Are We Adapting Technology to Treatment, or Treatment to Technology?

Sometimes technology is a better way to do the wrong thing. Be careful!

Dr. Bill Arnett | FABKnoweldge

With the recent growth and explosion of important technologies in 3D printing and scanning, we are also seeing a concomitant quantitative “explosion” of cases – mostly shared through social media – that are being treated through adapting these technologies to the manufacturing of customized appliances. This is an excellent and most welcome advancement for sure, yet it does seem – at least to me and a number of like-minded colleagues – that we are going through a period of initial hyper-excitement over the capabilities we have at hand at the moment, and that many seem to be using them practically on every patient they treat, simply because they can! The above quote from Dr. Bill Arnett is a real philosophical eye opener. Although he is an avid user of new technologies in the field of Orthodontics, he is very much aware of the potential pitfalls.

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Diagnostics-Driven Orthodontics: The Real Driver for Progress

There is nothing so useless as doing, efficiently, that which should not be done at all.

Peter Drucker

The concept that mere technological innovation in a certain field can drive rapid progress within that field is not a new concept; and this has certainly been accepted as “the norm” in this era of rapid – or shall I say rabid – pace of technological innovation in both the medical and dental field in general, and Orthodontics in particular.

That’s all well and good, and is much appreciated and needed, of course. However, it seems that – despite all the advances in dental technology over the past decade or so – many practitioners seem to be suffering from what we can only term: Diagnostic Paralysis. This lack of diagnostic skills in this era of rapid technological advancement is alarming!

Let’s have a closer look at this in this blog post.

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DPC 2019: dentist.camera – An International Dental Photography Event Worth Attending

I learn by going where I have to go.

Theodore Roethke

I just recently came back from a trip to Seville, Spain where I had the pleasure of attending the first International dental Photography Conference of its kind; DPC 2019: dentist.camera, Organized mainly by Dr Alessandro Devigus from Switzerland, along with a host of the best dental photography experts and speakers in the world of dentistry today, and it was an event worth attending by all measures.

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Enlightenment In Orthodontics : Entropy, Evolution & Information

WARNING: This Blog Post Will Make You THINK!

We start the new year with a mind-provoking, philosophical Guest Blog post by Prof. Dr Anmol Kalha, Professor Emeritus, Distinguished Professor and Advisor / CIDS, Associate Director & Advisor / Max Health Care, and Chief Architect and Cofounder of Smart Health.ai. He is also widely known among his contemporaries as The Orthodontic Philosopher. 


“Dare to understand : one age cannot conclude a pact that would prevent succeeding ages from extending their insights, increasing their knowledge and purging their errors.” ~ Immanuel Kant

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The “Big Picture Approach”: Orthodontic Problem Solving From a Bird’s Eye View

“When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail.” ~ Abraham Maslow

When facing critical problems and difficulties in our case progression and mechanics during orthodontic treatment, we sometimes struggle with finding the right solution and seem to be going deeper into complexity, and often, nothing seems to be working! In such situations, it’s always useful to remember to see the big picture of the situation first, before drowning further in the little details.

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Checklists in Clinical Practice; Revisited

“Checklists turn out.. to be among the basic tools of the quality and productivity revolution in aviation, engineering, construction – in virtually every field combining high risk and complexity. Checklists seem lowly and simplistic, but they help fill in for the gaps in our brains and between our brains.” –  Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

In a previous blog post last year, I talked about what I believe to be an important driver for clinical excellence; the use of systematized checklists. In that post, I highlighted the main idea behind checklists and how they can help in the systematic and consistent application of clinical workflows in a precise and reproducible manner, ultimately increasing clinical efficiency and improving the quality of patient care.

That post generated many requests and inquiries from colleagues around the world asking for a follow-up post with further examples of checklists. In today’s blog post, I would like to introduce a few more checklist examples I personally implement in my practice for different parts of my clinical workflow, while explaining my rationale behind them.

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Communication 101 for Orthodontists

“A doctor, like anyone else who has to deal with human beings … cannot be just a scientist; he is either, like the surgeon, a craftsman, or, like the physician and the psychologist, an artist. This means that in order to be a good doctor a man must also have a good character, that is to say, whatever weaknesses and foibles he may have, he must love his fellow human beings in the concrete sense and desire their good before his own.”

W. H. Auden

“With the evolution from a paternalistic to an autonomous (self-rule) perspective of health care delivery, many patients no longer unconditionally accept a doctor’s expert authority to dictate therapy without considering options. The doctor’s communication style must therefore convey an appreciation of the patient’s concerns and complaints, as well as verbal skills that involve the patient in the decision-making process—all in an empathetic, personalized manner.”
– Peter Greco (The Salient Skill. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2015;147:301)

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From Good to Great!

“The Pleasures of writing correspond exactly to the pleasures of reading.” ~ Vladimir Nabokov

I recently had the pleasure – and privilege – of writing the “Smile Message”  to readers of the latest issue of Smile Dental Journal, entitled “From Good to Great!“.

The message is about the importance of incorporating new and proven digital technology into 21st Century dental practices, especially in Orthodontics.

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