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Take a tour of the Imaging Center’s new home

Oral & Maxillofacial Imaging Center

Start the Imaging Center Photo Tour

In case you haven’t had a chance to see the Oral and Maxillofacial Imaging Center’s new facility, along with the adjacent undergraduate Radiology Clinic, this photo tour should offer a closer look

A black-and-white photograph in the Imaging Center viewing room adds a bit of something old to accent the facility’s new space, which opened this fall. In the skinny frame is a photograph of Chuck Norris as Walker, Texas Ranger. Cursive scrawl in the white space reads “Best wishes, Chuck Norris.”

Dr. Pete Benson, oral and maxillofacial radiologist and Imaging Center director, knows the story behind this interesting decorative choice, which provides a conversation piece for the dental school’s imaging facility.

It so happens that in the 1990s the cast from “Walker, Texas Ranger” filmed part of an episode at the dental school. Apparently, the parking lot at Hall and Nussbaumer streets was the perfect location for a shoot-out scene. It also was adjacent to the college’s original Imaging Center building, which provided a convenient refuge for Norris between takes by offering an inviting reception area, a small, private space with few people, and perhaps most important of all — air conditioning.

“Chuck would drink Cokes in the Imaging Center, go act for three minutes and then come back,” recalls Benson, who also is professor and vice chair of Texas A&M Health Science Center Baylor College of Dentistry’s Department of Diagnostic Sciences.

“I told a female co-worker, ‘You know, Uncle Chuck is in the waiting room,’” he adds. At that, she bounded past where Benson was sitting and ran into the other room.

The Chuck Norris photograph is one of the longstanding items that made it through the move across Hall Street from the Oral and Maxillofacial Imaging Center’s old location to the new space this October.

“We have increased our capacity for both clinics.”
—Dr. Pete Benson

Along with it are a number of mainstays from the previous center, including the digital imaging systems, two cone-beam computed tomography units, and one machine dear to Benson’s heart — the Scanora panoramic/tomography Unit, dating back to the late ’90s. Then there are the decorative radiograph renderings of leaves, flowers and saxophones that Dr. Diane Flint, assistant professor of diagnostic sciences, and oral and maxillofacial radiologist, ensured would still line the halls and waiting room of the new facility.

Upgrades and expansions

The entire space — stretching from the first floor, double-elevator bank to the Baylor Health Sciences Library entrance — has been completely demolished and rebuilt to combine graduate and undergraduate imaging, with some new gear and technology, to boot.

For starters, the undergraduate Radiology Clinic facilities, which are immediately adjacent to the Imaging Center, now feature 10 intraoral operatories instead of just eight. There also are now two digital panoramic/cephalometric machines. In the past, only one was used for the patients of dental students.

The undergraduate viewing room in the Radiology Clinic has doubled in size, boasting eight computers and rolling chairs. It serves as a great location for faculty and students to discuss patients’ images. A “Dim Room” also is a feature, with three intraoral digital scanners and adjustable lighting, so dental students can take ample time to upload images without fear of damaging the imaging plates in full light.

“We have increased our capacity for both clinics,” says Benson of the undergraduate Radiology Clinic and Imaging Center equipment. The additions also mark a move toward standardization, which simplifies maintenance and offers a constant backup in case of technology failure.

To see some of the equipment and technology for yourself, feel free to peruse through our slideshow, which shows the newly outfitted space. While you’re at it, you may even catch a glimpse of that Chuck Norris relic.