3DIC: Plenty of learning going on

26 06 2010

For the more than 150 attendees at this weekend’s event, there were plenty of opportunities to learn. Some were on hand to learn how to get more out of their current CBCT systems, or how to market their current technology, while some were seeking knowledge on how/why to integrate the technology.

We spoke with a variety of attendees including i-CAT owners, Gendex owners and even a dentist whose main goal this weekend was to learn more about CBCT even if though he’s not quite ready to add a sysytem to his own practice just yet. Drs. Christopher Phelps and Martin Van Vliet shared their experiences with using the technology in their offices and also what they hoped to take away from the 3-D Dental Imaging Congress. Dr. Phil Estes, meanwhile, told us he’s not ready yet to bring cone beam into his Texas practice, but that learning more about it this weekend will help him make a decision in the future, as well as help him immediately understand better what some of his referring doctors are doing with the technology.

Look for videos to come soon from these three attendees at dentalproductsreport.com.

Other opportunities to learn more about the technology available today came from those who visited the exhibitors and from viewing a live i-CAT scan presentation in which the attendees were able to ask questions while scans were being presented.

3DIC: Are you happy?

26 06 2010

Dr. Mark Tholen

Are you happy seems like a big question to ask (or try to answer) in a weekend. More importantly, what does it have to do with cone beam technology?

Dr. Mark Tholen, in his lecture, looked at the reasons why some practices with CBCT are successful and others are not, revealing the common denominators among dentists who see the benefits. In his post-podium interview, he gets into the bigger picture of general happiness and success, how we define these things (more money, or more time for family, or more time for hobbies), and then how the built environment of the practice and operatory help facilitate that success and bring the values of the dentist in line with the way he or she is presented through the practice’s design.

He ended our conversation by stressing the importance of dental professionals being good stewards of their most valuable instrument—their bodies—and how technology helps lighten the load and lessen the repetition for both dentists and their teams.

The complete video interview will be available later this weekend.

3DIC: Uniting two technologies

26 06 2010

We spoke with both a user and a product director about a partnership involving D4D Technologies and Imaging Sciences International involving cone beam pairing software solutions.

Dr. Sharnell Muir, owner of Kelowna Dentistry By Design in Canada, shared some of her experiences with using E4D Compass software to pair cone baem data with E4D scanned data. Mark Hillebrant, Director of Product Management , Gendex and i-CAT, discussed some of the benefits of this product designed to provide an all-in-one solution through the integration of intraoral models or impression scans (E4D Systems) and cone beam data (i-CAT and GXCB-500) for surgival and restorative planning.

For more informationon E4D Compass, see the August issue of Dental Products Report. Look below for the interviwes with Dr. Muir and Hillebrant from the 3-D Dental Imaging Congress in La Jolla, Calif., June 25-26.

3DIC: It’s not the Scan, it’s the Plan

26 06 2010

Dr. Scott Ganz

Cone beam pioneer Dr. Scott Ganz has used the technology for decades now, but spoke about the recent developments that have gotten him excited about CBCT’s impact on the dental industry.

At his post-podium interview, Dr. Ganz described the “remarkable evolution” that has allowed the technology to expand from radiologists in hospital settings to dental practices. He mentioned that the recent advances with i-CAT and Gendex sytems are helping provide numerous benefits to both the patient and the doctor. One myth he wanted to bust, was a belief by some that CBCT is really geared most toward practices heavy into implants.

“It’s way beyond just dental implants,” Dr. Ganz said. “It’s really a cross platform, cross speciality technology.”

He also stressed that there’s a lot more to just taking the scan, thus he shared his slogan: “It’s not the scan. It’s the plan,”

Now that CBCT is providing dentists with a slew of great information, what’s next? With many users having been taught 2D in dental school, it’s critical that they now know how to take this new 3D data and diagnose and treatment plan in ways in which the patient comes away with the best possible care.

Events such as the 3-D Dental Imaging Congress are a great source of developing these skills, he said.

3DIC: CBCT and Your Network

26 06 2010

Steven McEvoy

It’s easy to forget that when incorporating new technology such as cone beam, that planning for the back end and networking your practice correctly is essential to overall success. Steven McEvoy, President of MME Consulting, was here this weekend to remind attendees that they need to work closely with their IT partners to ensure things come together well.

In our post-podium interview, McEvoy focused on the fact that 3D data requires some additional considerations, including these three key things:

1. An up-to-date back-up system to make sure you don’t risk losing all this new data

2. Server space — bigger than traditional 2D files, there needs to be able storage room for your 3D data

3. The ability to transfer data quickly — part of the fun and benefit of these types of scans is the ability to share them easily with referring or referred doctors, so make sure your equipment is up to speed

As far as the financial investment to get the back-end up to speed, McEvoy says that practices with a more modern network are probably in good shape. In general, the cost of getting IT involved is around a couple hundred dollars and well worth the expense. McEvoy also recommends that dentists reach out to the IT side at the same time they are firming the commitment of the purchase, allowing ample time to bring the practice’s network in line with the new requirements.

3DIC: 3-D Ortho: Integrating Tomorrow’s Technologies Today

26 06 2010

Dr. Aaron Molen says we’re currently witnessing a paradigm shift in how we diagnose and treatment plan orthodontic patients.

At his post-podium interview with DPR he talked about an exciting future where CBCT will do more than just treatment plan patients, but will be used to actually treat orthodontic patients. The internationally recognized expert on the subject of 3D x-rays talked about how practices can expand the scope of their practice for orthodontics, and he discussed how technology advances have made indirect bonding a better choice today than in the past.

In addition to his regular speaking engagements, Dr. Molen maintains a popular website on the subject, www.3DOrthodontist.com, and travels back to Los Angeles monthly to lecture to the UCLA orthodontic residents.

3DIC: The Future is Coming…

26 06 2010

Dr. Larry Emmott

…and it will be amazing.

That is the theme to almost every lecture Dr. Larry Emmott gives, but this weekend, there was a different energy as he described an environment where cone beam technology, the power of the Internet, and even artificial intelligence come together to dramatically enhance the dentist and patient experience.

In our post-podium interview, he elaborated on some of the lecture’s main points.

First and foremost, it is important for dentists to understand that “going digital” and even being “high-tech”means more than just purchasing a single product and, to be honest, more than just products in general. Being a digital, technology-centered office means opening up a whole new world, according to Dr. Emmott. In his view, combining the digital data that technology provides (scans, photos, digital impressions) with the Internet allows dentists to store, transfer and enhance that data on a global scale.

“If I have a digital impression of a jaw that I can look at in three dimensions, I am no longer limited to viewing it myself or with a local colleague,” he said. “I can put it in the ‘cloud’ and have the best minds in the profession looking at it and offering me advice.”

In his predictions on what’s next, Dr. Emmott shared how the cloud helps facilitate the creation of expert systems (also known as Artificial Intelligence), that will some day be able to help dentists analyze, diagnose, treatment plan and even offer recommendations for additional diagnostic aids.