So, before you invest in new setup for digital dentistry, it’s recommended to evaluate your implementation cost to improve your bottom line.
The Patients Perspective
Digital dentistry is “phenomenal” from the patient point of view. For example, if we are able to prepare and deliver a crown on the same day, it enables the patient to avoid multiple trips for the same procedure. At the same time showing a patient his or her mouth on a large screen while discussing their diagnosis helps them see exactly what the dentist is explaining. Thanks to Digital Technologies, patients are very well versed with what exactly a procedure looks like and how much time would it approximately take. Many patients educate themselves before visiting the dentist through various sources like YouTube which has very easy, interesting and easily understandable Animated Surgery or Dental Procedure videos. The patients are often attracted by positive reviews about, technology, materials and services. They want the best, cost effective solutions to treat their problems. Patients do compare the pros and cons of digital options versus the Conventional. However, the constraint of time, situation and outcomes of procedure can work well to have favorable decision towards digital solutions.
The Dentists or Specialists Perspective
Important aspect towards successful integration of digital dentistry solutions in a practice is to consider effective teamwork and delegation of work for positive utilization of capacity and capabilities to deliver maximum in minimum time keeping the quality parameters intact. When we train people for specific skills, the performance due to continuous repetition controls the quality, improves efficiency and allows the dentist to cater more patients. This is simply to follow the principles of “Economies of Scale” to maximize the returns on investment. Certainly, dentist or specialist would like to establish the processes and assure that all the right steps are being taken. However, focused training to the staff to perform many of the tasks enables the dentist to be more productive.
Another possibility to have cost effective digital dentistry is by collaborating with likeminded colleagues within your locality with pre-defined framework of using the technology platform. This way many can strengthen the practice with minimum investment and maximum use of the technology. As it’s said, “The Tough gets Going, the Going gets tough” It’s very important to assess whether your practice is ready to step into a digital workflow or not. Its okay not to be well versed with it and Educate yourself thoroughly but, its not okay to Jump into it because Dentist’s in your locality have kick Started their Practice through Digital Resources and are doing Fairly well. This way, you aren’t only at a loss, but your efficiency and concreteness of practicing would also turn uneven because of you being Dicey about your Knowledge & Understanding in Digital Dentistry thus performing not well with the cases. Let it take time because, as Time Heals everything, it would also help you master the art of Using Various Dental Equipment & Services pertaining to Dentistry, eventually helping you treat more and more Patients and being Loved by them for the Hassle and Pain Free Dental Treatment that you vouchsafed them with!
To conclude, evaluation of practice, selection of digital technology platform, delegation of work, collaborative approach and quick understanding of the processes and Deep Understanding can turnaround the practice with cost effective solutions readily available to treat your patients.
Its Time to Go Digital and See the Difference!
About the Author:
Dr. Himanshu Gupta is a Healthcare management professional with 15+ years of progressive clinical and administrative experience at the senior level. A Visionary with strong operational skills and deep understanding of issues pertaining to healthcare access and delivery. A Thoughtful communicator and effective problem solver while working on complex issues in compliance with government laws and regulations. He has a Plethora of Accolades to his Credit like the Six Sigma Green Belt in healthcare.
He has Demonstrated leadership skills in managing relationship with senior management and key partners. He is Innovative, result oriented and specializes in effective utilization of an integrated healthcare delivery system focused on patient centric care.
DentistChannel.Online thanks Dr. Himanshu Gupta for enlightening our audience with this thought-provoking article.