It is mechanized isolation and suction. We have all heard about it, seen advertisements, read about it, and many dentists are now using it. I won’t mention specific brand names or expound on the different systems but I do want to go over the topic of mechanized isolation systems.
Developments in isolation and procedure techniques are changing dentistry — FAST. For centuries, dentists have been trained and coached in treatment delivery techniques that employ a four-handed approach requiring an assistant to be consistently present chairside. However, things change. Whether it is automobile manufacturing processes or heart bypass surgery techniques, things change over time. I believe dentistry is in the first 10 years of what will probably be at least a 20-30 year process of transitioning to consistently employing and teaching mechanized suction and isolation techniques.
Though human assistants are vitally important to the delivery of dentistry and will probably always be needed for certain aspects of care, consistent use of mechanized isolation systems quickly addresses at least five crucial areas in an ever-changing field:
1. Consistency: Use of mechanized isolation systems does not eliminate human factors but it does decrease their impact. Consistently being able to “work in” an emergency patient although your assistant is busy can help in an environment where it seems many patients are less loyal to their long time provider and ready to see the first dentist that will get them in for treatment.
2. CAD/CAM: Mechanized isolation systems are not only good for the dentists. Anyone, including assistants, working with modern CAD/CAM dentistry or digital impression techniques can benefit.
3. Overhead Expenses: Costs of supplies and providing treatment consistently go one direction—up. Save on overhead by using mechanized isolation systems, or put that savings toward paying that really great assistant or hygienist to help you in multiple rooms instead of sitting chairside throughout entire procedures.
4. Resin Restorations: I was consistently taught in school that though most people don’t really want amalgam restorations these days, amalgam restorations are beneficial because they can be stronger to occlusal forces over time, and sometimes-in a wet environment-you just can’t place a good resin restoration. Well, the wet environment situation just doesn’t happen as often when I use mechanized isolation techniques and I have found 90 percent of my patients prefer “tooth colored” restorations.
5. Surgery: Performing surgical procedures for patients in need can not only help a lot of people, but also be a huge practice builder. I have found that I can consistently perform surgical procedures with mechanized isolation and suction that would definitely require sedation and a throat-pack otherwise. The difference for the patient can be thousands of dollars saved, and weeks less of discomfort. People seem to be getting less patient and more “Who can help me NOW?” oriented. When you can produce consistent safe results for patients in emergency situations everyone wins.
Incorporation of mechanized isolation systems and delivery techniques can be very beneficial to patients, dentists and dental team members. Give it some thought.
Dr. Brenden Moon is a New Dentist Now guest blogger and currently serves as Chair of the Illinois State Dental Society New Dentist Committee and sits on the Board of the Illinois Academy of General Dentistry. He began practicing in western Illinois after completing dental school at the University of Mississippi in 2007, and enjoys participating in organized dentistry on the state and national level. Dr. Moon practices in both Public Health and Private Practice settings and is a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, International College of Dentists, Academy of Dentistry International, and the Pierre Fauchard Academy.