Its been a little while since I had taken some time out to put some thoughts down on this blog. But I feel that it is a good time to revisit how Digital Smile Design has impacted my practice as I am currently in Berlin, talking about this as a guest speaker at the DSD Berlin stop of the World Tour.
I love dentistry. And I love making people smile again. These things have made it easy to search out techniques and concepts to make the process of making people smile again as easy as possible, as predictable as possible and as accurate as possible.
As a dentist the concepts and techniques that we use to carry out our job right now, do work to a greater or lesser extent. But as technology advances, there is always a way to improve and if we adopt the improved protocols then life becomes easier and the old ways become obsolete . Take for example the way we watch movies at home. At one stage we used to go out to the video store, browse around and pick out a few to rent. It did the job back then, but now we don’t use that process. As technology changed, we could download or stream the movies instead, and now we don’t see Blockbuster video stores on the high street any more!
The same applies to the way we do dentistry. Digital is changing the entire profession forever. Those techniques that we have been used to, can now be done better, easier and with more predictability and accuracy than our current methods. So how has DSD impacted my practice? The answer is that it has impacted my practice is EVERY way possible.
DSD is the entrance into the digital world. With the design of the smile and the production of the blueprints of our end result “the ideal smile for this particular patient” we can now digitally import this plan (the smile frame) into various dental softwares to make implantology, perio, ortho, restorative and orthognathic treatment more streamlined and better. You can see one of these cases done in this manner involving implants practically in operation here where everything was done using a fully digital protocol start to finish with the whole case being driven by DSD. The case components being fabricated utilising the DSD Virtual Lab.
Other things that have changed: Now my life is so much more easier due to the fact that we use video instead of photography for all our cases. From every second of video I can extract approximately 30 photos and the quality of 4k smartphone cameras has been a game changer in terms of quality and ease of use. Being able to see the patient in motion with video also means that a more accurate analysis of the patient can be made and better decisions about their treatment can be made.
The patients treatment planning is also easier as a result of the creation of the digital chart whilst making the DSD smile frame. All the patients information is now kept together in one place, easily accessible for the whole team to contribute and formulate the best treatment plan remotely without the need of the whole team being present together at the same time.
Critical in the implementation of our DSD protocols has been the involvement of Paul McDermott and Esref Turgut at Park Circus ceramics, two very experienced technicians who have embraced the digital way of doing things. They have told me that the information we are now sending them about our cases is making their lives so much more easier and enabling them to make more accurate and better restorations. We are seeing the results of this in the clinic where the work they are sending back matches exactly our design as a result of the blueprints of the smile being sent to them in the form of the Smile Frame at the beginning of the case.
Our patients love the fact that we can deliver our cases so accurately and predictably matching the smile they fell in love with on the Motivational mock up day we did for them at the commencement of treatment.
Finally I am also happy to report that because of the highly visual way we now communicate with our patients, understanding of the treatment options are now crystal clear and more patients are happy to accept treatment involving multidisciplinary specialties as they now know what the most beneficial treatment is for them in the long term. This is absolutely due primarily to the DSD concepts we have introduced.
The great news from DSD is that now Christian is setting up a new type of course called the DSD Residency, and you can get more info about it here: http://digitalsmiledesign.com/en/courses