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Nov/Dec 2014
Volume 35, Issue 10

Benefits of Sirona’s ORTHOPHOS XG 3D System Extend Far Beyond Implantology

William F. Drake, DDS, Maryville, TN, considers himself a relatively early adopter of digital dentistry. He has been using intraoral digital radiography for bitewing, occlusal, and periapical views since about 1996 and has been scanning, designing, and milling ceramic restorations chairside with Sirona’s CEREC® CAD/CAM units since 2006.

Drake says he purchased Sirona’s ORTHOPHOS XG 3D system in 2011 with the intention of planning and precisely placing implants with surgical guides. He had previously placed implants freehand, using only 2-dimensional (2-D) radiographic images and past experiences. However, he now uses the Sirona system to diagnose and offer precision treatment in all aspects of his practice, including periodontal, endodontics, and restorative, as well as implantology.

The ORTHOPHOS XG 3D combines the advantages of 2-D and 3-D in one comprehensive unit, offering an extensive selection of panoramic, tangential, cross-sectional, axial, and 3-D views with a slice thickness of 0.16 mm—and 0.1 mm for Endo mode—which clinicians can move through easily on the screen.

“With the ORTHOPHOS XG 3D, I can take images and use the 3-D software to precisely define the anatomical structures—nerves, blood vessels, sinus boundaries, the nasal floor, as well as bone density and defects,” Drake explains. “I can design in the software precisely the ideal implant position to support the final crown restoration, establishing the correct depth and angle in relationship to the other teeth. With a surgical guide made from this data, I can precisely place the implant in the patient’s jaw exactly as I planned it.”

Drake likens the advantages provided by Sirona’s CBCT technology in particular to “coming out of the Dark Ages” and predicts that eventually all forward-thinking dentists will use 3-D technology for advantages that extend far beyond implant planning and placement.

He says his first scan was of his hygienist, whose longstanding pain persisted even after a root canal was performed by an excellent endodontist. The scan revealed a small amount of extruded root canal filling pressing against the periosteum that was the source of a low-grade chronic irritation. A scan of another patient, who had complained of a severe upper toothache and had already been seen by several doctors, revealed that his left sinus was entirely filled with fluid, a condition resolved by antibiotics.

The ORTHOPHOS XG 3D system, Drake asserts, has greatly expanded his ability to provide better dentistry. “The more knowledge you have from CBCT scans, the more you can offer your patients. This leads to providing them all treatment at a higher level. Without the knowledge acquired from studying the ORTHOPHOS XG 3D scans, you really don’t know what you don’t know.”

Sirona’s patented integration concept, he notes, brings together CBCT and CAD/CAM to offer unprecedented precision and convenience. “Now, based on a scan of the patient, with an implant position based on the patient’s anatomy and the desired position of the final crown restoration, a surgical guide is generated in-office or the scan is digitally sent to Sirona to fabricate a guide to place the implant precisely as planned.”

Drake says he is now spending a significant portion of his time at 3-D summits and user meetings, plus onsite demonstrations to educate dentists on how to use this state-of-the-art technology in their practices. “We’re now trying to show dentists the whole workflow—from how to integrate CEREC chairside dentistry and CBCT software to plan, place, and restore implants precisely and esthetically.”

Drake regards ORTHOPHOS XG 3D as an invaluable tool for providing a higher quality of dentistry to his patients. “Before CBCT scans, we’d make a gut call based on years of experience, and many times we were right, but the risk of being wrong was always a very unsettling possibility. With this technology, we can now not only detect even the most minute pathological concern—whether or not there is pain—but we can also plan and place precisely, to provide our patients with an esthetic and anatomically correct restoration,” he concludes.

Sirona Dental, Inc.
4835 Sirona Dr, Suite 100
Charlotte, NC 28273

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