Invisalign/Digital Smile Design

Cosmetic Treatments
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Dr Christian Coachman headlines the Invisalign/Digital Smile Design Conference in London

Earlier this month (9th March 2018) dentists hit the heights when they gained exclusive access to a conference headlined by Dr Christian Coachman (above) the Founder of the Digital Smile Design (DSD) concept. The conference was situated in Level 42, 650ft above street level in the Leadenhall Building at the heart of the City's financial district. Delegates enjoyed spectacular views of the river and many of London's major landmark buildings from London's highest exclusive dedicated events venue.

Dr Coachman was the headline speaker for a packed conference following an explosion of interest about the recently announced digital breakthrough in interdisciplinary dentistry treatment through the planning collaboration between Align Technology and DSD.

This collaboration brings together the predictability of Invisalign’s clear aligner treatment planning with DSD protocols, designed to aid dentists towards predictably providing the ultimate aesthetic outcome for the patient. During the conference speakers advised, illustrated and demonstrated how to integrate Invisalign with DSD restorative techniques using a streamlined digital workflow.

Delegates were advised to take a less invasive approach which encourages the preservation of more tooth structure, and ultimately provides an improved patient outcome and experience. In a live demonstration Dr Coachman showed how easy it was to engage with a patient regarding their DSD/Invisalign treatment in real time.

He explained: "Providing dentists with the ability to combine DSD's unique treatment and patient communications tools with Invisalign treatment planning is ideal for designing beautiful smiles.

"This collaboration enables a systematic digital approach for diagnosis, communication, and treatment planning that is in line with the preferred facial balance. For us it is a great honour to develop this in union with the best orthodontic aligner company on the market."

The DSD concept was developed using protocols designed to improve “facial analysis, smile design integration, and interdisciplinary communication” for the most natural aesthetic outcome. Primarily the aim is to ensure that the patient’s new smile adds real value to their quality of life, which is described as “holistic and emotional dentistry”. Dr Coachman was joined by Dr Lance Knight and Dr Elaine Halley, leading UK exponents in the DSD field.

Speaking after the event Dr Knight opined that “everyone in the profession aspired to an easier life”, which, to him, means achieving predictable outcomes for better informed patients. In his view, through spending more time planning and showing patients what they could attain through treatment, cases automatically become more straightforward, less complex and more predictable.

The result is better informed, happier patients, leading to less stress in day-to-day clinical practice.

He explained: “Patients love to visualise how their smile will develop with the help of restorative and orthodontic options. The partnership has allowed me to show my patients this new and exciting protocol and my case uptake is greater than ever. Pretty much every restorative case starts with Invisalign and every Invisalign case has some restorative element.

“So, the amalgamation of these two disciplines makes treatment planning more logical and streamlined. As a restorative dentist we already had all the tools in place, so DSD fitted seamlessly into my Invisalign/i-Tero system without the need to buy lots of new equipment. I am therefore going to continue to link DSD and Invisalign closely together.

“The Invisalign Digital Smile Design Conference was an opportunity to brush up on elements involved in the pilot for this collaboration, which was conducted amongst a group of doctors across the world, and which focused on the new digital advancements offered by the partnership between Align Technology and DSD.”

After her presentation Dr Elaine Halley commented that “Prior to this partnership, doctors like me had been superimposing facially designed smiles over their ClinCheck 3D animated treatment plans. There are no facial references in the software, which meant that while it worked for planning orthodontic treatments, it was not ideal for the restorative dentistry component of the plan.

“This new exciting collaboration should make the life of restorative dentists more predictable with a less invasive approach, allowing them to set an ideal pre-restorative position. In practical terms, this means doctors will be able to do the digital design using the DSD's aesthetic, facially-driven smile design protocols and then pass the file to Align Technology and combine treatment with its Invisalign treatment planning to map out every component of the orthodontic and restorative treatment from the beginning.

“This workflow will incorporate tooth alignment with restorative techniques to design patient smiles by framing the custom digital treatment plan within the patient's facial photos for comprehensive interdisciplinary dental care. In doing so, dentists should achieve their ideal aesthetic and functional treatment goals, allowing them to improve pre-restorative tooth positions and/or tooth alignment prior to starting restorative treatment, thereby helping to turn complex cases into simple cases. It’s all incredibly positive!”

In conclusion, Dr Coachman believes that digital technology will prove the trend to break many of the established principles of the dental profession.
He feels that all companies should be focusing on the patient’s experience – and, he says, Align Technology are clearly pioneers in this – by putting patients at the heart of the treatment and creating strategies to improve their experience.

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Dr Christian Coachman: After seven years of DSD World Tour, travelling throughout the five continents, 54 countries, 181 cities and being seen by 58,000 participants, Dr Coachman returns to London to demonstrate “digital and emotional updates in dentistry and their practical and realistic implementation”.

Dr Lance Knight: Dr Knight is a GDP from Manchester with a keen interest in cosmetic orthodontics. He is the owner and founder of The Fold Dental Practice
in the heart of Manchester city centre. He previously set up the Ultimate Smile Spa and Instore Dental. He has been a keen Invisalign user since 2013 and became a Platinum Elite provider in 2014.

Dr Elaine Halley: Dr Elaine Halley BDS, MFGDP(UK), MSc (Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry) is the principal dentist at her private practices, Cherrybank Dental Spa, Perth and Edinburgh, UK. Elaine graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1992. She is a past president and accredited member of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and a fellow of the International College of Dentists. She is a DSD UK instructor and a clinical opinion leader for Ivoclar Vivadent and Optident. She has authored articles and lectured on clinical dentistry, treatment planning and the business of dentistry.