Align Technology to host first Digital Innovations Forum to help futureproof the dental profession

Align Technology, Inc announced that it will host its first Digital Innovations Forum on 2nd and 3rd December 2020 from 5pm to 8pm (CET). The two-day virtual meeting will be delivered digitally to bring together an international panel of speakers to showcase the latest thinking about practice-related digital innovations who will demonstrate how practitioners can adopt improved digital workflows and more efficient treatment experiences – for their practices and ultimately, also for their patients.

To date, Align has invested over $1 billion (US) in research and development of its cutting-edge technology, including Invisalign aligners and iTero intraoral scanners to advance solutions for dental professionals and their patients. The company remains focused on elevating practices beyond their current digitization level and help them in their optimization efforts, as well as assist in futureproofing the dental profession.

Throughout the Digital Innovations Forum, the roster of speakers will explore why the shift to digital is happening right now, and why embracing digital technology is an essential part of a dynamic business.

The audience will be privy to a talk by, Dr. Edward J. Zuckerberg, D.D.S.,F.A.G.D. who is a Graduate of NYU College of Dentistry, a pioneer in the integration of technology in the dental office and development of techniques for delivering painless dentistry for over 30 years who confirmed his presence at the Forum. Dr. Zuckerberg’s early adoption of advanced technologies in his practice caught the attention of Industry leaders who enlisted him to lecture, write articles and beta test new technologies. In his lecture, he will talk about technology integration in the dental practice, social media marketing and online reputation management for dentists and dental practices, to better understand and meet the needs and challenges brought by the digital revolution.

To hear from Dr. Zuckerberg, click here and scroll down to view a short video.

Align Technology has lined up an array of experienced clinicians from around the world who will share their knowledge, experience, and provide easily actionable advice, so practitioners can immediately start applying what they learn. Presenters will include: Drs Affan Saghir, George Cheetham and Mohsen Tehranian (UK), Dr Ahmad Hagar (Germany), Dr. Alessandro Greco (Italy), Dr. Emmanuel Dumu (Belgium), Dr. Marcos Hiroce (Brazil), Dr. Martin Pedernera (Spain), Drs. Michaela Sehnert and Peter Schicker (Germany), and Dr. Silvia Caruso (Italy), as well as Align’s presenters: Dr David Lopes and John Morton.

For more information about the 2020 Digital Innovations Forum and to register, please visit https://aligndigitalinnovationsforum.com/

Align Technology to host first Digital Innovations Forum to help futureproof dental profession

Align Technology has announced that it will host its first Digital Innovations Forum on 2nd and 3rd December 2020 from 5pm to 8pm (CET). The two-day virtual meeting will be delivered digitally to bring together an international panel of speakers to showcase the latest thinking about practice-related digital innovations. Their collective aim will be to demonstrate how practitioners can adopt improved digital workflows and more efficient treatment experiences – for their practices and ultimately for their patients.

To date, Align has invested over $1 billion (US) in research and development of its cutting-edge technology, including Invisalign aligners and iTero intraoral scanners to advance solutions for dental professionals and their patients. The company remains focused on elevating practices beyond their current position in their digitization and optimization efforts, assisting in futureproofing the dental profession.

Throughout the Digital Innovations Forum, the roster of speakers will explore why the shift to digital is happening right now, and why embracing digital technology is an essential part of a dynamic business. 

Bo Dahlbom, a lecturer on the importance of digitalisation for business and society, IT professor at the University of Gothenburg, chairman of the board of Activation, and a long-time adviser to the government on IT policy issues, will start the plenary session with an insight into ‘The Digital Revolution and Dental Care’.

Explaining the subject of his lecture, Bo Dahlbom commented: “Dentists could resist digitalisation if the whole profession remained conservative and did not easily embrace technological advances. But this is not reality. To remain ahead of the game, dental practitioners need to benchmark themselves against competition and see how the digital revolution is impacting on them.” He added: “In my keynote, I will talk about the changes in society and the similarities between dentistry and other industries. I will also highlight how powerful companies’ digital platforms shape the future and how Align Technology has this ambition to drive the dental industry forward”.

For more information about the Digital Innovations Forum and to register, please visit https://aligndigitalinnovationsforum.com/

New report reveals measures undertaken by the dental profession have aided post-Covid-19 recovery

Align Technology published results of a new survey revealing the measures taken and challenges faced by the dental profession in the United Kingdom during and post the Covid-19 lockdown.

According to the report, drawn together from a number of independent sources by Align Technology, the dental profession has risen to the challenge of treating patients throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, with increased safety measures and a rise in virtual consultations compared with pre-Covid-19 times.

The report also finds that closing practices again during a potential second wave in the autumn could be detrimental to patient health. In a survey of dentists, therapist, hygienists and nurses working for the 600 mydentist group practices, 96 percent stated that lockdown has had an adverse impact on the nation’s oral health and that greater access to affordable dental care is needed. 88 percent of dental health experts surveyed said that the UK’s dental health could decline because a lack of routine appointments could lead to preventative dental issues getting worse1.

Those mydentist professionals surveyed suggested that there were missed opportunities to identify oral cancer which may cause significant long-term health issues. Over three quarters (77 percent) of those questioned are especially worried that oral cancers will be missed, and not referred onwards1. 1,700 members of the British Association of Private Dentists concur, nearly 97 percent of those surveyed are performing fewer oral cancer screens per day in comparison to their situation pre-lockdown2. Oral cancer specialist Professor Mike Lewis reported that where he normally receives 100 oral cancer referrals, over the same period of time, he received only three. Professor Lewis notes this underlines the need to ensure that patients have regular access to dental practices.

Over a quarter (41 percent) of dentists believe it will take between a year and 18-months for the UK’s oral health to return to ‘normal’ after the Covid-19 crisis1. The probable rise in the need for implants was a concern that was specifically raised. Dr. Guy Laffan, a dentist practicing in Wales, advised that he personally extracted 10 patients’ teeth post lockdown, and felt these could have been saved if his practice had remained open and treatment was accessible. Whilst London based, Dr. Gina Vega added that 35-40 of her patients had root canal issues during lockdown. Around half did not meet the criteria to be seen by the dental hubs and some had teeth extracted as a result. Dr. Vega expects a surge in the number of implants conducted over the coming months.

Positive news

Many positive findings also emerged.  The report suggests those patients who have been able to connect with a dentist virtually during the lockdown period had a positive experience. Patients who used a virtual clinic or telephone consultation had 97 percent and 94 percent satisfaction with their experience, respectively1. This suggests a future for the use of telehealth in dentistry as an aid for recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

All dentists questioned agreed or strongly agreed that a teledentistry system would be very useful in saving time. Dr. Ben Atkins, president of the Oral Health Foundation, suggests teledentistry has improved the patient experience, with the use of virtual clinics and telephone consultations. Dr. Atkins recommends that dentists consider increasing their teledentistry offering to help reduce the risk of viral transmission and compliance with social distancing measures.

Adult orthodontics has also been identified as an opportunity for growth for practices post lockdown. Over three quarters (80 percent) of orthodontists in a new survey saw an increase in adult patients, and over half (60 percent), say this is due to heightened awareness of adult orthodontics. More than 15 percent of orthodontists say their adult patients are influenced by celebrities and bloggers. The majority of adult patients (85 percent) are in the 26 to 55 age bracket and female (80 percent).3

According to Dr. Mark Cronshaw, President of the Pandora Group*, the dental profession has led the way for stringent safety measures. While protective masks, gloves and clothing have always been the gold standard for patient and doctor protection, during lockdown, this lobbying organisation created a recommended 8-step protocol for reopening safely. This included evidence-based advice about the length of fallow time, air sterilisation, AGPs, rubber dam, PPE (levels of) suction technologies, and patient pre-treatment checks 4.

The protocol aims to reduce the risks associated with aerosol generating procedures down to around 0.1 percent risk, and cumulatively reduce the overall risk and impact on the provision of general dental practice. Additionally, while dentists have been advised that they should have a month’s worth of PPE in reserve in case of a second wave, no dentists questioned reported concerns about access to PPE, underlining how the profession’s forward planning measures are already in place. 4

Align Technology has committed $1 million to the Align Foundation to source and supply personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supply donations as well as making cash donations to the World Health Organisation in Europe. It is also using its 3D printing technology and manufacturing expertise to produce face shields and medical swaps to support the fight against Covid-19.

In addition, the company is supporting campaigns to help dentists and dentistry through sharing best practice, cooperating with leading associations, providing practical support for organisations and developing technologies to support the profession, including introducing virtual solutions to connect doctors and patients.  

Visit www.aligntech.com for more information.

References:

1 Research conducted by mydentist amongst 600 dental practices

2 British Association of Private Dentists

3 British Orthodontic Society

4 The Pandora Group – * Pandora is an independent think tank founded in recognition of the need for evidence based best practice and guidance during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Since the end of March, the group has been researching and pooling resources to create protocols enabling the profession to get back to treating the nation’s dental needs and how to open safely, sooner, access scarce PPE and save costs.

Align Technology launches MyiTero lab workflow

Align Technology has launched an enhanced laboratory workflow, designed to significantly improve the collaboration between dental practices and laboratories, and can lead to increased efficiency, better accuracy, enhanced communication and a faster turnaround for both parties.

At the heart of the new workflow sits the cloud-based MyiTero.com platform, which enables the laboratory to receive scans within minutes, allowing them to review and communicate with the dentist in real time, for example – while the patient is still in the chair. It provides the laboratory with increased flexibility to manage the restorative workflow, ultimately enhancing patient communication and outcomes, and reducing the need for multiple revisits.

Steven Campbell, President of the United Kingdom Dental Laboratories Association, said: “The new workflow allows technicians to work on immediate scan enhancements and make timely modifications to their milled models, saving at least a day, if not more, on cases. Scans can be received and reviewed within minutes, rather than the previous timeline of 8 – 48 hours.”

As an early user of the new workflow, Campbell has already observed some of the benefits in his lab and among his customers. As he explained: “In my opinion the MyiTero workflow is a major advance in direct communication with dental surgeons, so that they can make the adjustments needed while the patient is still in the dental chair. It allows us to work more collaboratively, as well as to create a convincing and effective proposition to offer patients. Our restoration remake rate is the lowest it has ever been, and it is purely down to communication. We now have a tool that allows us to send the whole design to the surgeons who can view it in their own time, inspect it from all angles, make an informed decision and request rapid changes. This reduces stress, saves time, product wastage and postage, as well as prevents disappointments regarding patient treatment. With the iTero intraoral scanner, the digital workflow process is fully mapped out, ready and mature.”

Align Technology announces virtual events

Align Technology’s Invisalign brand is hosting a digital edition of its Scientific Symposium in the format of a television news broadcast from 14-15 May. In addition, Align Technology is also ‘relocating’ its Dubrovnik Growth Summit to a virtual platform. Described as a ‘hyper-connected broadcast’, the summit will feature a TV studio with a news anchor moderating the event to beam some of the brightest minds in dentistry and business directly into dentists’ homes throughout a full two-day symposium on 19 and 20 June.

The Invisalign Scientific Symposium will present upcoming Invisalign innovations, the opportunity to ‘attend’ lectures from world-class speakers, the chance to network with international colleagues during a virtual social hour, and recognition of Invisalign cases via the Invisalign Scientific Symposium Award. For more information on how to attend, the full schedule and list of speakers, visit www.invisalignscientificsymposium.com.

Meanwhile, in June, Align Technology’s Growth Summit has been curated for all dentists to look beyond the current situation and learn how to prepare for a life back in practice. Joining this unique digital experience will present an opportunity to connect with thought leaders and absorb the unrivalled clinical, business development and personal growth modules. The programme covers many in-demand topics from leadership and influence, to crisis management, patient connectivity and communication, recovery and business prosperity, comprehensive and multidisciplinary dentistry, diagnoses, treatment planning and protocols, facial driven treatment planning, ways to lead with digital (iTero), and personal growth and wellbeing.

Align Growth Summit speakers

Align Growth Summit speakers

The list of speakers will include: Dr Ingo Baresel, an accomplished international speaker and author of numerous articles relating to digital workflows and intraoral scanning; Dr Karla Soto, semi-finalist at the national 2017 Invisalign Summit and is the image for a pilot program for the Invisalign software; and Dr David Galler, who has even developed his own interproximal reduction (IPR) technique. The summit will also present speakers on a range on non-dental topics, such as: Ken Hughes, a  shopping and consumer behaviourist who will be suggesting five ways to bring patients back; and Connie Dieken, a word-renowned executive coach for senior business leaders.

For full details, visit www.aligngrowthsummit.com.