exocad Software Expands Clinician’s Capabilities Beyond Expectations
By the time he was in the eighth grade, Tarun Agarwal, DDS, knew he wanted to be a dentist. Moreover, his early attraction to computers and technology would have a profound influence on how he would approach his future career.
"My dad was a dentist in India, and he always spoke so highly of the profession because it combined the economic longevity of a healthcare profession with a personal business that would fulfill my entrepreneurial itch," Agarwal says. "After dental school, I began a scratch startup in 2000 [in North Carolina] and have had my own practice since."
In 2013, Agarwal started 3D Dentists, which is an advanced educational program designed to help dentists improve their practices with an emphasis on practical business and technologically based clinical education, specifically focusing on digital dentistry.
"[Technology] has completely changed everything, and it drives how I work. I've long used digital photography, which has always allowed me to communicate with my patients what I was seeing. Then we went into CAD/CAM with digital impressions, which totally changed the patient experience. It also gave me a taste of the economic benefits of technology," he says.
By 2008, Agarwal's practice added CBCT and 3D imaging, which, he says, "opened up a whole new world of diagnostic and clinical possibilities. I always had an interest in doing implant dentistry, but there was some fear about getting started. CBCT guided surgery really opened my eyes to all the possibilities."
He notes that the biggest changes he has seen in the industry in the past 5 to 7 years have occurred in software. "Once I moved into 3D printing I quickly realized that it only really works if you have great software to produce the designs to print." Specifically, exocad software has given Agarwal capabilities in his dental practice that are beyond what he could have imagined, he says, such as nightguard design, diagnostic wax-ups, implant planning, guide fabrication, and temporary implant restorations-objects he can print.
According to exocad, exoplan guides dental professionals through the planning of implants and the design of surgical guides in one intuitive, digital workflow. As Agarwal attests, the workflow is streamlined, easy to learn, and optimized for use in dental practice.
Agarwal likes that the exocad software is modular, meaning he doesn't "have to go all in. I can step into it, and as I expand and get better with the basics, I can keep adding to the software. Currently, for me exocad is focused around a printing process, but I'm excited about moving into some of the milling and grinding processes that are also available," he says.
At Agarwal's 3D Dentists training center, each participant has a personal computer workstation that includes the CAD/CAM exocad software so that participants can get hands-on, learn-at-their-own-pace instruction, a benefit that he considers "priceless."
With exocad, Agarwal says, clinicians can be more productive and efficient and attain better clinical outcomes. But he believes the real value of using exocad technology is in gaining patient acceptance. "All technology, whether it's hardware or software, should be about helping patients receive better and more predictable results. It should allow the patient to make better, easier decisions and avoid confusion and frustration. With exocad, I'm able to practice better dentistry."