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5 dental technology predictions for 2011

Feb. 3, 2011
Dr. Larry Emmott’s five predictions about dental technology for 2011 will help you plan for the coming year and make better decisions about what to buy.
By Dr. Larry Emmott
When making predictions for the coming year, I am faced with conflicting objectives. On the one hand, I want to be accurate, but that usually means making predictions that are so obvious as to be boring and useless. If I make exciting, edgy predictions, they are more likely to be wrong. And some people are actually looking for a bit of wisdom about the future to help them make decisions about what to buy and how to plan for the coming year.My solution — the following five predictions, which I can say with absolute certainty, will come to pass. At the same time I know if you get the message from each prediction, you will make better choices about the future.1.Some dentists will postpone the purchase of a digital radiography system because they are waiting for the price to drop. They have seen the price of consumer electronics fall, so they are certain the price of a highly specialized medical device will fall as well. They continue to hold this belief despite the fact that price of digital radiography systems has not fallen but, in fact, has gone up slightly in the past 10 years. 2.Many dentists will install an upgraded management system, add some new team members, but not bother to set up and pay for team training. After all, they had a day of training when they first bought the system 10 years ago. 3.Dentists will run a paper system simultaneously with an electronic system. They will use a computer to schedule and track billing and create some treatment plans, but they will still write treatment notes on paper and send postcards for recall because ... well, just because. 4.Makers of high-tech dental systems, such as digital radiograph and digital impression systems, will continue to create output in a proprietary format that cannot be used by any other system. They will insist this is for the benefit of the dentist. 5. Dentists will avoid setting up a practice Web site. Personally, they use the Web every day to send e-mail, check news items, get directions, and buy stuff. Nevertheless, they don’t believe their patients use the Internet very much. Author bioDr. Larry Emmott, is the leading authority on dental high tech and one of the most entertaining speakers in dentistry. He is also a writer and consultant. Dr. Emmott has been a pioneer in online publishing with his blog To find out about his high-tech training programs, Technology Guides, and other services, call (602) 791-7071 or visit