Systems-driven dental implant practice

Dr. Justin Moody discusses going with the workflow

In October of 2008, I took a leap of faith and ventured out on my own as a referral-based dental implantologist, limiting my practice to the placement and restoration of dental implants. I had a vision of the type of practice I wanted to build, the passion to pursue it, and the help and support of my family and friends. But even with all of those positive aspects, I was very nervous. The fear was real — I worried that no one would use my services, what other dentists and specialists would think, and what strategies I could use to set myself apart.

My first lunch and learn with an office went well; I set up my projector, gave a quick rationale for dental implants, and then talked about how to simplify the process. It was at this meeting that the doctors and staff talked about the difficulty of the referral process they used at the time. Two months into this project, I did an evening program for a family group practice about an hour from my office. I gave the same presentation and heard the same issues about their existing referral system being too difficult. On the drive back, I realized that is was imperative to teach them my systems; in essence, give all the information away, and make the process as uncomplicated as possible.
Figure 1: Prosthetic-Driven Implant Planning from Carestream Dental provides that digital work-flow needed to deliver restoration first result
Figure 2: Edentulous treatment planning using the Carestream software
Figure 3: 3D volume rendering from the Carestream 8100

I started from the beginning and developed a clean and simple system for referring a patient. The process spelled out what the referring doctor was comfortable doing, and what he/she expected for an end product. Previously, no one was asking what he/she could do with the end result in mind. Also at that time, within my own office, systems were being refined to provide workflow that allowed for quick turnaround times, inventory management, prosthetic solutions, and excellent communication with not only the referring office but also the patient and the dental laboratory.

Figure 4: 3D slice showing virtual implant placement
Figure 5: Full upper and lower Zirconia with hand-stacked gingival porcelain from ProSmiles Dental Studio in Rapid City, South Dakota
Figure 6: Digital scan bodies from Biohorizons allow for complete implant digital workflow allowing instant commu-nication with the laboratory

Today those systems are still in place but with a different workflow as things change, especially technology. My digital workflow allows not only for better patient care done faster and more accurately but also for patient management with the referring office to ensure efficient communication and a 5-star experience. If I was to credit any one thing for the success of the practice, it would by our relentless pursuit of customized service while doing the right thing for the patient 100% of the time. Remember those first two offices that I visited? They stuck with me, so much so that they took several of my courses along with others’ courses, and now they place implants in their own practices! What a great profession we are in; we can share everything we’ve got, and it comes back to us tenfold!

Justin Moody, DDS, DICOI, DABOI, is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology and of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, Fellow and Associate Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Nebraska Medical College. He is an international speaker and is in private practice at The Dental Implant Center in Rapid City, South Dakota. He can be reached at or at

Disclosure: Dr. Moody is a paid speaker for BioHorizons® and Carestream Dental.

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