By Danny Chan
Dr Roshanak Amrein is never more than two steps away from technology. Since graduating from Adelaide University in 2000, the private practitioner has not veered from her twin passions: Cosmetic dentistry and early adoption of dental technology.
Her downtown practice, Adelaide Cosmetic Dentistry, is located in the city’s trendy Hyde Park shopping precinct. It is known as much for its high-end boutique decor as it is for cutting edge cosmetic treatments, employing such tools as the Biolase Waterlase Laser Dentistry, CEREC CAD/CAM, Itero Scans and Invisalign Clear Braces, and the Vatech Green CBCT.
Underpinning these visible statements of a contemporary practice is a visceral patient care philosophy that seeks to minimise the biological cost for every treatment.
Dr Amrein makes no bones about the dominant role technology plays in her practice, and more specifically, how they coalesce to relegate invasive procedures to an absolute last resort.
“Though my clinic is focused on cosmetic rehabilitation, we look at the patient as a whole person,” she stresses.
“We look at their lifestyle, overall health and what solution is best for them in the long term.
“At the end of the day we want to find solutions for our patients. We wholeheartedly want to help them in whatever their enquiry is. I find technology helps us immensely in this regard.”
Sense of inclusion and ownership
The solution-finding journey typically starts with a consultation. Dr Amrein is exacting when it comes to treatment diagnostics and dentist-patient communication – areas in which her Vatech Green CBCT has been a godsend.
The imaging system was purchased from Dental Concepts, the Vatech distributor in SA that also designed and built Dr Amrein’s state-of-the-art practice. The dentist calls her decision to entrust Dental Concepts with the challenging project “the best thing that ever happened”.
“They say building a new clinic is a stressful exercise but not in this case. I knew the minute we made the decision that I was in safe and competent hands. Everything went according to plan and surpassed my expectations.
“They built me a dream practice with everything a girl wants on the wish list. Everyday was fun and joyful and I enjoyed every minute of the process. When they suggested Vatech I had no doubt that Jason and his team at Dental Concepts team had my best interest at heart. I had complete and utter trust in them and highly recommend them.”
The South Australian firm also installed the Green CT, incorporating x-ray imaging into the seamless dentist-patient communication process.
“My CBCT, panoramic and Lateral Ceph radiographs are essential in this process. I can educate my patients instantly about any existing pathology, limitations to treatment or urgent preventative work that may be needed and why specialist care may be absolutely essential,”
“Patients love the process and respond to this level of thoroughness knowing they are part of the journey and gain a sense of ownership.”
She believes the patient’s sense of inclusion and taking ownership of their health, as a direct benefit of seeing the practitioner’s detailed and holistic approach to their care, is “priceless”.
No football please
Locating an imaging system in-house has also dramatically improved her customers’ visit experience.
“The fact that I don't have to football my very busy patients from one appointment to another,” she elaborates.
“Also I want my answers as soon as possible so we can start the treatment plans sooner rather than later when indicated.”
Referral communication with a specialist, she adds, has also been simplified by the ability to instantly send out the relevant images. “This makes the job of my colleagues much easier as they already have an overall picture of the patients’ oral health before even seeing them.”
The x-ray machine first piqued the Adelaide dentist’s interest for its “easy-to-use demonstrable airway assessment function”, although she qualifies that “imaging alone is not a reliable way to assess airway health.”
The Green CT also fulfilled other buying objectives: ergonomic, safe unit at a competitive price point.
Owning the x-ray unit since 2020, she has been using it for panoramic, lateral ceph and CBCT imaging.
“We try to limit the imaging to only the field that is essential,” she explains.
“If needed there are radiologists who can report on images remotely and this service is also very useful if a patient consents to it.”
Obviously, patient comfort and safety is a top-of-mind issue at Adelaide Cosmetic Dentistry.
The Vatech machine’s flexibility of use to accommodate any possible disability or height variation, as well as low-dose radiation are major features for Dr Amrein.
Whether to maintain health and safety compliance or protect dentists and staff from routine radiation exposure, the Green CT competently allays these “paramount concerns”.
While the imaging system has proven to be a smart business investment, Dr Amrein says operator and patient convenience, along with diagnostic accuracy, easily trump any ROI assessments.
“I need to do the right thing by the patient,” she insists. “This is far more important than financial considerations.”
The Green CT has been a unanimously prized addition to the practice, both from a clinical and patient perspective.
Customers have expressed amazement walking back from the imaging to the consultation room, to find their results waiting on the screen. The dentists, especially Dr Amrein’s orthodontic colleagues, have voiced their approval of the Green CT’s crisp and clear images – which she deems “much better” than what she gets from an external imaging centre.
What early adopter blues?
The practice building mileage Dr Amrein has gained from the Vatech Green CT, while comprehensive, is probably more a norm than exception.
This is after all an early adopter who started using CEREC technology some 20 years ago – back when dentists were still hesitant about its clinical expedience – as a fresh graduate, and who picked up laser dentistry while still a part-time solo practitioner with two young kids in tow.
“I have never regretted investing in technology,” she testifies.
“Technology has never let me down. It has always paid for itself and opened doors to doing dentistry without compromise.
“The key is to do your homework before buying anything and if I feel that it will be too costly or unsustainable, I hold off.”
“In the case of the Vatech unit, it was a no brainer.”