A DENTIST practice in Nelson has become the first between Preston and Manchester to use a cutting-edge 3D imaging device.

The Cone Beam Computerised Tomography (CBCT) machine installed at the NHS Reedyford Dental Centre in Leeds Road, is so new, it is not even available at Blackburn or Burnley hospitals.

Leading dentist Dr Ausman Malik said: “All other dentists in the area are using X Rays, which only give a 2D image. For most work this is absolutely fine, but when you’re doing certain things, you need 3D images.

“CBCT means that I can get a complete image of someone’s mouth.”

Diagnostic CBCT scans are useful for a variety of reasons including checking a patient’s suitability for dental implants, to check depth, width and density, to have a 3D view of the sinus cavities, to asses the need for sinus lifts, and to investigate previous root canal treatments.

Dr Malik has purchased the machine because he is currently studying a part time masters course in oral surgery at the University of Central Lancashire.

He added: “I’m hoping to do more oral surgery at the practice, and this machine is necessary for that.

“There is nothing like it as far as I know in the whole of East Lancashire, and from Preston to Manchester.

“The Royal Blackburn and Burnley General Hospitals do not have this facility, so patients are being referred to Manchester Dental Hospital, but we would like to offer a referral service to all dental practices for their patients as we can provide copies of images taken.”

He added: “The practice is fully committed to the NHS and is also training practice for newly graduated dentists.

“It is important that we future-proof the practice, and give the best treatment we can to patients in East Lancashire.”