By Gerald Bittner, Jr., DDS
My parents were both dentists. They had a great philosophy when it came to patients: Let them know they are in an environment where they are cared for, listened to, and receive the very best. I learned this firsthand early in life. When I joined the practice in 1985, I began making decisions with my parents to further build on this philosophy. Later when they retired, it was up to me to keep this legacy going.
Over the years, we’ve been able to improve patient care with technologies, such as digital imaging, lasers, and even sleep modalities; these things make our office a comfortable, caring environment. As a result, patients don’t feel like they’re just in a dental office, but that they are a friend of the family and getting the best care my team and I can provide.
By far, the technology that’s had the greatest impact on patient understanding and case acceptance is digital radiography. We implemented DEXIS® digital X-ray because we wanted full integration with our Dentrix® program, to improve diagnosis and streamline our daily radiographic tasks. Then, we came to realize what a powerful tool it is for patient understanding. When they see a clear, crisp radiograph of their teeth on a 19-inch monitor or a 50-inch screen in the consult room, they see the problem and the need for me to fix it.
We’re in the business of health and happiness. The more I can show patients what’s possible, the more I can deliver to them and make them happy.
The new DEXIS® Imaging Suite takes patient understanding a step further with its cosmetic module, DEXcosmetic™. We’re able to show patients how their teeth would look if we whitened them, if we straightened them a bit, or changed them with veneers. We’re in the business of health and happiness. The more I can show patients what’s possible, the more I can deliver to them and make them happy.
We advocate beautiful smiles, but a beautiful smile is also healthy. With our cosmetic software, we can take a camera image and show the patients, for example, what their teeth would look like if they were whiter, but it also increases the awareness of the rest of their mouth and its overall oral health.
Besides improving patient knowledge and awareness, this technology helps build the doctor-patient relationship. Since we use the patient’s own images, it takes some of the trepidation away when they can see the condition and changes we can perform. There’s greater communication before treatment that gives more certainty to the patient. This assurance is very important to building a relationship so that the patient feels comfortable and confident in our plan for treatment.
The philosophy that was integral to the start of our San Jose practice back in the 1970s is alive and even stronger today. I continue to provide a caring environment with the help of technology. And the one technology that I know will deliver for me on a daily basis is my digital imaging system. It helps me increase my patients’ understanding of and confidence in the treatments I can deliver to make them healthy and happy.