Tag Archive for: trends in dentistry

What’s the Deal with Sleep Dentistry?

What makes you anxious?

For a large swath of the population, the answer is: the dentist.

Which can make an already-intricate profession even more so. Navigating a patient’s sensitivities and nerves is a challenge that many medical professionals aren’t really equipped for. That’s why sleep dentistry or, more accurately, sedation dentistry, has become quite popular over the last few years. 

What is sedation dentistry?

Sleep or sedation dentistry is the act of relaxing a patient for procedures ranging from teeth cleaning to full extraction. There are quite a few techniques to choose from which will rely heavily on the procedure itself and the patient’s true level of dental anxiety.

Sedation can be:

  1. Minimal: The patient is awake but relaxed. Can be administered with nitrous oxide inhalation or low doses of pills like Halcion, taken orally one hour before the procedure.
  2. Moderate: The patient is conscious but likely will not remember most of the procedure. Higher doses of Halcion or diazepam are taken one hour before the procedure. The drug can also be given through IV which allows for continual adjustments.
  3. Deep: The patient is borderline unconscious but easily awakened. Intravenous sedation is most commonly used in this case.

And then there is general anesthesia in which the patient is totally unconscious.

Who benefits from dental sedation?

Patients who have a very low tolerance for pain, incredibly sensitive teeth, an inability to sit still, or are scheduled for a significant amount of work are candidates for dental sedation.

When deciding whether or not to incorporate sedation dentistry into your practice, it’s important to be prepared with the following information:

  • An individual’s full medical history
  • Appropriate dose for age and health status (including weight and sleep disorders)
  • The training and/or certifications necessary to administer sedatives
  • The pros and cons of hiring a dental anesthesiologist to outsource the administration
  • The possible side effects of each method

Should I offer sleep dentistry?

With more patients requesting sedation services, it’s a good idea to investigate your options. If you’re comfortable (and licensed, if necessary) to administer sedatives, consider adding it to your offerings. If not, look into the benefits of hiring or contracting an experienced dental anesthesiologist.

Learn more about PlastCare USA and stock up on the products you need for your office!

Sources used: Dental Sedation: The Anxiety-Free Option for In-Office Procedures, Dentaly; Sedation Dentistry: Can You Really Relax in the Dentist’s Chair? WedMD

Everyone wants something, and they want it yesterday.

In such a fast paced world, how does a dental office keep up with patient expectations?

By offering same-day dentistry.

Eliminate the lab and do everything in the office.

What does that mean, exactly?

Let’s face it, people are busy. They don’t have time to go back and forth from the dentist to complete one procedure. They look for alternatives if they’re forced to wait months for an appointment. Patients want to be in and out with their problems solved.

Traditional dentistry is falling to the wayside in lieu of digital dentistry. This convenient approach to the practice is faster, accurate and much more comfortable for the client. It is also more cost-effective in the long-term.

What do I need to become a Same-Day-Dentist?

Known as CAD/CAM (which means computer-aided design/computer assisted manufacturing) this dentistry method enables dentists to design and create prosthodontics and sometimes in less than 1 hour! Dentists can then use a 3D printer to make dental crowns, teeth bridges, veneers, onlays, inlays, dentures, and dental implant-supported prostheses while the patient is waiting.

The technological components of CAD/CAM are growing by the day, and already include software, digital scanners and printers. Here is a video of a chairside milling machine at work.

While switching from traditional to digital dentistry is an investment of both time and money, it is proving itself to be the future. Same-day dentistry is becoming an essential component to a forward-thinking practice.

In the meantime, learn more about PlastCare USA and stock up on the products you need for your office!

Patients want to book dental appointments from their phones.

The trend of convenience is taking over dentistry.

Since the pandemic, the population has become more accustomed to the trend of convenience. It’s more common than ever to grocery shop from the kitchen or visit a therapist from your home office.

The desire for ease is permeating the medical industry and is especially noticeable amongst boomers and seniors, who constitute a huge chunk of dental clientele.

Meaning, if you operate a dental office, it is imperative to incorporate comfort into every procedure you offer, from scheduling to surgery.

It might seem like a huge undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be. Incorporating CAD/CAM systems, 3D printing, artificial intelligence will certainly lead to a smoother day to day, but there are faster, more economical ways to get started now.

Here are a few suggestions to integrating the convenience trend into your dental practice:

  • Make the intake process easy and quick. Patients want to book from their phones. Finding your contact information, scheduling an appointment and arriving at the office should all be as seamless as possible. It will encourage follow ups and increase word-of-mouth advertising.
  • Reduce waiting time and offer digital distractions, like interactive games for both adults and kids, to make the wait time pass more quickly. Going traditional is never a bad idea either, so remember to stock up on coloring books, up to date magazines and crossword puzzles for the waiting room.
  • Provide entertainment in the exam room itself. This is trending big time and many dental offices are setting up Netflix and the like to keep patient anxiety at bay during difficult procedures.
  • Teledentistry is huge. Be sure to offer virtual services. At minimum you can educate the patient on short term solutions to any issues. At maximum, you can reach clients you wouldn’t otherwise have met. Believe it or not, many patients are willing to travel the extra mile (or many) for a dentist with whom they feel safe.
  • Include a Chat Bot on your website. Ideally the bot is available 24/7, but if it’s not a reality, at least have a chat option for patients to write in during office hours. Less people are willing to make a call these days, and you don’t want to lose a patient simply because they don’t feel like talking on the phone. Don’t lose sight of the trend of convenience in dentistry!

Anything we missed? Let us know in the comments below!