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Digital Dentistry: Transforming Patient Care

In a groundbreaking move towards enhancing dental services, the Orlando VA Healthcare System (OVAHCS) has unveiled a series of cutting-edge upgrades to its dental clinic, designed to revolutionize patient care and operational efficiency, that are sure to keep Veterans smiling.




These advancements, set to be completed in the first quarter of 2024, are poised to improve accuracy, reduce time, increase efficiency, boost patient satisfaction, minimize the environmental footprint, and decrease overhead costs according to OVAHCS, Assistant Chief of Dental Service, Dr. Junaid Farooqui.

One of the key highlights of the dental clinic’s transformation is the integration of advanced digital dentistry imaging and milling technologies.

“The state-of-the-art imaging equipment not only enhances diagnostic accuracy but also allows for better fitting and more anatomically correct restorations,” said Dr. Farooqui.

The recent remodel of the dental clinic was made to accommodate additional space for 3-D printers, lab scanners, and milling machines. By utilizing these new technologies, the dental clinic has drastically reduced the time needed to fabricate crowns and dentures for Veterans.

“Traditionally, an impression would need to be made and sent to a lab to fabricate a crown with a turnaround time of approximately three weeks. For dentures, the process would take up to five appointments and require lab time between each appointment,” said Dr. Farooqui.

The new digital dentistry upgrades are a welcomed enhancement according to Dr. Farooqui as they have reduced the process to less than 20 mins to mill out a crown and approximately 1-2 hours to mill out a denture.

“The impact on Veteran satisfaction is remarkable as the new equipment results in faster appointments, less time in the dental chair, and reduced patient discomfort”, Dr. Farooqui explained.

A reduction in the use of impression materials and trays, shipping, storage, and model sterilization also assist with decreasing overhead costs and inventory associated with digital dentistry.

Dr. Farooqui emphasized, “Our ultimate goal and vision is to provide the highest level of care and improve access. It’s great that leadership supports this effort, and we want to be able to provide what is available in the private sector and beyond to Veterans.

OVAHCS Director/CEO Timothy J. Cooke is excited about the new improvements and the positive impact they will have on patient care.

“The dental clinic upgrades are not only a testament to the OVAHCS commitment to providing world-class healthcare, but also reflect its adaptability to technological advancements”, said Cooke.

According to Cooke, “With our focus on accuracy, efficiency, patient satisfaction, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness, these enhancements underscore OVAHCS ongoing efforts to provide Veterans with the exceptional dental care they deserve.”

Marine Corp Veteran Walter Chandler expressed his thoughts on the new dental clinic upgrades while sitting in the waiting room.

“I appreciate the VA making these important dental upgrades. I live two hours away, and being able to potentially take care of everything in one visit not only saves me precious time but also significantly cuts down on my travel expenses. This will make it much more convenient for me and I am very grateful.”

Qualified Veterans who would like more information or to schedule an appointment with the Dental Clinic can call 407-631-3000.

Hansraj Raghunandan serves as the Public Affairs Specialist for the Orlando VA Health Care System.

Pictured in photo: The Dental lab at the Orlando VA Medical Center recently remodeled the clinic to accommodate more space for 3-D printers, milling machines, and lab scanners. In addition, Dental Service included updated chairside scanners. The benefits of adding the new equipment and advancements in technology will provide better quality service to Veterans.



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