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Dr. Meredith Brownlee at the opening of the Radiology Consultation Room

Open Wide: 3D Scans Expand Views

August 18, 2016 — 

Dentistry and desserts don’t often mix. But at a celebration this week, Dr. Meredith Brownlee of the College of Dentistry served a white-chocolate cake decorated with the unlikely image of a panoramic dental X-ray.

The cake, which gave a new meaning to “sweet tooth,” was to mark the opening of the Radiology Consultation Room. The newly renovated teaching and consulting space is located in the Ross McIntyre Digital Imaging Centre in the College of Dentistry, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences.

The small room has been outfitted with audiovisual equipment to complement the college’s cone beam computed tomography machine, installed a few months ago. The state-of-the-art machine uses a cone-shaped X-ray beam to produce detailed 3D scans of a patient’s jaw and head. But until now, students, faculty or practising dentists who referred patients to the imaging centre lacked a space in which to view, interpret and discuss the images.

Groups of third- and fourth-year dentistry students had to crowd around Brownlee and peer over her shoulder at a small monitor, said the assistant professor in the department of dental diagnostic and surgical sciences.

The new consultation room – formerly a storage room – is equipped with a 42-inch high-definition monitor on which Brownlee, Manitoba’s only oral and maxillofacial radiologist, can now project the 3D images. “Multiple people can see what I’m doing as I describe things,” she said. “The students can get a lot more exposure to this newer technology.”

The room also provides privacy for consultations with patients about the various types of radiographic imaging performed at the centre. “Now I have a dedicated space for interpreting cases confidentially,” Brownlee said.

Dr. Anthony Iacopino, dean of dentistry, said the Radiology Consultation Room is an important addition to the College of Dentistry’s technological advancements. “We’ll be graduating students who are at the top of the curve when it comes to knowledge of equipment and technologies,” he said.

The renovations and equipment were funded in part by donations from University of Manitoba College of Dentistry alumni.

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