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South African Dental Journal

versión On-line ISSN 0375-1562
versión impresa ISSN 0011-8516


SYKES, LM  y  BOOKHAN, V. Embracing new technology, with caution. S. Afr. dent. j. [online]. 2023, vol.78, n.1, pp.49-51. ISSN 0375-1562.

Dental manufacturers frequently present clinicians with new "cutting edge" materials, devices or technology. These usually come with great promise for bettering the status quo in their practices, and of putting them ahead of their colleagues in the market place. However before succumbing to the advertorial hype, and abandoning their old practices, materials or equipment, practitioners need to evaluate the new offering against the "gold standard" if one exists. This entails comparing it to "the benchmark" practice / product that is routinely used under reasonable conditions, and answering a number of clinically and scientifically pertinent questions. If they are then confident it has been through extensive trials, the results have been analysed with appropriate tests by independent investigators, and the reporting thereof is accurate, reliable, repeatable, sensitive, specific and clinically applicable, they may consider making practice changes. While it is admirable for clinicians to be open minded and willing to embrace and adapt to modern technology, this should only be done if the change has been proven superior to reliable routine practices. It is incumbent on all practitioners to keep abreast of current trends through the many platforms available. They should also strive towards being life-long learners who are curious, open minded, flexible, willing to learn new skills, and open to adapting their work to embrace advances. This will hopefully lead to practitioners having more fruitful careers, and equip them to provide the best possible service and care to their patients.

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