By Danny Chan
Established since 1989, Smile In Style is a high-tech dental practice with branches in Moonee Ponds and Sunbury. What sets the suburban clinics apart from many of its peers, besides an early focus on holistic dentistry, is their in-house digital pipeline that encompasses everything from 2D/3D diagnostics (OPG Lat Ceph unit/ CBCT) to laser dentistry to CAD/CAM dentistry. In the middle of integrating a 3D printer that will allow him to fabricate self-designed implant surgical guides, Dr Rose is dovetailing the workflow, granting full control over a complete spectrum of patient services – including over their costs and output quality.
If you were to liken Dr Rose’s well-oiled digitised machinery to a human body, then the “eyes” of this set-up would have to be the OPG and CBCT. It is somewhat illuminating that the Principal Dentist has entrusted this critical function to the same company twice over a 9-year period.
Having owned a Vatech PAX-500 Versa OPG lateral ceph unit since 2009, the Practice Owner and previous Orthodontic Lecturer for POS had been pleased with the “good quality images and the reliability of the equipment for a reasonable price”. When a number of his patients began enquiring about CBCT imaging – during which time he was still referring patients to external imaging services, including for all his implant cases – he reckoned it was time to invest in a CBCT unit.
“Having been happy with Vatech products, I checked out what they had to offer in the CBCT line. The Green 16 unit looked the best fit with its features for what I wanted – large FOV (16x9) which would cover md + mx arches for implant planning and also airway analysis; clarity of image; good software; low radiation dosage (especially of interest to holistic patients); open ended system with easy file export were all factors.”
“All this at a reasonable price meant it looked the best unit to suit my needs on the market.”
Smile in Style Sunbury was the first dental practice in Victoria to install a Vatech Green 16 unit back in August 2018. While the OPG was still being used on new patients as part of a comprehensive exam, in addition to orthodontic records, the CBCT unit literally hit the ground running as the diagnostic unit of choice for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), root canal and implant cases.
A former OSA sufferer, Dr Rose can testify to the image quality of the Vatech Green 16 CBCT, which paved the way for his own successful treatment using a combination of Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS) and Nightlase, a “Sleep-Apnoea” feature of the Fotona Lightwalker Laser: “The airway analysis component of the cone beam software shows a great image and good analysis of the airway volume.”
Although Dr Rose and his dentists do not perform root canal treatments – they use the Fotona Lightwalker SWEEPS and PIPs technology to gain improved levels of root canal disinfection and debridement – the Green 16 also plays a supporting endodontic role: “Holistic patients are often interested in issues surrounding root canal treatments and bone infections, and the CBCT is a great tool to look for problems in these areas.”
For guided implant surgery, Dr Rose uses the Green 16 to generate a Dicom file for easy import into Blue Sky plan software, which he is more familiar with and uses to design the implant surgical guide. The CBCT unit’s open source image output allows a seamless workflow with the software, Lightwalker laser, POS orthodontic, 3D printer, intraoral scanner and CEREC intraoral scanner system to give Dr Rose a full control of the process.
More than just a daisy chain of hardware and software, Dr Rose’s advice to newbies attempting a similar set-up is this: “Training and knowledge is critical to success”.
“I have been down this path many times – including extensive training in orthodontics, CEREC and lasers. A lot of time spent learning how to use high-end equipment is imperative before you can reap the benefits.”
It also helps to have the assistance of an able equipment specialist team when making a new hardware purchase. In the case of Vatech Green 16, Dr Rose says the local supplier, Medi-Dent, played an invaluable training role:
“Andre Fourie and his team from Medi-Dent have been a pleasure to work with to enable equipment installation and training. We also had regular contact with the staff from the Sydney office. It was necessary to have our CBCT room comply with radiographic specifications and our dentists licenced to take images have also taken a CBCT licensing course with Louise Brown (Dentomaxillofacial Radiologist, Teledent) here.”
Diagnostic abilities notwithstanding, Dr Rose thinks the Vatech Green 16 should also be viewed as a practice-building asset.
“When many of the patients first see the unit and the images generated, you can tell there’s a certain wow factor. In terms of health and safety – a major area of concern for our holistic patients – the Green 16 unit has one of the lowest radiation exposures on the market and still is able to generate reasonably accurate and clear images.”
Ultimately, Dr Rose says that patients enjoy the convenience of having all their services located under one roof – and are “happy to pay for it”. While it’s awesome that the Veteran Dentist deems the CBCT a sound investment – “because we are using the Green CT everyday so it is paying for itself” – it’s what he continues to say that truly resonates:
“I am happier doing my job, still passionate about dentistry and learning something new every day.”
For more information on Vatech x-ray system – Including Green CT – contact Vatech Australasia (1300 789 454).
The Smile In Style Dental Practices are located at 9 Dornoch Drive Sunbury 3429 and 821 Mt Alexander Road Moonee Ponds 3039 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.smileinstyle.com.au