The field of dentistry is rapidly transforming as analog standbys in dental practices are slowly replaced by their digital counterparts. But one thing remains in the way of more dentists and dental practices bringing technological innovation like CAD/CAM and dental milling into their workflow: the initial learning curve. Learn how remote assistance software can help dental practices innovate.
Remote Visual Assistance is a technology that includes augmented reality features. It helps a dental practice more readily incorporate computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing into their daily clinical practice. Even without an in-person technical representative, the entire dental team can collaborate virtually with your chosen technology adoption expert, benefiting from clearer visual cues and real-time guidance.
Surprisingly, many dentists may not balk at the high price of CAD/CAM considering their expected return on investment after accounting for in-house restorative cases. For instance, how often will the entire dental practice team accept new technology and maintain a willingness to learn over the necessary adjustment period? That’s the tricky part.
According to the American Dental Association, there are over 200,000 dentists practicing dentistry in the US alone. Nearly 17% of that total are under the age of 35. This younger group of dentists may be more willing to adopt new practices like CAD/CAM and in-office dental milling.
The global dental milling market has a CAGR of 9.2% and expected growth to over $3 billion by 2027. That means the next 5 years are crucial for dental milling system manufacturers seeking to differentiate themselves. Here’s how remote visual assistance software can help you stand out as the CAD/CAM provider that dentists invest in and consistently use:
Same-day restorations sound like a dream to some dentists. Because of this, many will be suspicious of the quality and consistency resulting from digital scanning. They aren’t wrong that CAD/CAM requires technical proficiency on the part of the user. It’s true, established dental practices have a certain way of doing things that they will be hesitant to disturb.
Above all, dentists (like doctors) consider themselves experts. This makes sense in light of the many years of extensive training required in their profession. Dental milling and CAD/CAM can throw a wrench in that sense of proficiency and expertise.
They may be worried that the education required to adopt new technology is just too much of a burden. And what happens after the system is set up and the company representative conducting the initial training leaves?
Immediate access to an expert via remote assistance software can transform the way dentists think about dental milling. They don’t need to worry that a bug in the software will derail their entire office schedule or production goals. Within moments, a remote visual assistance representative can walk them through the issue.
Arguably the greater impediment to technology adoption in dentistry is the dental team, which influences whether a dentist and dental practice commit to CAD/CAM. Dental assistants, front desk managers, and other team members will be wary of anything that seems to make their lives more challenging.
This is even more true when the dental team has an established relationship with a dental lab. The team feels confident in their analog skills and sees no reason to fix what isn’t broken. As a result, some may also worry about technology replacing their role.
It is the dental assistants who will bear the brunt of changes that come with new dental systems. In addition, they will also need to understand the technology well enough that they can explain it to curious patients. Used as a best practice, this will confirm whatever the dentist previously communicated.
With remote visual assistance, the entire dental team can access ongoing support as problems arise. Clinicians will feel more confident in their ability to make sense of the technology. They won’t be as likely to become frustrated and air their concerns in the morning huddle. They may even come to feel their newfound expertise is an asset to their personal career outlook.
The reality of CAD/CAM adoption in the dental practice is that it necessitates long-term support. Dental teams will not become experts overnight and will likely encounter difficulties for months as they incorporate it into their workflow. The company and associated system providing the best support are most attractive to dental practices.
Remote assistance software for dental practices is the way of the future. Curious how augmented reality can support dentists implementing your chair-side milling system? Learn more about remote assistance software. Or schedule a free demonstration.