3D Imaging at Prestige Family Dentistry

Envisioning a new future with 3D imaging

How one Oregon dentist is accelerating her sleep apnea services with Axeos

Dr. Melika Kashkouli is diversifying her services at Prestige Family Dentistry with her Dentsply Sirona AxeosTM 3D/2D imaging system.
She’s creating a niche for her practice in Beaverton, Oregon, in diagnosing and treating sleep apnea – something she started training for and helping patients with several years ago.

Melika Kashkouli, DMD
With the 3D imaging of Axeos, Kashkouli now offers in-house diagnostic planning for sleep apnea. “You can see beyond the face and teeth. We use this technology to look at the size of the airway, nasal structures and the sinuses, and are able to identify the source of obstruction, such as deviations in the nose,” she explains.

Discovering a passion for better sleep

Kashkouli became interested in sleep when her husband was diagnosed with sleep apnea and could not tolerate a CPAP machine. That experience motivated her to start pursuing training in devices that can potentially expand the upper jaw and remodel the airways, as well as appliances that hold the lower jaw forward to increase CPAP tolerance or eliminate its use.
Now she screens every patient she sees for sleep issues through a pre-visit questionnaire and a clinical exam. Her Axeos helps her look at structures beyond what can be seen clinically, she says. “It’s just mind blowing for the patients that in 2 to 3 minutes, you can have an image and dig deep beyond the surface into the structures that could be contributing to the problem.” 
Kashkouli’s passion for sleep dentistry is driving her to expand her practice. “This is where I’m taking my practice,” she says, adding she plans to hire an associate in the near term to pick up her general dentistry work. “To me, helping patients with sleep issues has been the most rewarding work of my career. It can have a huge impact on someone’s quality and longevity of life.”

Building capabilities and increasing case acceptance

When Kashkouli started offering sleep apnea services, she knew she needed an imaging system with a larger field of view to see patients’ airways for diagnostic planning. But her office at that time didn’t have the space for the technology, so she referred patients out for CT scans, she says.
“Due to the inconvenience, some patients were not compliant in getting the CT scan done. That’s when I decided to finally invest in a CBCT unit. After doing our due diligence, we decided to go with Axeos because of its speed, large field of view, quality of images, and the fact that it integrates with our CAD/CAM unit. Although we are still new to it, we have been very successful,” Kashkouli says.
This technology also has a “wow factor” for patients, she says. With such clear illustrations of their condition, patients are more open to accepting treatment options.

Why invest in a CBCT unit?

“It’s just mind blowing for the patients that in 2 to 3 minutes, you can have an image and dig deep beyond the surface into the structures that could be contributing to the problem.”

Melika Kashkouli, DMD, Prestige Family Dentistry

Receiving guidance and support from Patterson

Patterson has been an incredible resource for Kashkouli’s practice, she says. “The sales reps understand our office goals and make great recommendations that really fit our practice. They truly want to see practices thrive.”
The Patterson team encouraged Kashkouli to start down a digital path with a Dentsply Sirona digital scanner a few years ago. “It was the best decision I ever made. If they weren’t persistent in telling me how impactful it can be, I probably wouldn’t have done it,” she says. “From the purchase of the digital scanner to new office construction and installation in 2019 to the recent Axeos purchase, Patterson has really become a part of our practice family.”

Offering advice to other dentists

Kashkouli acknowledges that investing in technology like Axeos is a major financial commitment, but she encourages dentists to consider first how the technology can advance their practice. “If price is the only thing dictating your decision, you will limit what you can do,” she says.
Especially for new practice owners, this technology allows them to add new services and see a return on investment (ROI), she says. “To me, the math and the benefits to patients led me to choose Axeos. In my opinion, no other imaging system offers such broad capabilities.”

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