Content provided by Lisa Nulty, RDH, M. Ed
It’s no secret that doctor-patient relationships are very important in building and maintaining a successful practice. When patients trust their caregivers, they are more likely to follow instructions. In my 26 years of working with dentists and their practices, I have witnessed firsthand how building these relationships and educating patients has resulted in people seeking routine, timely care. That means that patients are not only interested in addressing problems, but also are scheduling regular checkups to keep their teeth healthy which in turn, allows the clinician more opportunity for early diagnosis of dental disease.
Imaging technologies can be a great tool when educating patients. Digital X-rays, especially DEXIS™, with its excellent image quality, can be enlarged on a monitor so that patients can clearly see and understand their dental problems. Using tools, such as arrows to point out areas of interest, or changing contrast or zooming in, can create an even more explanatory visual with which to discuss diagnostics. Besides the educational aspects, the DEXIS™ Platinum sensor allows for low radiation dose, and using DEXshield™ in conjunction with the Platinum sensor lowers that another 30%*. Patients appreciate hearing that their clinician has taken measures to provide dental care at the lowest radiation dose possible. For patients whose medical histories preclude exposure to radiation at all, DEXIS CariVu™, a caries detection device that utilizes transillumination technology, can detect caries with absolutely no ionizing radiation and with a 99% accuracy rate**. With digital X-rays and CariVu as part of the imaging armamentarium, dentists can catch possible trouble spots earlier and avoid more invasive procedures later. When patients comprehend the diagnosis more completely, they will be more apt to comply with treatment options —they know that their dentist cares about their dental health and is taking steps to help them keep their teeth healthy longer.
Regular visits to maintain dental health are imperative. The educational tools and technologies that dentists have today allow them to approach dentistry in a whole new way, as a part of overall health. Adding these appropriate technologies help dentists to diagnose more efficiently and to educate more patients on their dental care. This way, patients can make dental health a priority, take accountability, and follow through with suggested dental treatment. Hopefully, this will give them a good start on an overall healthier life and build a strong relationship with their dentist.
Just a reminder…Don’t forget to enter to win a DEXIS system!
* In a laboratory setting, DEXshield plus the DEXIS Platinum Sensor was determined to reduce absorbed dose by 30% as compared to the Universal Ring plus the DEXIS Platinum Sensor.
** Kühnisch J. Benefits of the DIAGNOcam Procedure for the Detection and Diagnosis of Caries [study project]. Munich: Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich; 2013.
DEXIS product indications for use: www.dexis.com/ifu