SurfCT Blog with Paul Vigario

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Improving Patient Experience With Technology

Technology has changed the way many industries we’re familiar with work.  In previous blogs, we’ve had various focuses on technology within the dental field, and how it is assisting healthcare providers with tasks from regular patient visits to performing surgery and diagnosing various conditions.  However, while technology is consistently improving a healthcare providers job, it is also on the rise for improving patient experience during a visit to their provider. Here are a few major ways technology is improving patient experience:

Improving Patient Care

The dental industry has experienced so many technological developments over time, that have improved the way practitioners take care of their patients.  From improvements to simple dental tools, such as toothbrushes and dental handpieces, to more complex tools like radiology and imaging, dental tech is constantly changing.  Patients will find tech advancements that will ease their treatment process, and make their experience at the dentist, as well as other healthcare providers much more enjoyable.

Increase Office Efficiency

One of the greatest aspects of tech developments in healthcare has been an increase in office efficiency.  Patients no longer have to wait at the check-in desk for long periods of time while office professionals search through numerous files and paperwork.  Manual documentation can be very time consuming for both office professionals and patients that are coming in. Technology has provided dental offices and other healthcare providers with cloud-based technology that keeps most paperwork and records digital and secured.  This gives providers a seamless and easy process in going through patient files and previous records while being more organized. Additionally, with enhanced organization providers can be more focused on their patient’s specific issues and needs…



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The Future of Dental Technology

We’ve discussed in previous blogs how technology has changed the dental industry in the present day.  And while tech is taking the dental industry, and other sectors of healthcare by storm, the future is surely a bright one.  The future of dental technology is in the process of developing now. While many practices are in the early stages of implementing new tech, others may not have gotten there yet. For the dental industry, the future holds many new developments and improvements on what some practices are currently using.  Here are a few tech tools that you may see in the dental industry within the near future:

Dental Regeneration

Regenerative medicine is a big topic surrounding the dental industry right now, and many professionals see big plans for the future.  While we haven’t yet seen the full impact of what stem cell research can do, for dentistry, it could potentially replace the needs for traditional fillings and bonding with stem cell sources that could potentially maintain tooth-forming ability.  There have already been studies where scientists are developing dental fillings that allow teeth to heal themselves with the use of stem cells encouraging the growth of dentin (the bone material that makes up a majority of a tooth).


Many people are afraid and therefore reluctant to visit their dentist, while others, don’t feel as if they have the time or money.  Teledentistry is a technology designed to combat these issues. Teledentistry can provide dental professionals with a virtual way to conduct live consults with patients while capturing images, taking clinical notes, and other tasks.  We’ve seen this in the medical field already with on-demand virtual doctor visits. Imagine bringing that into the world of dentistry as well…



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Data Protection in Dentistry

As a dental practice, you’re dealing with an abundance of sensitive patient information.  Your practice is fully responsible for obtaining, processes, and retaining all of the information that your patients submit to you.  Dental practices are required to comply with data protection regulations and requirement, in order to continuously protect their patient’s health information and privacy.  As technology advances, companies such as provide dental practices and specialists with the most advanced technological solutions to not only improve the efficiency of their practice but help manage and comply with data protection regulations.

Whether patient information is recorded and stored on paper or electronically, it is generally deemed as confidential information and needs to be stored properly.  Cloud technology has given dental practices an efficient way to electronically store patient information to remain in compliance with data protection regulations as well as HIPAA compliance.  

Within the last few years, data protection and HIPAA violations have become extremely regulated.  Practices that do not comply correctly with HIPAA compliance face penalties and other ramifications that could hinder further practice if not corrected.  A system as simple as e-mail needs to be properly secured because it can be used regularly for sending general patient information. provides dental practices with the proper security measures to protect sensitive data from with and secure e-mail systems, cloud storage, secure mobile access, all with step by step set up and integrated migration to make the process efficient and simple…



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The Different Fields of Dentistry

For many people, the thought of dentistry consists of going to your local family dentist for a routine check-up and cleaning.  Depending on your needs, you may not have to visit another specialists office. However, aside from your general dentist, there are other areas of dentistry that require specialized training and practice many different methods of dental care.  We’ve covered a lot of information about general dentistry and past blogs. Here are major other fields of dentistry that you may not be familiar with:


If you’ve gone through a period of having braces, you’re likely familiar with seeing an Orthodontist.  An Orthodontist is considered to be an alignment specialist; focusing on correcting teeth and jaws that may be out of line or crooked. There are many reasons why someone may see an orthodontist, from an overbite or underbite caused by a misaligned jaw to a full treatment plan for crooked teeth.  In addition to your general dentists, an orthodontist is probably one of the more common practices you’ve been to.


A Periodontist is a specialist that focuses on the health of your gums.  The health of your gums is extremely important to your wellbeing. A Periodontist focuses on preventing, diagnosing, and treating many different gums issues that an individual can develop.  From issues such as bleeding of the gums due to inflammation, or more severe issues like diagnosing and treating mild to moderate forms of gum disease. A Periodontist will also handle procedures such as dental implants or cosmetic skin grafting for gums that have seen serious infection and recession…



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Improvements in Dental Imaging with Machine Learning

It is predicted that artificial intelligence is only going to become more widespread in the medical field. Advances in both the medical field and in technology are paving the way for a brighter, smarter future in healthcare.

Dentistry is one particular field that is benefiting greatly from artificial intelligence and modern technology.

CAD systems are one of the new pieces of tech that medical professionals are making use of. This system will analyze a photo, identifying each object in the picture. It offers medical professionals a vital second opinion.

Conventional neural networks are also a technology to look out for. They are able to identify images almost as accurately as a human. They are even able to identify humans from photographs.

It is easy to imagine how useful these tools would be in dentistry. The artificial intelligence programming would theoretically be able to distinguish gums, teeth, and bones apart. The only thing holding back conventional neural networks in the dental world is that there is not enough training data available at the moment.

Upon successful implementation, a conventional neural network would be able to identify tumors in the mouth and so much more. Even if the technology isn’t perfect, it doesn’t hurt a dentists office to make use of this technology. It may be imperfect, but it could see something that the dentists missed, such as a dangerous tumor or osteomyelitis…



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Using Virtual Reality for Dental Training & Practice

Virtual reality is a new, amazing, fun technology; however, it doesn’t have to be all about having a good time. Industries are using virtual reality as a training method. It can provide the most realistic experience possible without doing the real thing. It is an excellent teaching resource. The dentistry world is just one field that is making incredible use of virtual reality. They are using it to train dentists in 3-D worlds, letting them get hands-on training without ever performing on a real patient. In fact, it is expected that the medical field market for virtual reality will reach over $5 billion by 2025. Dentists aren’t merely using virtual reality to train new doctors; they are also using virtual reality in some really unique ways.

Pain Medication Alternative

Dentists are now starting to use virtual reality to calm their patients. The patients put on the virtual reality headset and are transported to a peaceful location of their choice, such as a calm, tranquil beach. One patient told the LA Times that he completely forgot he was at the dentist once he put the headset on.

Explaining Procedures

It can be hard to explain medical procedures to lay people. Virtual reality takes some of the weight of dentists’ shoulders by doing the work for them. Patients are able to see exactly what will be performed by wearing a virtual reality headset. They will be able to witness in 3-D the surgery or procedure actually performed. This helps the patient understand and gives them a peace of mind…



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