ABS Blog

Reliable Communication Tools for Your Lab

There is almost no aspect of managing a dental laboratory that is more important than speedy and reliable communications with their dentists. This practice is required to provide patients with the ultimate satisfaction in the products you provide, making it paramount for continued growth in your business.

JDT May 2021

Recently, The Journal of Dental Technology interviewed two dental lab industry experts who shared their experiences on setting “achievable expectations and build[ing] successful relationships through confident communication.” NADL members can read more about it in JDT’s May 2021 article, Communicate with Confidence.

Within the article, the subjects mention many of the well-known independent communication options, such as the, exploding-in-popularity, Zoom meeting and “email, phone, FaceTime, text, IM, live chat, etc.” While all of these options are great (not to mention, irreplaceable), there are even more options.

Some of those other communication options have the ability to be integrated within Atlanta Based Systems’ Evolution dental lab management software. Take our EvoDOCTOR Portal, for example. Your doctors can login to send notes and attach files to cases. They can also request pickups by local drivers and even live-chat with an online employee in your lab.

With ABS and Evolution, internal notifications and automated emails can be set up so that lab employees can be notified when dentists communicate through their portal. These automatic email templates for your dentists can also be triggered to let them know when the lab receives, reschedules or ships a case. The EvoDOCTOR Portal, integrated with your Evolution dental lab management software, could be used as an indispensable communication tool for your laboratory.

ABS Digital Rx Feature

Also, with the new Digital Rx integration, your doctors can upload completed digital prescriptions directly to your lab. All they would need to do is login to their EvoDOCTOR Portal account and click on the link to fill out the prescription online. Once they’ve completed the form and added any notes or images, they would just upload that file to the case.

But wait, there’s more. Effective communications don’t stop with clients and lab administrators. Let’s not forget that there are other positions within the dental lab industry that need to be able to effectively communicate with members of your and your dentists’ teams. Take for instance your local drivers. They would certainly need to be notified if there has been a note added to a pickup request or any changes in deliveries or pickups on their routes. ABS has developed a fully-integrated mobile app solution for that, called EvoDRIVER.

EvoSALES Mobile App

What about your sales and customer service staff? In addition to the CRM within the ABS EvoDATA desktop application, we have also created a mobile CRM app called EvoSALES. This application gives your sales people (or customer service staff) the ability to add notes to accounts. There is even the ability to assign messages to specific lab members so they can receive instant notifications with the notes your EvoSALES users put into the system.

We, at Atlanta Based Systems, agree that effective communications are essential to the success of dental laboratories. What’s more? Evolution is capable of automated communications between the lab, its customers and employees. Even better, these automated communications can integrate directly with your dental lab management software. With Evolution, all of your communication needs are covered.

Please contact us if you are interested in learning more.

New Digital Rx Feature

If you’re lab has been searching for a solution to the overwhelming amount of paper prescriptions required for you to print and send out to your dentists, look no further. One environmental-friendly option is a digital prescription that you can provide on your website and/or doctor portal. ABS now provides the ability for you to add your own digital prescription template to your Evolution dental lab management software and EvoDOCTOR Web Portal.

This new DIGITAL RX feature gives your doctors and accounts the ability to fill out a prescription, digitally, and submit it directly to your lab from the comfort of their favorite online device.

Once they’ve logged into your lab’s EvoDOCTOR Web Portal to do things like check on the status of their cases, they now will have the ability to select “Create New Lab Prescription.” This will allow the doctor to fill out your lab prescription using different tools for editing. In this demonstration, the doctor is primarily using their stylus on an iPad to complete the prescription.

The doctor will just complete the digital Rx you provide them, including any kind of information they want the lab to know about the case. Along with the ability for your doctors to fill out information about the case, they can also include images and even make annotations on top of those images.

Once all of the information necessary has been entered on the form, the doctor can then save the file. As a saved file, it can then be uploaded to the case by navigating to the case, selecting “upload file” and picking the file to be uploaded.

In addition to internal Evolution alerts, lab members can also be notified via email that a doctor has added a file through the doctor portal. These notifications can include some pertinent information about the case, and even a link to the files so they can be accessed immediately and directly from the email notification.

Also, any EvoDATA User with access to the doctors’ case files will be able to access the newly added file through Case Pictures.

EvoTECH Mobile App

Dental lab technicians would have access to the digital prescription for the case, as well. For instance, through the ABS EvoTOUCH application, technicians could access the case information and click on “case images” to see the file.

Any dental lab technician using our EvoTECH mobile app would even be able to pull up the newly added digital Rx directly on their mobile device. In addition to finding case info, notes and images, lab techs can also view any digital Rx file that the doctor upload through their portal.

Once your dentists learn of the ability to upload their prescriptions directly through the internet, you may be able to reduce the amount of prescriptions you need to print and distribute. Not to mention, this solution will be faster, easier and more efficient for both you and your clients.

Please contact us if you’re interested in implementing this new feature with your Evolution dental lab management software. Also, don’t forget to like and share the video in this post. Subscribe to the ABS YouTube Channel and hit that notification bell for new video alerts. See ya next time.

What is Evolution?

Evolution is the latest dental lab management software suite developed by Atlanta Based Systems. ABS has been developing software solutions specifically for Dental Laboratories for well over 40 years. Although our software has changed over the decades, we still have the same goal in mind: Provide dental labs with the most comprehensive, yet user friendly system to help digitally manage their day-to-day operations.

Atlanta Based Systems offers a complete suite of dental lab management applications with Evolution. The main application is EvoDATA, which provides tools for all of your daily operations. This desktop application gives dental lab executives, managers, accountants, order entry operators, customer service, sales and any invoicing/shipping staff all of the information that they need about any case that has came through your lab or any account that has used, or intends to use, your lab as their dental products provider.

ABS also provides multiple tools for your technicians to track and record their work. The ideal technician productivity tracking method is EvoTOUCH, which was created with the original Evolution package.

EvoTOUCH was designed for Touch Screen workstations throughout the lab for convenient access for your technicians. The program will also work on a standard, updated Windows PC. From each workstation, technicians have the ability to clock in and out, view all cases that are ready for them to work on (in priority order), view any details, notes, and images attached to their cases, check cases in when they begin working on them, and check cases out when they are finished with their jobs.

EvoTECH + is a stand-alone desktop application geared toward Technicians that allows limited access to production data. They will be able to access: Time Clock, Case Inquiry, Bar Code, Case Images, Case Files, CRM My Activities and Work Ticket Viewer. This application combines a scaled-down version of EvoDATA (Evolution’s “main” application for case lookup, management, etc.) and the EvoBARCODE application. It’s ideal for giving those technicians powerful tools, combined within a single application, for self- and team-management of current casework PLUS the ability to “complete” their steps for cases using the built-in bar coding feature.

EvoTECH Mobile app can be used in conjunction with Evolution to help your lab maintain tight controls on production. Not only that, but technicians can also clock in and out of work using these devices (only when they are on the labs premises, of course) and view any images or PDF documents that have been attached to their cases.

Another HUGE feature of the EvoTECH mobile app is it’s ability to use the device’s camera as a bar code scanner. So, not only can your techs complete cases, they can complete them quickly, easily, and accurately by scanning a bar code if you choose to have one printed on your work tickets.

EvoBARCODE is the most traditional method of production tracking in a dental laboratory that would be using a scan “wand” to scan a bar code that is on a work ticket, which is passed along with the case. By using ABS Evolution‘s EvoBARCODE application running on a Windows PC, your technicians can complete their particular steps for a case by using a bar code-scanning peripheral. But, even without bar code scanning hardware, this app can be used with a keypad or mouse for completing steps on cases. It can also be used as a time clock for technicians to clock in and out of production.

In addition to case management, billing and technician productivity, ABS also provides other modules for doctors, managers, customer service reps and drivers.

The EvoDOCTOR Portal, interfaces with your database and was designed to provide Doctors with a Concierge level of service, saving Doctors time and improving communications between the dentist’s office and lab employees.  It provides ability for the doctors to enter a case remotely, verify case status, check on account balance, view detailed invoices, schedule pickups, add case notes, and upload images and attachments.

 

EvoMGR is designed for lab/department managers to use on a tablet. It is intended to be the dental lab Production Manager’s right-hand man – a digital production management assistant to help the user see REAL-TIME employee productivity. If you want to have a happy, informed, and organized dental lab manager, this is the tool for them. It will give them the ability to find out priceless information about any case in production anywhere in the lab. All you need is ABS’ Evolution with the ABS Manager App, an iPad or Android tablet, and a wi-fi connection to your lab’s computer network.

 

The EvoSALES mobile application is the perfect tool for salespeople on the road visiting dentists and needing to relay information back to the lab. Since the app communicates directly with your Evolution software and updates data automatically, it essentially becomes a huge time-saver and business generator. The EvoSALES mobile application is designed to run on any Android or iOS device by your sales people, or anyone else given access, so they can view account information from anywhere. It also gives users the ability to update account information and create new notes/activities that can be assigned to any Evolution User at the lab. This way the Evolution User or targeted lab staff member can receive notifications about the account or case in REAL TIME once the account information or activity has been updated!

 

The EvoDRIVER Mobile Application allows your dental lab’s delivery drivers to view and enter delivery detail for cases as they pick up and deliver them. Drivers will be able to see the list of cases to be delivered for the route the driver is responsible. They will have the ability to check off the cases when they are delivered or picked up and that information will be reported back to the lab in REAL-TIME.

 

Whether you are a small dental lab, or a large one, ABS provides the premier dental lab management software that’s got all of your employees covered and connected. Drop us a line today!

Intraoral Scanning in High-Volume Dental Institutions

New technologies are essential for the growth and progression of any industry. The dental restoration industry is a prime example. With the invention of intraoral scanners (IOSs) and digital image files, dental labs have the ability to create more accurate and efficient products for dentists and their patients. However, as with all things new, a certain level of planning and understanding is necessary for a successful implementation.

Some issues that need to be looked into when implementing new intraoral scanners are the risk of cross-contamination, necessary calibrations and transferring files. To help prevent cross-contamination, the CDC states that steam sterilization of the IOS tip using an autoclave is the standard for microbe eradication.

The precision required by an IOS is highly dependent on proper calibration of the device. That precision can sometimes be hindered by a limited number of trained operators with calibration responsibilities. In a high-volume dental institution, more calibrations could be necessary due to vibrations during transport, relocation and dropping the device. Some newer technology allows for auto-calibration through the scanner manufacturer’s server, but most still require manual calibration.

When the intraoral scanning is done in a different location than the fabrication of the restorative product, secure file transfers of those digital image files are necessary through a properly stored and encrypted method. Find out more about how ABS and Evolution dental lab management software can help your lab accept these files safely and securely through our EvoDOCTOR Portal. We manage these files with the utmost sensitivity to avoid data breaches in patient information.

Incorporating IOSs into your dental practices can be a complex process requiring many moving parts. To avoid sometimes frustrating and costly mishaps, you should discuss developing an effective strategy with your network of professionals prior to implementing these new digital dentistry technologies.

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LMT: 5 Lessons Learned from the Global Pandemic

LMT Communications, Inc. recently posted an article featuring 5 dental lab professionals and their takeaways from operating during the global pandemic. Hearing what other dental labs have experienced through the coronavirus threat, and how they’ve learned to overcome the unprecedented  challenges that came with it, is very helpful in figuring out how to you can safeguard your lab from unforeseen circumstances in the future.

Atlanta Based Systems has lead the industry with our state-of-the-art dental lab management software for over 40 years. With Evolution, your lab can streamline your workloads and stay lean. The features available within the applications provided by ABS in our Evolution dental lab management software can give you tools to manage cases currently in production, as well as insight on what’s to come for your lab.

One of the dental lab professionals in LMT’s article mentions having to lay off his assistant and consolidate their department managers to one operations manager responsible for all of their departments. With EvoMGR from ABS, lab or department managers can keep track of the cases being processed through their departments and have the ability to change schedules, reassign techs, add notes/images and much more.

Evolution CRM

Another dental lab professional featured in the article talks about “cross training” employees so that “each department could operate independently.” In Evolution, User profiles can be created or edited easily giving access to different parts of the system allowing for certain employees to multitask their case management and customer service.

At the end of the article, Russellville Dental Lab Managing Partner, Lee Coursey, discusses watching the right metrics:

“We realized it didn’t make sense to base it on sales because—since that work is already done and out the door—we’d be making decisions five to 10 days behind. Instead, we focused on incoming workloads: how much there was and how long would it be in-house. Shifting our focus to the throughput—the number of units we would be moving through each department every day—helped us gain clarity.”

Mr. Coursey has been using Evolution and working with Atlanta Based Systems for many years. The tools and features that Evolution offers were able to help Lee extrapolate relevant metrics needed to help them develop a plan for layoffs based on historical workloads.

If you’re interested in ABS and getting a personal demonstration of Evolution, please give us a call or drop us a line.

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<1% Covid Positive Dentists Through June

In a study recently published by The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA), less than one percent of participating dentists had become infected with Covid-19 through June 2020. There were 2,195 participating dentists, out of which only 20 had confirmed or probably Covid-19 diagnosis.

Dr. Marcelo Araujo, the chief science officer of the ADA. said, “This is very good news for dentists and patients.” “It means that what dentists are doing – heightened infection control and increased attention to patient and dental team safety – is working.”

In March, The New York Times listed Dentistry as one of the professions at highest-risk of the novel coronavirus infection. In light of the study, the vice president of the ADA Health Policy Institute, Marko Vujicic, Ph.D., said, “The fact that dentistry was named one of the most at-risk professions for infection, but has a far lower prevalence of infection compared to other health professions, is not a coincidence. The profession has taken this issue extremely seriously, and it shows.”

Guidelines from both the ADA and CDC promote the highest level of personal protective equipment available, including masks, goggles and face shields. To reduce the amount of aerosols, the ADA recommends rubber dams and high velocity suction whenever possible and hand scaling instead of ultrasonic scaling when cleaning teeth.

Some other findings in the study were that over 1/3 of the dentists reported (at least mild) psychological distress, almost 10% reported symptoms of depression, with almost 20% reporting symptoms of anxiety. About 1/4 of them had at least one medical condition associated with a higher risk of severe illness from Covid-19.

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FDA Issues Dental Amalgam Warning to Certain Groups

On Thursday, September 24th, 2020, The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) issued a statement titled “FDA Issues Recommendations for Certain High-Risk Groups Regarding Mercury-Containing Dental Amalgam.” In their statement they issue “updated recommendations concerning dental amalgam and potential risks to certain high-risk individuals that may be associated with these mercury-containing fillings used to restore the missing structure and surfaces of a decayed tooth.”

The groups that the FDA states “may be” at a greater risk of negative health effects are:

  • Pregnant women and their developing fetuses;
  • Women who are planning to become pregnant;
  • Nursing women and their newborns and infants;
  • Children, especially those younger than six years of age;
  • People with pre-existing neurological disease such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease
  • People with impaired kidney function; and
  • People with known heightened sensitivity (allergy) to mercury or other components of dental amalgam.

 

Although the FDA defines these groups as ‘maybe’ having a higher-risk of negative health effects from dental amalgam, they don’t appear to provide any new evidence of this being the case. In fact, after the FDA released their statement, the ADA (American Dental Association) released their own press release reaffirming its position on dental amalgam.

The ADA’s press release did acknowledge that they agreed with the FDA’s recommendation of the patient discussing all treatment options with their dental provider, but pointed out that there is “little to no information” on whether or not anyone in these specific groups were at greater risk of negative health effects from the use of dental amalgam. The ADA stands by their assessment that “dental amalgam is a durable, safe and effective cavity-filling option.

Low-Risk vs. High-Risk Dentistry

Let us consider the profession. Dentists come in many different forms: cosmetic dentists, prosthodontists, periodontists, orthodontists, endodontists, general practitioners, oral surgeons, implantologists, pediatric dentists, and others. It is difficult for the public to differentiate one from the other, and moreover, a general practitioner (GP) can perform most dental procedures if well trained. Let us look at it this way: when a patient goes to the hospital, he or she is directed to a specialist in the part of the body that has the problem. That specialist is usually highly trained and has the resources in his or her department to treat that part of the body. You will never see a medical GP operating on a patient’s heart or an orthopedic surgeon operating on a patient’s brain.

Miguel Stanley

Like the body, the oral cavity should be seen as consisting of parts: hard tissue, soft tissue, nerves, bone, teeth, mechanics, and muscles. A myriad of problems can occur in the oral cavity. You can have biological issues such as infections, mechanical issues such as fractures or abrasions, and of course, your teeth create one of the most important things connected to our emotions: the smile. So why should we expect a GP to solve all these problems?

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Dangerous New TikTok Trend of Filing Teeth Goes Viral

Apparently there are some people who’ve taken to the social media platform, TikTok, and posting videos of themselves using a fingernail file to grind down their own teeth. One girl who had a chipped tooth filed down her two front teeth so that the lengths were the same. The tooth filing-trend started gaining so much attention that dental hygiene professionals began responded in an effort to debunk them.

There’s no doubt that some of these TikTok users should leave the dental work to professionals. Although some appear to be doing it as a joke there  are several who are grinding off some parts of  their permanent teeth. Doing this could leave some of these social media socialites with irreparable damage and tremendous pain.

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3D Printing in the Dental Lab

According to a recent report by market intelligence group CONTEXT, dentistry makes up over one fifth of the end market for professional polymer 3D printers (5,000 USD upwards). The accessibility of desktop machines and the resolution of resin-based technologies have earned additive a solid user base in the dental community. It’s why early on in the fight against COVID-19, we saw a UK based network of 13,000 dentists with access to 3D printers – thought to be one of the largest concentration of machines outside of the engineering sector – rally together to apply its temporarily redundant resources for the production of PPE.

So, with the dental 3D printing market poised to reach 9.5 billion USD by 2027, it’s no surprise that 3D printer manufacturers are investing heavily in this area, whether through dedicated business units or partnerships with device manufacturers.

Applications for 3D printers in the dental lab or office are extensive. “We print implant models, crown and bridge models, all that fun stuff,” Oscar Buenrostro, Model Shop, Milling & 3D Printing Supervisor for California-based dental solutions provider DenMat, recently told TCT. “We use it for pretty much every product we have in the lab.”

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