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A flexible solution for improved patient care

Dr. Craig Beeley worked in NHS practice for about seven years before purchasing his own private practice in 2005. He has been providing an increasing amount of dental implant treatment and recently invested in his own CBCT and OPG machine to improve the service he offers in house.

I had never owned an OPG machine before, I used to refer patients out whenever a scan was required. This wasn’t in line with the professional nature of the services I offered so I decided to purchase my own machine and figured it made sense to get a CBCT as well. The more implants I’ve placed, the more relevant the CBCT has become to my everyday dentistry and I could see the benefits of keeping this in house.

I did some research into the options on the market, but found it difficult to make contact with some of the companies. This was not the case with the team from Vatech, who were particularly proactive and I chose to proceed with the PaX-i3D Smart.


Before my new imaging unit could be installed, I had to prepare the practice. I took the opportunity to reorganise the premises, move things around and upgrade a few other areas to reflect the high standards I was striving for.

Once the room met the specification that was set, the engineers took care of everything for a smooth installation process of my new PaX-i3D Smart.

Having never had a CBCT or OPG machine,

I was totally in the dark in terms of how to capture and view images. The initial training covered all the important points that I needed.

It was not rushed and we had plenty of time to learn about the equipment. We also had a follow-up training session a couple of months later, which gave me the perfect opportunity to familiarise myself with the technology in practice, before seeking final advice in order to maximise the benefits available.

During this time, I was also able to contact the support team from Vatech and ask any questions that I had either by phone or email. The customer service has been excellent. I always notice and appreciate when someone takes the time to reply to an email at 9 o’clock in the evening – it shows they are genuinely interested in your business. I have been looked after in the same way that I look after my patients.


The PaX-i3D Smart is useful for both the implant and orthodontic treatments we offer in the practice. It has significantly increased my understanding of and appreciation for the benefits of CBCT scans during the planning phase of treatment. It provides far more information about each patient’s anatomy than I would otherwise have had access to, improving the planning process and facilitating more predictable treatment procedures. What’s more, having removed the need to refer out for CBCT scans, there is one less obstacle that might prevent acquisition of these scans in any cases that would benefit from enhanced treatment planning. As such, I obtain scans in a much higher percentage of cases than I used to, so it has certainly changed my workflow for the better.

It is also easy to use and very fast. From a patient’s perspective it enhances their experience, ensures a low radiation dose and looks the part – I have had several comments about its ‘futuristic’ appearance. They appreciate that I have invested in modern technology to provide state-of-the-art care.

In terms of other features, the automatic MAR is useful in that I have not come across any distortions from metal restorations and the different fields of view allow capture of the relevant details with minimal radiation.

The 3D Pan feature is also helpful, as it makes it easier to plan and visualise implant surgery and I think the Smart feature capturing both CT and panoramic images at the same time is very clever. I think it is easy to take certain features for granted, either when you are very familiar with the imaging workflow or when you are new to the technology, as I am. However, the benefits are appreciated when you speak to others and realise that you have not experienced certain issues.


I believe the field of dental digital technology is fast-moving. It’s probably still only in its infant stages or just beyond this, so I think there is much yet to come. I wasn’t keen to commit to owning a piece of equipment that could be out of date in a few years’ time. Therefore, I believed it would make more sense for me to rent the technology for now and see how the market progresses.

The Easy 3D Rental scheme from Vatech is an all-inclusive package, covering training for the equipment as well as any required components or features. I haven’t needed to purchase anything to meet my requirements in the past five months of having the PaX-i3D Smart.

This also provides flexibility in my equipment in terms of future purchases. Having not used this type of equipment before, I wasn’t familiar with the workflow, I didn’t know what I needed it to do or what kind of features I liked most. Being able to rent the PaX-i3D Smart has enabled me to start on this journey without a significant and potentially misdirected initial investment. In three years’ time I will have the option of keeping the machine and paying the difference in value or swapping it for a newer model. For me, this all depends on how the market progresses, so the flexibility of the rental scheme and not being tied into one piece of equipment for years to come is a key benefit.


When a CBCT / OPG machine is available at quite a low cost, you have the facility to plan cases with greater knowledge. I probably obtain a scan in the majority of my cases now – a notable increase on the amount I used to request when I had to refer out. I did okay before having the equipment in house, but the extra knowledge is very useful. I now have more confidence in the treatment I deliver and there are fewer chances for any surprises to come up during implant surgery or orthodontic treatment. In a couple of cases, the CBCT scan has also demonstrated that treatment wasn’t actually feasible. At the time the cases seemed simple with no obvious complications, so failure of the procedure would not have become apparent until surgery had commenced.

Having detailed information before we started prevented any unnecessary stress for me and my patients.


PUBLISHED IN Private Dentistry, June 2018

DENTIST : Dr. Craig Beeley

EQUIPMENT : PaX-i 3D Smart

DENTAL PRACTICE : Comely Park Dental Practice

ADDRESS : 15 Comely Park, Dunfermline, Fife KY12 7HU

TEL : 01383 725510


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