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Standing in front of the technology

Modern cyber woman with matrix eye We cannot escape the arrival of more technology in the business and clinical sides of dentistry. The decision you have to make is whether to stand in front of it or hide behind it. A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, Boots Dentalcare kitted out all of their surgeries with the very best and latest equipment, including the then state of the art version of Exact. Some time later, as a consultant to them, I interrogated the performance of the associates who worked in their stores. We found that many of them were delivering free consultations, preparing extensive treatment plans, printing the plans out and sending the bewildered prospective new patients on their way. No surprise that the take-up rate on those plans was low. The clinicians were hiding behind their technology and didn't have the enthusiasm or technique to first develop a relationship with the client, identify desired outcomes and agree solutions. That, of course, was in the days before a treatment plan became a "protect me from a Fitness to Practice investigation" document. The practice management software available to you today (including the excellent Exact V12) places the clinician and support team in a position where they can "wow" the patient with treatment planning delivery and the total patient experience. Digital dentistry has come a long way since the Boots days. Today I'll be visiting with my friend Karl O'Higgins at Planmeca to take a further look at their fully integrated digital dentistry packages and also to discuss some ideas we have for this year's Showcase. Then, as I mentioned yesterday, on to a Practice Plan regional event on the future of marketing. I'll be mindful of the fact that, no matter how amazing the technology gets, it will never fulfil its true potential unless operated by people who care about people. Technology is not the headline act. No patient is going to talk about you in a wine bar on a Friday night and tell their friends that their beautiful new smile was delivered by a practice with a new CBCT scanner and great software. They will talk about the "lovely people" who helped them. Your job is to earn the trust of the patient. Technology is a silent assistant. Stand in front of it.

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