By Danny Chan
Dr Bruno Lim is adamant about giving patients “quality care for every tooth”. To him, that means making patients feel confident that the treatment they have chosen – with proper guidance and advice from the dentist – is the best one for them and nothing is left to chance when it comes to their safety and wellbeing.
One of the tools that facilitate Dr Lim’s patient-centred vision is the PaX-i 2D imaging system from Vatech. The Principal Dentist of Cranbourne North Dental says the OPG unit has been an invaluable communicative tool, if only because it helps him engage patients in a direct and visually oriented way.
“We wanted to have a practice that doesn’t just rush patients in and out the door. Our philosophy is to spend time with patients and perform a detailed assessment of their oral health. We also believe in helping patients understand their dental condition. The PaX-I enables us to get a big picture, not only to show the patient but also to prioritise treatment.”
Dr Lim clearly advocates the role of empathy in customer relations, adhering to the maxim of providing treatments in the same way that the dental practitioners themselves would like to receive treatment. Pressing home CND’s claim as a “safe, clean and modern clinic”, he would even invite patients on a “behind-the-scenes” tour of his facilities whenever possible.
Technology has always afforded Dr Lim the means to maintain an open and consultative approach with his patients. Having worked with an OPG before, Dr Lim knows the convenience of an onsite digital diagnostic unit.
“Digital OPGs enable us to treatment plan together with the patient there and then. There is no need to send the patient off and then wait for them to return – if they do at all. You can diagnose and address their concerns on the spot and we find that patients love the convenience and it certainly gives the practice a wow-factor. Plus you can control the quality of the OPG, rather than when they go to a third party OPG provider and often return with a terrible quality OPG.”
Dr Lim frequently turns to PaX-I to close the dentist-patient communication loop: Clarify whatever doubts a patient might have as to the type and extent of their dental condition; clearly explain what treatment looks like; and obtain feedback based on the images and other visual cues.
“We use it for all new and existing patients who haven’t had an OPG done in a while. We find it’s a great diagnostic tool to pick up concerns that you can’t see with just bitewings and periapical radiographs. It is particularly useful for reviewing wisdom teeth, orthodontic consults and patients who need extensive treatment.”
Finding the unit markedly better than the digital Sirona OPG he had used prior, Dr Lim says his extensive product research on the PaX-I has paid off handsomely.
“Our decision was mainly based on word of mouth reviews of the unit, image quality and to top it all off it had a very competitive price attached to it.”
“The image quality of the Vatech OPG far surpasses that of the Sirona model that I used – not to mention the source doesn’t seem to hit patient’s shoulders as often. Although to be fair, that was more than five years ago. Technology definitely progresses quickly.”
Four months after the purchase, Dr Lim still praises the PaX-I effusively:
Image clarity: “By far the best image clarity I have seen from an OPG.”
Convenience: “Patients and staff love the fact that we can take an OPG on the spot. There’s no need to go down the road somewhere else, wait in line, take the x-ray and wait another 10-20mins for the x-ray to be printed. Saves patients from making a review appointment.”
Versatility: “The unit is able to take Cephs, PA skulls, OPGs, Bitewings, TMJ studies with a click of a button. It’s fantastic as an all-in-one unit.”
Clinical Relevance: “We use it for every new patient (if they haven’t had one recently). It’s an important diagnostic tool.”
Health and safety compliance: “We had a radiology consultant design the room and lining specific for the OPG. There are radiation-monitoring badges outside as well to ensure that everything is running properly.”
Profitability: “It is a vital and important diagnostic tool. Even by charging a reasonable price, the return on investment is still there – especially if it helps you with treatment planning.”
Radiation dose: “Haven’t quite looked into the radiation doses compared to other OPGs but I’ve heard it may be a tad higher than some others. I’d rather get a better image so I can diagnose better. It’s digital so it can’t be as high as the film versions can it?”
Many dentists talk about giving their patients the wow factor. Dr Bruno Lim is probably as impressed by his OPG unit as he is confident of it wowing his patients. Asked how the PaX-I stacks up as an investment, he replies emphatically:
“It’s been invaluable. It’s really a no-brainer for dental practices to get an OPG unit.”
“We decided from day one that the practice should have an OPG and we haven’t looked back!”