CAD/CAM technology has expanded opportunities for the assistant and the dental practice.
Dental assistants now have a more vital role in all phases of the restorative process, allowing them to contribute at a higher level than they were able to before. CAD/CAM provides an opportunity to delegate additional tasks to the dental assistant (DA). When done successfully, the practice experiences the following benefits:
- More efficient scheduling
- Increased doctor availability
- Greater production
- Reduced overhead
Streamlining the Schedule
Scheduling protocols shift in CAD/CAM practices. The big question is “who does what with CAD/CAM?” The doctor and assistant are able to work in tandem to maximize all appointments on the schedule. This allows for additional scheduling opportunities. The assistant takes on tasks such as scanning, designing and milling. During that time, the doctor is free to tackle other responsibilities.
The dentist can do hygiene exams mid-appointment while the assistant performs CAD/CAM tasks. A mid-appointment exam has many benefits. The patient has time to process treatment recommendations and ask questions and the hygienist has time to support the doctor’s recommendations. It is also linked to greater case acceptance, which increases production.
Time-motion studies have shown that increased delegation of tasks to assistants enables greater gross production. It removes time consuming, lower producing tasks from the doctor’s schedule. While the assistant scans, designs and mills, the doctor can see another patient without wasting time.
An assistant utilizing CAD/CAM technology keeps staff overhead in check. This occurs as the collection potential in the practice increases, through additional patient scheduling, without the need to add more staff. It also reduces supply overhead. There is no need for impression materials, trays or temporary crown materials. Packing, shipping and lab fees are minimized.
Bonus: Greater Work Satisfaction
It’s easy to see how a practice and an assistant benefit from CAD/CAM technology. An added bonus of CAD/CAM is increased job satisfaction for the dental assistant. An empowered assistant is a happy assistant!
Studies have shown employees working to their fullest potential report higher job satisfaction and increased motivation, resulting in better patient care.
An assistant’s expanded responsibilities or capabilities can vary by state. Be sure to contact your state’s dental board for more information.
To learn more about CAD/CAM technology and its many benefits, please contact the Practice Support Team or your Burkhart Account Manager.
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