Innovative Dentistry

3D Dentists

3. Good Health and Well-Being 4. Quality Education 12. Responsible Consumption and Production

Overview

3D Dentist is an educational institute designed to broaden the skill set of the general practicing dentist so that he or she can take the knowledge back to their offices and implement it to grow their practice. 3D Dentists encourages and explains the use of new technology that can help dentists save time, money and reduce overall waste. In addition, the live patient programs help provide affordable and reliable dental care to the volunteering patients.

Author

Lakyn Moore

Lakyn Moore

School

University of Tennessee

University of Tennessee

Professor

Emily Landry

Emily Landry

Innovation

The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal of achieving good health and well-being is implemented into the core of 3D Dentists’ training sessions. 3D Dentists conduct live patient programs as part of their training. During training courses, the general dentists practice their new procedures on volunteer patients. These patients are selected through a screening process then given a heavily discounted rate in order to get the procedures that they need and could not otherwise afford. 3D Dentists strive to allow patients that need treatment to be able to afford it and have good health.

Another Sustainable Development Goal that is achieved by 3D Dentists is responsible consumption and production. 3D Dentists' mission is to help dentists gain the knowledge that they need in order to grow their practice. One of the ways that can help general dentists save time and money is the use of in-house machineries, such as CEREC. CEREC is an in-house crown milling machine that reduces the fabrication time from two to three weeks down to just two hours. This machine that utilizes digital impressions and the implementation of 3D x-rays decreases the amount of waste. By using digital technology and workflow, the use of many toxic materials and non-recyclable plastic materials is significantly reduced. By encouraging more dentists to use these new methods, 3D Dentists is promoting responsible consumption and production.


Innovative Dentistry

Inspiration

3D Dentists branched out from a dental practice. Dr. Tarun Agarwal had a standard dental practice then went on to join a podcast series with Dr. Sameer Puri called the Townie Meeting, where they helped dentists improve their education. This eventually led to where 3D Dentists is today, a private corporation that offers specialty classes to dentists, improving their education and introducing eco-friendly practices. The driving goal of 3D Dentists has always been to help general dentists to grow and be successful in their small practices.

Meredith Jones, the director for 3D Dentists stated that “Our mission is to help dentists gain clinical excellence and personal balance through implementing and coaching new procedures to help their patients”. Over the years, Dr.Tarun Agarwal noticed that not only can he help small practice dentists, but the communities surrounding them as well. Dr. Tarun Agarwal, also nicknamed T-Bone, felt the need to help those that he could. He noticed that through live patient programs, he could offer services and procedures to patients who couldn’t afford the dental work otherwise. By seeing the impact of his teachings and live programs on the dentists and patients, T-Bone was pushed even further in his need to assist others.

3D Dentists plans on implementing a fully functional dental office that is completely non-profit and offers even more dental care options to those in need. This non-profit will work hand in hand with the 3D Dentists programs and expand the number of patients that can be seen and treated. Most non-profit health care programs choose to take the cheapest and easiest route, but 3D Dentists want to make sure that these patients will receive “the highest level of care” (Jones).

Overall impact

The overall impact of 3D Dentists’ methods of operation is the full circle of helping not only to educate dentists but also the people of lower-income that have dental needs and in turn the environment as well. One of the short-term effects is the immediate results of dental care for the patients of need. The live patient program impacts the lives of many people in the United States, allowing them to receive the treatment that they desperately need. These procedures, such as extractions and implants are elevating pain and increasing the quality of life for these patients.

While the health and well-being of many are affected in the short term, the impacts on creating responsible consumption and production can be seen in the long run. The use of digital equipment and workflow allows for the reduction of waste. 3D Dentists teach digital technology to doctors on procedures that they don’t learn in dental school but they teach a digital workflow. This entails using technology to do these procedures, which in turn creates less waste.

For example, 3d x-rays allow for better quality x-rays that also don’t need to be taken as often. In addition, digital impressions of the mouth eliminate the use of many non-recyclable materials and other waste products. Over time, the use of the classic versions of x-rays and impressions builds up waste for our environment but through the use of the digital workflow that 3D Dentists encourages, this waste is drastically cut down


Business benefit

Because of 3D Dentists, more employees have been hired, the well-being of patients has been expanded, and a new market for affordable and sustainable dentistry has been promoted. Economically, 3D Dentists have created jobs by employing instructors and dentists to run the business. In addition, they are a profitable business and create a revenue through offering their wide variety of educational classes to general dentists.

3D Dentists has assisted many dental practices in growing economically by adding additional procedures that weren’t taught in dental school. The growth of many practices has built them a great reputation that has increased their customer size, which in turn will lead to more jobs being created and allow for even more patients to be helped.

By promoting a digital workflow 3D Dentists has pushed the growth of this new market. The use of new technology in the dental community will help not only the environment but also the profitability of the practices using it. By using in-house machinery and digital technology, dentists have a faster turnover rate on creating materials, such as crowns as well as being able to cut down costs on materials needed.


Social and environmental benefit

Because of 3D Dentists, many communities have been greatly impacted. Through the live patient implant program, the lives of many have been drastically changed. Spanning anywhere from teachers to firefighters, these patients have been able to afford the work that they need. Many of these people haven’t been able to eat properly for years, and couldn’t afford the dental work needed to get back to a normal life. However, 3D Dentists has changed this in that they make these implants easy to afford for those patients that otherwise couldn’t receive implants or tooth replacement therapy teeth.

In addition to community benefits, 3D Dentists is making great strides in the dental industry to help the environment. Their encouragement and introduction of digital technology have helped reduce the amount of waste used. By implementing these digital methods into more practices, the spread of knowledge on the technology can span across the US and even the world. If more dentists used these methods of digital workflow, the positive impact on the environment would be even greater. 3D Dentists is just the start of this new technological way of doing dentistry.

The new way of doing dentistry is not only good for the environment but makes the small dental practices more profitable as well. By helping smaller practices to grow, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of decent work and economic growth is touched on. By helping the smaller general practice dentists, 3D Dentists is creating positive impacts on the economy.


Interview

Meredith Jones, Director

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3D Dentists

3D Dentists

US

Business Website: https://3d-dentists.com/

Year Founded: 2003

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

3D Dentists is a dentist-owned and run educational institute that offers advanced courses to teach general dentists new procedures. They provide online and in-person courses, specialty retreats, and a podcast that dentists can utilize. 3D Dentists' goal is to provide general dentists with new skills that can help their practice to grow.