July/August 2018
Volume 39, Issue 7

3D Cone-Beam Imaging Streamlines Treatment Planning, Improves Case Acceptance

When Anthony Ramirez, DDS, first began practicing almost 35 years ago, he quickly realized the importance-and advantages-of being able to provide innovative care that puts the needs of the patient first. As a result, he became an early adopter of cone-beam CT imaging for dentistry, which he believes has set his Brooklyn, New York practice apart from others in the area. He offers esthetic and reconstructive dentistry and has a special interest in cosmetic smile design, specifically digital implantology.

Ramirez first began working with GALILEOS® (Dentsply Sirona) 3D cone-beam imaging about 10 years ago when he realized he was not confident with the information he was getting from panoramic x-rays. "It changed my practice completely," he raves. "Non-distorted 3D and cross-sectional views overcome the inherent limitations of 2D imaging."

Today, he uses this technology "to educate, treatment plan, case present, inform, and treat my patients," Ramirez says. When his patients experience a complete dental examination that effectively communicates their conditions via 3D representation, they can better understand their need for treatment and make appropriate choices as to treatment acceptance, he explains.

More recently, not only has Ramirez been able to provide his patients with a visual representation of their treatment, but he is also now capable of treatment planning and diagnosing in a single visit. This is a result of utilizing Dentsply Sirona's CEREC® in his practice combined with GALILEOS. "During a regular week, I use GALILEOS four or five times to treatment plan implant cases. I can plan an implant placement in roughly 10 minutes, as I've developed a streamlined workflow methodology that works well for me. It's a wonderful technology," he emphasizes.

The integrated workflow between GALILEOS and CEREC allows practitioners to scan the patient, plan the implant, and make a surgical guide all in one day. "One of my favorite things about it is sitting patients down and seeing them get excited about their treatment. Then, I'm able to actually perform the treatment with little to no interruption to their daily life."

The most recent iteration of the technology, GALILEOS Comfort Plus, includes integrated implantology and FaceScanner, in which x-ray scans and a 3D facial image are automatically superimposed. "I make a 3D virtual plan and 3D patient data set, and I'll go over these with the patient in the first visit. I think this gives the patient an understanding of just how far we've come regarding treatment planning abilities," Ramirez says.

As many benefits as there are for the patient, Ramirez points out that these are also great advantages for the clinician. "I have seen many poorly placed and off-angle implants when treatment was done free-handed. These implants are harder to restore and can have a greater incidence of postoperative complications. A guided approach with GALILEOS helps the clinician avoid penetrating vital anatomical structures," he asserts, adding that this workflow boosts his confidence to place implants while reducing treatment time.

He also has noted an increase in case acceptance as a result of using this software. "Patients can see that we are more advanced than other dentists in the neighborhood. And when we're able to capture their attention with the cone beam, they realize the treatment is necessary to bring them back to health, which helps case acceptance," Ramirez says.

It is no secret that technology in the dental profession is moving rapidly and changing patients' day-to-day lives on a more frequent basis. With this in mind, Ramirez compliments Dentsply Sirona because the company is "always thinking about the next innovative technique for its customers. Technology has made my life so much easier, and it can only get better from here," he concludes.

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