The value of digital technology in occlusal analysis
Ashish B. Parmar is among the many clinicians taking advantage of the T-Scan to enhance the cosmetic and restorative treatment process at his practice.
“I was introduced to the technology when I was learning from the best teachers of occlusion in America,” he says. “I saw how easy it was to use and found out how it would benefit my practice, increasing my understanding of the T-Scan as one of the best occlusion analysis systems in the world.
“One of the main benefits of the T-Scan is that it is a visual dental tool. It enables you to scan patients’ occlusion, which can be viewed very clearly and easily onscreen. You can then use these images to effectively communicate with patients about their occlusal condition.
“Most dentists use articulating paper to measure occlusion, but the bite marks that are left on the paper can be wiped off. If something goes wrong later on, there’s no accurate record to demonstrate that you provided the right treatment to the patient. Therefore, the T-Scan can support you from a dento-legal perspective, as patients’ occlusal records are stored directly on your computer.
“At our practice, we carry out a lot of advanced treatments, including smile makeovers, porcelain veneers and other restorations. When you are doing such cases, you want to have the confidence that – on completion of treatment – there are no excessive occlusal forces on the new restorations you place. The key feature of the T-Scan is that, unlike articulating paper, it can measure the timing and force of a bite, which is the best way of checking that a patient’s occlusion is balanced and comfortable, enabling you to ensure a long-lasting restoration.”
The versatility of the T-Scan means the technology can support a variety of indications, as Ashish explains, “It can be used to carry out a pre-operative diagnostic occlusal record, which can be very useful in case of patients complaining about problems with their bite, or breaking their teeth/restorations. The T-Scan is also an excellent analysis tool. In cosmetic dental cases, I very often use the T-Scan at the end of a procedure to carefully check the bite and ensure treatment has been delivered correctly.
“Furthermore, the T-Scan can be used in dental implant cases. If you are fitting an implant prosthesis, for example, then the bite has to be adjusted in a very precise way, whereby the teeth meet first and the implant-retained crown second. Again, the T-Scan is beneficial in helping to validate and ensure that the bite is correct for implant-retained crowns or bridges.
“With the T-Scan, I can check patients’ occlusal records before, during and after treatment. In the case of extensive restorative work, the T-Scan enables me to track how a patient’s occlusion changes during the course of treatment. However, I use the T-Scan most frequently after dental procedures to ensure the work I have delivered is balanced and comfortable – with chewing forces that are fairly even on both sides of the mouth.”
Although many dentists use articulating paper alone to measure occlusion, Ashish believes this method is not reliable. As such, clinicians can find themselves unnecessarily adjusting teeth or not solving a patient’s occlusal problem properly.
“That’s why I would 100 per cent recommend the T-Scan in conjunction with articulating paper,” adds Ashish. “It is a very accurate and visual tool for checking patients’ occlusion. The technology is really easy for dentists to learn how to use and implement. In terms of communication, the T-Scan can also demonstrate to patients where the problems are with their bite, which is a major USP for dental practices.
“Certainly, at my practice, we have had national and international patients seek treatment from us because we have the T-Scan. I’ve even had a patient fly in all the way from Egypt for treatment. He had been attending a fantastic practice in Cairo, where he had numerous dental implants placed, but he had a slight occlusal problem. The patient carried out a lot of online research and discovered the T-Scan, before coming to our practice because he found out that we use it. We then spent around 45 minutes to an hour carrying out minor adjustments to his bite together. This truly demonstrates that if you have the right dental tools and technology at your disposal, patients will seek out your services.”
Find out how the T-Scan can enhance your cosmetic and restorative dental workflow by contacting Clark Dental today.