One of the trickiest issues for dentists is deciding how and when to upgrade their dental equipment. It's good for morale to have the latest and greatest tools.
Patients like to see new tools as well.
Unfortunately, new diagnostic and treatment machines are expensive, so it's important to consider the ROI of the tools, and whether they will really improve patient care.
Knowing Your Market
Today, patients do tend to shop around a lot more for healthcare. It pays to know your market.
There are some groups who want to see that their dentists use the latest and greatest high tech tools such as digital x-rays, 3D imaging and laser treatments.
There are others who are happy with the basics as long as the outcomes offered are good, and the dentist has a good chairside manner.
Dentists need to take into account the desires of their target audience when they are calculating the ROI of any purchase.
Learning New Tools
One thing that many dentists forget about when they purchase new tools is how much training may be required to learn those tools.
If you have been using film X-rays and old-fashioned hygienist treatments for a long time, then learning new computerised offerings could take a while.
Can you afford to block out appointments or take some time away from your facility for training?
Laser Treatments and Modern Dentistry
One area that many dentists are starting to investigate is laser treatments. Dental laser technology is developing quite rapidly.
The laser was discovered relatively recently in scientific terms, in the 1960s, but at first, it was unclear what it would be used for.
Today, lasers are a common tool for a range of medical applications, including dentistry, since they offer a clean, safe and precise way of targeting areas.
LASER stands for Light Amplification by Simulated Emission of Radiation.
There are a number of different lasers which operate on different frequencies, and the first real applications of lasers in the dental industry started in the 1990s.
Early laser options were bulky and comparatively difficult to use, but the newer models offered by companies such as Light Instruments Ltd offer a lot more promise.
Lite Touch, for example, is a very small Erbium YAG dental laser which can be used for a number of treatments including:
Depending on the settings, it can be used on soft or hard tissues, and it allows for highly precise surgical procedures that are minimally invasive.
Since the laser mechanism is housed in a small chamber, it is easy to manipulate and use.
The dentist can direct the laser precisely, and get access to those hard to reach parts of the oral cavity.
A Small Learning Curve
If you have ever used older tools, you may remember that they were complex and that you would need to keep checking reference materials to ensure you selected the correct settings.
Modern laser treatments are much easier to use, with presets that match common treatment scenarios, as well as manual settings for when more precise control is required.
With presets including a range of hard tissues, soft tissue, and gentle treatments, the Lite Touch laser allows dentists to specify the type of procedure that they are doing, and then to modify the preset if necessary.
Investing in any form of new machinery is a big commitment, but laser treatments are one area where updating your skills and buying the kit could well result in a good ROI over the coming years.
Patients want minimally invasive, fast and safe treatments and that's what lasers can offer them.
We were originally established in 1952 in order to provide electro-medical products to healthcare professionals across the country.
The company (Medical Equipment Service) was acquired by Medical Equipment Australia in 2009. Since then, we have also expanded into the dental industry.