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01 May 2006 | Australasian Dental Practice

news > Spectrum > Page 50

Good news for NobelGuide users: CT scans for $140

Collins Street Radiology located at 15 Collins Street in Melbourne is providing the missing piece in the NobelGuide™ puzzle for dentists by providing cost-effective dental CT scans ready for loading into the system.

"NobelGuide is an outstanding tool for dentists to use in implant planning and placement," said Radiographer Andrew Collins, "however one of the barriers to its use has been the ease of obtaining the CT scans that are initially required. We can see that the use of NobelGuide will increase exponentially so we have tailored a service specifically to cater to this need."

Collins Street Radiology specialises in dental-only radiography and to date has delivered intraoral, panoramic and cephalometric radiographs to its many dentist clients. Since the Medicare schedule contains dental imaging - a little known fact - they have been able to save patients considerable sums of money which can be used towards their treatment.

Recently, they purchased an i-CAT cone beam imaging system specifically to produce 3-D dental CT-scans ideal for use in NobelGuide. CT specialist David Regan has joined the practice after having more than 8 years experience in high-end faciomaxillary scanning and is excited to be able use the i-CAT because it is the first unit in Melbourne.

"The beauty of the i-CAT cone beam system is that it delivers an image file in the ideal format for loading into NobelGuide. The image is also better in terms of both resolution and its ability to accurately portray the implant site when compared to a medical CT-scan (helical fan beam medical computed tomography). It is also achieved with 80 percent less radiation exposure to the patient.

"As specialists in this discipline, we have been able to apply our knowledge to achieve outstanding results with the system and we are collaborating with several dentists using NobelGuide already so we can streamline the scanning and make turnaround even faster. We also regularly network with our collegues in America, Sweden (where implants originated) and Finland as these are at the cutting edge of this breakthrough technology."

The real advantage that Collins Street Radiology offers is that dentists can directly refer patients to the practice for a cone beam scan and as a Medicare Provider, the patient is entitled to a significant rebate.

"Our aim is that patients shouldn't be out of pocket more than $140 for the NobelGuide-related scans," Mr Collins said, "and we can achieve this because of the Medicare rebate. Cone beam scans are covered separately to a medical CT-scan and there is no problem with a dentist referring patients directly to us.

"Conversely, if a dentist refers a patient for a medical CT-scan in Victoria, no rebate applies. And it is more expensive, less accurate in terms of the dental imaging aspects and exposes the patient to considerably more radiation."

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