Bringing CBCT imaging in-house

investing in CBCT imaging

Dr Kain Rowlings, principal dentist at The Dentists Old Market, Bristol, reflects on his journey to digital dentistry and why he knew the time had come to invest in a CBCT machine.

When I took over the practice over six years ago, there was little sign of digital dentistry. Since then, we’ve introduced an array of solutions to get us where we are today and have continually looked to expand our capabilities.

Digital technologies help us to deliver higher-quality, more predictable and efficient patient care. The digital workflow can simplify treatment steps and streamline processes, offering precious time-saving benefits to the whole team.

My goal has always been to implement the finest solutions available on the market in every category. For me, there’s simply no point investing in your services if you’re not willing to aim at being the very best. As such, we have been extremely selective in what we have brought into the practice and when.

When I started this journey, I became aware of the potential limitations that closed-system technologies could have for us in the near and long-term future. I needed any new equipment to work with what we already had in place, and anything we wanted to introduce further down the line. Therefore, it was important to choose open systems with flexible compatibility.

The right time for investment

So, why a CBCT scanner and why now? I do a lot of implant work and we have associates with a special interest in endodontics. All our digital technologies are tailored to meet the demands of these disciplines, first and foremost. For any practice, it’s essential that any investment in equipment or materials is relevant to the dentistry you provide.

For many years, we had been referring implant and endodontic patients out to an imaging centre for CBCT scans. However, when a reshuffle of its services started affecting the level of care we could offer, and given the number of cases we see, we knew it was time to find an alternative solution.

It made sense to bring CBCT scanning in-house. With immediate access to 3D images, treatment planning could begin right away and everyone would benefit from the improved efficiency. So, I began my extensive research. It was essential to find a machine that would meet our needs, while connecting with our existing software and surgical guide construction programmes. Support for implant and endodontic workflows was crucial, of course, and it had to be best in class too!

The Green X CBCT

A colleague recommended that I investigate the imaging solutions available from Vatech. There were many reasons why I eventually chose the Green X CBCT. It ticked all the specific boxes for our business and, when I compared it to the offerings from other companies, it came out on top in several ways.

In particular, I appreciated how easy the software was to use, which was important for all members of the team who would be operating the equipment. The unit produces an outstanding standard of image, with exceptional resolution of 49.5 micron voxel size. This is vital not only for pre-implant assessments, but also for the intricacies of endodontic treatment. The image quality is astonishing and one of the many reasons I was so impressed with the Green X.

The multiple fields of view (FOV) are another, allowing you to be highly selective about what you can see on the scan, minimising radiation exposure for the patient. From a single implant site to the entire temporomandibular joint, you only see exactly what you need to.

In addition, my experience of the customer service from Vatech has been excellent. They collaborated with the distributor to arrange the installation and on-site training for the team, which we found to be very helpful. They also helped to organise my Level 2 CBCT education, further demonstrating their commitment to helping me provide effective and safe CBCT imaging to my patients. All-in-all, they have been a great company to work with.

Instant benefits

Since installing the Green X, it has done everything I hoped it would. Our workflows are improved, treatment planning is faster and patient care enhanced. The equipment is a breeze to use and has not skipped a beat.

For any dental colleagues considering a similar move to in-house CBCT, my main piece of advice is to make sure that it fits in with the types of dentistry you actually deliver and the volume of cases you see. If there is a high demand for CBCT images, as there is in our practice, the investment will undoubtedly be a good one.

If a digital investment is justified, do your research and be sure to choose the right equipment for you and your business. That’s how you’ll get the very most out of these cutting-edge technologies.

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