GR Dental CT Pro

April 6, 2007
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GRAND RAPIDSTOWNSHIP — A White Cloud dentist is seeking state permission to locate his dental CT scanner in an office building near Interstate 96 and

Cascade Road SE

John Schondelmayer, DDS, is currently using a

NewTom CT
cone-beam scanner in White Cloud under temporary permission from the Michigan Department of Community Health's Certificate of Need section. Schondelmayer ran afoul of CON rules last year when he installed a scaled-down CT machine, hoping to use it for both dental and medical scans. Equipment for dental use has never before been subject to CON rules in Michigan.

The CON Commission in December approved regulations covering dental CT machines. However, the MDCH has blocked Schondelmayer from using his machine for medical purposes.

Schondelmayer said that if the application from his company, Smart Beam, to locate a scanner at

826 Parchment Drive SE
is approved, he'll move the machine from White Cloud to the Grand RapidsTownship site. It would be available to patients of any dentist or specialist, he said. He expects one scanner would serve 10 to 12 practices.

"I don't think I could serve enough practices up here," Schondelmayer said. "It's too far of a drive."

If the application for the Grand RapidsTownship location is denied, he said he would keep his scanner in White Cloud. He uses it primarily in creating dental implants and has received training in reading the dental scans.

According to Smart Beam's Certificate of Need letter of intent filed last month, Schondelmayer expects to spend $32,000 on build-out of the 810 square feet of office space. He valued the NewTom 3G Tomograph Dental Scanner at $127,118. Full-size CT scanners like those in use at local hospitals and several local medical practices cost millions of dollars.

The CON Commission in December approved rules for dental CT scanners. But in January, a committee set up to review regulations on all CT scanners responded to the Michigan Dental Association's plea to drop dental CT scans from the CON process entirely. A special advisory committee is being set up to meet through 2007 and make recommendations about how to handle the dental machines.

"We're trying to get dental CT scanners exempt," said Caroline M. Ruddell, MDA's director of legislative and insurance advocacy. "The only state regulating them is Michigan. It's just another hoop for dentists we feel they shouldn't have to go through."    

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