Dentistry’s game changers – Andrea Ubhi on digitisation

Andrea Ubhi describes digitisation as the biggest game changer in dentistryTo celebrate 25 years of Dentistry magazine, we’ve asked leading dental professionals for their game-changing innovation that shaped their career. In this article we asked Andrea Ubhi what her game-changing product is.

Dr Andrea Ubhi is a pioneer in cosmetic dentistry in the UK.

She won Dentist of the Year in 2005, Dentist of the Year North in 2013 and Employer of the Year 2016.

She is director of Andrea Ubhi Dentistry and co-author of The Essential Guide to Dental Implants.

Digitisation transformation

Digitisation has transformed our industry over the past 25 years. 

Over 25 years ago, in my first associate job, I remember taking radiographs with films and my nurse going into the damp cellar and processing them by dipping them into a tank in the dark.

Each radiograph took at least five minutes to develop.

But depended fully on the outside temperature and the age of the solutions.

Quite frankly, half of them were unreadable. 

‘Astonishing’

Today, our radiographs are digital, and they ‘process’ immediately and are 100% reliable.

The clarity of the images is astonishing, as we can enlarge, zoom and use digital contrasts and effects to improve diagnosis. 

Then there was an enormous breakthrough came with CBCT scanning in mainstream dental practice, especially relevant in referral centres.

We have a Dentsply Sirona CBCT machine.

The bundled software is straightforward to use and we can also export Dicom files to use in other planning software applications as well as send files directly to referring dentists.

The guess-work in diagnosis associated with 2D imaging has been totally eliminated.

Improving patient care

Now we can visualise in three dimensions difficult root canals in endodontics, view the positioning of roots near and around vital nerves in oral surgery, plan dental implants to the nearest millimetre and mill bone to fit bone-loss sites to near perfection (eg Maxgraft) prior to implant placement.

Twenty five years ago, we wrote patient records out by hand.

Patient notes were thick, and the file bursting full of papers and old medical history sheets.

It was so hard to look back through a patient’s dental history.

So many of the notes were in illegible handwriting and the notes tended to be scant.

Whereas now, digital notes can be clear, fully comprehensive and quick with the aid of auto-notes.

It is easy to scan quickly though a patient’s dental and medical history, payments and correspondence. 

Digitisation has transformed the way we work over the past 25 years, significantly increasing precision of diagnosis, efficiency, and speed of process.

However, the greatest impact of digitisation has been in the overall increase in patient care.

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