“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward”

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Sirona Dental Systems Inc. maintained its stellar reputation for top-notch equipment and education with its most recent 3D (Discover Digital Dentistry) Summit, “Elevate Your Practice Today,” at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta over Valentine’s Day weekend. And what better way to say “I love you” to your practice and patients than learning about integrated technology that could enable virtually all practitioners to remain vibrant and deliver even greater dental care to their patients?

Charlotte, NC-based Sirona has a long history of innovation, including the first dental electrical drill 130 years ago, the first dental x-ray unit 110 years ago and the first dental CAD/CAM system (CEREC®), which turns 30 this year. (Read more about that below.) The first radiology scans back in the 1890s lasted 10 minutes. Sirona’s GALILEOS cone beam computed technology (CBCT) takes 14 seconds, and creates a panoramic, lateral cephalometric and 3D MPR image automatically during the reconstruction cycle.

Atlanta’s educational symposium was dedicated to the latest advancements of the company’s patented implantology solutions: GALILEOS cone beam, integrated with Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics (CEREC®) CAD/CAM. Also expounded upon were implant planning, guided surgery, digital impressions, overdentures, sinus lift procedures, oral surgery technologies, and advances in diagnostic imaging, radiological interpretation and medical billing.

The seminar, co-hosted by Sirona’s leading distributor, Patterson Dental of St. Paul, MN, brought together high-caliber speakers, all of whom have experience with the Sirona system, including Neal Patel, DDS; Don Tyndall, DDS, MSPH, PhD; August de Oliveira, DDS; Tarun Agarwal, DDS, PA; Jay Reznick, DMD, MD; and Chris Farrugia, DDS. Also presenting were CPA Bob Creamer, director of dental services at the Salem, OR office of AKT CPAs and Dennis Yokum, 3D imaging support specialist for Sirona.

As usual, the summit provided a live, hands-on patient procedure, this one performed by Atlanta-based Dr. Ashish Patel of Dentistry at East Piedmont and Smiles on Peachtree; presented by Dr. Neal Patel, of Infinite Smiles in Powell, OH, and moderated by Dr. Tarun Agarwal of Dental Arts in Raleigh, N.C., thus proving that using 3D x-ray technology, software-guided implant planning and surgery, and placement of CAD/CAM-designed prosthetics creates great confidence for patient and practitioner. Summit attendees were impressed with the precision, ease, speed and superior patient outcome.

As Dr. Tyndall, director of radiology at University of North Carolina’s School of Dentistry, pointed out, 3D makes for better diagnoses and treatment plans. “Two dimensionals always underestimate bone damage and always overestimate bone strength.”

Only about 18 percent of general dentists are placing implants, Dr. Agarwal noted, making mouth care less convenient for patients. “I’m not anti-specialist,” he said. “I’m pro-patient.”

Digital dentistry implants make it all good for patients: improved diagnostics, better comprehension, less chair time, greater confidence, quicker procedures and faster healing. For example, using guided minimally invasive surgery, implants can be done in a half hour with no cuts or stitches and little need for pain relief. “Eighty percent of the patients need only a couple of ibuprofen afterward,” Dr. Agarwal said.

Dr. Agarwal noted that while change can be difficult, “If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.” He added, “Embracing the new technology has been the ultimate practice growth tool.”

If you’re ready to embrace the change, attend an upcoming 3D summit: March 20-21 in Kansas City, April 10-11 in Scottsdale, AZ, June 19-20 in Columbus, OH, or June 26-27 in Portland, OR. More information about these summits is available by calling 800-659-5977 or visiting www.sirona.com.

And if you want to celebrate 30 years of CEREC® come to CEREC 30 in Las Vegas at the Venetian® and Palazzo® Hotel Sept. 17 – 19, 2015. Visit www.cereconline.com, or call 844-CEREC30 (844-237-3230) to learn more about this three-day educational extravaganza for dental and lab professionals.

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