New Imaging in the office, what does this mean for your team?

It’s an exciting day for dentists to say YES to new imaging in the practice. A new imaging system can open up multiple opportunities to evaluate, educate and treatment plan patients. What does this mean for team members? New training, imaging execution and patient communication are just a few new topics that come to mind.
Team members also get excited about new technology in the practice. Most may worry about getting trained, doing something new and how to charge the patients for new imaging. These are all valid concerns and rest assured most imaging technology companies have solutions. Any new venture will take time to implement and once the decision is made to move forward typically there is no turning back. As a dental team member anything new to the practice can be overwhelming especially something that impacts every patient and procedure. It’s easy for a dental team member to take a quick PA x-ray, angle the film and x-ray cone just right, instruct the patient when to bite down, and quick press the button! Done. When or if patients ask about cost, no worries – the cost is minimal or covered by dental insurance. Life is good. Now we have new imaging! A new way to position the patient, new software to learn and what happens with the fee? Is it covered by dental or medical what is the patient’s responsibility? The good news is once your systems are in place, it will be difficult to comprehend working without it!
Like anything in life it’s all about attitude. If getting new imaging is seen as challenging and impossible to implement, then guess what? It will be challenging and impossible to implement! If getting new imaging is exciting and increases your level of ability, then guess what? You have something new to promote in the office and it won’t be long before you master it, like every other procedure you have learned. Turns out new imaging is very exciting and most patients are intrigued to visually experience what is being evaluated. A picture is truly worth a thousand words. Do you remember when intra-oral cameras were introduced in patient treatment rooms and patients could see fractures and broken down fillings for the first time? The images educate patients that dentistry is needed. Now we have 3D technology! The ability to show and educate patients with 3D imaging is remarkable! The use of this technology for diagnosis, treatment planning and precision of treatment, as with implants, is unparalleled. And it comes with even less radiation than a few years ago. Enhancing the ability to educate patients, particularly with regards to airway analysis, should produce increasing patient acceptance. Of course it is always important to keep in mind that imaging of the airway in an upright awake position cannot be a diagnosis for a sleep breathing disorder. This can only be done with a diagnosed sleep test. Showing the airway volume increase in a before and after 3D image is very impressive!
The initial shock of doing something different will lessen with experience and time. Focus on taking advantage of learning something new and expand your abilities. Don’t shy away from new technology, embrace it!
This Sleep Team Column will be dedicated to the team and provide practical tips and resourceful information. Let us know your specific issues by email to:, while we can’t respond to every individual. Your feedback will help us create the most useful Sleep Team Column we can!

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