One dentist’s take on the benefits this module provides both his patients and his practice
About four months ago, Dr. Larry Marks of Advanced Smile Solutions began using the Prosthetic-Driven Implant Planning module from Carestream Dental to more predictably place implants.
The module gives him the ability to marry full-arch scans from his CS 8100 3D extraoral imaging system and digital impressions taken with his CS 3600 intraoral scanner-virtually eliminating any guesswork from the procedure.
Here’s what he had to say about how the module has improved implant placement in his two Florida-based practices.
How do you use this implant-planning module in your practice?
We use the CS 8100 3D for diagnostic purposes to see how much bone is available in areas of interest for placing implants. Then we use the digital scanner to scan the upper and lower jaw. The new module merges the two together so we can see the 3D photograph of the patient’s gum tissue and teeth superimposed on the CBCT scan. In the areas where the patient is missing teeth, we can use the virtual library to place teeth where they would ideally go in the arch. This helps us develop a plan to properly place the implants.
When you look at this information segmentally without seeing it in one image, it can be very easy to look at the jaw bone, plan to place the implant and then find the implant is in the wrong position. All the information in the image we’re now able to generate allows us to plan where the implant needs to be for the best long-term prognosis.
What are the main benefits of using this module?
In the past, implant placement required a lot of guesswork and often came with unwelcome surprises. I’m a risk-averse person and can do without those kind of revelations. With all the information in one package, you know ahead of time where everything is going to go. This is wonderful technology to have at our disposal. Because we know what to expect, we can have the tools we need at hand during the procedure, lowering the cost of doing business. So in some respect, it’s a profit maker for dentists.
For the patient, it’s predictability. For any patient going through any procedure, the fear of the unknown is what causes the most anxiety. Using this module, I can show them exactly what needs to be done and why. And the procedure is shorter because you’re not guessing and looking around trying to find what you need.
Using this module also helps improve case acceptance by making patients more aware of what’s available to them. It becomes easier for patients to make a proper decision regarding treatment.
How does it help with patient education?
When you’re able to show patients what you’re attempting to do using their information rather than a model, it’s a lot more meaningful. Having as much information in front of you as possible, and information that’s readily understood by the layperson, makes the journey with the patient much easier. You’re more successful because the level of communication is increased many fold.