The Advantages of Incorporating CBCT into Your Practice
CINCINNATI, April 12, 2013 ? CBCT can open up a whole new world of diagnostic capabilities that upgrade the standard of care of the patient and contribute to the economic growth of the practice. But with a hefty initial investment and the challenge of learning new technology, where do you start? Louis Kaufman, DDS, tackled these topics and more during his lecture at the most recent Updates in Contemporary Dentistry meeting from Dental Learning.
A Better Game Plan
By utilizing CBCT, a dentist is incorporating a new diagnostic tool to help with treatment planning, as well as branding his or her practice as high-tech , generating patient referrals. In addition, CBCT is quickly becoming a standard of care in implant placement. ?This technology offers us a better game plan,? said Dr. Kaufman. Cone beam offers a number of benefits: facilitating patient communication, virtual implant and crown planning, fracture detection, TMD, and countless other diagnostic uses.
When purchasing a CBCT unit, Dr. Kaufman reminded the audience to consider whether or not it offers 2D as well. ?Remember, 2D is still the first choice for diagnostics,? he said. Some CBCT units only offer 3D, some offer both 3D and 2D, and some units are upgradeable to offer both.
In a separate interview with Dental Learning, Dr. Kaufman stated that he uses Planmeca?s ProMax 3D for its ability to offer CBCT and traditional 2D radiographs in one unit. He also said he chose Barco Eonis monitors for his office because of their high-definition display and dentistry-focused design.
Reigning in the Radiation
As with any X-ray technology, radiation dose is a concern. The average dose for a CBCT, depending on field of view, is between 4-270 ?Sv. Dr. Kaufman compared this dose to the 40 ?Sv received on a flight from New York to LA and the 3,600 ?Sv the average American receives in a year. The average 2D dental x-ray runs 100 ?Sv, which demonstrate the safety of CBCT and the possibility of exposing patients to even less exposure than traditional 2D.
Factors to Consider
In addition to some of the obvious considerations (price, footprint), Dr. Kaufman noted some other items that may not immediately come to mind. The first is finding out where you?ll get support, if not from your dealer. Do they have online training videos? It is important to know whom you can call and what level of support you can get.
In addition to having enough space, Dr. Kaufman reminded the audience to find out if the office floor can support the added weight. In addition, the CBCT unit would need a dedicated electrical line. These factors can heavily way on where you could place a unit and whether or not you would need to do construction to accommodate it. If the dealer does not install the CBCT, choosing a contractor is a major decision. Dr. Kaufman recommending finding a contractor that only does dental offices, so you know he understands all your specific needs.
Training is Crucial
Once you?ve taken the plunge and purchased a new CBCT machine, Dr. Kaufman stressed the importance of learning how to use it properly and training your staff. He recommended closing the office for a half day to schedule training time with your support team. ?
Take the time to sit down with the machine and your radiographs, at least a little bit every day until you are comfortable. In addition, you will need to continually train as the software is periodically upgraded.? As Dr. Kaufman said, ?You?ll get good at it, but you have to spend the time to learn.?
Return on Investment
?Patients have appreciated the investment we made in cone beam technology,? said Dr. Kaufman. He gave the audience a few numbers to show just how much of an impact his investment made.
With this advice in mind, any practice should be able to make the leap to CBCT and improve their level of patient care and revenue.