Safety in intraoral and extraoral imaging during the pandemic

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Intraoral and extraoral imaging both have specific benefits and disadvantages that should be considered in times of the COVID-19 pandemic. The safest and most suitable imaging option often depends on the individual situation of a clinic.

Reducing droplets with extraoral imaging

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way dental clinics operate in many parts of the world. For the time being, all procedures need to be carefully rethought and reorganised to ensure maximal patient and staff safety, especially in areas where the virus is still known to spread.

While international dental care guidelines that take the pandemic into account have not yet been officially agreed on, some have already been proposed.

During the pandemic, it is recommended that intraoral imaging is restricted and extraoral images preferred in dental radiology. This helps to reduce excess salivation and to avoid gag reflexes – both factors that potentially contribute to the spread of the virus.

All Planmeca’s panoramic and CBCT imaging units can be equipped with an extraoral bitewing program (ask your local distributor about retrofit options). The bitewing program supports precise diagnostics of interproximal caries and the periapical bone and its surrounding structures. The program enables capturing high quality images at low doses while reducing the risk of the virus spreading.

Planmeca’s extraoral bitewing program offers the same imaging geometry as intraoral imaging, making it the preferred choice in these pandemic times.

For more details on the bitewing program, please contact your local dealer.

Limiting close contacts with intraoral imaging

Even though they are currently preferable in many situations, extraoral imaging units require a separate room at a clinic. This leads to additional traffic, as patients and staff alike must move from one room to another during treatments, making it more difficult to follow recommended physical distancing guidelines.
To make sure that elderly patients and other vulnerable groups are sheltered from excess close contacts within their facilities, some clinics have set up treatment rooms dedicated to treating at-risk patients. This is where intraoral imaging comes into play.

Both the Planmeca ProSensor® HD intraoral sensor and the Planmeca ProScanner® 2.0 imaging plate scanner are excellent choices for true chairside imaging. They are extremely easy to set up and allow patients to be treated and images to be captured conveniently in the same room. This limits the number of human contacts at a clinic and thus helps to keep patients safe. The sensor and scanner are also quick to disinfect, further supporting responsible infections control measures at a time they are needed more than ever.

For further info on our intraoral and extraoral solutions, do not hesitate to contact your local Planmeca distributor!

Copy: Emilia Jyrkiäinen, Product Manager, Planmeca X-ray Division

Images: Planmeca