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):
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.