Part 1 of 3 | Streamline Orthodontic Practice & Enhance Efficiency Through Digital Workflow

Over the past 15 years, the dental industry has been transitioning from traditional methods to digital ones. This includes the use of practice management software, digital x-rays, intraoral cameras, intraoral scanners, treatment planning software, chairside milling, and 3D printing.1 These tools, when integrated with cloud-based platforms and various dental CAD/CAM systems, enhance collaboration and communication among interdisciplinary dental teams.1 Part 1 of this article series shares the treatment plan and how technology helps the orthodontic digital workflow.

Many general dentists have already adopted some digital tools such as electronic medical records, digital x-rays, digital CAD- CAM scanning and milling for restorative, etc. However, few have yet set up their workflow entirely digitally. The barriers to adoption could be technology’s overwhelming choices, the steep learning curve, or the high cost of entry.1 To go fully digital, it takes a willingness to learn, a commitment to change, and an understanding of the benefits that come with it.

In orthodontic workflows, digital tools have significantly enhanced and transformed how we plan, execute, and monitor orthodontic treatment. However, the adoption of new technologies by dentists is still slow. For instance, even though the sales of intra-oral scanners are on the rise and expected to hit $1 billion by 2028,2 only 10-20% of dentists are currently using them.3

This three-part article series aims to update you with the current available tools for every stage of the orthodontic workflow. We hope to demonstrate that adopting the digital workflow in orthodontics can be rather simple and quite affordable. Once set in place, this process can help reduce overhead costs, increase efficiency, make work more enjoyable for us dentists, and provide higher quality treatment and better experience for patients.1

What is a digital workflow and how does it impact the field of orthodontics?

Over the past 15 years, the dental industry has been transitioning from traditional methods to digital ones. This includes the use of practice management software, digital x-rays, intraoral cameras, intraoral scanners, treatment planning software, chairside milling, and 3D printing.1 These tools, when integrated with cloud-based platforms and various dental CAD/CAM systems, enhance collaboration and communication among interdisciplinary dental teams.1 Part 1 of this article series shares the treatment plan and how technology helps the orthodontic digital workflow.

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American Orthodontic Society

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