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Digital Workflow Experience takes dentists through ‘office of now’

July 03, 2019

By Mary Beth Versaci

San Francisco — Dentists can experience firsthand how to integrate digital technology into their practices as part of the Digital Workflow Experience at the ADA FDI World Dental Congress this September in San Francisco.

New to this year's meeting, the Digital Workflow Experience will take dentists on a guided tour through a set made to look like an actual dental practice, from the reception desk to the dental operatory. Along the way, participants will address a case by following four different treatment paths in hands-on learning pods.

"It's something that's never been done," said Dr. Nan Tertel, a member of the Advisory Committee on Annual Meetings and chair of continuing education for ADA FDI 2019. "It's something that's really unique to the dental trade shows, where we're actually going to say, 'This is the office of now. This is not the future — this is now — and this is how all of these pieces integrate.'"

The first pod will involve scanning a crown and understanding the connection between an intraoral scan and a laboratory, while the second will demonstrate the scanning and design of a crown and the connection to an in-house mill or 3D printer for same-day dentistry. In the third pod, dentists will learn how to integrate an intraoral scan with implant-planning software for restorative-driven planning and placement, and in the fourth, they will experience the digital protocols if an interdisciplinary approach is needed.
Digital Workflow Experience
'Office of now': The Digital Workflow Experience at ADA FDI 2019 will introduce dentists to digital technologies in a simulated dental practice. Photo courtesy of Dr. Cary J. Limberakis
The technologies will be provided by sponsors 3Shape and Patterson Dental, demonstrating to dentists how the innovations they see showcased in the Exhibit Hall can be put to use in their own practices.

"We are very excited about demonstrating how 3Shape digital workflows can not only enhance patient experience but also advance clinical efficiency, like never before," said Garrett Ogden, 3Shape general manager for North America. "Digital dentistry is the future, and we look forward to showing doctors from around the world how to embrace it the 3Shape way at ADA FDI 2019."

Patterson Dental also is eager to connect dentists with technology solutions for their practices.

"Driven by a long history of innovation, we enable you to offer a best-in-class patient experience while building efficiencies that allow your practice to thrive," the company stated. "Among the many benefits new technology brings are improved diagnostics, optimized workflows, a boosted bottom line and more satisfied patients."

By taking place in a simulated dental practice, the Digital Workflow Experience will introduce dentists to these technologies and their applications in a comfortable, familiar setting, Dr. Tertel said.

Dr. Stephen Radack, another member of the Advisory Committee on Annual Meetings, said he knows dentists can be "technophiles," who sometimes buy equipment at a conference and do not use it.

The practical applications demonstrated in the Digital Workflow Experience will prevent that buyer’s remorse, as dentists will leave knowing how to use what they purchase, he said.

"That's what I hope comes out of it, to be able to see what it would actually look like in your office," Dr. Radack said.

The experience also will meet dentists where they are in terms of technology and provide benefits no matter their current level of use.

"The dentists at the meeting will come into this experience with a variety of knowledge levels and varying degrees of digital workflow integration into their practice," said Dr. Lou Shuman, CEO of Cellerant Consulting Group, who conceived of the idea for the experience with ADA Director of Continuing Education and Industry Relations Dawn McEvoy and started to develop the experience two years ago. "As we began development, it was important to create an experience that was relevant and scalable for all dentists at ADA FDI 2019."

The Digital Workflow Experience will be offered at various times Sept. 5-7 at the Exhibit Hall. Dentists can earn 1.25 continuing education credit hours for attending one of the sessions. Reservations are required.

To register, go to