According to Eric Paley, CEO of Brontes Technologies, an estimated 50% of the roughly 50 million dental impressions taken each year in the U.S. are substandard, and require a second one or lots of finish work by the dentist to get them to fit properly. “Patients and doctors hate them,” stated Paley. Is the new 3-D Imaging technology out of Brontes the solution to our impression problems?
The Wall Street Journal profiled Brontes Technologies this week and explained: “Dentists, who are usually sole practitioners, typically average several impressions each day. And dental labs, which create the dental appliances, often find that a wax or plaster-like cast may not be adequate to create a proper denture, and may request a second impression be taken. Another potential pitfall is that the impression, which is usually shipped to the lab, could get damaged or lost in shipping, Mr. Paley said.”
Paley explainted that, “The Brontes technology aims to provide a consistently accurate image for the fabricator in order to assure proper fit and comfort of dental appliances. A dentist using the Brontes system scans a wand, about the size and shape of an electric toothbrush, over each arch of a patient’s teeth while it captures their images via a camera.
The process, which is painless and conducted in the dentist’s office, creates a digital video image that is transmitted to a flat-screen panel. It presents a detailed, life-size image that can be moved and spun for viewing at different angles by simply touching the image on screen. The digital image is forwarded to a dental lab so it can produce a permanent denture or crown.
The dentist can also save the image to access when ready to apply the crown, in order to preview the work when the new item comes in. The dentist can also maintain permanent images of the patient’s mouth to track changes in patients’ dental health over time, to prevent and diagnose problems. A traditional X-ray is still necessary to determine if there is decay underneath the surface of teeth or gums.”
As regards to the technology the Journal qouted two different viewpoints:
“As for Brontes’s technology, Mr. Freedman, director of marketing of the Dental Trade Alliance, said that in the short term, dentists using it may find it difficult to find laboratories that use digital images to fabricate appliances. “I think it’s still a relatively small universe.”
But Dell Dine, vice president of research and development at National Dentex Corp., one of the largest operators of dental laboratories in the U.S., said it is just a matter of time before a support technology is developed for labs.”
What are your thoughts? Will this be a standard technology in a few years time?
Source: FRANK BYRT, Wall Street Journal