Antoine Skaff is a veteran dentist who practiced in West Virginia and recently launched his LinkedIn page to share his insights on dentistry.
Though Skaff’s current home is in West Virginia, he originally left his home country of Lebanon to flee a civil war when he was just 16-years-old.
In today’s interview, Skaff has agreed to share what he learned from his work over many decades as a dentist, and his insights on dentistry today.
“Dentistry is at its best right now,” says Skaff, referring to the many technological advances in dentistry as well as new methods that are being developed to help patients seek more efficient and affordable treatment options.
“They’re always coming out with better technologies, new techniques, better equipment, and better materials,” says Skaff.
Some new technologies that are beginning to shape the future of dentistry include artificial intelligence in clinical decision-making.
In a 2019 study entitled Health Data in Dentistry: An Attempt to Master the Digital Challenge, the authors highlighted that dental medicine is entering a new stage of digitization. Smart algorithms are being used to analyze health data, research findings and treatment techniques.
With these new technologies, dentists will be able to offer better diagnostic and therapeutic recommendations to their patients.
Skaff adds, “Computers are also getting better at record-keeping.” That means not only are there better conclusions that can be drawn from the data at hand, but it also means there is more data for dentists to work with.”
Antoine Skaff says we are in an era now where everything in dentistry can be monitored.
Because there are more options available than ever before, Skaff recommends that patients always weigh out their options to make the best decision possible when choosing a particular treatment.
Skaff says both young and old dentists have their own benefits to their patients – the older dentist has more knowledge and experience, and the younger dentist has more knowledge of the most recent techniques. That being said, dentists have to take tests all the time to continue to demonstrate their competency and their learning over time.
“Learning does not stop once you become a dentist,” says Skaff.
Skaff goes on to say, however, “Old habits die hard. It’s harder to tell a dentist who has been practicing a certain way for 30 years to change his ways.”
In terms of seeking dental treatment options, it can be difficult to know which treatment is best.
“Patients should always ask for the best solution for their treatment and evaluate the treatment goal and the cost. Always be prepared when you go to the dentist to ask questions.”
The truth is that many dentists are now offering free consultations, and patients can often use this benefit to shop around for the dentist that offers the best procedure versus the best cost.
“The cheapest option is not always the best,” says Skaff.
To learn more about Antoine Skaff, you can visit his LinkedIn page.