BOSTON 3D – A teaching and learning experience                   attenuations vs radiation

What a great privilege to be included among the innovative group of speakers at the 7th Congress on 3D Dental Imaging. I believe that i-CAT is the clear and convincing leader in 3D imaging. It solidly equips the clinician with diagnostic strengths and visualization applications which lead to better understanding, perception, and finest patient care.

While the 7th International Congress was of interest to all dentists, certain specialized sessions focused on cone beam orthodontic topics. In my practice, imaging decisions start with the patient evaluation, so to determine whether to scan, and if so, what specifics of this cone beam scan would reveal region of interest to lead to a complete and beneficial analysis. The i-CAT data set equips the clinician to focus on the patient’s individual needs and identify the appropriate imaging parameters, such as whether to capture a limited field of view (FOV) 8×8, or a single arch or region, versus some full volume scan. We can focus on an impacted tooth with less radiation than dental x-rays. However, if we are evaluating the airway and/or obstructive conditions, this requires moderate FOV pharyngeal anatomic information with certain specific volumetrics utilizing Anatomage airway and/or Dolphin 3D Software for computations and assessment.

The attendees ranged from those with a basic knowledge to the more familiar with 3D imaging. The orthodontic speakers brought our own images to show the power of 3D in real-life cases. We showed superimpositions, facial trauma, tumors, and facial orthopedics. When scanning the TMJ area, we have viewed undiscovered fractures or tumors on airways and sinuses resulting in degenerative conditions, and tumors or lesions that extend into the cranial base of the skull that actually put life at risk for some patients. 2nd opinions: we welcome them; patients immediately discover and experience the difference between our depth of analysis and information, compared to the typical quick screening orthodontic exam that occurs in typical nearby offices. After patients have gone to other doctors seeking an opinion, we have found undiagnosed problems on a 3D scan. Once we discover the complete situation and diagnostics, we can explain and visualize this for the patient, and report back to our colleague and co-manage these conditions. We can outline a course of effective and efficient orthodontic therapy for a challenging case and make it navigate/flow well. If there is a clinical treatment challenge where something is not going according to plan, we can identify and specify why and modify our approach.

Regarding some of the trauma and facial conditions for topics facial asymmetry, many of the attendees had not seen a 3D view such as that before, or they didn’t know how to apply the technology, but learned about it at our session.

In our session, we also discussed how to improve communication with patients with such tools as colorization and different views to depict the anatomy that influence the course of treatment. i-CAT is known for its low-dose radiation, a fact also appreciated by patients. The i-CAT FLX offers a QuickScan+ option that results in a dose lower dose than a 2D Panoramic X-ray. In the six years that I have had my i-CAT, I have utilized it to help give my patients the best care. Once you have added this cutting-edge technology, you want to keep educating, learning more, and sharing your knowledge with others. The synergy drives i-CAT owners to a new level of excellence.

The future is now; together, we lead the way with i-CAT cone beam CT and related 3D technologies in modern orthodontic practice.


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