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Digital X-rays During the Placement of Dental Implants

I was at a dental meeting recently at USC Dental School with about 200 dentists that place dental implants.  The topic of x-rays during implant surgery came up…and I could not believe what I heard.

Some background information:
When placing an implant into the jawbone, it is necessary to take x-rays in between steps.  This allows me to guide the implant into an ideal location, which is extremely important.  Furthermore, taking x-rays during dental implant surgery allows me to see how deep I am.  The vital nerves, arteries, sinuses and bone depressions are at the deepest part of bone, so taking multiple x-rays adds safety and predictability to the procedure.  It does add time to the procedure, but does not increase your cost.

Here is an example of the process that I do for my patients to ensure good outcomes (follow the series of x-rays until the center implant is placed):

X51732_4             X51732_3             X51732_2   

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The postion of the implant is checked and re-checked…perfect!

What I could not believe was the majority of the other dentists in attendance do not take x-rays along the way!!!!!!!!

The top two reasons were:

1. “I don’t have enough time to do that”
2. “I don’t have an x-ray machine in the room that I do surgery in”

It is my own professional opinion those excuses are unacceptable. 

I make the time for every patient and I have x-ray machines in EVERY room.

Digital x-rays that I use appear on the screen in seconds and reduce radiation by 80% as opposed to regular film.  With digital imaging solutions, the image quality is superior and the diagnostic process is efficient. Because the images are far more superior compared to their dental film counterparts, the diagnostic capabilities of a dental digital X-ray are much more advanced and accurate. Conventional dental films provide a much lower resolution and are of poor quality.

Being on the forefront of technology is of upmost importance to provide excellent care.

2 thoughts on “Digital X-rays During the Placement of Dental Implants

  1. Dr. – Can you tell me if there is anyway for me to determine if my dentist did the bone graft that he charged me for? He didn’t mention it during the procedure and told me my bone looked great. He was able to do the extraction and place the implant stem in the sames session, it only took about 45 minutes.

    1. Not really. a 3-D scan can often pickup the smallest of bone grafts. Some dental bone grafts are very tiny as they only fill the void in between the implant and socket. Most dentist are really very honest people…. I’m sure you were in good hands 😉

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Dr. Ramsey Amin has extensive experience in surgical and restorative implant dentistry. As one of only less than 400 Diplomates of the American Board of Oral Implantology/ Implant Dentistry (ABOI/ID) he is considered an expert, and board-certified in dental implants. He is a former instructor at the UCLA School of Dentistry.