As this year comes to a close, I have chosen to reflect on what the upcoming year will bring to our practice. One of the first items that comes to mind is the approved legislation by our provincial government and licensing body; the Royal College of Dental Surgeons, that will shortly allow qualified dentists in the province of Ontario to have Cone Beam Scanning machines in our offices. Currently, these low dose 3D X-ray machines are only allowed in the offices of licensed Radiologists, making access this technology very difficult. Cone Beam 3D scanning produces images similar to those of a CAT scan but with a small fraction of the radiation exposure that patients in a hospital CT machine receive. These scans are crucial to the planning and placement of dental implants in areas of the mouth where the presence of sufficient bone may be in doubt or areas where an implant might impinge on a nerve or penetrate a sinus. By reading these scans on specialized software, the dentist placing the implants is able to “see” with an almost “x-ray vision” in side the jawbones and avoid complications such as these.

In anticipation of the new regulations allowing these machines in non radiologist offices, I have already achieved the necessary educational requirements by successfully completing a univerisity level course mandated by our government and look forward to the final passing of the legislation within the next few months along with the purchasing and installation of this equipment in our office.

What this means for our patients is that they will easily be able to get the scan in our office without having to travel to a different location or wait for an appointment to determine if they are candidates for implants. This will be extremely convenient for our patients.

Tune in for more thoughts on new technology expected in the New Year in a few days