Many dental practices look at going digital as a massive undertaking- and it is! Read through this article on DentistryIQ and you’ll see some of the major hurdles involved. Here’s an excerpt:
Going digital requires time. You’ll need to research to learn all you can about the different systems. Talk with other labs that are similar in size to see how they have made the transition. Follow discussion and group forums about different systems to determine which one fits your lab. With LMT Lab Day Chicago right around the corner during Chicago Midwinter, it’s the perfect time to see the different systems in action. Talking with users, attending digital presentations, and questioning company representatives will help you form a good picture of the equipment’s capabilities.
Once you have chosen the right CAD/CAM system for your dental lab, you’ll to need time to learn the system and how to merge your processes together — the traditional workflow and digital workflow. You will also need to train your employees on the equipment and the new processes.
So you bought your first CAD/CAM system. Now what? There are a few important things you will want to plan for. The first is how and where you want the equipment set-up, and this may even require some physical facility changes. Do you want separate scanning and design stations? Who is going to be scanning and designing? What kind of training will they need? The second thing you will need to plan for is a reliable file back-up system. It is critical to keep your system and data protected. As much as technology is our friend, things can happen and you need to make sure your work is backed up on an external source.
Finally, you want to plan for the future. You are going to be investing a lot of time and money into your CAD-CAM system, so make sure the equipment you choose will work for your current offerings and those you wish to offer in the future.
Transitioning your small lab is scary enough for you, but what about for your employees? Make sure you have the buy-in and support from everyone in the lab that the new addition(s) may affect. Receiving the full and enthusiastic support of your staff will help make the transition a lot easier. In addition, support from your distributor is extremely important as there can always be a glitch in the programs, or problems may arise that you’re unable to solve. Here are a few things you should look for:
• Make sure your distributor has a comprehensive training program available to give you one-on-one assistance to learn the basics and beyond. Make sure the distributor is certified to train you.
• Make sure you have unlimited remote assistance. You certainly won’t learn everything there is to know in a one- or two-day training course, so make sure you have access to remote assistance for quick questions or troubleshooting.
One thing the author doesn’t note: you don’t have to invest the time & money in going digital if you don’t want to! If you’re in the metro Detroit/Southeastern Michigan region, you can send your patients to our dental imaging lab for a cone beam CBCT scan. Our dental digital lab is a quick and effortless experience for patients, and will save you the headache of implementing a digital imaging lab at your own practice. Contact us today for more information!