October 2010, Volume 31, Issue 8
Published by AEGIS Communications
i-CAT System-the Leader in Image Flexibility
The use of CBCT is "really at the beginning stages,"says Mark Hillebrandt, Director of Product Management. "I think most dentists choose to rely on a combination of CBCT and 2-D imaging. In fact, that's one of the main reasons why our i-CAT® system is designed as a two-in-one device with both state-of-the-art 3-D functionality and traditional 2-D panoramic."
Charles Ravetto, Vice President of Marketing, agrees. "CBCT and 2-D imaging are definitely complementary products. When we look to the future, we think dentists are going to choose this combination for quite a while. There are a number of procedures that really lend themselves well to the 3-D technology-implants, for example."
Hillebrandt notes that while CBCT is used for a wide variety of procedures, the company believes that the restoration of implants has great potential. "CBCT can play a very important role, because a restoration on an implant is really a system: both of those pieces have to work together. So we think there is a huge opportunity to plan that restoration, implant, and abutment using CBCT technology. Also, endodontic treatment is another strong opportunity for CBCT."
"Another area is orthodontics," Ravetto adds, "where there are two factors driving the use of this technology. First is the impression-which patients don't enjoy and which isn't a completely reliable procedure in my opinion. Second is producing customizable appliances, which allows patients to remove their braces significantly earlier."
According to Hillebrandt, the i-CAT scanner is the leader in the North American market. "It's quite unique," he says. "It has the greatest amount of flexibility of any scanner on the market when it comes to image and dose selections. The clinician can take anything from a shot of the whole head to an area 2-cm high. This flexibility reduces the radiation that the patient experiences, which is a fantastic benefit."
The i-CAT is also the only large field-of-view scanner in the North American market with a dedicated 2-D panoramic function. "It's a two-in-one machine, able to take a pan or a full 3-D scan," Hillebrandt explains. "It's also an incredibly fast machine. One of the things that we learned very early in this market was that dentists really don't want to be slowed down by technology. They're looking for technology to complement their practice and their workflow. With the i-CAT, it's less than 2 minutes from the time the patient sits down at the machine to the time that the doctor is planning the treatment. That's quite unique in this market."
To put these technologies in practice, training is crucial, Ravetto acknowledges. "For anyone interested in CBCT, we offer regular webinar programs. It's doctors speaking to doctors, so they really get a good feel for using the equipment, and discussing real-life experiences. When you invest in i-CAT, we provide on-site training for the entire team. We also hold regional users' group meetings-these are very popular, usually standing room only."
"Also, we have a fully functional imaging/training center in Raleigh, North Carolina," Ravetto adds. "Radiologists provide this important training with a strong radiology focus where clinicians can get hands-on experience and learn how scan data gets analyzed." Additionally, the company's annual 3-D Congress features renowned thought leaders providing practical and clinical applications of cone beam technology.
Both men see significant progress for cone beam in dentistry. Hillebrandt explains, "From starting out with just capturing a cone beam scan, it's moved to doing planning with that scan. The next move is beyond just the scan and the plan: it's planning the treatment and executing that treatment by combining all that information together."
The company is heavily investing in expanding the possibilities of its scanners. "We believe that cone beam machines should replace the outdated methodology of traditional analog impressions," Hillebrandt says. "So we are very focused on the technology that's going to deliver impression-free workflow for implants, restorative dentistry, and orthodontics-while making sure that our products always offer the lowest possible radiation options to the dentist."
"The i-CAT has been a leader in the industry," Ravetto concludes. "Our goal is to remain at the forefront of the technology. We have some great advanced technology in our pipeline that we think is going to be able to take this technology to the next level and make this a mainstream, acceptable standard of care."
Imaging Sciences International
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