3 Reasons to Consider Single-Visit Options at Your Dental Practice in a Post-COVID World

August 4, 2020

If transforming your dental practice to offer single-visit treatment options is on your nice-to-have list, now is definitely time to move it to the must column.

In a context where everyone has concerns about leaving the house, dental professionals and patients alike are more concerned about safety in dentistry than ever before.

Digital dentistry options can help ease the minds of patients and staff in more than a few manners.

 

1. STREAMLINED PROCESS

  • Digital vs. analog impression taking offers fewer touch points and eliminates potential exposures.
    In a quick review of the traditional process, the points of potential contact require more than two hands to tally. Think impression tray, cartridge and gun, as well as alginate mixing ingredients: water source, mixing bowl, spatula, among others. Use of a digital scanner removes these opportunities from the equation.

The journey of the analog impressions – and multiple chances for exposure between operatory, lab, and back — has just begun. On the digital side, the path is contact-free instead. Scans that transfer electronically to a design computer await creation in the in-office mill.

  • A digital process presents multiple opportunities to allay patient’s concerns.

Strict practices in place to disinfect the scanner body. Some models feature disposable tips after use,    others require precise autoclave protocol.

Staff Safety Bonus: In-office milling has the potential to be completed by one dental team member – a CAD/CAM staffer whose designs restorations in an exposure-free zone.

 

2. PATIENT CONVENIENCE/COMPETITIVE EDGE

  • One treatment session versus multiple trips to the dental office provides valuable timesaver for patients. Workday disruptions are never opportune, but in today’s competitive job market they may present a near- impossible challenge. Requesting time off the job for three-plus visits is a luxury many patients can no longer afford. Your ability to create and place a crown in one visit offers a competitive edge you can market.

 

3. FEWER PPE EXPENDITURES

  • Single visit dentistry reduces the amount of Personal Protective Equipment vital to ensure patient and staff safety at your dental practice. Gowns, masks, gloves. Face shields, goggles, protective coveralls. The options – and incremental costs – multiply every day. Yet while necessity increases, availability remains limited.

 

Every time a doctor, hygienist, dental assistant or team member enters a room to provide care, new PPE is donned. It stands to reason that when same-day digital processes minimize the contact between the patient and staff during the visit, the amount of PPE in use is significantly less.

In traditional treatment, that PPE process repeats with each of the three-plus follow up appointments. Same day dentistry means no return visits and no additional PPE. Sounds like a simple solution? It is.