Having recently been announced as Straumann’s National Reference Centre for Digital Dentistry, Dr Gillian Crofts, Education Director at ICE Postgraduate Dental Institute & Hospital, explains the importance of CBCT training and the options available.  


As the field of digital dentistry continues its rapid expansion, technology has never been as important as it is today. Increasingly, practices and laboratories are recognising the power of digital to improve treatment planning, enhance patient care, facilitate better clinician to technician communication and, ultimately, achieve better results. This is particularly true in implant dentistry, where digital technology makes it possible to plan, carry out and provide predictable, high-quality end results.


The role of CBCT

After careful introduction in the late 90s, CBCT (Cone Beam Computed Tomography) scanning is now a fundamental part of the digital workflow for diagnosis and treatment planning in implant, restorative and cosmetic dentistry.


By producing complete 3D images, CBCT imaging offers an exceptionally clear view of the dentition and surrounding structures, allowing for better diagnosis and treatment planning. The 3D reconstructions can be viewed on screen from any angle, providing an accuracy that 2D X-ray images cannot rival. In terms of safety, the level of radiation output from a CBCT scanner is much lower than that of a conventional CT scanner, especially as the area to be scanned can be targeted rather than generalised. All in all, CBCT technology as an imaging system is making digital dentistry ever more appealing, and it continues to show exciting potential.


CBCT training standards

While the features and benefits of CBCT are widely promoted, the importance of training and competence for the skilled clinician within this discipline still requires some attention within the industry.


The National and European guidelines require dentists who refer for CBCT scanning as well as those who operate CBCT machines to undergo prescribed theoretical and practical ‘core training’ in CBCT Radiology.[i][ii] The UK guidelines, updated by the Department of Health (Public Health England) in September 2015, require any referrer, practitioner or operator (reporting) of CBCT equipment to undertake ‘Core Curricular Training in CBCT’, with a minimum of 5 hours plus practical training on the use of imaging software. This is in addition to the general radiation protection CPD that every dentist needs to complete in their 5-year cycle.

Start your CBCT training in 2017

This November, Implant Centres of Excellence (ICE) Postgraduate Dental Institute & Hospital will be running an intensive core curriculum module in CBCT. This module has been designed to fulfil the aims and objectives of the HPA-CRCE-010 guidelines and cover their specific learning objectives, equipping dentists referring for and reporting on CBCT scans with a questioning, evidence-based and reflective approach to CBCT in practice. As part of the module, participants will critically evaluate the current principles of dental CBCT, applying these to diagnostic and restorative dentistry. The module will examine the indications, pathology and consequences of the use of CBCT imaging in implant dentistry, equipping delegates with advanced skills of diagnosis and treatment planning based on interpretative reporting of CBCT scans. Delivered through classroom-based learning and supervised practical sessions, over the four-day module delegates can expect to:

  • Prescribe a CBCT scan
  • Prescribe a CBCT scan• Understand the disease, pathology and malignant changes seen on CBCT
  • Understand the role of CBCT in dentistry
  • Interpret and report on a CBCT image
  • Use CBCT in conjunction with other software to aid clinical practice

The CBCT module is delivered and assessed by leading experts in digital dentistry and CBCT. Under the close supervision of highly qualified mentors, participants will gain proficiency in the use of CBCT-based digital diagnostic and treatment planning technology, as well learn to interpret and report on dental CBCT scans with confidence.


First-class digital facilities

As one of the UK’s premier providers of postgraduate implant and digital dentistry education, ICE is Straumann’s National Reference Centre for Digital Dentistry. Participants will have access to all the latest technology essential to developing skills in the full digital workflow, including intraoral scanners and 3D printers, to name just a few. Additionally, the ICE Postgraduate Dental Institute & Hospital in Salford Quays, Manchester, offers state-of-the-art teaching facilities, with seven surgeries, a dental laboratory and a fully equipped operating theatre for day care surgery. To gain a strong theoretical and practical understanding of CBCT scanning techniques and image interpretation for diagnosis, treatment planning and guided surgery, look no further than this course with ICE.



To find out more about course admission criteria or to book your place, contact Dr Gillian Crofts, ICE Education Director by emailing gillian.crofts@icedental.institute or calling 0161 413 8335.



[i] Guidance of Safe Use of Dental CBCT. HPA-CRCE 010. Public Health England Updated Sept 2015

[ii] Sedentex European Guidelines, 2012