In terms of the way one handles the technical aspect of clinical practice, dentistry seems to be in the throes of an evolutionary story, and maybe even a revolution. It seems that as practitioners, we will be unable to avoid the constant pressure from the dental industry to integrate digital methods into our clinics. A trade exhibition or a periodical cannot be read or attended without the constant presence of the newest intraoral scanning equipment, cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT), 3D printers, and milling machines, all of which exude glitter and glam. However, although it may be very simple to identify certain benefits in digital techniques over analog ones, other authors have expressed worry about doctors’ willingness to adopt technology that may be potentially disruptive to their clinical practice. 1,2 Clinicians have a difficult choice between embracing the need to remain current and proactive while also maintaining a delicate balance between ensuring that patients get the highest possible level of care and that their restorations meet or surpass their expectations.
Digital processes for manufacturing fixed restorations, such as indirect full-coverage crown and bridge restorations, are becoming more and more generally recognized as regular and customary procedures in dentistry. The effectiveness and simplicity of clinical-laboratory systems like as CEREC have had a role in the widespread adoption of this type of dentistry in recent years (Dentsply Sirona). When these efficient processes are compared to the complete dental laboratory workflow, it becomes clear that the conventional dental laboratory setting is a difficult environment for doctors to adapt to, but that it may eventually result in better clinical results if done correctly. 3 This is exacerbated by the necessity and desire to improve patient communication, the development of a digital database, and the acceptance of legal risks connected with the production of final restorations in the dentist office. 4
Clinicians who concentrate their practices on implant dentistry, particularly full-arch reconstruction with dental implants, are having a significant effect on their bottom lines as a result of the widespread use of digital dentistry. When preparing patients for template-driven guided surgical procedures, many physicians are exposed to digital manufacturing techniques for the first time. 5,6 Patients with deteriorating dentitions and those with significant clinical requirements, on the other hand, are often difficult to identify and treat when utilizing out-of-the-box treatment concept methods to diagnosis and treat. In addition, those same patients are often very self-conscious about their teeth and smiles, and they have a higher overall dread of the process, including the possibility of having teeth accidentally removed during impression-making operations. When digital impression-making procedures are used in conjunction with CBCT scans and planning, they not only help the clinician visualize proposed implant sites, bone volume, and density, but they also help patients communicate more effectively because they provide a more personalized experience for them.
Clinicians have been affected by the decline of the dental laboratory sector and the consequences of this decline on clinical practice. In contrast to the enormous growth seen by certain labs as a result of market consolidation, the overall number of dental laboratories and trained dental technicians has gradually declined over the last three decades. 7,8 In light of the difficulties that clinicians face in balancing the clinical demands of patients with those of a shrinking laboratory industry, an increasing number of dentists are beginning to envision the future of dental practice as one in which clinicians and technicians work side by side within the confines of a group practice environment. The purpose of this paper is to draw attention to the integration of digital processes into clinical practice, as well as the benefits of a combined clinical-laboratory setting.