Dental Tribune International
Dr Jonathan Ng’s passion for digital dentistry has motivated him to become a key opinion leader on the topic at an international level. (Video: 3Shape/YouTube)

How to achieve aesthetic results with a completely digital workflow

By Dental Tribune International
June 18, 2020

In addition to many other specialties, the field of prosthodontics will be addressed in 3Shape’s upcoming 24-hour webinar marathon. Dr Jonathan Ng, who runs a private prosthodontic office situated in Vancouver in Canada and lectures internationally, will be providing a complete overview of the use of dental software in the prosthodontic workflow from treatment planning to final delivery. Prior to his webinar, Ng shared some insights about his presentation in an interview with Dental Tribune International.

Dr Ng, many dental professionals have not yet changed to a completely digital treatment planning workflow. How do you intend to convince those who are still sticking to traditional methods?
I would suggest to those who would like to stay with conventional methods that digital technology is here not to simply replace what we have been doing, but to improve dramatically the efficiency and accuracy of what we do. The principles of conventional methods are what drive innovation for improvement. Knowledge of the way in which it was done before is critical in fully unleashing the power of digital technology. Digital planning is not something for the distant future; it is the here and now.

Does digital treatment planning have its limitations? If so, what are they?
Digital treatment planning is very effective in engaging with patients on platforms that we are all familiar with, that is the tablet, computer screen or smartphone. However, there can be something very real about holding a component of the treatment steps physically. Although 3D printing and milling are universally understood to be more accurate than a conventional entity, there can be a need to step out of the digital workflow at certain steps in order to facilitate those needs. However, the need to handle something concrete is constantly decreasing.

What are the main learning objectives for those who will be watching your webinar?
The main objective of the webinar is to raise awareness by showing the power of the many readily available tools for digital planning. It is when communication is lost between patients and clinicians or when the dental laboratory cannot fully understand the needs of the clinician that a real divide is caused in patient care continuity. The connection that digital platforms provide will be shown, with examples to demonstrate how common everyday technology, like a tablet, combined with amazing innovation, makes for dramatically improved patient understanding, which ultimately leads to greater case acceptance and better final outcomes. Predictability and understanding are key elements in successful treatments.

I would like those planning to attend this webinar to look at technology as a way to enhance dentistry and propel it into a better and more predictable place. Often technology is met with concern about learning curves and fear of failure, but progress comes from an understanding that constant growth and improvement starts with the recognition of what tools exist and how these tools can really improve what we do.

Editorial note: The 1-hour webinar, titled “Esthetic natural teeth and implant cases using Bellus3D and Smile Design”, will be presented live on Friday, 19 June, at 5 p.m. PDT. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions about the topic as well as earn a continuing education credit by answering a questionnaire after the lecture. Registration on the 3Shape Symposium website is free of charge.

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