CBCT is quickly becoming the gold standard in evaluating patients in regards to a variety of dental pathologies. Here we will discuss some of the many benefits this technology has to offer dental practices seeking to be on the cutting edge of patient care. More information from the Dental TI team regarding CBCT and other dental technologies can be found on our website and blog.
SEVEN BENEFITS OF IMPLEMENTING CBCT INTO YOUR DENTAL PRACTICE:
IMPROVED CLINICAL OUTCOMES: CBCT is a revolutionary technology that is now available in the outpatient, clinical office setting. It has created an opportunity for patients to receive the highest standard of care without having to undergo invasive testing.
One of the most common uses of CBCT technology is to evaluate a patient’s oral and maxillofacial anatomy so that an appropriate treatment plan can be developed. CBCT has been proven to offer significantly better outcomes for patients undergoing dental implant placement. CBCT technology offers advanced 3-D radiologic images that can be assembled in such a way that allows the Dentist to virtually place implants prior to procedure, allowing for full visualizations of what to expect prior to surgical intervention. Having the opportunity to virtually complete the surgery or procedure, without the fear of patient complication will allow for the best placement of the implants to occur. By increasing practice, it is thought that the number of preventable errors will decrease. Some Dentists have even been so bold to state, that using CBCT technology prevents complications commonly associated with non-guided implant placement.
SUPERIOR RADIOLOGICAL IMAGES: Using CBCT as the radiologic imaging modality of choice allows for a non-invasive way to evaluate the unique anatomy of each individual patient, thus allowing for a specialized diagnosis and treatment plan that will provide the patient with the best possible outcomes. CBCT provides much more radiologic information when compared to the 2-D X-Ray currently being used in Dental offices. For example, CBCT technology allows for a precise evaluation of the depth of bone present in which to anchor implants, and allows for assessment of the quality and density of the bone. Understanding that the number one concern of patients undergoing implant placement is implant failure, one can truly understand how valuable CBCT technology is in the successful surgical placement of implants.
These superior radiologic images also allow for the anatomy of the oral and maxillofacial regions to be visualized. Understanding that each patient’s soft tissue, nerve routes, and bone density will vary allows the Dentist to successfully utilize the CBCT technology in a way that will provide added benefits to the patient.
Depending on the specific pathologies you are planning to address, it is important and useful to ensure that you are buying the correct level of CBCT technology for your practice. Ensuring that your CBCT unit has the correct features (e.g. an appropriate FOV) will provide assurance that you are capturing optimal images and not over-investing on your technology.
REDUCED RISK OF COMPLICATION: Risk of complication or negative outcomes can be associated with any type of surgical procedure. Therefore, it is imperative to have the necessary information to provide the patient with the best opportunity for successful implantation. Using the CBCT can allow for proper assessment of the anatomy of the oral cavity and the mandible to ensure successful placement of the implant. CBCT also allows for visualization of nerves and muscles within the area of interest to reduce the risk of severing the alveolar nerve essential to the patient’s functionality. It has been shown through clinical evaluation that patients who did not undergo CBCT prior to surgical intervention had an increased risk of post-surgical complications including: increased risk of damaging nerves and increased implant failure.
LEGAL RE-ASSURANCE: In today’s society, documentation has become essential for insurance reimbursements as well as to prevent legal recourse. Having performed the CBCT scans provides the Dentist with the necessary information to prove the procedure was performed above the standard of care. Having this documentation can help prevent any litigation that may occur in association with negative outcomes that could not be avoided. CBCT technology provides that supporting documentation that is needed for insurance reimbursement as well as for legal purposes.
Using the CBCT for evaluating patients who wish to receive dental implants is essential to protect the practitioner. There are legal cases in which health care providers have been sued because of implant failure. Implant failure can still occur no matter the technology used; however, with the CBCT the Dentist can provide the most precise information to prove his/her reasoning if questioned in the future about why he/she chose to place dental implants in those particular areas.
VERSATILITY: The Cone-Beam CT is being used by many Dentists and other healthcare professionals to evaluate patients who have a variety of different dental pathologies. Some of those pathologies in which the use of CBCT is known to provide significantly superior outcomes compared to other radiologic modalities include: impacted teeth surgical planning; diagnosing TMJ Disorder; precise dental implant placement; visualization of the varied anatomy of the patient’s oral and maxillofacial regions; direct visualization of the nerve pathways; detecting and diagnosing any tumors or structural pathologies of the oral and maxillofacial regions; identifying dental orientation; as well as surgical planning when reconstructive surgery may be necessary.
INCREASED PATIENT SATISFACTION: Patients who know that they are receiving the highest standard of care, will refer other individuals to one’s Dental practice. Therefore, having the CBCT technology will allow for a greater standard of care. Greater standard of care will correlate positively to better clinical outcomes. Better clinical outcomes will result in satisfied patients and return on future business.
POSITIVE RETURN ON INVESTMENT: When adding new, innovative technology to your practice, you can almost always expect an initial expense associated with the investment. However, providing patients with a greater standard of care and better clinical outcomes can not only compensate for the initial expense, but provide a significant return on the investment. Ensuring that your practice has access to proper training and support is critical to maximizing ROI and getting the most benefit possible from the technology. CBCT technology provides a superior standard of care that will allow for increased patient satisfaction. Proper training and support add synergy to the technology’s efficacy by facilitating best practices and ensuring that any unforeseen issues are promptly resolved.
MOVING FORWARD: It is important to review all the literature regarding the CBCT technology. After reviewing that information, it will be essential to determine how beneficial this technology will be to the future of your practice. Dental TI offers additional information on CBCT and the necessary considerations to make before investing in CBCT on its website (www.dentalti.com). Dental TI also offers free consultation to practices considering an investment in CBCT. When implemented effectively, CBCT technology offers a myriad of benefits and increases the quality of care that the patients receive.