As a digital dentist using an intraoral scanner, you have your scanner and a laptop. Depending on your setup and scanner brand, when you scan a patient, if you want to show that patient a treatment simulation or propose a smile design, it may mean exporting the scan to another laptop with that software or importing the scan to the software on the same PC.
Likewise, when it comes time to working with your treatment partners, you are once again, exporting, emailing… going through extra steps to work with your partner. Case communications might also involve phone calls, emails etc.
Recently, rather than exporting scans or switching between laptops, brands are starting to develop platforms to manage your digital dentistry.
A platform connects you from your scanner PC to your treatment partners. A platform enables access to, for example, treatment simulation or treatment planning apps, so you can seamlessly bring in the scan, patient images, or whatever you need for engaging with your patient, put at your fingertips. A platform provides a directory for you to find treatment partners. Maybe it even connects you to a support line and educational content.
In the case of 3Shape, their platform for sharing files remains the same. Doctors and labs still use 3Shape Communicate to send files. The big difference is, with their new 3Shape Unite platform, you now have an optimized connection (via 3Shape Communicate) and you have a directory to find treatment partners with. You can also open files into the programs you are using in your practice without exporting or importing. A platform provides optimized communications with your treatment partners via chat tools, case status updates, support and more at your fingertips.
In a sense, a platform like this becomes your go-to tool for managing your digital dentistry. From finding and connecting to partners, to finding data, which can include scans and images, to integrations with Practice Management Systems for managing patient information and working with applications like smile design and more.
And again, in the case of 3Shape’s platform, Unite creates a full integration between the TRIOS intraoral scanner and a dentist’s preferred partner apps, and delivers seamless case-related data exchange to reduce the need to switch platforms during your workflow and help provide an optimal ordering experience from partners.
As a quick overview of what a digital dental platform can do for you, we have listed the types of integrations partners and solutions it, for example, could connect to:
Clear Aligner providers
Practice Management Systems
Orthodontic bracket libraries
Practice’s DICOM solution
Material and manufacturing centers
Mills and 3D printers
Sleep Appliance manufacturers
In a traditional setup, when connecting with a treatment partner individually, whether it is a lab, clear aligner provider, or others, it may involve testing and tweaking the connection. You need to make sure that the data you send is actionable and results in treatments that fit.
When companies integrate with each other, they usually take care of the kinks in the connection beforehand so that your workflow runs smoothly. For example, we have put effort into labelling many of the industry’s most popular mills as “trusted connections” because the integrations between its software and the mills have been tested and verified. With a trusted mill the data you send will result in the restoration you’ve planned.
To gain a better understanding of how a platform like 3Shape Unite works and can help you, we’ve created a demo of it that you can test out. We recommend spending some time on it to better understand what a platform can mean for your digital workflows. If you are new to digital dentistry, it will help you to discover first-hand the key differences between digital and analog.