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Digital Teeth

There has been talk for several years in Uzbekistan on setting up a digital dental clinic, which would enable to improve the quality of treatment of patients by many indicators. Today it has turned into a reality.

The project has been implemented on the basis of one of the leading clinics of the capital city – “Stomaservice”. The Uzbekistan Today correspondent talks to director of this medical establishment Ulughbek Kholmatov on how it all works.
“Can you please elaborate on the advantages of “digital stomatology”?
“There are plenty of them. To put a long story short, it looks like a modern computerized equipment, the efficiency of which according to different parameters, is 50-100 times higher that the stomatological equipment we have all known so far.  
“Take, for example, a dental laboratory – the most important division of Prosthetic Dentistry. As a rule, it takes 5-7 days for a technician to produce dental implants. Our clinic remains the only one in Uzbekistan where it takes maximum half an hour to make it. We do an x-ray of the mouth cavity; all the subsequent problems are solved with the help of computer technology: we model necessary prosthetic dentures while special equipment produces a finished product within a few minutes. The advantage of this technology is not only time, but also quality related: an implant is installed at the first attempt, as if it was “removed” straight from this very place. The appearance of our laboratory has changed radically. If in the past we had several rooms resembling a locksmith's shop, today it looks like a small room with compact equipment, working without dust and dirt.
“Until quite recently, a patient with pulpitis had to come several times to the doctor. Today, thanks to our modern X-ray equipment and modern medicines, the treatment of such a patient takes maximum half an hour, and the risk of complications is practically reduced to zero.
“I would like to add that everything has been computerized in the clinic, including the entry gates and night illumination of the yard, which provides an opportunity to save resources and create maximum comfort for our patients.”
    “I would like to touch upon the subject of laser and such other advanced technologies, which can be often found in mass media. Do you apply them?”

“We selected the most efficient equipment when modernizing our clinic, which would enable us to solve all dental problems in one clinic.
“Laser and a number of other technologies have emerged in stomatology in recent years. We don’t have them yet, since these technologies are used according to indications and allow solving maximum 10% of possible dental problems. The laser you have asked about is not an all powerful resource. In my opinion, it is good in surgery, and probably it is a bit early to speak about its application in dentistry.  
“Dental drilling machines remain the classics of traditional therapeutic dentistry. We make use of the latest generation equipment. Having come to us, you will not be able to hear an unpleasant drilling sound, frightening both adults and children, which is usually heard from the dental office. We create maximum comfort for the patient, who listens to pleasant melodies during the treatment process, lying on the chair. Thirty minutes that he spends at the doctor, pass unnoticed.”  
“Are patients coming willingly to be treated with the help of these cutting-edge modern technologies?”
“We have completed the modernization process quite recently. And I must say that this process was not an easy one: it was rather difficult to convince our specialists that we have to work on the new equipment. To be able to overcome their fear we organized internships for our specialists with foreign clinics. Judging by everything, it looks like our patients do like to be treated at our clinic. They come to visit us not only to improve their health but they also look for positive emotions. We have “permanent” patients with 10-20 years of “service record” with our clinic, and today they bring in with them their children and grandchildren. And they quite sincerely state that we do not stop to surprise them with our aspiration for the better, the most advanced technologies.
“We do not have queues, patients dislike them. Reception is carried out strictly by appointment. Everything is ready by his arrival: doctor, instruments, and drugs. It was rather problematic to achieve such clockwork precision, nevertheless, we made it.”
“Probably, you tried hard for foreigners? They say that “dental tourism” has been developing in our country.”
“No, we have never focused on foreign customers; rather have always sought to make advanced technologies available to Uzbekistanis.
“But there are many medical tourism”patients among your clinic’s customers. Why do you think we have people coming for treatment to our country?”
“Yes, there are foreigners among our patients, who specifically come to solve their health problems, but their number is limited. I once asked one of them this question. And in response he said that the clinic of this level can hardly be found even in Germany. The amount he had to pay for treatment in Uzbekistan would be enough not only to solve all his health problems with his oral cavity but also get plenty of impressions from visiting our cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva.”
“Does your clinic have further plans to introduce some more technologies within feasible future?”
“We will replenish the stock of our equipment with individual units and introduce additional technological equipment. We will get a new microscope soon. It has not been used in the dental practice in Uzbekistan yet, but this is the device that will turn the work of doctors into a jewelry-precision activity and raise its efficiency. For instance, when doctor treats caries, his success depends entirely on how well he manages to clean all the channels. Typically, the physician operates virtually blind, because the channel is not visible for the naked eye. A microscope can not only see it, but also provides an opportunity to look into it. This is required in order to avoid possible complications.”
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