Cutting edge patient care

Specialist in orthodontics Dr Sunil Hirani looks at the importance of the PaX-Uni3D Vatech X-ray machine to his practice.

‘Dentists who do not keep up with technology risk lagging behind.’ This is the view of specialist in orthodontics, Dr Sunil Hirani, whose exclusive private practice, SmileLux in Milton Keynes, won Best Specialist Practice of the Year at the 2014 Private Dentistry Awards.

‘If dentists don’t raise their game they will fall behind in cutting edge patient care, warns Dr Hirani. ‘It will be reflected in their fees, service, patient satisfaction and end product. Patients are now aware of their choices and can vote with their feet.’

Given his enthusiasm for innovation, Dr Hirani, a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, began sourcing a cutting-edge 3D digital scanner for his practice a year before SmileLux had even opened its doors. ‘Before we could move in, everything had to be specially designed and meticulously planned in advance. I looked at four main companies but opted for Vatech, a decision determined by the level of customer service we experienced and exceptional attention to detail. After-sales support is something that is so important to me. What are they like after you have made the purchase? This is where clients are let down.’


A Vatech X-ray machine, PaX-Uni3D, was installed and ready to go by the time SmileLux launched in 2010 and Dr Hirani’s due diligence has paid off. The Vatech scanner has lived up to its expectations and the aftercare has been second to none.

‘In our world we need quick answers and results. If the unit was not working or there was a problem viewing an image, we are clinically paralysed. I’ve had conversations with Vatech’s support at 10pm in the evening - their work ethic and ethos is very impressive and is difficult to beat.’

And it’s not just the customer service that has impressed Dr Hirani. The images delivered by the new imaging system are clearer than some units, the patients’ exposure to radiation is lower and the procedure is faster than with conventional X-rays because no developing time is required.

Old-style X-ray units require conventional film to be developed in a dark room, and each X-ray could take up to 10-15 minutes to develop. With a digital scanner, the image is available immediately, freeing up clinical time. Plus it can be viewed on any screen on the practice’s network.


Dr Hirani is able to project scan results directly onto a large television screen in his surgery and use Vatech’s image manipulation software, EzDent to magnify sections and even draw directly onto the image. This is invaluable when showing a patient what needs to be done, and a far cry from the days when a dentist would hold up a tiny black and white film image and expect the patient to understand it.

‘It impresses patients, and increases confidence and trust. In this industry it’s not just about being very good at what you are normally doing but it’s also about having the technology to support you.’

As an orthodontist, Dr Hirani uses OPG(ortho-pantomogram) ‘the bread and butter X-ray of orthodontists’. It provides a panoramic view of the teeth, roots and bones of both jaws. The second radiographic mode used, when needed, is the lateral cephalogram, an image that shows the position of the teeth and jaws relative to each other.

‘The PaX-Uni3D is exceptional and differs from other units. The time required to take the ceph image is 0.9 second. One barely has time to leave the X-ray room before they open the door again to view the image. Other digital units cannot compete with this technology as the patient needs to keep very still for about 12 seconds. The risk is, that it is possible to move during this period, thus distorting the image. This can occur especially with younger patients.’


‘I always take X-rays before I can confirm any treatment plan. I am looking for signs of pathology and assessing numerous structures to ascertain if it is safe to treat the patient. Radiographs aid planning and patient education as well as treatment progress,’ explains Dr Hirani.

‘With Vatech’s PaX-Uni3D digital scanner, the new image is quicker, better, and it allows me to do more. These are major advantages.’

By his own admission, Dr Hirani says he could not imagine returning to a conventional system. ’It would be a major retrograde step with no advantage whatsoever.’

Dr Hirani envisages ‘ever better ways’ will be developed for acquiring images and reducing radiation in the future. ’In another five to 10 years things will become even more progressive. Patients are looking for high-end dentistry. If practices haven’t kept up it’s really going to show. I am extremely grateful that Vatech exists as without them, we would not have excelled as much. The Vatech team deserves to be congratulated.’


PUBLISHED IN Private Dentistry, February 2015

DENTIST : Dr. Sunil Hirani



ADDRESS : 12 Whittle Court, Knowlhill, Milton Keynes MK5 8FT

TEL : 01908 398068

E-MAIL : [email protected]


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