Spring Training: Maximizing Your Potential With 3-D Imaging

By W. Bruce Howerton, Jr., DDS, MS

Although having the best equipment gives any player an advantage, becoming competent and confident with its applications and knowing how to put it all into practice separates the adequate players from future Hall-of-Famers. As many dentists are now upgrading their imaging repertoire to include 3-D, obtaining the best equipment is just the start, like choosing the right bat.

The training received at the i-CAT Imaging Institute can give you the momentum to hit the ball out of the park. The Institute, in Raleigh, NC, was created to help meet the overwhelming request for education on this new, dynamic technology. Receiving the most comprehensive training makes a difference by giving the practitioner the ability to utilize this cutting-edge technology to its best advantage.

Although technical training is typically included with a Cone Beam system, most practices do not have the formal educational background in 3-D data review to get the optimum results from 3-D imaging. Cone Beam technology offers dentists more information regarding the oral maxillofacial complex—dentists need to be familiar with the entire region in “three dimensions” and the operation of their systems.

At the Institute, we provide instruction on many facets of 3-D Cone Beam volume, including the basics of oral and maxillofacial radiology; radiation physics and biology; and anatomy and pathology review. We discuss the quantity of radiation exposure in comparison to other imaging modalities so practitioners can inform the patients of its safety with confidence. Plus, attendees learn about the use of 3-D volume data, data manipulation, third-party software, and other topics relating to the industry’s growing demands.

Since larger scans allow the practitioner to view anatomy outside of the maxilla and mandible, we teach practitioners how to recognize radiographic signs of pathology within and outside the areas where they normally provide treatment, and to know when to refer patients to their physician for follow-up.

It’s venues like the Institute and the International Congress on 3-D Dental Imaging (www.i-CAT3D.com) where dentists gain insight into 3-D dental imaging standards of care and responsibilities, and specific information on the use of 3-D dental imaging for implants, surgical planning, and orthodontic treatment from leading 3-D experts.

3-D Training-gaining the most benefit from your 3-D system

Each spring, baseball players flock to camps for extensive training in hopes of becoming champions. At the Institute, no matter the season, dentists can gain the 3-D imaging information that enables them to be stars on their own playing field.

Dr. Howerton received a DDS degree from the West Virginia University School of Dentistry in 1985. He completed a Certificate in Endodontics in 1987 from The University of North Carolina School of Dentistry. In 1999, he entered the UNC Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology graduate program and completed the Master of Science program. Proficient in Web development, Dr. Howerton has discovered novel forms of content delivery using authoring software. Dr. Howerton is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology. Currently, Dr. Howerton operates the Carolina OMF Imaging, and co-heads educational efforts at the i-CAT Imaging Institute, both in Raleigh, North Carolina.