Orthodontic Lab Fully Integrates 3D PDF to Improve Communications and Dental Patient Privacy

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PDF3D ReportGen Software integrated into Orthodontists and Laboratory digital communications.

Dobson Ortho Laboratory, based in Gainesville, Georgia USA, has enhanced communications with orthodontists and improved patient data security by converting 3D STL orthodontic treatment plans into 3D PDFs. By representing multiple STL files within a 3D context directly from dental scans in a compressed and secure PDF, the lab’s communication with orthodontists has been made much more efficient.

“We are using PDF3D’s software to present STL data of intra-oral scans of a patient’s teeth. This data typically takes up between 30-50 MB of STL space, but only about 2MB when we convert it into 3D PDF. This gives us the ability to email treatment information to an orthodontist at their request. As you can see from the example 3D PDF file, we merge multiple STL files together to overlay before & after treatment and instruct users to use the model tree to hide/show different models.” Remarks Josh Dobson, Vice President and CFO of Dobson Ortho Laboratory. “Once you figure out how to pre-set all of the settings, PDF3D ReportGen is fast and painless to use!”

STL is the most popular and widespread 3D file format for 3D printing and basic CAD model interchange, and is generated directly by the scanning equipment that typically sits within the dentist’s reach. Eliminating the need for the traditional physical teeth impressions, hand-held intra-oral scanners can quickly and comfortably capture a patients’ 3D teeth anatomies without taking messy impressions.

After scanning, once a treatment plan has been identified by the orthodontist, STL surface representations are then sent electronically to Dobson Ortho Laboratory.

Josh goes on to explain: “When we receive the files from the orthodontist, they are typically “open shell” in STL format. We then do some trimming and close them up using secondary software. We have used the 3D PDF as both a value-added item and for preliminary approval from the orthodontist. By including form scripting in the PDF the orthodontist can easily mark up the models using Adobe Reader’s Comment features. Once they then click the link, it saves the file and we can program it to send an auto generated email back to us in the lab.”

By using 3D PDF, Dobson Ortho Laboratory has found that the format offers a significant advantage over STL in that the normal file size is massively reduced, often 20x smaller than the original STLs, when converted. It allows the lab to put treatment plan information in context within the same PDF document, add approval forms and protect sensitive private patient data by adding security wrapping around the file before sending over email.

Not only is the PDF3D ReportGen application easy to use; it can be also be configured and personalized with preferences for corporate styles such as the Dobson Ortho Laboratory branding, STL conversion settings, views and color, for re-use on a daily basis.

For more information on Dobson Ortho Laboratory’s services see http://www.dobsonortho.com.

For more information on PDF3D software from Visual Technology Services see http://www.pdf3d.com.

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Ian Curington
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