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The Benefits of Dental Monitoring

Across the dental profession, optimising chair time has long been recognized as vital in maximizing profitability. The challenge, as always, is to do this not only without compromising the patient experience, but while actually enhancing it.

As optimising chair time generally means increasing the efficiency with which patients are seen and treated, it’s easy to see how practices which were once part of a ‘high quality’ customer experience might fall by the wayside.

Technology, of course, provides the solution. Digital dentistry has made it possible for the accepted definition of a high quality patient experience to evolve, so that today it is based on up to date technology used with evident expertise, clear communications and explanations, and efficient, hassle-free case management.

Dental monitoring can make a valuable and impressive contribution to achieving this impact. It affords patients being treated with aligners increased confidence that their treatment is being watched over by their dentist and progressing as planned, along with increased engagement and greater convenience.

For the dentist, dental monitoring makes it quick and easy to keep each aligner case continuously under review without the need for additional or unnecessary appointments, and engages the patient more fully in ensuring the success of their treatment.

What is dental monitoring?

Dental monitoring (remote monitoring as it’s sometimes known) uses an AI-powered platform backed by a database of clinical images, to detect and monitor oral observations, remotely.

For dentists carrying out aligner treatment, this means you can check that your patient is complying with your instructions and using their aligners correctly, and determine precisely when they need to be seen in person. Otherwise, they can safely be left to get on with their life, while you can get on with seeing other patients.

How dental monitoring actually works

At 3Dental, we offer dental monitoring with all of our premium aligner packages.

Once you’ve seen your patient and formulated their treatment plan, you monitor treatment and manage liaison with them through our online dental monitoring platform. This has been set up by us for the oral observations usually needed for aligner cases. However, we can customize these further for you if necessary to accommodate exceptional cases.

Your patient simply downloads our app to their smartphone, and uses in combination with the custom device which we provide to them to take intraoral images whenever they are due to scan their teeth. They can do this from wherever they happen to be at the time.

Once intraoral images have been scanned using the device, they automatically upload to your dental monitoring dashboard, where you can view them and monitor the process.

The uploaded images are analysed by AI, which can detect over 130 oral observations. If it detects an observation specified by the protocol - for example if an alignment is not progressing correctly - it sends out appropriate instructions, pre-configured by us - to you and your patient.

You can use the app to communicate with your patient in both directions, schedule appointments to see them in person, or send them further instructions, complete with annotated pictures, at any time.

How dental monitoring benefits you and your patient.

By using dental monitoring on your aligner cases, you’ll optimise chairtime, replacing additional appointments with AI monitoring, preset instructions to patients triggered automatically when something’s wrong, and the ability to communicate directly or call the patient in via the app whenever you wish.

Because the patient is able to see the progress of their alignment via the app for themselves, compliance is improved dramatically. If poor fit develops, you can see this long before the next scheduled appointment and decide on how best to make refinements, and you can save more valuable time by automating non-clinical steps.

From your patient’s point of view, if you’re using dental monitoring there’s less need to miss work or make child-cover plans to be able to come in to the practice for repeated appointments. The monitoring provides reassurance that treatment is on track, and boosts motivation to comply with wearing the aligners as you have prescribed. Because you are able to act immediately if refinements are needed, treatment is generally completed in the shortest possible time.

In all, dental monitoring not only hands you back valuable chairtime and improves the efficiency of your aligner case management. It also delivers your aligner patients a seamless and impressive customer experience.

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