Partnership will advance diagnostic imaging capabilities

Jan. 11, 2007
Sirona, UNC Chapel Hill School of Dentistry will expand efforts to conduct clinical investigations of new 3D imaging system, GALILEOS.

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina--Sirona Dental Systems, Inc. has announced it is once again expanding its relationship with long-time partner, the UNC Chapel Hill School of Dentistry, to conduct clinical investigations of Sirona's new 3D imaging system, GALILEOS.

The School of Dentistry, a Sirona partner for more than fifteen years, will conduct research in several areas, comparing Sirona's new 3D technology to conventional 2D imaging and exploring new innovative uses of 3D technology.

Specific research areas will include the detection of carious lesions in the pits and fissures of teeth; the identification of vertical root fractures; an evaluation for implant imaging and treatment planning; and, the integration of GALILEOS 3D images with an ongoing 3D imaging study to evaluate craniofacial surgery and orthodontic treatment.

Conventional film and 2D digital imaging have historically proven insufficient in these functional areas.

"The UNC School of Dentistry Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology faculty has provided valuable clinical research and informative feedback to Sirona in exchange for access to its advanced imaging products and software upgrades prior to market release," said Dr. Don Tyndall, Director of Radiology DDS, MSPH, PhD., for the UNC Chapel Hill School of Dentistry.

"Installation of the GALILEOS system here at the School of Dentistry will enable our students, patients and faculty to benefit from a second generation advanced imaging modality of the future--volumetric cone beam computed tomography. It is clear that volumetric imaging, such as that provided by GALILEOS, will play an increasingly important role in all aspects of the practice of dentistry. We are pleased to continue this partnership with Sirona whereby the school's teaching, research and patient care missions are significantly augmented with this advanced imaging technology," added Dr. Tyndall.

"Our partnership with Sirona gives the school access to state-of-the-art imaging systems we might not otherwise have, and enables us to conduct interesting and clinically significant research that benefits the entire profession," said Dr. John Williams, the Dean of the School of Dentistry.

"This access to Sirona equipment also enables us to offer better imaging capabilities to our practitioners and patients. We believe that if the imaging improves, so does all aspects of patient care that are dependent upon imaging. Finally, we are one of five graduate training programs in oral and maxillofacial radiology in the U.S., which places UNC in a position to influence the way radiology and imaging are taught in dental schools nationwide. Advanced imaging provided by companies like Sirona help to upgrade our specialty training," added Dr. Williams.

The School of Dentistry has plans to use GALILEOS to produce images for its radiology courses. Currently most dental schools do not integrate 3D imaging into their curricula.

The expansion of CBT in dental practice and the prospect of geometric growth of this modality in the future have prompted UNC to ensure that its dental and specialty students understand and utilize this new technology effectively in the practice of dentistry. Materials generated for its courses will also be used to educate dentists who are already in practice.

For Sirona the partnership has proven invaluable to its product development initiatives. Sirona will install a new imaging system at UNC prior to market release, for clinical and scientific feedback on such qualities as ease of use, diagnostic accuracy, and software functionality.

The first system tested at UNC was Sirona's ORTHOPHOS Plus system in 1990, followed by the SIDEXIS software, CCD sensor for digital intraoral imaging, and its first digital panoramic/cephalometric imaging system, the ORTHOPHOS Plus DS in 1997-98. UNC's studies were published in respected dental journals, and presented at events nationwide.

"Our partnership with the School of Dentistry gives Sirona insight and input from many of the top dental practitioners and educators in the world," said John Smithson, marketing director for Sirona USA Imaging Systems.

"This is powerful information that we use to identify future products and enhancements. And, we gain exposure to future dentists and specialists. It truly is a remarkable partnership for both of us, and for the industry."