Adhering to ADA Guidance with Extra-Oral imaging: Now is Not Before

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Reopening dental practices requires flexibility and new ways of thinking. The ADA Guidance has defined changes in patient workflow and new protocols of guidance to mitigate the risk of infection. The ADA recommends limiting interaction in the patient’s mouth. Of concern is the intra-oral X-ray. Once the staple of the annual exam, the process can take 15 to 20 minutes with exposure to salvia in a patient’s mouth. The positioning of sensors and film can lead to coughing, gagging, and susceptibility to aerosols. The variable quality of an image can result in retakes resulting in repeat exposure to radiation and increased chair time. How can a practitioner secure the office’s safety and obtain precise information for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan? The solution is to incorporate extraoral imaging as a standard in annual patient examinations. How does a change to this effect the productivity, performance, and profitability of group practices?

Consider the extraoral 2D capabilities of Planmeca ProMax® and Planmeca Viso™ systems for standard patient annual imaging solutions. With these systems, clinicians can replace intraoral bitewing radiographs with an extraoral image, reducing exposure to a patient’s mouth with minimal contact to saliva. The process from patient positioning to full scan can occur in a fraction of the time of intra-oral X-ray capture. Productivity is improved by increased patient turnover for the exam and decreased patient wait time.

First the best view

Could there be challenges and disruption to the previous workflow? Of course. Flexibility is a pathway to a successful new now. When the staff understands the increased concern for their safety and the efficiency of having the doctor review the images before meeting the patient in the exam room, it will be a “why haven’t we always done this.” Assistants will appreciate the ability to manage patient flow.

Clinical outcomes will improve with the optimal diagnostic information received. True Extraoral Bitewings taken via Planmeca’s ProMax® and Viso™ systems are proven as effective as intraoral bitewings for the diagnosis of caries, identification of crestal bone loss, and assessing overall periodontal health. How do you define a True Extraoral Bitewing? Planmeca’s patented SCARA technology executes highly accurate movements to a specific bitewing trajectory path capturing a bitewing exposure and not a segmented panoramic image. True Extraoral Bitewing images open the interproximal contacts consistently with fewer overlaps. Compared to intraoral imaging, the ProMax® and Viso™ True Extraoral Bitewing provides visibility to 24% more teeth. Views of each tooth’s apices double as periapical with consistent views of the alveolar crest of both arches. There will be no more missed distal or third molar, or wishing you had another orientation. No more cone cutting or deficient images from the movement of the receptor.

Increased anatomy = increased dentistry

Precise imaging aids in the identification of pathology, leading to more definitive treatment planning. With increased views of anatomy, areas of unintended dentistry can be identified – from pockets that required more advanced imaging of isolated CBCTs to missing deciduous teeth that send pedo patients into a new orthodontic treatment plan. More value in the radiograph leads to providing more valuable dental care and increasing practice revenue.

Can you really have it all?

Can you mitigate the risk of infection from aerosols, provide a more comfortable patient experience, and capture quality images at the lowest radiation dose? How do you educate patients on the benefits of extraoral versus the familiar X-ray series?

The added benefit of a Planmeca True Extraoral Bitewing is the ability to image more anatomy at half the radiation dose compared to a four-bitewing series. For patients who do not present pain, this can have significant consequences in the amount of total radiation received. The traditional series of 18 FMX X-rays does not assure a view of asymptomatic pathology that can remain undetected until presented in a more advanced stage. Patients that are experiencing pain treated in a standard intraoral protocol may end up with inconclusive results resulting in referrals to specialists and potentially more radiation.

Planmeca is the leader in innovative technology. With Planmeca Ultra Low Dose™, images capture is at a 77% reduction in patient dose compared to traditional protocols. Image capture is precise and predictable at the lowest acceptable rate for accurate diagnosis and treatment planning. As a full partnership provider, Planmeca makes available patient education materials to support group marketing and increase treatment acceptance.

Concerns over unintended movement during imaging are resolved. The technology of Planmeca CALM™ eliminates the effects of patient motion, a significant benefit for both pedo and geriatric patient populations. The effectiveness of Planmeca technology reduces the need for re-imaging and total radiation exposure. Productivity increases with consistent outcomes and more treatment acceptance. Planmeca 3D imaging can improve the patient’s quality of care and safety, reaching the correct diagnosis and treatment earlier.

Where is the path to the new now?

How do you get to the solution? How are the clinical advisory boards, practice doctors and staff, and your family of patients and procurement teams going to get onboard?

The first step follows the criteria of all group decisions – clinical choices are backed by proven scientific research. Studies conducted by the University of Minnesota[1] have clinically proven the accuracy in detecting proximal caries, and crestal bone loss with the Planmeca ProMax True Bitewing program. The expansive view with measurably proven reduced radiation dose will be the visible proof of the value to the clinical advisory board.

Procurement teams recognize the value of quality, reliability, and integrated and upgradeable functionality result in long-term returns. Patients will be more relaxed with a sense of safety and confidence in the focus of their well-being. Your staff will feel more comfortable and secure, accepting changes that improve the complete office experience.

Be prepared to be for more productivity in the new now.
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Written by: Rudy Wolf, Jr. Planmeca Director of Sales, Strategic Accounts


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