Dr Rao Alfonso qualified as a dentist from the University of Chieti in Italy. He has been working in the UK for the last 12 years. He owns multiple practices – mostly in and around the Bristol area – running these either on his own or alongside business partners.
In the last few years, he has focused his dentistry within dental implantology. This is complemented by a little cosmetic dentistry. During the past decade he has built a reputation for both his clinical skill and teaching ability, which he shares through the Delta Dental Academy. This he founded in collaboration with Dr Massimo Giovarruscio to deliver world-class training for dentists and dental nurses in the UK in everything from implantology to endodontics, periodontology and imaging techniques. As a key opinion leader for several companies and organisations as well, Dr Alfonso accrued expansive and diverse experience within different areas of the dental sector. While recently refurbishing one of his practices and in the market for a new CBCT to support his implant dentistry, Dr Alfonso chose to introduce a Green X from Vatech.
Why Alfonso chose a Vatech CBCT scanner
Here he shares his decision-making process and how the state-of-the-art equipment impacts his dentistry.
‘There were two factors in my deciding to purchase a Green X from Vatech.
‘When working as an associate many years ago, my practice introduced a Vatech CBCT machine. We had previously been used to other well-known brands in the UK. But the quality of the scans from the new Vatech equipment was very good.
‘So too was the standard of customer support we received. Even though we had one of the first Vatech CBCTs in the country, the team was extremely helpful.
‘I later went on to buy my own practice and was looking for a new CBCT scanner to support my dentistry. The quality of the images was extremely important to me for two reasons – firstly, these are important for good patient care, both in terms of accuracy of diagnostics and treatment planning and with regards to patient communication.
Secondly, I give a lot of presentations and lectures at different conferences and events, so I needed images to be of high enough quality to use them for this purpose. I was utilising the services of Digital Dental (who we continue to use for all our digital equipment) and John Anderton suggested a Vatech machine. I trusted John completely, so combining his recommendation with my own previous experience with a Vatech machine, we decided to follow the advice – and we’ve had no regrets!”
What to look for in a CBCT scanner
Considering the differences between the Green X and other CBCT technologies available in UK dentistry right now, Dr Alfonso comments:
‘There are a lot of CBCT scanners on the market.
‘Like everything, the best equipment will depend on what you want to do with it. And therefore what it is capable of doing.
‘The type of dentistry I provide, as well as the professional presentations I deliver, mean that a sharp quality image is essential.
‘However, it is crucial that is achieved while also minimising exposure for my patients.
‘The Vatech equipment ticked all the boxes. It offered more bespoke settings than others, with more than the standard five by eight field of view (FOV) all at a lower radiation dose.
‘What’s more, it does all this with quick scanning. The speed of image capture is really important. It reduces the risk of patient movement, improving their comfort. Whilst also helping to ensure consistently high-quality images.’
Features of the Green X CBCT scanner
The Green X is a four-in-one digital X-ray imaging system. It offers multiple FOVs and a faster green scan time. It can scan for a CBCT image in just 2.9 seconds.
The Green X is available with an endodontic mode with high resolution imaging. This features the smallest voxel size of 49.5µ for CBCT scans to optimise treatment of highly-focused regions of interest. There is also an Insight 2.0 panoramic imaging feature. This offers a unique in-depth visualisation of a single focal trough. As well as 3D model scanning to enabling storing plasters as digital models.
‘Aside from the low dose technology and the exceptional image quality, Vatech’s Green X machine is simple to use and has a modern design that fits well into the space in which we stored our previous CBCT,’ Dr Alfonso continues.
‘That its size and design have not been compromised to achieve better image quality and range is impressive.’
Though Dr Alfonso uses the standard imaging most often, he does work with an endodontic specialist in his practice who makes use of the endodontic features. However, he feels very passionately that all clinicians who are serious about growing their dental implant business should consider an in-house CBCT scanner.
‘As a teacher and lecturer, I have this conversation all the time. We discuss whether dentists should routinely take CBCT images for implant patients.
‘Many are traditionally concerned about unnecessarily exposing patients to the radiation. But the low dose technology now available means exposure is minimal.
‘In fact, there is almost no reason to take a 2D image. For a similar radiation dose you can have a 3D scan with more detail.
‘This is an extremely important part of many clinical workflows, but especially for implantology. I take a CBCT scan for every implant I plan to place.
‘I think much of the guidance in the modern profession is moving towards more routine CBCT imaging – particularly from a medicolegal point of view.
‘Plus, I always consider what would I like if I was the patient. I would like the clinician to know as much as possible of my anatomy to plan my treatment in fine detail rather than guess from a 2D image.
‘As such, I would strongly recommend that anyone who places a lot of implants to acquire a CBCT scanner. Or at least work with a centre that provides imaging by referral if you are just getting started.’
‘I would also recommend the Vatech Green X CBCT to colleagues,’ Dr Alfonso says.
‘I have already purchased a second for a new practice. It’s customisable settings and image quality really set it apart.
‘Modern dentistry is rapidly becoming more digital. So, CBCT scans will become almost compulsory in a lot of procedures we’re doing.
‘Having the best quality images with a low dose is what every clinician should aim to get for their patients.’