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Partnering with you to help create healthy smiles

How Delta Dental's cone beam computed tomography coverage benefits your practice

As of January 1, 2024, Delta Dental is making a policy adjustment to include cone beam computed tomography in our coverage.

As a dental provider, you’re likely already aware of the enhanced level of care you can provide by offering cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). Widely regarded as one of the cornerstones of modern-day dentistry, CBCT offers more features, more possibilities and more benefits for both you and your patients.

Let’s recap the basics.

What is a CBCT scan?

As a tool that has woven itself into the fabric of diagnostic and treatment methodologies, cone beam computed tomography stands out as one of the most powerful imaging tools in your dentistry arsenal. CBCT X-ray beams capture detailed, three-dimensional images of a patient's oral and maxillofacial structures, offering invaluable insights into anatomical structures that pave the way for enhanced diagnostic precision.

Cone beam CT vs. traditional dental CT

Understanding the nuances between a cone beam CT and its older sibling, traditional dental CT, is crucial for modern practices.

Yes, a CBCT scan distinguishes itself by providing a three-dimensional view of intricate anatomical structures with unparalleled precision and clarity — but that’s not all. Compared to traditional CT equipment, a CBCT machine also reduces radiation exposure, helping you align leading methodologies with your commitment to patient safety.

Capturing CBCT scan images is also a refreshingly speedy process. As a practitioner, it’s hard not to be impressed by the efficiency of CBCT in swiftly generating detailed images. The result? Expedited diagnostic procedures that usher forth a new era of accuracy and patient-focused care.

Improved accuracy? Check. Improved efficiency? Also check. Improved precision? Double check. What’s not to love about that?

Benefits of cone beam computed tomography for patients

It’s essential to remember that CBCT imaging isn’t just another tech upgrade for your practice. It’s also a game-changer for your patients. So, before we delve into the organizational advantages, let’s talk about the perks that will continue to elevate your patients’ experience.

High-quality 3D images

Saying goodbye to the days of grainy X-rays is as much a benefit for your patients as it is for you. Remember, while you might be a pro at deciphering blurry screens and pixelated images, your patients likely aren’t. Access to high-definition snapshots of their dental landscape provides a much more comprehensive view, facilitating a patient-centered approach where individuals can play a more active role in their dental journey.

Improved dental care

Cone beam computed tomography allows you to elevate the quality of your care. From a patient perspective, it’s a shortcut to better-planned treatments — without the potential for expensive detours or pesky surprises. Just a straightforward route to a healthier smile, all mapped out with exemplary precision and top-notch attention to detail.

Reduced radiation exposure

Studies have repeatedly proven that, compared to traditional imaging, there is significantly less radiation exposure with CBCT, meaning patients get the images required for their treatment without the stress associated with more intensive X-ray procedures. This can be a comforting factor for many patients, especially for those who may experience anxiety about dental appointments and procedures.

Quick and non-invasive imaging

Let’s put ourselves in the patient’s chair for a moment. Traditional X-rays can sometimes feel nerve-wracking, as all those loud buzzing machine noises and flashing lights can make for an intense experience. With a CBCT scan, it's a different story. No whirring machinery or medical personnel is hiding behind a screen. All patients need to do is take a deep breath and let the CBCT machine do its job.

Enhanced patient education

For most patients, deciphering dental lingo is as complex as trying to read a text in a foreign language. Cone beam CT images act as an interactive visual aid, breaking down dental jargon into a language everyone can understand. This “show-and-tell” element of CBCT scan images makes it easier for patients to see what’s happening in their mouths, facilitating a personalized dental journey in which they’re active participants rather than passive spectators.

Monitored treatment progress

More often than not, dental journeys are a marathon, not a sprint. With cone beam computed tomography, there are no guessing games or wondering because patients can be kept in the loop by seeing their progress in real-time, providing the reassurance people are looking for when visiting the dentist.

Increased safety

Your commitment to patient well-being can be achieved. It can be a promise reflected in the safety measures that cone beam computed tomography brings. It’s not just about reduced radiation, although that’s certainly part of it. CBCT technology is calibrated to ensure precise imaging with minimal discomfort, instilling patients with confidence that their safety isn’t just a box your practice checks off the list — it's a top priority.

Benefits of offering CBCT imaging for practices

What is a CBCT X-ray’s primary business advantage? That’s a tricky question, as there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. The benefits of this technology for dental practices are many and varied, and the ones that apply to you will depend on the specifics of your business. That said, here’s a comprehensive list of ways you can harness the power of cone beam computed tomography to improve your practice’s operations.

Improved diagnostic accuracy

CBCT is an imaging powerhouse that elevates patient care by skyrocketing your diagnostic game into a precision art form. It’s all about seeing clearer and spotting issues with a sharpness rivaling the keen eye of the very best oral detective. In other words, you can leave no stone unturned and develop the ability to turn every examination into a thorough and accurate oral health exploration.

Time and cost efficiency

While patient care is undoubtedly your first priority, that doesn’t change the fact that time is money. CBCT technology can help streamline your processes, making for smoother operations and quicker turnarounds that reduce patient waiting time and maximize the number of patients you can fit into your day. You’ll also increase savings in other areas because CBCT merges various imaging tools into one, reducing the operational costs associated with the maintenance and energy consumption of operating multiple machines simultaneously.

Expanded scope of services

CBCT is far from a one-trick pony. Rather, it’s your ticket to an expanded service menu. From common problems like tooth decay and gum infections to more complex cases like root canals and implants, access to CBCT imaging broadens your scope of services, turning your practice into a one-stop shop for a host of diverse dental needs.

Attracting and retaining patients

CBCT can help boost patient loyalty, which makes it easier to attract new faces — and keep them coming back! Patients love advanced tech because it shows your practice is on the cutting edge and committed to providing the latest and safest services. So, harnessing the power of cone beam computed tomography and thoroughly explaining the benefits to patients can be a winning strategy for fostering lasting relationships by turning one-time visitors into long-term patients.

Competitive advantage

In the competitive world of high-end dentistry, there are no prizes for participation. Growing your practice effectively is all about leading the race, not simply being in it. CBCT imaging allows your practice to be a market leader, demonstrate your commitment to top-tier dental care and stand out from the crowd by making you the go-to choice in a sea of options.

Precise treatment planning

A detailed CBCT scan allows you to pinpoint minor problems (that are often imperceptible using other technology) before they turn into bigger issues. This allows for a more precise level of planning with the ability to turn complex cases into well-orchestrated procedures and ensure optimal results in the shortest possible time frame.

Improved patient satisfaction

Offering CBCT creates a stress-free, holistic dental experience that leaves a lasting, positive impression. Patients appreciate advanced, personalized care — and satisfied patients are the backbone of any thriving dental business. In short, happy patients make for a happy practice with happy, healthy smiles all around.

Marketing opportunities

Engaging visuals are the currency of modern marketing, and a CBCT X-ray can turn the mundane into something extraordinary. The 3D imaging capability of CBCT scan images can add a little wow factor to your marketing materials and an air of professionalism to your online platforms, helping you create a strong first impression that lingers in the minds of potential patients.

Improved clinical outcomes

Results matter, and getting the best results without personalizing your treatment approach is hard. After all, no two smiles are the same. A cone beam CT provides an in-depth understanding of every patient's anatomy, allowing for personalized treatment plans that elevate clinical outcomes by turning standardized procedures into carefully curated processes based on the unique needs of each individual.

Enhance your quality of care with Delta Dental

For providers, this policy change is more than just a gesture. It's an invitation to enhance the quality of your services and provide precision and additional layers of depth to your diagnostic and treatment planning capabilities.

For more information, you can reference this  CBCT flyer for providers, and review your 2024 notice and 2024 Provider Handbook.