Dr. Juan-Carlos Quintero believes that excellent orthodontic treatment begins with excellent diagnostics. At his practice, Quintero Orthodontics in South Miami, 3D diagnosis is now the standard of care through the use of Cone Beam Computerized Tomography (CBCT).
“A philosopher once said to see is to know, and now that I know I could never go back to utilizing two-dimensional x-rays,” said Dr. Quintero. “This technology will be the standard of care for all orthodontists and oral surgeons in the coming years. After all, there is no such thing as a 2D patient.”
Quintero completed his master’s thesis on 3D imaging in orthodontics during his residency at the University of California at San Francisco 12 years ago, when the technology was early in development. Early in 2009, he began using 3D imaging and become one of the first orthodontists in South Florida to acquire a CBCT machine, known as an iCAT.
“Cone beam CT technology is different from a medical CT because radiation levels on a CBCT are down to one-100th of a medical CT. This is even less than the radiation level of a full set of regular dental x-rays and is the equivalent amount of radiation to simply living for three to four days in a metropolitan area,” said Quintero. “In a 4.8 second scan, a cone beam CT shows all of the hard tissue structures, the anatomic
parts that are important to an orthodontist. It also shows the soft tissue facial map, craniofacial bones, vertebrae, teeth, roots, sinuses and airways.
So, what does this mean to the patient?
“It’s the ultimate crystal ball,” said Dr. Quintero. “With this technology, we don’t take impressions and x-rays as we did in the past. These older formats actually don’t correlate to each other very well geometrically and leave questions unanswered when formulating treatment plans because we are not seeing that third dimension. With a 3D cone beam scan, the guesswork is all but eliminated, surprises are reduced and the patient treatment time can be shortened.”
The interactive CBCT data and treatment plan are reviewed with the patient and family during a separate treatment consultation.
“This conference is so important. An integrative approach to orthodontics is what we stress. We want to teach the patient and family about the science behind the treatment, as well as stress patient compliance. When patients are involved in their treatment, they make better patients and an educated patient is our best patient.”
Quintero opened his orthodontics office in South Miami 11 years ago after taking over the practice of Dr. Lindsey Pankey, who practiced in South Miami for 35 years. He says that he follows Dr. Pankey’s philosophy of knowing the patient.
“Each patient is a whole person, not just a set of teeth,” he said. “We strive to learn about our patients and what’s important to them in seeking treatment. We learn about their overall attitude on health and aesthetics, their health concerns, a bit about what’s going on in their lives, circumstances that may affect their ability to comply with treatment.”
Quintero received his dentistry degree from the University of Pittsburgh, his degree in orthodontics from the University of California at San Francisco, and holds a Master of Science in Oral Biology. He is the past-president of the South Florida Academy of Orthodontists. He has won many national research competitions, published over 14 articles in scientific journals, has been featured on several television news shows, including the Discovery Channel, and lectures both nationally and internationally.
Quintero Orthodontics is located at 5712 SW 77 Terr. in South Miami. For more information, call 305-666-4642 go to www.quinteroorthodontics.com.