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31 Mar 2008 | Australasian Dental Practice

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30th i-CAT cone beam system in Queensland

By Joseph Allbeury

Cone Beam Computed Tomography CEREC

Optima Dental Care in Gladstone, Central Queensland, has become the 30th site in Australia and New Zealand to install an i-CAT Cone Beam Imaging System.

"Cone beam imaging represents the future of dental diagnostics," said Dr Scott Petrie, the principal of Optima Dental Care, "and in my opinion, the i-CAT was the logical choice to take our practice to a new level of clinical care.

"Being located in rural Queensland, we tend to perform the gamut of dental procedures in-house and in particular, we have interests in implants, orthodontics and managing TMD. Having the i-CAT in the practice will allow us to deliver treatment outcomes more predictably and efficiently than before which is beneficial to both our patients and the practice.

Dr Petrie said that while Gladstone had a medical radiographer, his efforts to obtain accurate images of the TMJ in particular, using himself as a guinea pig, delivered less than satisfactory results. The nearest dental cone beam system was also more than an hour's drive away in Rockhampton.

"We had an old OPG and lateral ceph in the practice which was going great guns but the technology has advanced. We had the first OPG here 25 years ago and we've been using digital x-ray for a long time. We also have CEREC 3D and we can see where technology can benefit the patient and is very worthwhile.

"I also love the idea of 3D imaging and I looked at several cone beam systems before buying. I felt that based on the imaging area delivered by the i-CAT, the physical size of the image files and the overall value for money that it was an excellent proposition.

"The i-CAT can image to full head height and you can also take a traditional 2D OPG if required. We can use it for ortho, implants, TMD treatments and wisdom teeth. It is excellent to look at failed root canals and cysts. It is ideal for any situation where you need accurate diagnostic information and being able to rotate an image and view it from all sides is invaluable. It fits into your normal network and technology framework without needing to upgrade everything.

"I've also known Lisa McAsey at Body Logic who distribute the i-CAT for a very long time and I know what to expect in terms of service and support. They are a great company and she stands behind everything she sells. They also have a large install base in Australia and New Zealand so they have excellent training and support programs available. There is a definite learning curve involved in suddenly having so much more information available and ongoing education is vital. Body Logic continually run courses on the system and have their first i-CAT Academy coming up in August. Knowing I have access to events like that was a great incentive."

Dr Petrie said that even though cone beam systems currently represent the most expensive asset a practice can invest in, he wasn't concerned about justifying it so much in monetary terms.

"CEREC used to be seen as expensive until cone beam systems came along. I've had CEREC for 8 years now and know exactly what it has delivered to my practice and so I'm not afraid to invest in technology as I know there is a return."

Dr Petrie said that as a group practice, the system will be well utilised internally and while he is not expecting high demand, other dental practices in Gladstone were welcome to utilise the system.

A further advantage to having the i-CAT was that it places the practice at the leading edge of technology which helps to recruit younger dentists keen to learn and use the latest equipment.

"We called the practice Optima Dental Care because we want to give our patients optimal dental and overall healthcare," Dr Petrie said. "Having the i-CAT will allow us to achieve that goal more predictably than ever before."

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