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Connected dentistry: how to manage your patient, dental treatment and partner data

Dr. Jan Paulics

Senior Clinical Specialist


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.

Is there a better way to manage your dental practice data?

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.

From integrating with PMS to managing applications for Smile Design

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:

With platform

Without platform



Clear Aligner providers


Practice Management Systems


Smile libraries


Orthodontic bracket libraries


Practice’s DICOM solution


Implant companies


Material and manufacturing centers


Mills and 3D printers


Sleep Appliance manufacturers


App-based digital dentistry connections

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.

Connected dentistry with apps to send, share and communicate

What is happening in 2021 is that dental companies (including 3Shape) are instead optimizing these connections beforehand and representing the connection in its IO scanner platform as an app. So, dentists no longer need to make the connection with a partner, they can simply click the app in the platform, and it will create the connection.

The app then automatically takes care of sharing relevant information like office details… and most importantly, the connected app makes it seamless for the dentist to send their scans, case information, and communicate with partners. The data is connected.

This app-based approach makes it much simpler for dentists to grow their digital ecosystem as well as their practice and the services they provide.

Pick and choose the best treatment for your patients

Suddenly you can choose to connect with hundreds of labs, clear aligner providers, implant solutions, printers and more, just by clicking on an app. The era of only being able to connect to your scanner maker’s own treatment solutions is rapidly coming to an end.

With a digital ecosystem, dental professionals are no longer tied to one company’s solutions. They can pick and choose the best treatment for their patients. And an app-based approach not only helps to make this possible, it also makes the connection so much smoother when choosing partners.


Ebook: "Open and connected digital dentistry workflows"

In this ebook, we look at the differences between closed and open networks, and the advantages for clinics to be within an open ecosystem infrastructure in order to get the best out of digital dentistry. It also lays out how you can increase efficiency by bringing data, treatment solutions and services into one system.

About Dr. Jan Paulics

Dr. Jan Paulics

Senior Clinical Specialist


Dr. Jan Paulics received his DDS from Karolinska Institute, Stockholm in 1993. He has practiced in both municipal and private dental clinics specializing in implant surgery and dentoalveolar surgery - with a focus on prosthetic driven surgery using digital planning tools and surgical guides for the past 15 years. Jan specializes in advanced digital workflows for dental practices and laboratories developing methods and cost-effective solutions. Jan has worked for the Swedish state as project manager for acquiring and implementing practice management solutions as well as being involved in the selection of digital imaging solutions for its dental practitioners. Jan is currently the Senior Clinical Specialist at 3Shape. He continues to lecture for implant manufacturers and dental laboratories. Jan is a renowned lecturer and frequent speaker on dental scientific events all around the world.

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