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Jul/Aug 2016
Volume 37, Issue 7

i-CAT FLX Offers Complete 3D Treatment Solution

When a new patient sits in the chair and tells Daniel Klauer, DDS, DABDSM, DABCP, DABCDSM, that the referring dentist already took x-rays, he knows what to say. “I pull up an example of what a cone beam versus a panoramic looks like and they say, ‘Why didn’t he do one of those?’” Klauer says. “It’s a real eye-opener for these patients.”

The i-CAT™ FLX Cone Beam 3D system, Klauer says, is one of the key tools that help him create value when creating treatment solutions for his patients. Not only that, but it enhances his standard of care and is the way of the future, Klauer believes. His private practice in Granger, Indiana, is limited to treating temporomandibular joint disorders (TMDs), craniofacial pain, and sleep breathing disorders.

“All the physicians who we work with are impressed with the amount of information we find in our exams. Our scans capture the sinuses and nasal passages. Last year alone, we sent 300 patients to ear, nose, and throat doctors for nasal evaluations just based on our incidental findings,” he says. “We dig a little deeper and look into the origin of the jaw-joint problems, not necessarily just treating symptoms.”

The i-CAT FLX features 3D cone-beam technology, enabling dentists to quickly diagnose complex problems and develop treatment plans more easily and accurately. The machine allows clinicians to target the desired field-of-view on each patient while minimizing the radiation dose.

Dentists gain greater control over workflow and the scanning process. Clinicians can customize scanning options for better control of the field-of-view, dose, and resolution. The SmartScan STUDIO™ touchscreen workflow allows clinicians to choose from preset scan protocols and customize presets for simple and fast scanning.

Klauer observes that having his staff fully trained on the i-CAT FLX is a timesaver. “My team loves it,” he says. “Our i-CAT FLX training was very helpful. I took my team to courses on how to actually read and position images. So if I come into a room and the image is centered and all the parts are prepped and ready for me to view, it saves me a lot of time. If you are taking 10 of these per day, the time really adds up,” he says.

For its customers, I-CAT offers access in the form of telephone support, remote assistance, field service, and 3D education and training, he notes.

Klauer also helps conduct physical-fitness assessments on student athletes at nearby University of Notre Dame. Along with fitting players for custom mouthguards, he looks for signs and symptoms of sleep apnea. Klauer uses the i-CAT FLX as part of his comprehensive evaluation and collaborates with his physician-colleagues.

“Most people don’t know they have apnea and/or TMDs. So if the clinician has some evidence to share with them, it adds a lot of value in helping them understand the problem and choose treatment. The i-CAT FLX is as much a patient-education tool as it is an instrument for getting a better birds-eye view of the situation and seeing what’s really going on with the patients,” he says.

Klauer, whose new solo practice is entirely digital, says he employs the interdisciplinary features of i-CAT FLX. “I use the overlay features in orthodontic-care cases. It allows us to superimpose images and show patients that orthodontics can affect facial bones as well as teeth.”

Part of what has helped Klauer succeed in his solo practice is the physician referrals he receives. “Once the physicians actually know what you do and know it works, the floodgates open,” he says, noting that the i-CAT FLX’s capabilities impress physicians. These referrals are for unexplained jaw pain, fatigue, facial pain, and headaches, for instance.

“As dentists, we can’t diagnose all medical problems, only those related to our expertise. Thus, it’s imperative that we are comprehensive and thoughtful. This is especially important because of the overlying symptoms patients have with OSA [obstructive sleep apnea], TMD, and craniofacial pain. The i-CAT FLX is one of the important instruments in our toolbox that allows us improve our standard of care.”

“Could I determine if someone qualifies for a sleep study without the i-CAT? Absolutely. But I want to have a thorough picture of the jaw joints, and the best picture of the jaw joints captures the nasal passages. So i-CAT FLX offers great additional information,” he says. The i-CAT FLX’s flexible 3D planning and treatment tools can be used for implants and restorations, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, periodontics, endodontics, and TMJ and airway analysis, he adds.

Klauer observes that the i-CAT FLX doesn’t specifically draw patients to his practice. But once they are there, it helps tremendously with case acceptance. “It is definitely a feature that sets us apart from other offices,” he says. “Technology is one thing. But what you do with it is really what makes it successful, and you can quickly reap the benefits from it.”

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