Online: Wednesday, February 9, 2022 - 6pm - 8pm via ZOOM
Has there been a shift in the Dental Industry from the 20th Century into the 21st Century? Have the economics of the Dental Industry changed?Are there changes in the demographics in the Dental Industry?
Does the current, long adhered to model of the 'Dentist Office' as the 'Operating Delivery System' - a 'drill and fill, fee-for-service' still serve the general public and the dental profession as it was originally intended?
The answers to these questions will vary depending on whom you ask. Overwhelmingly, there are many factors and shifts in society that point towards an industry that is thriving, as did the dinosaurs immediately prior to the big meteor strike. The difference here is that there are a thousand different, small meteors; and their strikes are mostly going unnoticed or being blatantly ignored.
Historically, all industries go through seismic shifts. The buzz term today is “Disruptive Innovation.” This simply means it isn’t really about new products or systems. It is the application of current systems and technologies found outside of an existing industry. I think the changes that the Dental Industry will go through in the next 10-15 years will cause us to question the current dental-care delivery system. I believe we will see startling changes that are uncontrollable, and that no one person or organization will be able to stop.
Here is the most important question, “Can we adapt now? The answer is yes. We can start by allowing dental-staff members to implement authorized clinical procedures. This would result in more staff providing more dental care with fewer dentists. The primary role of the dentist would be to create treatment-planning and supervise the clinical care provided by these staff members.
One way to do this today, immediately, is using available and mundane technologies. Telehealth has shown itself to be extremely helpful during our current pandemic. In dentistry, this is referred to as Teledentistry (TD).
This course will outline how TD, given the opportunity, can be used, and what we can teach our Public Health Dental Hygienists to implement TD
A) Definition of Teledentistry: Explanation of the different levels of Teledentistry (TD) and necessary technology to achieve these levels.
B) Brief overview of present state of traditional dental-care delivery systems. This includes updated statistical data showing severity of dental disease within different demographic groups.
C) Who does TD connect? The program will identify the different participants and how they connect to each other. These participants include primary dental-care provider, patient, supervising dentist, dental specialists, and any other primary-level healthcare provider. Explanation of how these connections are more easily created and how more easily clinical findings can be transferred.
D) How to select the correct TD software platform.
E) Explanation of different clinical-care models and their participants. Primarily, we have two areas: the preventive models and preventive/restorative models. This section also covers the contractual arrangements that these participants have with one another and with any outside entity involved in either supervision or reimbursement.
F) Proper use of clinical procedure codes (clinical CDT codes). How these codes are used for integrating TD software into regular dental software for efficient and easy record keeping. How to optimize utilization for faster and more precise third party reimbursement.
G) How TD will fit into the changing dental-care delivery structures of the future.
John S. Echternach, D.D.S., is a retired general dentist who maintained a private practice in Henniker, NH, for 40 years. He has been an active member of the American Dental Association, the NH Dental Society (NHDS) and the Concord Dental Society (CDS). His role in organized dentistry includes more than 16 years in a leadership capacity in both the NHDS and CDS.
In his retirement, John has assumed the role as a teacher of healthcare professionals with his focus on a specific treatment: the science and applications of silver diamine fluoride (SDF). After learning about the uses of SDF toward the end of his career, he successfully used this method on both children and adults for the last 3 years in his Henniker practice.