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Patient perspective: 3D technology helps young patient retain her teeth


When patient Natalie visited Dr. Sean Carlson’s office in Mill Valley, Calif., it seemed that her treatment would be a relatively simple correction of mandibular crowding. From the first visit, Natalie’s mother, Laura Foley, had good feelings about the practice.


When patient Natalie visited Dr. Sean Carlson’s office in Mill Valley, Calif., it seemed that her treatment would be a relatively simple correction of mandibular crowding. From the first visit, Natalie’s mother, Laura Foley, had good feelings about the practice.

“I could tell that the doctor and staff all were genuinely concerned about their patients,” she says.

Natalie returned to Dr. Carlson after undergoing surgery to remove a cyst near the canine tooth in her lower jaw. An i-CAT™ 3D cone beam scan revealed a transmigratory canine tooth moving horizontally across the lower symphysis across the lateral and central incisor on the lower left side. The 3D scan gave Dr. Carlson the information he needed to avoid extraction of the canine tooth.

Dr. Carlson and the oral surgeon, Dr. Mark Bennett, were able to use the information from an i-CAT scan in Tx STUDIO™ and Anatomodel to facilitate guidance of the canine tooth into the lingual side of the lower incisors without any damage to the surrounding structures. The two-phase treatment plan also included arch development through expansion to create room for all of Natalie’s adult teeth.

Patient perspective: 'To be able to take a breath, it just felt so good.'

“Dr. Carlson said that traditionally we would have had no choice but to remove the tooth,” Laura says.” I’ll admit, when he first told us Natalie’s situation, my first thought was just to extract that tooth, but he explained how important canines are to jaw alignment and proper functioning of the teeth. Then, he showed us the 3D scan, and it made so much more sense.”

Patient Natalie adds, “I was very young when this first happened so it was better for me to visually see what was happening so that I could better understand. With his awesome 3D software, he could move the image around, and I could see from all directions.”

Laura says, “Being able to visualize helped me to understand and take the next step for my daughter. We could actually see how that tooth was situated in the space of her mouth. To me, the 3D software, which we called i-CAT, seems to be a powerful tool for informing patients and parents.”

Patient perspective: Teeth whitening

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The treatment allowed Natalie to retain her full complement of teeth and, as a bonus, her airway was dramatically improved. Laura says that, at first, she didn’t realize how helpful the 3D scan would be.

“Now, I am sold on how important the 3D imaging system was,” she says. “Her mouth was so small, and the surgery was so complex and challenging, and I don’t think it would have been able to provide this care without the 3D images.”

“This is great technology,” Natalie says. “Not sure why all orthodontists wouldn’t use it for the sake of their patients.”

“We are fortunate to have an orthodontist with a tool that matches his level of intellect and curiosity,” Laura says. “It got us on board with the necessary treatment for Natalie. We are truly grateful for these doctors and this technology.”

Patient perspective: Using veneers to get a more attractive smile

Learn more about Natalie’s story and see her full clinical case at
(Indications for use: www.i-cat.com/ifu)

i-CAT FLXi-CAT™ FLX™ optimizes clinical control over scan size, resolution, modality and dose. Features include a low dose option, including QuickScan+™ (full-dentition 3D scan at a comparable dose to a 2D panoramic*); SmartScan STUDIO’s touchscreen for easy selection of the appropriate scan for each patient; Tx STUDIO™ software with integrated tools for implant, surgical and orthodontic applications; and i-PAN 2D panoramics (*data on file).  

To see the i-CAT in action, watch the video below:

Related reading: i-CAT partners with the MIlo Foundation Animal Sanctuary to save canines at the recent AAO meeting

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