Top Townie Picks: Software and Technology

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Dentaltown Magazine

Townies discuss which items they consistently reach for, and why


Each year, we publish the results of the orthodontic Townie Choice Awards in our January/February issue to give our readers the latest info about the products and services that their fellow Townies have named the best in the industry.

But while the TCAs are awarded based on ballot tallies, they include no room for voters to discuss why certain products or services are their favorites. So we went in search of Townie opinions: Which items are their go-to products, and why? Some orthodontists discussed their favorites in message boards posted on Orthotown.com, and we pulled other answers from Townies who were featured in recent Office Visit profiles.

In this issue, we discuss the digital tools for collecting and storing orthodontic information: cone beam scanners, pan/ceph machines, software for digital imaging and patient communication, and clear alignment technology. Perhaps not surprisingly, some picks happened to match up with this year’s Townie Choice Awards winners, which we’ve indicated.
— by Orthotown staff

3D Imaging

“I had a 2D for many years—it’s a reliable machine. What’s nice about the [Planmeca ProMax] 3D is that it has a pediatric setting for lower dose, and I can also use a 2D?option for just a panorex and don’t have to always take a 3D. It’s compact and fits great in my imaging room.”
— Dr. Sandy Bigman, in his September 2019 Office Visit

“I’ve had the Vatech pan/ceph for about 3+ years now and I love it! I have had compliments from oral surgeons, as well as patients’ parents who are MDs and chiropractors, on the clarity and definition of the picture. The service is great, too. They are always available and fix things remotely the same day. In my opinion, it has been one of the best investments I made.”
— “2thnwire,” via message board

Orthotown Magazine

? TCA Winner: X-Ray Equipment: Cone Beam CT Scanner
“I used the i-Cat NextGen four years prior to the i-Cat FLX. While the NG was good, the FLX is easier to use, Anatomage is fantastic, reduced exposure time minimizes the chance for movement/retakes, and easier collimation ability reduces radiation exposure even further. I see no downsides except for it being a significant expense vs. digital pan/ceph. However, if you are interested in routinely using a CBCT volume to its full capacity (and not just pan/ceph with occasional looking at thirds or impacted canines) you will be very pleased, and the cost will be worth the diagnostic information you are getting from it.”
— “vacuefactor,” via message board

i-Cat
“Best thing I’ve bought for the office. Super cool, especially educationally for kids with developing teeth. The software allows a lot of manipulation of the images, to the delight of the parents and patients. The images of QuickScan Plus are not super high-res, but are perfect for screening for tooth positions, etc. Pan, ceph, skull … all with one four-second scan, all with the lowest radiation. Other super high-res images available if needed. Should sell like hot cakes for orthodontics.”
— “thesmiledoc,” via message board

“When we decided to join forces and create an orthodontic–pedodontic partnership, the first large purchase was an i-Cat. This machine allows great visualization of the volumes that we need to be aware of. The ease of use and the software make quick viewing and sharing with patients and family a breeze.”
— Dr. Dan Grob, in his June 2019 Office Visit

“I’ve had [my Carestream Kodak?9000C] about 4–5 years now. Takes great images 2D and 3D. It does everything I bought it to do.”
— “drbojengles,” via message board

Clear Aligners

“The SureSmile aligner system offers multiple options to treat patients with aligners. You can do it yourself with no third party setting up the case and manipulate the software, or have SureSmile perform comprehensive treatment, including producing the aligners. I use it for do-it-yourself cases where I manipulate the movement through their improved software and have SureSmile send me printed models for each stage so we can use our Drufomat to make the aligners in house. For me, it is a nice affordable option for minor cases. I never have to heat up instruments to place dimples in aligners again.”
— Dr. Sandy Bigman, in his September 2019 Office Visit

Orthotown Magazine

? TCA Winner: Clear Aligner Systems
“I am a huge [Invisalign] fan, and am doing more and more each quarter. It’s aesthetic and convenient, has great brand recognition, and creates raving fans.”
— Dr. Jerek Petrous, in his January/February 2018 Office Visit

“I have started using 3M Clarity Aligners. Less cost and a better company that supports orthos and I believe will not sell us out.” 
— “fesdds,” via message board

Digital Imaging Software

Carestream OrthoTrac Cloud Software
“I love being on the cloud platform. After the last time my server went out in the office, I told myself I could never be so dependent on one computer. Now we can get the information anywhere, anytime; I can even work off my phone if I need to.”
— Dr. Tanya Vaysman, in her January/February 2019 Office Visit

“The Dolphin 3D software is a tremendous value, and you can see so much on an initial exam. Before, I had to send patients out to an oral surgeon for a 3D and they’d be charged; now, I can take one as part of my initial exam. With one image, I can extrapolate the ceph and panorex and see the airway and TMJ. This offers better care for my patients. Aquarium is a great tool to explain treatment to patients, with high-quality videos.”
— Dr. Sandy Bigman, in his September 2019 Office Visit

Orthotown Magazine

? TCA Winner: Software: Orthodontic Practice Management
topsOrtho is almost as fast at satellite office, home and Starbucks with cable internet connection. Logging in to Tops remotely is a breeze. Loading, cropping and editing large photos is no problem.”
— “bracesbill,” via message board

“In my opinion, the images are excellent and the Planmeca Romexis software is not that hard to learn. The training was very good, and the staff are already fairly comfortable with its operation. They are very pleased with not having to move the sensor to change from taking a pan to a ceph.”
— “jkglenos,” via message board

Practice Management Software

“I’ve used Gaidge for about two years and like it, really good for multi-doc practices and multi-locations. If you are a “numbers/stats person,” you will like it a lot. I plan on continuing to use it.”
— “EarthDogFred,” via message board

“I’ve been using Ortho2 Edge for just over a year now. We switched over from Viewpoint, which we had for many years. It was the best thing that we could have ever done—such a great decision! There are many benefits using a cloud-based software. No more expensive servers to maintain, data is securely stored off-site, I can access the software from anywhere on my laptop, the Edge mobile app for my phone or tablet lets me access patient info/photos (great for lunch with GPs), and perfect for multioffice practice. Also, the imaging, reminder and animation modules are great.”
— “pezortho,” via message board

“I currently run Dolphin Cloud. I have no issues whatsoever and really like it. However, I would note that, obviously, since it is a cloud-based program, you must have a good internet connection.”
— “OrthoArash,” via message board

“We are probably one of only a handful of ortho offices that use Open Dental. I started with it some 10+ years ago when I had more time and was doing some programming myself. It is built on a very stable database platform that would be easy to extract data from when you are ready to switch to a more expensive program. With Open Dental you get the basics like scheduling, financials, payment plans, insurance, charting, time clock, letter writing, etc.”
— “Dr-T,” via message board

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