Content offered by Lisa Nulty, RDH, MS, Product Manager for DEXIS
In the early adventurous days of my career, I started out as a traveling hygienist — an amazing learning experience. By working with clinicians across the country, I was able to gain a variety of skill sets and learn from each dentist’s unique techniques. Throughout life, I have always tried to find solutions and fill specific needs for my chosen field. In dentistry, I saw a niche for hygienists who are flexible enough to fill in for the hygienist in dental practices — whether they were on maternity or sick leave or had a sudden emergency. Since hygienists are such an integral part of any practice, that sudden void can make productivity suffer.Working in different types of offices gave me the background knowledge of the technologies and applications available to the dental world — from software to X-ray systems. Because of my familiarity with a variety of systems, dentists trusted that I could walk in and pick up where their hygienists left off once they familiarized me with the office protocol and the dentists’ office policies on patient care.
The fascinating part of my job was the myriad of practice types I encountered. Some offices were comprised of just me and the dentist. That was it! Some had no technology. For them, I dipped films, snapping those film X-rays but not knowing how they would turn out until they appeared from the developer. We had to be careful that we were putting them in the right chemicals and watching them for the right amount of time. The whole process was very cumbersome to do and took a lot of time. Patients had trouble visualizing their dental issues on those small film X-rays, and that didn’t make the dentists’ jobs any easier.
In 2001, I started to work for a dentist who was passionate about research and was very interested in new technologies — I stayed at that office for 12 years! Ironically, he was in his later years, but was constantly re-evaluating technologies because of his great passion for the dental industry. In fact, he decided to build a new state-of-the-art practice at that stage in his career. He was a fee-for-service doctor, and his patients travelled great distances for his care. For his imaging system, he chose DEXIS™. Working with DEXIS software and hardware gave us opportunities to do better dentistry. Because of the exceptional image quality, we were able to see more detailed images, and even better, because of the digital format, our patients were able to share in the excitement of our diagnosis and treatment planning. With the digital format, we were able to enlarge the images to better see areas of concern. The software’s tools, such as Annotation and ClearVu™, also gave us new and much more visual ways to explain patients’ conditions and intended treatment.
One of my favorite aspects about the DEXIS sensor, that many dentists have concurred with, is how well the size of the sensor works for pediatric patients. I worked in pediatric dentistry for many years, and DEXIS was the first sensor with which I never had a problem. Of course, we have to modify the position of the sensor for certain patients, for instance, taking the image from an occlusal versus taking a periapical — the same use of alternative positioning as if someone had tori.
Recently I visited an office that was using another imaging system. It was more complicated to navigate through that brand’s software’s screens, and I could not just pick up the sensor and easily move it from operatory to operatory as I could with DEXIS’ direct USB connection since there were controller boxes that needed to accompany each sensor.
One thing that I have personally seen and definitely believe from my years as a hygienist is that for imaging, a dentist is better off with digital and better off with DEXIS.
After being in the field for so long, I have seen what dentists need in technology and also what makes patients choose a certain dentist and continue coming back. My upcoming webinar on imaging and case acceptance gives me the chance to share some of these insights with you. I am honored to have worked for doctors who trusted and counted on me. Now, as I work with the DEXIS team, I can share my insights on what technologies dentists are asking for so they can offer the best dental care and further their reputations as offices of excellence.
Lisa has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Bridgeport Fones School of Dental Hygiene and a Master’s Degree in Education. With 26 years of experience, Lisa has held her hygiene license in many states and has worked in specialty practices as a travelling hygienist, gaining knowledge and skill sets along the way. She also has experience in the dental research field as well as providing direction to clinicians regarding practice development. She recently joined Team DEXIS a Product Manager.