One doctor shares the powerful impact a next-generation imaging unit has had on his practice and patient care, but not without ongoing support and guidance from a trusted supply partner.
When it comes to technology adoption, there’s a dental practice out there on every end of the spectrum—from early adopters and technology gurus to an office diving into its first digital impression system. Sitting firmly at the high end of the spectrum is Neal Patel, DDS, who was one of the first clinicians in the country to adopt cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) at his practice, Infinite Smiles in Powell, Ohio. Thirteen years later, Dr. Patel has accumulated many more dental technologies – including CAD/CAM, 3D printing, and laser dentistry – to streamline clinical efficiencies and elevate his patient care.
So, what does it take for a clinician who admittedly has every dental technology under the sun to be blown away? While Dr. Patel’s Galileos CBCT imaging unit from Dentsply Sirona has served him well over the past decade, this year he discovered a unit that he felt finally challenged its abilities.
“When I heard the Axeos was available, I knew I had to have it,” said Dr. Patel of Dentsply Sirona’s newest 3D/2D imaging unit with a large field of view and wide treatment spectrum, adding that the technology infused into Axeos will take him well into the next decade of his practice.
“We have used it every single day for all of our consults, as well as for our new patients, and it’s been a game changer. Our office already had a cone beam system, so the fact that all we did was upgrade to a newer unit and this is still a game changer is pretty unique,” said Dr. Patel, adding that for clinicians who have never had access to this kind of technology, introducing a system like Axeos will completely revolutionize their practice. “I’m excited for my peers who don’t have it yet, because the potential for them to magnify what they do and improve the result of their clinical therapy is unparalleled.”
A game-changing imaging workflow
While the logistics of image acquisition are relatively the same between the Galileos and Axeos imaging units, the clinical team at Infinite Smiles has enjoyed how much easier it is to get patients positioned in the machine and capture images. Axeos offers a smart functionality that adapts and adjusts to the patient depending on their head tilt and position, which virtually removes clinical error from the equation.
“The user interface makes it much easier for my clinical team to adjust the machine, field of view, or the other parameters that they need to input, as opposed to running back to a computer, making the changes, and then going back to the machine,” said Dr. Patel. “They can actually stay with the patient and adjust everything through the panel, which is fantastic.”
The Galileos unit took anywhere from 7 to 10 minutes to populate an image, which Dr. Patel admitted he had gotten used to. But as his practice grew and became busier, he started to realize it was becoming a bottleneck. With Axeos, once the image is taken, it’s typically on the computer screen within 2 minutes.
“It’s night and day in terms of speed,” he said. “Regardless of whether the image quality is the same or better, the workflow is improved significantly. A 5-minute reduction in time-savings is absolutely significant, and I think most successful dentists realize the value of 5 minutes from a production standpoint. You can potentially save an hour a day, which makes the team more productive and signals a massive leap in workflow efficiency.”
There is such great technology out there, but in my opinion, it needs to be integrated by a professional like Patterson so that everything runs smoothly for the doctor and from the doctor’s perspective.
A trusted technology partner
As game changing as Axeos has been for the clinical team at Infinite Smiles, the imaging unit didn’t come out of the box that way. While some digital tools may be true plug-and-play solutions, most investments require a bit more attention. That’s why step one of incorporating any new technology into the practice is choosing a partner who can ensure implementation and training go smoothly and that clinicians and their dental teams get the most out of their investment.
Back in 2007, when Dr. Patel was opening his practice doors and implementing the Galileos CBCT imaging unit, he turned to Patterson Dental to guide him through the process from start to finish. Because of Patterson’s comprehensive portfolio of industry-leading vendor partners in the technology and equipment sector, the partnership has continued to grow and become stronger with every digital investment.
“There is such great technology out there, but in my opinion, it needs to be integrated by a professional like Patterson so that everything runs smoothly for the doctor and from the doctor’s perspective,” he said. “Implementing one piece of technology requires several steps prior to just plugging it in. There’s infrastructure – which calls for the coordination of different elements like compressed air or electrical requirements – space considerations, networking, and so forth.”
In addition to helping him navigate the logistical aspects of implementing a technology like cone beam imaging, Dr. Patel says that over the years, Patterson Dental has become familiar with the blueprint of his practice. So, no matter which digital tool he’s acquiring, whether it’s a digital sensor, imaging software, or 3D printer, it can be tailored exactly to how he and his dental team needs to use it.
“Patterson is unique in my opinion because they are always customizing the solutions to me,” added Dr. Patel. “Instead of looking at me like another dental practice, they know my practice very well and understand not only how I operate as a person, but how I operate within the walls of my practice. So it’s a great relationship from that perspective, and I trust that Patterson does that with every one of their customers around the country.”
A full-circle digital journey
Not only has Dr. Patel benefited from Patterson’s service and support when implementing the growing number of technologies at Infinite Smiles, but his relationship with the supplier has evolved in a way that allows him to give something back to practice owners around the country.
“Patterson is my trusted supplier, but I also enjoy being a doctor who helps them figure things out so that before they go to market with a product, they have an answer and an understanding as to how to implement these technologies, because that’s one of the hardest things to do,” he said. “I enjoy helping other practices implement the same technology that I’ve implemented and benefited from in my own practice, whether it’s cone beam imaging, CAD/CAM, digital sensors, or an intraoral camera.”
Another key reason that partnering with Patterson has been great, added Dr. Patel, is because they’re addressing digital dentistry from all angles. Patterson’s comprehensive portfolio gives him full confidence that when his practice needs a particular digital solution, they’ll have a product that fits the bill – as well the support to go along with it.
This content was originally published here.