Entering the 3D phase

19 06 2009

The way Dental Products Report Technology Editor Dr. John Flucke sees things, dentistry is on the cusp of a new and higher standard of care, and the ascendance of 3D imaging technology is what will eventually push it over the top.

In his presentation at the 3rd International Congress on 3-D Dental Imaging he explained how intraoral cameras and radiography brought in an imaging phase where clinicians could see things before treating. Then computerization brought in the ability to integrate various aspects of care. Now with the incredible detail available from cone beam scans, the 3D phase of dentistry will allow the industry to achieve even higher standards of care.

Dr. John Fluck talks about how a general practitioner can benefit from cone beam technology

Dr. John Flucke talks about how a general practitioner can benefit from cone beam technology

“I’m big on technology because the right technology can have a tremendous impact on your patients,” he said.

While Dr. Flucke said cone beam scans intimidated him at first, he adopted the technology because it provides him with more information on which to base his clinical decisions, and thus allows him to make better decisions for patients and prevent bad outcomes because there are fewer surprises.

As a general practitioner he uses the scans for treatment planning and they allow him to keep more endo and perio cases in his practice. The images provide details missed by traditional 2-dimensional pans and radiographs. He even lets other area clinicians book time to take scans on his Gendex GXCB-500 unit, which helps him defray the cost.

“It’s not that hard to be involved and to do this,” he said.

The scans also allow him to stay more involved with cases he refers to specialists. He can provide them with a scan and everyone involved with an aspect of the case can work from the same 3-dimensional images to plan each phase of care.

“Often times in a referral situation the general dentist gets left out,” he said.

The images also impress patients and increase their understanding and case acceptance. He said he takes extra time for appointments to explain the scans to the patients and to let them see and understand the details of their case.

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