Vatech: Changing dentistry beyond recognition

Tidu Mankoo explains how the progression of digital imaging has ushered in a new age of dentistry.

Over the last few decades dentistry has changed beyond recognition.

‘How I was trained 33 years ago bears little relation to how I do dentistry today. Technology has transformed how we do dentistry,’ says Dr Tidu Mankoo, of the Windsor Centre for Advanced Dentistry.

‘The materials we use, the ease with which we can do things, the sophistication level to which we can do things, the fact that everything is enhanced, the use of surgical microscopes, magnification loupes. It’s all about precision and detail.’

Digital imaging, in particular, has advanced dentistry into a new age.


For Dr Mankoo, high tech matters – the Windsor Centre is a top end private specialist practice offering restorative, aesthetic and implant dentistry. As an expert in dental implants, comprehensive aesthetic dentistry and the management of complex cases, Dr Mankoo is world-renowned.

‘We bought the Vatech PaX-Flex 3D machine, motivated by the desire to do the best possible dentistry.’

The PaX-Flex 3D is an advanced digital dental diagnostic system that incorporates panoramic, cephalometric and 3D CT imaging capabilities into a single machine. Advanced sensors produce high quality two- and three-dimensional images of the dental/maxillofacial regions for dental treatment planning and diagnosis.

The PaX-Flex 3D provides four different field of view sizes for CBCT images (5cmx5cm, 8cmx5cm, 8cmx8cm and 12cmx9cm) enabling the clinician to choose the optimum size required while minimising radiation exposure.


Digital technology has allowed us to get rid of all the chemicals we were using for processing film, which was a lot of hassle for staff, plus once you’ve got the image onto your system it is instant – the X-ray is on my screen in my surgery in a matter of seconds.

‘You are also reducing paper storage as everything is stored digitally – it’s all about living in the modern age,’ says Dr Mankoo.

Moreover, digital dentistry allows for greater clinical planning and accuracy.

‘With digital technology, you can view and manipulate the images and analyse these in more depth than conventional film. You get a far more detailed idea of what you are dealing with before you go in and perform the treatment.

‘In particular, you get a much better idea of the anatomy and any possible potential for problems.’

For example, a 2D image may suggest that a patient has plenty of bone for a dental implant, whereas a 3D picture may show that the bone is shaped in a way which is unfavourable for a simple placement, alerting the dentist to the fact that more work is required.

‘In the past the patient would have started surgery without the dentist being fully prepared for what he’d need to do.

Today, you more or less know exactly what you have to do before you do it.

‘This also saves in surgical preparation time.’



At the Windsor practice the cone beam CT is used for more than just implants but also for endodontics and root canal treatment.

The centre also offers an imaging referral service, so that other practices can make use of the scanner.

Patients respond favourably to the new technology, says Dr Mankoo, appreciating the fact that the dentist can communicate what treatment is necessary by showing the patient a 3D image.

What’s more, the equipment looks impressive: ‘Patients think it looks like space age technology. It helps to show that you are cutting edge.’


And this is just the start. Dr Mankoo believes that dental technology is still in its infancy.

‘Digital technology will hugely influence dentistry. There will be ongoing change in how we make restorations like crowns and rebuilding teeth. There is already the technology to do CAD/CAM restorations. It will only get more sophisticated, cheaper, simpler and more accurate.’

‘Now we have the ability to carry out digital impression making. In the future we will be able to take a digital impression of the patient, combine that with a digital cone beam CT, do a facial scan and literally create a virtual patient – soft tissue, hard tissue, and rebuild and plan everything really accurately.'


Ultimately, 3D printing may enable the digital manufacturing of restorations ‘in the office’.

‘Whether it’s financially feasible for most dentists – we are far from that.' That said, Dr Mankoo acknowledges that the same used to be said about 3D imaging.‘But now it makes sense for us to have this [the Vatech PaX-Flex 3D] because we are a high end specialist practice, and it enables us to perform better dentistry.’

Participating in the evolution of high end aesthetic dentistry, has been an exciting journey, says Dr Mankoo.

‘I have been one of the front-runners in terms of high end aesthetic and restorative and implant dentistry in the UK and it’s been a privilege.

‘In dentistry today we can do such wonderful things, that make so much difference to the quality of life of patients. It’s exciting and a great profession to be in.’


PUBLISHED IN Implant Dentistry Today, March 2015

DENTIST : Dr. Tidu Mankoo


DENTAL PRACTICE : Windsor Centre for Advanced Dentistry

ADDRESS : Dorset House, 1 Dorset Road, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 3BA

TEL : 01753 833755

E-MAIL : [email protected]