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    How to locate the pain points in your practice

    Streamlining your practice is all about locating the areas that are holding you back.


    Tech processes

    You just knew I’d get to these, didn’t you? There are just so many ways you can improve your office with technology. Perhaps the easiest thing to do that will certainly gain you efficiency is to upgrade some or all of your office computers. Improving/upgrading the hardware that runs your office is a surefire way to flat out make things happen faster and more efficiently. If it isn’t in the budget for the short term, make sure to start setting aside a monthly amount in a “tech improvement” category in your budget. Being prepared for these situations decreases stress tremendously.

    How about improving your diagnostics for the better? There are lots of ways to improve in this category.

    For caries detection, take a look at the CamX Triton HD from Air Techniques, the DEXIS CariVu, the ACTEON SOPROLIFE or The Canary System from Quantum Dental Technologies. For perio and caries, look at the SOPROCARE from ACTEON. Utilizing these systems in your hygiene department means that you are diagnosing more accurately. It can also decrease the amount of time you spend “looking” and increase the amount of time you spend “communicating” with your patients. These devices allow you to find things when they are at their smallest and then allow the doctor to make the choice of restoring or attempting remineralization therapy while being able to assess its success or failure.

    Then, we have oral cancer screening, which can be performed with the LED Dental VELscope® Vx, the DentLight DOE system or the Bio/Screen® system from AdDent. You are going to be hearing more from me on this subject in the future, but more men are now being diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer than women are with cervical cancer.

    Now, if you want to really streamline a part of your practice, make the choice to start using digital impressions. Currently, about 18 percent of offices have gone to digital impressions with many more poised to make the change. In my office we are currently doing about one analog impression per month that is usually for some type of fixed prosthesis under a removable partial denture. Our iTero® Element™ system makes our fixed prosthetic treatment much more accurate and way more time efficient than it has ever been before. Preparation appointments don’t take nearly as long when you are digitally scanning and cementation appointments frequently require zero adjustments. The digital accuracy of these systems still amaze me even after scanning for more than seven years.

    More from Dr. Flucke: How EHRs can improve your practice

    Wrapping up

    I frequently try to stop and look at things in an attempt to break them down to their elemental parts. One of the phrases I hate to hear is when asking someone why they do something a certain way and they reply, “Because we’ve always done it that way.” They might as well have just said, “We have no idea.”  

    Looking at your systems, policies and procedures on a regular basis and then asking “why” will frequently lead you to a better place. There’s no time like the present to start

    Dr. John Flucke
    Dr. John Flucke is in private practice in Lee’s Summit, Mo. He also serves as technology editor for Dental Products Report magazine and ...


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