Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologist Extols Benefits of DEXIS™ Imaging CBCT Solutions
After more than 35 years in dentistry, W. Bruce Howerton, Jr., DDS, MS, has seen an enormous evolution in technology, especially in the area of digital imaging.
"Diagnostic dental imaging in the late 1980s and early 1990s included film-based periapical imaging. In 1993, I began using the first iteration of intraoral digital imaging from France. The intraoral sensors were bulky but provided images instantly, required less radiation, and you could print images to send to referring dentists," Howerton recalls.
Although Howerton admits it was an exciting time, the advent of 3D imaging using cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) in the early 2000s, he says, proved to be unsurpassed when it came to diagnostic information in dentistry. Howerton, who has been practicing oral and maxillofacial radiology in Raleigh, North Carolina, since 2004 and also offers remote, personalized CBCT education/training to clinicians, says he has found the use of digital imaging to be a game changer in all aspects of dentistry. His technologies of choice are DEXIS imaging units.
"I have owned and operated eight CBCT machines throughout North Carolina to offer the technology to dental practitioners and provide an education facility where clinicians can learn the benefits of CBCT compared to 2D intraoral/extraoral imaging," Howerton says. "The ability to evaluate the oral and maxillofacial complex, once relegated only to medical CT, enables the dental community to recognize anatomical features outside of the maxilla and mandible. With CBCT data, dental practitioners have an opportunity to diagnose maladies such as carotid calcifications, paranasal sinus disease, temporomandibular joint disease, airway restrictions, and problems with the auditory complex or soft tissues of the neck, so patients may receive medical attention sooner rather than later," he says.
The DEXIS CBCT offering has a unique breadth in that clinicians can choose the unit that is right for their practice goals and workflow, including the OP 3D™ for panoramic, cephalometric, and 3D scans up to 9x14 cm field of view (FOV) to capture both condyles, and the i-CAT™ FLX V-Series, which has a maximum and scalable FOV of up to 23x17 cm and comes equipped with a full 24.2x19.3 cm sensor capable of yielding a full cephalometric height 3D scan in just 4.8 seconds.
"DICOM files generated from CBCT imaging can be imported into viewing software to review correlated axial, coronal, and sagittal multiplanar reconstructed images demonstrating 3-dimensional information," Howerton explains. "The magnification, distortion, and overlap of anatomy inherent in 2D imaging is not present in 3D imaging. Software tools can be used to produce panoramic and cephalometric images, plan dental implants, and generate 3D volume renderings." The DICOM files, he adds, can also be used to produce surgical guides, prostheses, and full-coverage restorations.
W. Bruce Howerton, Jr., DDS, MS
Private Practice specializing in Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Raleigh, North Carolina