There’s a lot of buzz surrounding 3D dentistry. It’s no longer the future; it’s standard practice. The digital dentistry workflow is revolutionizing the dental office and 3D dental imaging is a major component. 3D CBCT systems can provide you, the dentist, with the clearer images you need to diagnose better; demonstrate to patients the need for treatment; and gain greater patient acceptance.
The World is not Flat
When asked about incorporating 3D cone beam imaging into their practice, many dentists respond that they are satisfied with 2D imaging. The problem with a 2D view is not so much what it shows, but what it doesn’t show. The extent of lesions, periodontal indications, apical radiolucency, bilateral comparisons, soft tissues, and impacted teeth are all more clearly viewed with 3D dental technology.
For advanced treatments, 3D imaging allows you to view nerve canals, bone structure, displaced teeth, retained roots, and even visualize airways. With training and the use of accurate surgical guides, 3D CBCT systems can allow you to expand your practice to include assessing sleep apnea, treating TMJ, and performing implants in-office. These procedures, often referred out, are quite profitable.
Dr. Tarun Agarwal of Raleigh Dental Arts, who is a national leader in 3D CBCT education, explains, “We practice in the three-dimensional world, but until recently our diagnosis imagery has been 2D. So, we’re not seeing the full story. We can’t diagnose what we don’t see. We can’t encourage patient acceptance for things that we can’t provide clarity and value on.”
Patients get Clarity
One of Henry Schein’s Equipment Sales Specialists, Jimmie Hammon, puts it simply: “Visualization instills confidence.” When you can explain the issue and treatment on a 3D virtual patient instead of in a world of black and white, the patient understands more completely what they are seeing. This can mean they see the necessity of the procedure and what will be accomplished.
In short, you can use 3D CBCT imaging to give patients the best possible diagnosis, get “buy in,” and help them avoid the anxiety and cost of going to a specialist.
“You’re providing your patient with the comfort that you’re not sending them off somewhere else for a procedure, but that you, as their trusted dentist, can take care of them,” explains Dr. Agarwal.
Many dentists say that seeing the diagnosis in 3D gives them confidence as well.
The Myth that it’s High-End
All too often, the perception of 3D CBCT systems is that you need a high-end practice to support it. Dr. Agarwal refutes that notion, and notes, “It’s actually better for a more insurance-based practice because it opens up those offices to more procedures that have shorter chair time for higher margins.”
As for the cost, Dr. Agarwal says, “I actually believe that the technology is free.” Past the initial three to six months of creative financing, he emphasizes that the systems pay for themselves, with insurance reimbursements for the actual scans.
Mr. Hammon adds that with use rising and competition increasing, the cost of a 3D CBCT system has come down drastically.
How to Choose a 3D System
When choosing a 3D system, Mr. Hammon advises that you need to decide how you’re going to use it.
Would you like 3D printing for crowns, surgical guides, and night guards? Are you interested solely in 3D diagnostic images? Will you be adding more advanced procedures, like implants, to your practice?
All 3D systems take stellar images, but it is often the software that acts as the bridge—guiding you through the workflow and allowing you to plug in peripherals, such as printers.
Take Your Practice to the Next Level
The advantages of adding a 3D CBCT system to your practice are multiplying constantly.
Your patients get the best diagnostic evaluation and improved service. You get the information and guides you need—while expanding your services. Your practice is seen as leading the way with current technologies, so you can attract more patients and excellent associates. That’s an image worth saving!
Learn more about Henry Schein Dental’s 3D CBCT offerings.