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Inside Dentistry
July 2022
Volume 18, Issue 7

Making Orthodontics Easy for General Dentists

Dentsply Sirona’s SureSmile® Aligners provide streamlined, predictable workflow

Mona Patel, DDS

When Mona Patel, DDS, took over Bayshore Dental nearly 10 years ago, her goals for the more than 50-year-old practice in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, were twofold. Her own experience working for a DSO for 5 years had shaped what she knew she wanted her practice to look like, but she also knew that she was joining a tight-knit community. "I purchased the practice because of its legacy," she says. "We see four generations of families now, so I wanted to preserve all of the history and culture while also modernizing the practice and updating the technology."

The practice's transformation began in 2015 when Patel purchased a new building. "I realized that the existing location was not sufficient for us to grow and modernize," she says. "I was fortunate to find a building right down the street that allowed us to start with a blank canvas and essentially build my dream practice in terms of the layout, workflows, etc. Because it is a state-of-the-art digital practice with streamlined workflows, I call it our ‘digital hub.'"

Patel's workflows include those for general dentistry, pediatrics, restorative dentistry, implants, sleep dentistry, orthodontics, and more. "We do a little bit of everything within the scope of our practice," she says. "Members of our community love being able to come to one place for all of their dental care needs."

The first piece of digital equipment that Patel acquired for the new practice was an intraoral scanner, which was followed by digital sensors and a cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) machine. "We modernized and integrated technology in every way possible," she says. Now, the practice is everything that she had first envisioned nearly a decade ago. It has also tripled in revenue. "I count my blessings every single day that I walk into my practice," Patel says. "Truly, I walk in with a smile, and I leave with a smile because we were able to make my vision come to life. I have a phenomenal team in place with very efficient workflows, and our patients can perceive that. They see the attention to detail in terms of the design, layout, and protocols, and they genuinely feel that they are being taken care of, which was really important to me from the start. Providing an excellent patient experience and delivering top-notch clinical care were always the main priorities, and those plans have come to fruition. There is definitely a hustle—we work hard for it every single day—but the rewards are endless. It is an amazing feeling to interact with patients who are really happy with their experiences here."

One of the tools that has helped Patel provide those experiences is Denstply Sirona's SureSmile® Aligners. She had sparingly utilized another clear aligner system in the past but never really embraced orthodontics until approximately 3 years ago when she was introduced to SureSmile at the annual Dentsply Sirona World event. "It seemed like it could seamlessly integrate into my practice, and the community of SureSmile users was happy with it, so I decided to try it," she says. "I was blown away by the impact that it has had on my practice."

Patel utilizes her Dentsply Sirona Primescan intraoral scanner to begin SureSmile Aligner cases. After uploading patient records into the open software, dentists can specify detailed preferences or simply rely on Dentsply Sirona's digital laboratory to propose a customized plan for the doctor's consideration/review. "The beauty of SureSmile is that the software is really smart, and it helps create ideal treatment plans," Patel says. "As long as patients are compliant, their teeth are moving as the software dictates in 90% to 95% of cases. Achieving such predictable results makes it enjoyable to present SureSmile as an option to patients."

The SureSmile Aligners are made from Essix® ACE plastic, a virtually invisible material that facilitates anatomically correct tooth movement and clinical versatility—even for complex cases. "The aligner quality is really first class," Patel says. "The perfect balance of rigidity and elasticity allows for fewer attachments and, subsequently, more effective engagement with the teeth, which leads to more predictable results and fewer refinements at the end of treatment."

SureSmile's simple, efficient, and predictable workflow has led Patel to focus more on malocclusion and tooth alignment during every hygiene examination and to provide orthodontic treatment to many patients whom she likely would not have previously. "The reality is that those patients exist in our practices," she says. "Many busy general practices have patients with underdiagnosed orthodontic needs. In the past, I sent a few cases to my orthodontist here and there, but now we are identifying an increasing number of them, and we are able to provide the solutions in our own office."

In many situations, treating these minor cases facilitates less invasive restorative treatment. "When patients wanted a straighter smile, a brighter smile, or to fix one or two small deviations, I previously leaned toward crowns, veneers, or bonding," Patel says. "But now, I am very much in the mindset of trying to move the natural teeth into place first."

Of course, Dentsply Sirona provides the support and education that it has become known for with its entire product line, including SureSmile. "Dentsply Sirona has been a fantastic partner for building and growing my practice while actualizing my digital vision," Patel says. "It is not just about the excellent products; it is about providing the education, support, training, and follow-up that is critical for dental practices to build and grow. Dentsply Sirona does a really wonderful job of providing that."

Given the power of clear aligners to transform patients and practices, Patel hopes that more general practitioners will take advantage of the opportunity to incorporate them. It is why she serves as a SureSmile Aligners KOL. "The SureSmile Aligners platform is really beneficial for general dentists because it helps us, within our scope, to move teeth confidently with predictable results," she says. "It has opened a lot of doors for our practice."

Key Points
The Essix ACE plastic material effectively moves teeth and offers
versatility—even for complex cases.
The open software and dependable workflow make uploading patient records and specifying
detailed preferences easy.
Offer patients more reasons to choose SureSmile Aligners with the SureSmile® VPro™ High Frequency Vibration Device, the SureSmile® Whitening Kit, and the SureSmile® Retainer.

Dentsply Sirona

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