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01 Jan 2008 | Australasian Dental Practice

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New cone beam imaging centre opens in Five Dock

Digital Imaging Radiography Cone Beam Computed Tomography

The Canada Bay Medical Centre for Excellence in the Sydney suburb of Five Dock is the latest facility to commence offering cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scans to dental practitioners for use in implant planning, oral surgery, orthodontics and other applications.

"Cone beam scanning offers dentists a greatly increased level of diagnostic capability which ultimately leads to more predictable clinical outcomes," said Dr Malcolm Coombs, a partner in the new venture in cooperation with the Gammasonics Institute. Dr Coombs, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, is well-known as a dental radiographic specialist through his academic roles at both the University of Sydney and Sydney Dental Hospital and the International Academy of Dentomaxillofacial Radiology.

"Cone beam scans give dentists a three-dimensional representation of the head that allows us to accurately gauge the positions of teeth, density of bone, location of nerves and a range of other information at a significantly lower radiation dose over a traditional fan beam CT scan. We can provide this information in hardcopy form, in an electronic version with viewing software or as a DICOM file for use in implant planning software such as NobelGuide or Simplant."

The Canada Bay Medical Centre for Excellence will also be offering Patient Image Profiling, Cephalometric Marking and Dolphin 3D analysis services. It is anticipated that 6-10 dedicated Dentomaxillofacial imaging sites will be set-up by the group around Australia in the near future.

The Canada Bay Medical Centre is owned by Gammasonics Institute for Medical Research who are well known in the dental industry for radiation consultancy incorporating EPA compliance testing, shielding design and calculations. Gammasonics is also responsible for the design and manufacture of the Gammaprobe - an instrument for surgical lymph node biopsies for breast cancer and melanoma.

The Canada Bay Medical Centre for Excellence chose the Imaging Sciences i-CAT cone beam imaging system from Body Logic Resources for the new facility. The i-CAT can provide a detailed 3D analysis of bone structure, nerve canals, sinus walls, cortical borders; the TMJ including the condyles and surrounding structures, bone morphology and joint space; 3D airway assessment; implant studies; bone density studies; ceph scans for orthodontic treatment; and reconstructed 2D panoramic views. It is also ideal for assessing and locating impacted and ectopic teeth, supernumeraries and unerupted teeth.

"The i-CAT has proven itself as one of the best cone beam systems in the world today," Dr Coombs said. "I've seen many scans from the one installed at Westmead Hospital so I am very confident in its capabilities. There are also more than 20 units installed around Australia that can testify to the backup, service and support you require with any complex imaging technology.

"Apart from using the latest technology, one of the advantages we can offer to dentists referring to us is a full report on the scan. Access to cone beam imaging is fairly new to the majority of dentists so I will be able to both inform and educate practitioners using our service. We've had a cone beam system at Sydney Dental Hospital for some years so I've had the benefit of reviewing hundreds of scans and seen many forms of pathology.

"We often forget that as practitioners, even though we often scan to look at specific areas of interest in the mouth, we are medico-legally required to report on the entire x-ray. A panoramic view contains an enormous amount of information and a cone beam scan contains much, much more.

"We recently scanned a patient for an implant, for example, and the report we provided with the scan also detailed a thickening of the mucous membrane in the patient's right maxillary sinus. With this information, the dentist can thus make the patient aware of the condition and suggest a referral to a GP or an ENT specialist for further examination. So we hope offering this type of extra service will assist dentists to embrace this exciting new technology."

The Canada Bay Medical Centre for Excellence is located at 101 Kings Road, Canada Bay, near Five Dock and can be contacted on (02) 9713-9111. For more info, see

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