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Patient care benefits from improvements

Patient care benefits from improvements in CT scanning technology

As an early adopter of CT scanning technology, Dr Kish Soneji of The Dental Implant Centre at 61 Harley Street, arguably has more experience of the devices than most.

“I was the first dentist in the country to have a CT scanner in-house to do the kind of work I do,” he says of the CT scanner he acquired from Clark Dental in 2000. It proved so useful that the scanner soon became an essential element of the practice.

When a water leak at the practice damaged the original machine beyond repair, a new Sirona digital scanner was ordered, again from Clark Dental. Clark Dental’s extensive knowledge and long experience of 3D imaging was an essential factor in the choice of supplier, along with its impressive service level both before and after the sale.

The change between the two scanners both highlighted the rapid advances made in CT scanning technology in the interim and made possible new levels of patient care.

“We are an implant centre, so the CT scanner is an important tool. But the technology of the old unit meant it was a real dinosaur. It was the best thing you could buy at the time, but to do the scan and collate the data took forever, anything up to half an hour,” says Dr Soneji. “The new, state of the art, scanner takes 18 seconds to do a scan and three minutes to put it on my screen. Tremendous! 

“The other advantage is the quality of the images… you can pick up certain anomalies, problems that patients have such as problems with their sinuses, infections and things like that,” he adds. The increased speed at which scans are completed makes it far easier for patients to remain comfortably still, further increasing the clarity of the images, he says.

One recent case highlights these benefits directly. A female patient in her 40s was referred to the practice for a relatively straightforward implant procedure due to a failing molar which was supporting a bridge, but initial scans highlighted a significant number of additional problems that were waiting for her in the wings. 

Additional examination of the CT scans showed low bone volumes, a compromised canine and then evidence of infection around various teeth. “You can’t tell with a two dimensional scan, but when you started slicing the CT scan images you could see she had an infection in most of her front teeth. And she had root fillings, which is not good, with further big areas of infection,” recounts Dr Soneji.

In this situation the patient could be offered significantly better standards of care that would have been the case without the modern CT scanner, once the reality of her condition was exposed.

“All of a sudden your treatment plan becomes more comprehensive,” says Dr Soneji.  “There was no need for any heavy discussion really, because she could see the problems on the scans. She already had lots of crown and bridgework. The fact that patients can see the scans for themselves means you just have to narrate the story they can see already, and they can see there are these time bombs waiting to cause them trouble.”

A comprehensive treatment plan was agreed upon, amounting to a “full mouth makeover”. All previous crowns and bridgework were removed, along with all the decay from the teeth, showing the full extent of the destruction. “It was caused by history of infection and decay in the teeth, and poor quality dentistry, at the end of the day. If you rush things you miss things,” says Dr Soneji.

Multiple implants were placed to allow the fittings of new bridgework, with a temporary bridge being fitted during the process to allow the patient to attend a wedding. Root canal work was carried out, while a brace was fitted to the patient’s lower teeth to straighten them so that they looked as good as the new upper set. 

The entire process required multiple visits over a period of nearly 18 months. “If you can give them a good reason to have things done, and explain exactly where they are heading if they don’t have it done, it makes it easier for us to provide that quality of care,” says Dr Soneji.

For more information call Clark Dental on 01268 733 146, email or visit