By Daniel Klauer, DDS, DABCP, DABCDSM
3D Imaging: Expanded Application Transforms Doctor’s Business
Technology is doing amazing things in our fast-paced world. Who would have predicted that, in dentistry, we would see our patients’ anatomy in 3D, but also from all angles with a low radiation dose? The i-CAT™ 3D cone beam unit and Tx STUDIO™ software (Imaging Sciences International) is a technology that has changed the way I practice.
With the Internet, patients can easily research dental options and dental practices. They want to understand the procedures being offered and know we are giving them the best possible dental care. We wanted to add CBCT to more effectively place implants, so we began to formulate our requirements for a 3D scanning system. They were:
- The ability to capture high-quality images
- Low radiation dose options
- A traditional 2D panoramic feature
- Collimation option
- Control of specific scan size for procedures like implant planning, verifying implant placement, craniofacial development evaluation, or assessment of suspected endodontic fractures
- Software shortcut menus for quick access and convenience
With our i-CAT system, we were able to achieve all of these. In fact, we can capture a scan that has a radiation dose comparable to a panoramic image when extreme detail is not needed.
Implementing i-CAT technology has changed the direction of my practice and is literally changing the way my patients view their dental care.
While implants were the reason we started to research 3D modality, airway studies gave me the opportunity to really improve my patients’ quality of life. After attending an International Congress on 3D Dental Imaging, sponsored by i-CAT and Henry Schein Dental, we discovered many other applications for the i-CAT besides implants. With scans in our Tx STUDIO software, we can now evaluate the jaw joint, airway and nasal anatomy. We can identify nasal pathology and endodontic lesions that are undetectable on 2D imaging. We can spot risk factors for airway obstruction that can cause sleep apnea and refer these patients to the appropriate medical specialty to start treatment. As a result, I have now chosen to work full time in the TMD/sleep practice.
Another aspect of having 3D capability that I enjoy is communicating in this very visual way with my patients. Often, they are not aware of an anatomical problem because they do not know the “normal” parameters of certain conditions. Understanding their condition makes them more compliant, but it also makes them want to start treatment quickly. They know we have all the information necessary to make the best decisions for treatment, and we can share that information, when necessary, securely and easily with other medical practitioners.
Because of the benefits that my practice has experienced, I am planning on investing in a second i-CAT. I know this technology is a positive addition to the practice, and I have found the right company that provides the high-quality performance and customer service that I need. Implementing i-CAT technology has changed the direction of my practice and is literally changing the way my patients view their dental care. You can read the indications for use at: www.i-cat.com/ifu.
About the Author:
Dr. Klauer is the Clinical Director at the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of Northern Indiana located in South Bend, IN. He graduated from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry and completed a two-year hands-on residency program with Dr. Steven Olmos of the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre International.