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Inside Dentistry
July 2023
Volume 19, Issue 7

Taking Care of Patients From Start to Finish

DTX Studio™ Clinic brings efficiency to complex interdisciplinary treatment planning

For Greg Gillespie, DDS, dentistry has always been a family affair. He's a second-generation dentist who, along with his brother, took over the practice that his father had established back in 1982. Now, Gillespie Dentistry in Vancouver, Washington, is a large, multi-owner practice that includes their cousin, who had also taken over his father's dental practice, and one associate. "The benefit of having such a large practice is that we get to do quite a breadth of work," says Gillespie, noting that the practice now has about 28 team members along with the four doctors.

When this second generation of Gillespies decided to consolidate their fathers' practices, they created a full-service practice that could see a patient's treatment through from start to finish. "We realized that there was always going to be excellent clinicians out there," says Gillespie. "There are so many really good dentists. What we wanted to be unique about our practice was the way that patients felt when they were with us. We wanted them to feel uplifted and taken care of and to know that they would be taken care of all the way through."

In order to turn this vision into a reality, each of the doctors at the practice decided to subspecialize. "When we first started, we all used to just do a little bit of everything," says Gillespie, "but we realized that we needed to be able to offer treatment that was at a higher level if we were going to keep patients in house and provide more of the services that are specialty in nature. We needed to get a lot better at performing those services and to start dedicating our efforts." As a result, Gillespie became the primary cosmetic dentist for the practice; his brother became the primary surgical dentist, taking on all implants, extractions, and full-mouth rehabilitations; his cousin became the practice's specialist in sleep dentistry and orthodontics; and the associate became the one who takes on most of the restorative cases.

After 4 years of working with this new practice model and philosophy, Gillespie Dentistry has seen extremely positive results in terms of both the growth of the practice and the responses of patients. "We had a marketing company come in and help us set up our website so that it was easier for patients to leave reviews, and now that reviews are coming in regularly, we can really see how people respond to our practice," says Gillespie. With this change, the practice went from having 35 to 50 total reviews to having 780 five-star reviews. "The content of those reviews has shown us that the incorporation of specialty services into our full-service practice has had a huge impact on how patients feel," says Gillespie.

Another shift that Gillespie Dentistry underwent to strengthen their full-service offerings was a pivot toward digital dentistry. "Digital technologies have become really important tools that enable us to maintain efficiency and accuracy in every area while treating such a large number of patients," says Gillespie. One of the practice's most important tools is the DTX Studio Clinic platform. Although they had already been using cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) for about 10 years, DTX Studio Clinic offered them the opportunity to adopt a fully digital workflow. "Dexis offered something that no other company offered, and that was to integrate all of our digital technology into one software space," says Gillespie. "So, we don't have to have multiple programs open to look at intraoral photographs, extraoral photographs, intraoral radiographs, CBCT scans, or intraoral scans. With DTX Studio Clinic, everything is in one platform that facilitates truly interdisciplinary treatment planning." For a full-service practice, this becomes important when treatment plans encompass multiple specialties. Gillespie emphasizes how much easier communication becomes, with both colleagues and patients, when he can pull up all of the images and records on one screen. "One of the great features of the software is SmartFocus, which allows you to select a tooth in a 3D CBCT image and have all of your images of that tooth, both 2D and 3D, come up at the same time so you can show the patient and treatment plan," says Gillespie.

In addition to DTX Studio Clinic, Gillespie Dentistry's digital workflow now includes the DEXIS Orthopantomagraph OP 3D Pro for high-level CBCT, DEXIS Titanium and Platinum sensors, and the NOMAD Pro 2 handheld X-ray system for digital radiographs as well as intraoral scanners and an intraoral camera. "CBCT is what originally led us to the DTX Studio Clinic," says Gillespie. "There are a lot of CBCT systems out there, but I feel like at a certain level, many CBCT products are comparable, and the DTX Studio Clinic gives a lot of power to the CBCT. Using the DEXIS OP 3D Pro really makes the most sense for our workflow so that we aren't involving too many different manufacturers."

Gillespie has been impressed with the way that Dexis constantly improves and upgrades the DTX Studio Clinic software to implement new features, such as artificial intelligence (AI). Especially impressive is the AI feature that can reorient a CBCT image to be in the correct plane if it was not originally perfectly oriented and the AI feature that can position and track the inferior alveolar nerve. "Tracking the inferior alveolar nerve is important when planning for wisdom tooth extractions or implant placements," says Gillespie. "Although many software applications allow you to mark it yourself, having the AI do it accurately as soon as the image is processed improves efficiency and allows us to talk to the patient right away about the risk of wisdom tooth extraction or implant placement." Among other benefits, DTX Studio Clinic maintains a full library of implants, which makes treatment planning a more straightforward process. "Because we are a full-service practice and our treatment planning can be very interdisciplinary, DTX Studio Clinic really aligns with our practice model."

Gillespie recognizes that, for some, the investment in digital dentistry can be daunting. "There was a time when the digital technology in dentistry was a little clunky," he says, "but that time has passed." Gillespie sees his investment in digital technologies as an investment in the future of dentistry, and his practice is already seeing the payoff. "The patients just keep coming," he says, "and so many of them have been able to change their mindsets about what dentistry can be. We have helped many of them to get treatment that they thought they may never get, and we do it all in one place."

Key Points

DTX Studio Clinic makes interdisciplinary collaboration easy by housing all patient imaging on one platform with open integration.

The SmartFusion™ feature fuses CBCT scans with intraoral scan data for a 3D view of underlying anatomy, providing deeper visibility.

Mandibular Nerve Tracing utilizes AI to map patients' mandibular nerve canals for better treatment planning.

Ongoing software updates continually improve the platform and introduce more AI-driven features as the technology develops.

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