Expert Reviews

The future is digital

Dr Rudi Mukherjee explains how he incorporated digital technology into his own implant workflow.

In the last several years, digital technology has had a significant impact on UK dentistry and practitioners are beginning to appreciate the benefits of using digital equipment in their practice, particularly when it comes to diagnostics and treatment planning.

The benefits of digital technology are most keenly being felt in the implant sector, where extremely high levels of precision and accuracy are required to produce the best result. Indeed, with the popularity of dental implants in the UK at present, more and more dental professionals are waking up to the possibilities that digital technology can be affordable. One such dentist is Dr Rudi Mukherjee, who is a pioneer in incorporating digital technology into his own implant workflow.

Dr Mukherjee studied at King’s College London, qualifying in 2008 – after which he undertook his implant training in Birmingham, under the renowned Professor Hilt Tatum. He says, ‘While the quality of my training was top-notch, it was at a time when there was not as much of an emphasis on digital technology. Nowadays, with implant procedures, we are seeing far better results when digital technology is utilised, which is why I have been keen to incorporate the latest technology into my workflow.

‘I undertake a lot of implant surgery and full-mouth reconstructions in conjunction with implants and I think using digital technology not only improves the initial clinical and aesthetic outcomes for my patients, but also increases the overall longevity of our restorations. Every case we take is now scanned, planned digitally and undertaken with a digitally printed surgical guide – and it’s all done with CT guided technology which has allowed us to do a lot more than we’d usually do.

‘Our first big step into digital dentistry was acquiring the CT scanner. If you want to go fully digital, the key purchases will always be a means to capture bone scans (CT scanners) and to capture the intraoral, soft tissue – by means of an intraoral scanner. When it came to choosing which product to invest in first, we ultimately chose the CT scanner, because we decided that this would be able to give us a bigger advantage in terms of information. After all, we can still take analogue impressions of the mouth and these can be digitised if needs be.’

Dr Mukherjee chose the PaX-i3D Smart from Vatech. The premium choice for implantologists, this product is able to provide two separate, high quality images with just one scan, meaning the practitioners can take a CT image and an Auto Pano image without exposing patients to unnecessary X-ray dosage.

‘We chose to rent our PaX-i3D Smart machine from Vatech, rather than buying it outright,’ says Dr Mukherjee. ‘With digital dental technology advancing at the rate it is, I think this is the best approach. Why would you want to make as significant an investment as this when a newer, better model will be released in a couple of years? By renting our CT scanner, we have the freedom to upgrade as and when we need to, meaning we can stay up-to-date at all times. After all, this scanner is the lifeblood of my practice – and if we want to continue providing the very best service to our patients, we need to remain as advanced as possible.

‘The PaX-i3D Smart is an excellent piece of technology. It provides all the information we need to perform the type of procedures we undertake on a daily basis. The image quality is great and the software is very user-friendly- and the team at Vatech is very responsive to any suggestions we make. In fact, Vatech is precisely the kind of company that we knew we wanted to work with. They make you feel less like a customer and more like a colleague, which has helped us a great deal. What’s more -and I consider this very important – Vatech’s educational goals are similar to our own, which means they are eager to help us work with others to improve standards across the board.

‘Indeed, we are eager to stay ahead of the curve, but at the same time we want to find ways to help other practitioners make the most of the technology that is available to them at the moment. Our intention, through hosting a study club with the support of Vatech, is to help try and raise the game for everyone who is interested in making the move to digital, whether it’s in implantology or not, in order to raise the overall standard of dentistry in the country.’

PUBLISHED IN: Private Dentistry, September 2017
DENTIST: Dr. Rudi Mukherjee
DENTAL PRACTICE: Eastleigh Dental
ADDRESS: Eastleigh, Ewell Road, Cheam, Surrey SM3 8AN
TELEPHONE: 020 8642 4221
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