By Danny Chan
An early adopter of dental imaging technology, Dr Stephen Pak was one of the first general dentists to own an OPG more than 10 years ago. Although he has operated a 3D CBCT unit for over 7 years – again, not many people can claim such lengthy experience – he switched to the Vatech Green CT about 12 months ago.
As someone who has been operating at the bleeding edge of CBCT innovation for as long as he has, Dr Pak is uniquely positioned to share his user perspectives on the Vatech Green CT, notably the Winner of the “Best of Class” Technology Award 2016 presented by the Cellerent Consulting Group.
Interestingly enough, Dr Pak’s relationship with Vatech innovation was forged prior to owning any of the company’s imaging units. The Principal Dentist at Hillcrest Dental got acquainted with the Vatech brand through its user-friendly software – which he found had performed better than the software that came bundled with the 3D unit he was operating at the time. Pleased with the new discovery, he began transferring DICOM files of the 3D images taken with his x-ray unit into the Vatech software for regular diagnostics and treatment planning.
About two years ago, the old unit started experiencing intermittent issues over a 12-month period, invariably racking up high repair costs each time it occurred. When the technician finally admitted that the unit was beyond repair and offered discounted rates for a replacement unit, Dr Pak declined, knowing it was time to move on.
Software experience aside, Dr Pak had in the meantime gained more confidence in the Vatech brand from speaking with Korea-based dental colleagues, most of whom were avid Vatech users. Fast forward to present, Dr Pak is now the proud owner of several Vatech products including the Soft Sensor, EzRay Air Portable X-ray and of course, the Vatech Green CT.
On the Green CT – which he purchased from a Vatech NSW distributor, Minimax Implant – Dr Pak attests to making an all-round important discovery: “I wanted a unit with better image quality, bigger FOV, easy-to-use hardware and software, with the ability to integrate with other systems such as digital scanners and good after-sales service. Green CT was the one that could satisfy these qualities with a better price.”
The experienced general dentist and implantologist mainly uses the Green CT for: Implant surgery planning (including construction of surgical guides); wisdom teeth removal; endodontic evaluation; and airway evaluation (for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea).
“It has assisted mainly for surgical guide construction. Implant placement can be determined inside the treatment planning tool on the software and that information can be transferred to the laboratory for the construction of the surgical guide.”
“That means I am the one who decides where the implant should be placed, not the technician. The ability to determine adequate quality and quantity of bone also means you can decide on the number and location of implants, which is also helpful for any guided bone regeneration or sinus lift work. In short, the whole treatment plan can be formulated accurately with zero guesswork!”
“Since the image you get from the unit is sharp and clear, you always know where you are throughout the process.”
One of the Green CT’s many touted features is the small yet powerful pixel sensor that offers high-resolution 3D images with multiple FOV selection – 5 multi FOV sizes ranging from 5×5 to 16x9. Vatech’s digital CMOS sensors promise better resolution with fewer motion artefacts. Its MAGIC PAN feature also helps to create a better panorama image by removing distortion and blurs.
Dr Pak reveals that the versatile unit allows him to take sinus, TMJ, airway passage, full upper and lower arches in one CBCT view. “With the aid of 3D scanned models for surgical guide construction, there is no need for digital scanning or impressions.”
Setting up, along with actual imaging time, is also quick and easy, the dentist adds: “The unit provides good space between the sensor and the beam head, therefore a patient of any size can be easily set up without interfering the rotation of the head and sensor. It is wheel chair accessible as well.”
“It takes my assistants approximately 4.9 - 9 seconds to take a CT and 1.9 seconds for Lateral ceph.”
With low radiation dose – Dr Pak estimates it is ½ the dose of conventional CT units – the Green CT is safer for patients without compromising image quality. “In terms of health and safety compliance,” he adds, “it takes a few seconds to take the x-ray so exposure time to radiation is very short.”
As for the tool that piqued his interest with the Vatech brand, Dr Pak continues to be impressed with the current iteration of the EZ3D-i software:
“It is much more user friendly, interactive and easy to navigate. All it takes is half a day’s worth of training to use the software quite comfortably. It has multiple choices to view images, including MPR (Multiple Plane Reconstruction), Section and 3D Pan.”
Figuring prominently in the surgery’s daily work, the Sydney dentist says the Green CT serves as a major technological pillar that supports Hillcrest Dental’s professional image.
“With the Green CT, I can comfortably carry out complex cases, knowing with greater certainty, where the problem area lies. Not only does it greatly enhance the level of diagnostics and care for the patient, it achieves higher overall predictability of treatment outcomes, which is no small thing.”
Meanwhile, patient acceptance has improved in tandem with the increased clarity of the 3D images and low-dose radiation exposure.
“The exposure time is shorter so the patient will not have to keep still for too long or be unnecessarily exposed to radiation. The patients are always amazed to see the 3D image of their skull and are more likely to accept the treatment plan as a result.”
These strong features, coupled with an affordable price tag, have led Dr Pak to assert Vatech Green CT as a great practice building tool and investment – more tangibly, he calculates that the machine would pay for itself within three years.
Asked for the most significant change the Vatech Green CT has brought to his practice, Dr Pak says it is a toss up between the unit’s interoperability and the quality images it provides:
“As opposed to the closed-system type of imaging unit that I used to work with, the Vatech Green CT makes it easy for us to work with and integrate the unit with other products such as digital scanners.”
“The Green CT provides relatively clear and comprehensive images that allow my dentists to feel more confident making their diagnosis based upon high quality information.”
For further information on Green CT, please contact Vatech Australia (1300 789 454).