BiteFX Success Stories
The New Patient Exam Protocol and its Impact on Practice Revenue
A Case Study by Fred H. Peck DDS, AAACD, Cincinnati, Ohio
Incorporating BiteFX is an essential element of the new patient exam. BiteFX is a software consultation product used to explain complex occlusal issues to patients. I used this product the very next day after purchasing it in November 2005. Since then I have used BiteFX with hundreds of patients as an educational tool. Using BiteFX animations, the patient is able to understand what is occurring in their mouth and with their overall oral health. This understanding allows me to complete the necessary dentistry that is required to restore their mouth to full health, and has added significantly to my practice revenue stream. This case study will discuss several patients where BiteFX allowed me to successfully explain occlusal disease and subsequently have the patient accept treatment.
PATIENT ONE — BiteFX plants the seed for staged treatment.
This first patient came in with a lot of chipped bonding and abfractions, and was unhappy with how her smile looked (Fig 1). She did not understand why I would be able to fix her mouth when other dentists had also repaired her bonding to no avail. Using BiteFX, I was able to show her what was going on with her bite. I used animations related to ideal occlusion, joint positions and equilibration showing where the normal tooth contacts and joints should be (Fig 2). Following the examination, I flipped back and forth between BiteFX and patient photos to explain what was happening and how it related to her mouth.
BiteFX enabled me to present to the patient conservative treatment options and begin her treatment to correct her bite first. Although the treatment was limited to equilibration and treatment of cavities, the seed was planted and she went away to think about the next treatment steps. Four years later she returned and agreed to stage treatment resulting in direct resin bonding of 10 teeth at her request. The patient is currently stable, comfortable and has no recurring problems (Fig 3).
PATIENT TWO — Provided the patient with important understanding of causes of tooth wear.
Patient two presented with worn lower and upper anteriors, and was consequently shy to smile (Fig 4). Using BiteFX, I explained why his teeth were wearing. With BiteFX, the patient could see and understand why his bite was off, why teeth were worn and chipping and what kind of treatment would be performed from an occlusal standpoint (Fig 5).
Treatment consisted of diagnostic models and bite registration with a deprogrammer in place. A face bow was used to mount the models onto a Panadent articulator. A diagnostic equilibration was done on articulator mounted models. A simulation of the final teeth appearance was created using wax to ensure it would work with the bite for final acceptance by the patient. The intra oral equilibration was then performed and broken crowns on the back teeth were repaired. All ceramic crowns were used to restore the four anterior teeth in direct composite bonding was used to restore his cuspids (Fig 6). The patient intends to have his lowers repaired at a later date.
PATIENT THREE — BiteFX helped gain acceptance of his comprehensive treatment plan.
A patient presented to the office with the complaint that his wife didn't like the way his teeth looked (Fig 7). He had been going to another dentist but never received an explanation why his teeth were continually wearing. Using BiteFX, I was able to explain clearly to the patient why his teeth were worn using a diagnostic wax up to show the problems with his mouth. Again, BiteFX helped me present and gain acceptance of a comprehensive treatment plan (Fig 8).
Initial treatment steps were performed similar to patient two. Equilibration was performed and provisional restorations were placed on the upper anteriors. The lower arch was restored along with an increase of the vertical dimension. The upper arch was then restored with porcelain veneers and crowns. Gold crowns were placed on the second molars for stability of occlusion to eliminate any porcelains fractures (Fig 9). Upon completion of treatment, the patient was fitted with a custom nightguard which is worn every night. Both he and his wife are very satisfied with the final results.
DISCUSSION — Financial and Qualitative Impact of BiteFX.
- BiteFX has paid for itself many times over, resulting in at least a 10 to 15% increase in practice revenues.
- BiteFX gives credibility to what I say the very existence of a sophisticated software program that shows the occlusal concepts the dentist is trying to explain provides the patient with confidence that I m not trying to sell them unnecessary treatments.
- BiteFX has produced a higher number of comprehensive treatments for my practice.
- Compliance is better when the patient fully understands their occlusal issues, treatment, and follow up recommendations.
- Even when a patient is not ready for immediate commitment to comprehensive treatment, BiteFX helps plant the seed that results in the patient returning at a later time to complete the recommended treatment.
- It is always better to have the patient desire the appropriate treatment as opposed to trying to sell something that the patient does not understand.