Speaker Spotlight with: Dr. Ahmad Al-Hassiny
Dr Ahmad Al–Hassiny is the Founder and Director of the Institute of Digital Dentistry (iDD), which is a leading and future focused online training academy, with a mission to ensure dentists globally have easy and affordable access to the best digital dentistry training possible.
Having graduated from the University of Otago with First Class Honours and being awarded many clinical and research prizes, Dr Ahmad has continued his pursuit of excellence in dentistry. He has seen first-hand through his own work how CAD/CAM and digital dentistry can positively change daily dental practice. He has carried out many aspects of complex digital dentistry including CAD/CAM full mouth rehabilitation and smile design.
Dr Ahmad is a global leader in digital dentistry and intraoral scanners, carrying out lectures for many companies and industry. He is one of the few in the world who personally owns and uses all mainstream scanners and CAD/CAM systems in his clinic. Through iDD he is happy to see dentists around the world develop the confidence and perspective of adopting modern techniques and reap the many benefits that CAD/CAM and digital dentistry can have on their career/practice.
Having used numerous digital scanners, which one do you recommend a new dentist invests in? What advantages does it have over the others?
This is a question I get asked almost everyday online and it is something that will entirely depend on the practice and what you want to get a scanner for. There is a huge range now available and the best way to decide is to first understand what procedures you want to carry out and your budget.
For instance, for those wanting to carry out in-house CAD/CAM, there are few systems that can compete with CEREC in terms of efficiency and ease of use. This is not an entire reflection of the scanner per say but the whole workflow, software, and milling machine. For those who have no interest in CAD/CAM and do not intend to produce restorations in-house, it does not make sense to spend big on something like this.
Rather, for those on tight budgets or just want a low cost scanner to get rid of impression material in their practice, the Medit i500 should be on your radar as this is one of the most cost-effective scanner options on the market right now. It is relatively cheap, works well and has no subscription costs. The downside being that it does not inherently come with a CAD software, and although it can be integrated with exocad and a 3rd party mill, this can feel a bit piecemeal, compared to more complete systems.
There are other factors to consider as well, for instance, those who have built their practices around Invisalign, it makes sense to seriously consider the Itero scanners as these are the only latest generation scanners that are accepted for Invisalign treatments. And so forth and so forth.
It seems the market has spoken and the leading scanners seem to CEREC, TRIOS, Medit and Itero. In our practice, I routinely use CEREC Primescan, a absolutely fantastic scanner, for all in-house work, TRIOS for anything not to be produced on the same-day (implant guides, splints, dentures, full mouth rehab) and Medit as a back-up.
What is one digital dentistry investment you made that you wish you had done sooner?
It would have to be intraoral scanners. Even though we got into it over 10 years ago, I still wish we did it sooner and our main hesitation was the unknown. It is a complete game-changer in dentistry. Everyone without a doubt should be investing in one.
Second to that would be 3D printing, which we got into 4 years ago. This is another one of those things you do not know how you practiced without before. 3D printing is a complete game-changer for clinics and really revolutionised how we practice dentistry. The handy thing about 3D Printers is, for the most part, it does not matter what scanner you have. They are all open and can communicate with any scanner via STL files. They are also relatively cheap compared to the investment cost of a scanner. 3D Printing for us has opened a lot of different possibilities including most recently printing dentures and being able to offer a turn around of about 2-3 days for most denture cases (especially immediate ones). The other benefits are being able to quickly design a smile design/wax-up and print it ready to try-in for the patient in aesthetic cases. An easy way of boosting case acceptance for cosmetic procedures.
Again, with 3D printers there are a whole lot on the market now and its best to do your research. I can recommend Formlabs for its ease of use and NextDent 5100 for its blazingly fast printing speed.
What are some resources you recommend for dentists interested in stepping foot into the digital world?
I run the Institute of Digital Dentistry which provides CPD courses focused on all things related to the digital workflow. We have also launched an online training platform in the past 12 months, which is one of the most comprehensive in the world right now and covers all topics from the basics of intra-oral scanning, 3D printing, digital implantology, to expert masterclasses and everything in-between. Right now, the digital dentistry industry is being led by the suppliers of the technology which have a conflict of interest – we exist to provide knowledge that is up to date, impartial and based on clinical experience.
Our goal has always been to provide the highest quality CPD courses that are engaging and well-structured. For those interested you can learn more about us and check out our courses at https://instituteofdigitaldentistry.com/
Another incredible resource is social media. Depending on your scanner of choice you will find several different Facebook groups, with fantastic communities to learn from. This includes the likes of the “Keep CERECing”, “3Shape Study Group” and “Medit Users – i500, T-series”. These groups are priceless with tens of thousands of users all sharing cases, information, advice etc. One of the most important factors before jumping into the digital world is support. Make sure you have adequate support both online and locally through your sales reps. It will make your experience a lot better. Digital dentistry is more than just hype. When implemented properly you can expect an excellent return on investment, increased joy in practicing dentistry, and better care for your patients.