Abhishek Ganguly and Dr Rhona Eskander discuss Align Technology’s latest innovations
During the British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show, Dental Review took the opportunity to enjoy an exclusive chat with Abhishek Ganguly (top) Vice President of the General Dentist Channel Europe at Align Technology, and Dr Rhona Eskander, who has become one of the most talked-about general dentists in the UK and is a sterling advocate for the latest Align Technology innovations.
For both Abhishek and Dr Eskander, the secret of Align Technology’s successful integration into mainstream dentistry is about more than subtle algorithms and sophisticated, cutting edge technology. They maintain that at the heart of the Align Technology`s digital workflow – and the extraordinary rise of its Invisalign clear aligner system – is constant innovation.
Abhishek explained: “75% of the population are potential candidates for tooth straightening, but before making that investment, they need to see what a difference the process might make to their smile, their overall confidence, and indeed, their lives. Our latest foray into communicating that difference is SmileView tool, which Dr Eskander has been piloting for us.”
Serving General Dental Practice
Dr Eskander was poised to present a presentation about the uses of SmileView tool, more of which shortly; but first, Abhishek wanted to outline the ways that Align Technology innovation is about more than just aesthetics. It is also about serving general dental practice.
He said: “Our latest intraoral scanner - the iTero Element 5D Imaging System provides a new and even more comprehensive approach to clinical applications, workflows and user experience. It expands the suite of existing high-precision, full-colour imaging and fast scan times of the iTero Element portfolio.
“The new scanner is designed as the first integrated dental imaging system that simultaneously records 3D, intra-oral colour and near-infrared imaging (NIRI) and also enables comparison over time using iTero’s TimeLapse functionality.
“This way, the clinician has a clear visual tool with which to demonstrate any changes to the patient’s dentition over time. If the patient needs to focus more on their hygiene regime, if their teeth are becoming crowded, if any number of indications for intervention are there, TimeLapse tool will help the dentist communicate that need.”
The Best of All Imaging Worlds
He continued: “Furthermore, the iTero Element 5D aids in the detection and monitoring of interproximal caries lesions above the gingiva without using harmful radiation.
“With this new imaging system, dentists can efficiently and effectively scan every patient at every visit and visualise treatment options – resulting in more informed decisions for optimum oral care. The benefits are twofold, they not only help the patient better understand what is happening in their own mouths, but also aid the dental professional to clearly demonstrate treatment possibilities.
Looking to the future, Abhishek addressed the fears some people have about technology overtaking the human element in the dental surgery. He said: “Align Technology is committed to improving the lives of dentists and orthodontists through enhanced technology and advanced artificial intelligence. AI should be perceived as a tool, not a threat.
“Dental professionals` involvement and supervision of the treatment process are crucial for helping patients achieve a new, well -aligner smile – which is why the Invisalign treatment is exclusively available via doctor practices; iTero scanners and visualisation software – and the Invisalign system – use technology to make doctor and patient communication and interaction easier and more intuitive.
“Remember, digital impression taking is also great in supporting the current environmentally aware climate, thanks to its reduced carbon footprint when compared to more traditional methods.
“And we’re not resting on our laurels. In Q3, we will be launching an exciting new dynamic visualisation tool that will become an adjunct to Invisalign Go treatment. Without going into specific details at this stage, we will be introducing even simpler and easier to use systems that will further support GPs in the treatment planning process.”
Dr Rhona Eskander – SmileView Tool
Award winning cosmetic dentist Dr Rhona Eskander is a platinum level Invisalign provider and an ardent advocate for Instagram as a marketing tool. In her Fulham Road, London-based practice, she has found Align Technology’s new SmileView tool to be an effective practice growth driver.
The new online tool is designed to help prospective Invisalign patients visualise their potential new smile before they opt for a treatment. It is a computer-generated, non-clinical simulation of the way a person’s smile might look after teeth straightening (the company points out that SmileView tool should not be confused with ClinCheck Pro software, and that the smile simulation is the closest estimation of a new smile, based on smart technology but the end result could be different).
Within 60 seconds of taking a smiling selfie using the SmileView tool on their smartphone or tablet, the automated system’s sophisticated algorithm leverages a database of tooth movements from over 6 million Invisalign cases to show prospective patients what their new smile and straighter teeth could look like, in their own face.
Dr Eskander enthuses: “SmileView tool is an incredibly powerful tool; smart technology we can use in our waiting room. It fits perfectly with the millennial mindset because the technology is instant, the outcome is available in seconds, and the impact is tremendous.
“Invisalign’s ClinCheck software is a wonderful in-practice communication tool, but since it shows only a 3D-visualisation of patient`s teeth, rather than the whole face - it takes the smile away from the facial context. SmileView tool puts the person’s potential new smile back into their own face. And it’s a great way to gain interest; we got 20 contacts from interested patients on the first day we launched SmileView tool online.”
She continued: “Putting the SmileView tool story onto my Instagram page (https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxj_I0JAzxj/?igshid=zgop4sh2e3hq) allowed me to engage with people who live in today’s “WOW culture”; people who listen to like-minded individuals and live through the experience. However, it’s not about selling a product; it’s about influencing people to think about the possibilities.
“Dentists are not sales people – we’re clinicians. The SmileView tool gets the patient interested before they even enter the surgery, and it does so in a simple, non-clinical way that anyone can understand. They can see the improvement to their smile in a matter of seconds. That is quite a powerful incentive.
“We talk about the benefits of communication and visualisation, well, what could be simpler than showing someone how their smile might look after tooth straightening – and showing them the improvement to their own face. Your new smile affects your face, and that may impact your life by giving you greater social confidence and a sense of wellbeing.
“The SmileView tool demonstrates how someone can be at their best, the rest is Invisalign treatment.”
For more information about the Invisalign system and to try SmileView, visit www.invisalign.co.uk