Dental TI Technology Minute

David Hanning

David Hanning
David Hanning is the founder and CEO of Dental TI. He has been providing quality image solutions and technology support for over 20 years.

Recent Posts

How to Ensure Your CBCT Purchase Goes Smoothly (Besides Buying From Dental TI).

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 31, 2018 4:18:45 PM / by David Hanning posted in Dental Technology, 3D Imaging, Cone Beam, CBCT, Dental TI

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Dental TI sells, installs, trains, and supports CBCT systems. Our experience has allowed us a firm understanding of a process that makes a CBCT install a success. I have created a checklist that can help any buyer purchasing CBCT from any company. Hopefully, this will help CBCT purchasers avoid a "nightmare" like some experiences described on various message boards and forums. Before you speak to any salesperson:

1) If you have an existing 2D Panoramic or CBCT system that you will be trading in,  get a wholesale quote from a few different re-sellers of used 2D and 3D units. Three that come to mind are Renew Digital, Capital Dental Equipment, and Dental Planet. You will need a picture of the unit, a picture of the model and serial number plaque,  any service history, and the shot count of the unit. 

2) If trading in and you still owe on the existing unit get the exact amount that you owe.

3) If you are participating in a trade-in program and wish to stay with the manufacturer, select the CBCT model that best meets your needs which will be driven by FOVs appropriate to your needs. 

4) Query the DentalTown community for a dentist or two that would be willing to share what they paid for the equivalent unit that you think fits your needs. 
Try to get a "trade-in" deal and a buy with no trade so you have real numbers when you speak to sales. Also, ask the dentists who share prices whether they have any regrets or whether there were any unfulfilled expectations or outright misrepresentations in the purchase process.

5) Determine how you will finance the purchase or whether you will be writing a check. Most dental finance companies are extremely easy to work with if you have good credit. Contact a couple as well as your local bank and find out who can offer you the best package. Dental finance companies are happy to provide deferment periods as well as financing for up to 84 months. If you think you may want to pay the loan off early, have the company verify in writing that there is no prepayment penalty. Choose the company you wish to work with and get approved. Have a conversation with them regarding the payment to whichever vendor you will choose. Ask them how the vendor payment is handled (i.e. deposit and then the full amount due upon delivery). 

6) Check with your state's Department of Radiology regarding requirements for CBCT use in the state. Is a shielding assessment required and daily quality checks? If daily quality checks are required, you will need to purchase quality assurance phantoms from the manufacturer. Ensure that this cost is accounted for in your estimate if required.

Now engage the manufacturer:

1) Call the manufacturer and ask for a list of certified distributors in your area. Ask who the manufacturer's rep is as well as their contact information.

2) From the list of distributors, pick the one that you think you would like to work with as well as at least two others. Contact them and ask to have their CBCT specialist contact you regarding your interest in the specific unit that you a considering. Ask each rep to provide:

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Look Before You Leap: A Buyer's Guide to CBCT

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 4, 2018 10:19:29 AM / by David Hanning posted in 3D Imaging, Cone Beam, CBCT, Dental Technology

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When evaluating CBCT,  I recommend downloading BlueSky Bio software because it is free and very feature rich. If guided implant surgery is one of your goals, you can use BlueSky Bio to design surgical guides . The BlueSky software has a great video tutorial library to guide you through basic functionality to the more advanced features, so, it is easy to learn as your needs evolve. 


The next step is to request DICOM volumes from various manufacturers - both small and large volumes. Ask for volumes with restorations so you can see how the unit being evaluated performs when restorations are present. All CBCT units will produce artifacts such as scatter and beam hardening in the scan when restorations are present. This is why it is often necessary to use a scan appliance (basically an impression tray with radiopaque markers) and a dual scan technique to allow for the alignment of a scanned model and the patient's CBCT. When those two volumes are combined, a surgical guide can be planned and 3D printed.

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3 Factors to Ensure Quality X-Ray Images

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 12, 2018 3:37:37 PM / by David Hanning posted in dental sensors, Dental Technology, Training, Intraoral Sensors, Dental TI

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Many practices report that they experience very different image quality from their sensors than they had seen at a trade show or on a manufacturer's website before they purchased. The reality is that there are many factors which affect the quality of the image returned from your intraoral sensors. Luckily, you and your staff can optimize image quality by following these three steps, none of which are particularly difficult.

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Varying Slice Thickness: A Practical Example of CBCT for Endo

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 21, 2017 11:04:27 AM / by David Hanning posted in CBCT, Cone Beam, Dental Technology, 3D Imaging, Dental TI, Training

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Last week during a CBCT training on the Prexion Excelsior Pro,  I came across a great example of the benefit of varying slice thickness in CBCT software. CBCT volumes show 3 different 2D perspectives (axial, sagittal, and coronal) of the same location. Because a CBCT volume is a composite of many "slices" in the same plane, CBCT x-ray allows the user to vary the thickness from a single voxel slice to a composite view of multiple slices in the same plane. A digital PA will look similar to a composite view of many slices. 

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CBCT 201 - What is slice thickness and how varying it offers a different view

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 21, 2017 10:35:12 AM / by David Hanning posted in CBCT, Cone Beam, 3D Imaging, Training, Dental TI, Dental Technology

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Understanding how to vary slice thickness and why and when you  want to do that. I realized that for those that are new to CBCT the concept of slice thickness is foreign and needs further explanation.

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CBCT 101: 10 Fundamentals for Success

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 18, 2017 5:16:14 PM / by David Hanning posted in CBCT, 3D Imaging, Cone Beam, Dental TI

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CBCT is quickly becoming the standard of care for dental radiographs. As more dentists experience the radiographic information that CBCT offers, they are realizing that doing certain procedures without CBCT increases the risk of failure. If you are new to CBCT or are considering purchasing a CBCT unit, the following information may be helpful in preparing you for what you should learn at a minimum.

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Making your technology an investment

[fa icon="calendar'] May 24, 2017 12:28:43 PM / by David Hanning posted in 3D Imaging, CBCT, Intraoral Cameras, Intraoral Sensors, Training

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Many Dental offices consider themselves to be “digital” offices. They have incorporated computers at
the front desk and in the treatment rooms and have software that manages their practice
and electronic images – both camera and radiographic. The dentists with such offices have invested
time, money, and often times have endured a good amount of frustration to get there. In addition,
many high- tech offices are under utilizing their systems and only deriving a fraction of the benefit that
could be garnered with the correct “vision of utilization” and “proper training” to achieve it.

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Creating a Surgical Guide with your CBCT

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 17, 2017 11:48:01 AM / by David Hanning posted in CBCT, Dental Technology, 3D Imaging, 179 Tax Deduction, Training, Cone Beam

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Implant dentistry was once left to periodontists,  and prosthodontists. Today, a growing number of general dentists are also placing implants. With the proper education, a general dentist can add thousands of dollars of revenue every month by adding implants to the office procedures.  One tool that is key to making the process more certain and predictable is CBCT technology. With a CBCT scanner it is possible to create a surgical guide even in heavily restored cases. Today we will illustrate the process of using the J.Morita R100 CBCT scanner to scan a heavily restored patient with a scan appliance. The scan appliance allows for the alignment of the CBCT (Dicom infoormation) information and the digital model  (STL file) that is created   and use BlueSky Bio software to use the CBCT information in designing and printing a surgical guide for implant placement. 

A primary challenge of using CBCT for implant planning is managing image scatter due to restorations. Scatter appears as rays of distortion as the x-ray photons do not penetrate radiopaque restorations and instead reflect at the surface.  This can make it difficult for the software to match the CBCT information (subginigival info) with an intraoral model(scanned or stone). At Dental TI, we have created and educate on a protocol that provides accurate surgical guides, even on heavily restored patients. With the J.Morita R100 CBCT unit, a surgical table, and a scan appliance, and using  BlueSky Bio software, you have the full technology package to plan and create surgical guides and place implants with dramatically improved accuracy and success. 

One of Dental TI's clients , Esteban Velez DDS, who practices in Avon Indiana, shares a case below where he used his J.Morita R100 and a scan appliance to create a surgical guide. The detailed steps of the case and corresponding images are below.  

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What is Important When Making a CBCT Decision?

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 6, 2016 10:24:18 AM / by David Hanning posted in CBCT, Cone Beam, Dental Technology

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We deal with dentists everyday who are considering CBCT. The questions are always "should I get a CBCT and which one." For this discussion I will assume that the first question is yes and give some pointers in making the decision process easier.


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CBCT and 3D Printing for Implant Planning

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 11, 2016 6:36:34 PM / by David Hanning posted in CBCT, Dental Technology, 3D Imaging, Cone Beam

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When looking towards a CBCT investment start with the end in mind. Why are you thinking about CBCT and what will you be using it to accomplish? For many general dentists the answer is predictably placing implants. If this is your motivation, then it is safe to say that guided implant surgery may also be something that you are pursuing to achieve the highest degree of a predictable outcome.

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