Dr. Alan Paradis: In the marketing of dental practices is common to hear mention of very high technology procedures and methods and even help machines that are alleged to help or improve the quality dental care. Is this business impact the ability of a given dentist to treat a patient?
Dr. David McFadden: Unfortunately, it’s an adjunct to the practice. Technology still can’t help us create a beautiful crown or a beautiful denture or a beautiful crown preparation. So the manufacturers often mislead dentist, thinking that if they buy this hundred-thousand dollar piece of technology. One good example of this is a CT scanner. So the CT scanner can help us with our measurements but the CT scanner cannot do the procedure for us and again that’s why the myth of all this technology is just that it’s a myth. Is that it helps us with our diagnostic abilities but there’s nothing out there that can help us with our procedural abilities. So whether we are looking at an intra-oral scanner for crowns and bridges where the latest thing is it into interoffice milling machine where you can have your tooth prepared for a crown in the morning and then this machine is going to make you a crown and you’ll get it before you go home that day. Well that technology is up and coming but it’s not there yet.
Dr. Alan Paradis: So what do you mean by not there yet?
Dr. David McFadden: Well the American Dental Association has specifications that we are supposed to follow. Our prosthesis are supposed to fit to a certain tolerance. 100 microns, 200 microns, these are very very small tolerances that our processes are supposed to fit to. These milling machines in dental offices cannot produce that. They are not there yet. Some of my colleagues who have done the research on these machines tell me that we are still a few years from having excellent technology in the office for the production of our prosthesis. When the technology’s there. I think you will agree with me. Of course we want to participate in it but we still have to go back to the original premise areas that’s in our hands that are preparing the tooth working.
Dr. Alan Paradis: I think that’s a critical thing that people forget about that the quality of a restoration that someone receives on their tooth is still dependent upon a dentist’s ability to prepare or shape the tooth and this is what people seem to forget. I have people in my practice, patient’s that have received dental care of sub optimal level and I say and without any consideration for the actual doctor that provided that here. In other words, dental care isn’t provided by dental office. Is provided by a dentist. This is a person who has to have a strong ethical commitment to providing the proper care at a very high level for each individual patient and right now the pressures of modern society and this dental education situation that we have talked about is really making difficult for the patients even find that kind of relationship.