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Philips sponsors a lecture duet about digital scanning at the Oral Health Conference this November

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  Posted by: The Probe      29th October 2020

A joint lecture being presented at the BSDHT’s Oral Health Conference by Hygienist Anna Middleton and Dentist Alif Moosajee will examine how and why a digital intraoral scanner is an invaluable tool for the whole dental team, and how it not only enhances teamwork and improves workflow, but ultimately enriches the patient experience, improves communication about their treatments and what can be achieved for them.

The speakers will illustrate how harnessing digital technology has helped create a closer work bond and communication flow between dentist and hygienist/ therapist.

For Anna Middleton the digital scanner she uses has also served as a fantastic educational tool which has helped her have deeper discussions with patients as they can immediately see their teeth on the screen. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and this couldn’t be more useful in practice for igniting engagement.

As Anna commented: “Intra-oral scanning is very powerful for effective communication, consent, long term monitoring and record keeping, and can all be undertaken as part of a hygienist-therapist’s scope of practice. My business was founded after the awarding of direct access status, and often I am the first person a new patient meets in practice. Within my scope of practice, I am able to do so much to engage with patients and what I really enjoy is the ability to offer completely tailored long term solutions for them. I find a treatment plan sells itself because of the insights the iTero system I use provides, and the increased case uptake makes it highly profitable for the practice”.

Alif Moosajee advises that in his practice, there is no doubt that the role of a hygienist and therapist is of paramount importance and during this lecture, he will highlight the benefits of working in tandem with his, from a practice principal’s perspective:

“Patients are becoming more savvy and more willing than ever to have private treatment. They see all these lovely bright white smiles in the media and have high expectations when they come through our doors. They do not understand the journey they have to go through and that’s where we, as a team, need to work on their expectations and set realistic goals”.

He adds: “Dentistry should be fun and exciting. But if you don’t have the right tools and a good team behind you, that’s when you are left with a degree of unpredictability that can cause stress. And that’s why digital dentistry is not something to dismiss for future consideration. With a strong team, digital scanners can enable some of the workload to be delegated, which frees up the dentist to undertake more high value treatments. Your hygienist and therapist can also bring in patients who will ultimately ask for more high value dentistry. So the whole team process spirals positively”.

Implementing a digital strategy for the practice, the team and the patient enables the initiation of a much more efficient workflow. Anna explains that all new patients are seen by her for an hour, and during this time she performs a scan and triages patients, referring them to other members of the team.

She has found that there are many more hygienists and therapists carving out their own businesses and brands and seeking further autonomy. They are looking to expand their scope of practice and vary their daily work. Digital scanning is just one of the many additional skills they can add to their armory to enhance the way they work.

Well-defined: Making the link between digital scanning and tooth whitening

The link between digital scanning and tooth whitening is well-defined; as an intra-oral scanner can be used to create highly accurate digital impressions from which to fabricate tailored trays for every patient, doing away with the need for alginate and ensuring the most accurate fitting trays – and an enhanced patient experience.

Whitening is a gateway treatment and an obvious channel for hygienists and therapists to engage with patients. According to Anna, who is a Philips Ambassador, that’s where the magic happens. Tooth whitening also provides a platform for hygienist and therapist to develop new skills and thrive in practice. It also increases referrals to the dentist as patients invariably want to progress to more complex treatments. It is a win: win with everyone in the team working on more interesting and fulfilling cases.

By empowering the hygienist/therapist to undertake whitening, the dentist can focus on what they do best without wasting precious clinical time on treatments which can be beautifully handled by the hygienist and therapist. The practice wins by adding more value to patients, and profitability will always follow.

According to Anna, delegates will gain a better understanding about intra-oral scanning and its benefits to the patient, the practice and the team from the point of view of a hygienist and a practice principal to achieve multi-disciplinary care, which they can then take back to their practices to discuss and implement.

Alif concurs: “I hope that the talk is going to provide a good insight to understand what digital implementation has done for my practice, for my patients, and for me as principal. I will explain how important it is to get your team on board, how to manage your time effectively and maximise your potential”.

He adds, “People who would like to investigate digitalisation further can often request a loan scanner and see how it can be utilised in their own practice before committing – and I wonder how soon it will be before they realise they can’t do without it?”

Delegates will leave with a practical understanding of how to acquire a good scan for best patient results and start applying this information to their hygiene-therapy scope of practice, including tooth whitening, pre-orthodontics, restorative and patient monitoring.

The duo hopes to encourage dental professionals to get scanning and familiarise themselves with the wide variety of scanner functions by practicing on team members and then patients. They need to learn how they can use this fantastic tool to maximise their patients’ outcomes – functional, aesthetic and oral health for years to come.

Both Alif Moosajee and Anna Middleton are Philips Ambassadors. Their lecture iTero scanning – why and how? takes place at the BSDHT Annual Conference on Saturday 28th November 2020 at 10:05.

For more information about the BSDHT Conference, please visit https://www5.shocklogic.com/scripts/jmevent/Registration.asp?Client_Id=%27PP%27&Project_Id=%27BSDHT20V%27&System_Id=2


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