By Ralan Wong, DDS, MS
This is not the time to abandon your goals for your office. On the contrary, it is time to invest in yourself and take pride in your own work. An extraordinary practice deserves equipment that can achieve extraordinary results. If you believe in your practice, your patients will too.
As endodontists, X-rays are our most important asset. These images are how we show our patients what is happening in their mouth, and how we plan to fix it. We were early adopters of digital radiography. We originally used another system for several years before we discovered DEXIS® radiography was setting the standard for the market; we then made the switch. Not to be swayed by marketing opinions, I did my own research at the university by working with several radiologists. We discovered why DEXIS was considered the best technology available—their images are superior.
I also did a study about cracked teeth, and DEXIS was the only system that had the resolution to detect fractures. If there is a chance that I might not be able to save a tooth because of a fracture, why even try the procedure? This way, I can avoid putting my patient through unnecessary procedures, time, and expense. In addition, I maintain the confidence and keep the patient relationship intact.
Digital radiography has dramatically shortened diagnosis as well as procedure times. Time is not wasted in developing X-ray film and in retaking them if necessary. The patients usually respond with an amazed remark when they see the detailed, quality image of their teeth instantly appear on the computer monitor. I can explain every aspect of the X-ray in detail to my patients. I can also show them what is considered “normal” and what is not. They completely understand the location of pathology or a fracture, or the presence of an abscess. Because of the clarity of the digital system, the patients can understand the entire sequence of their treatment plan.
Besides our patients, other dentists love the clarity of our system. We have referring dentists who have not yet upgraded to digital systems send patients to our office for diagnostic X-rays so we can evaluate them.
Many practitioners find the initial cost of buying a digital system daunting. I always advise these doctors against using the expense as an excuse to limit the technology in their practice. With a digital system, you not only save time and money, you also eliminate the cost and the liabilities of film processing and chemicals. I feel so strongly about investing in myself and my practice that I have just added the GXCB-500™ 3-D CBCT system. If you don’t invest in yourself, who will?
Dr. Wong, a native San Franciscan, graduated with honors from the University of the Pacific College in 1989 and the School of Dentistry in 1992 where he was awarded Dean’s List and inducted into Tao Kappa Omega Honor Society, and where he subsequently received a certificate in Advanced Education in General Dentistry in 1993. He completed his graduate training in endodontics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in 1997. While at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Wong received his certificate in endodontics, his Masters degree in oral biology, and the Louis I. Grossman award for outstanding clinical and academic performance. Dr. Wong has recently been inducted as a Fellow of the Pierre Fauchard Academy for Excellence in Dentistry and as a Fellow of the Academy of Dentistry International. He is also presently associate clinical professor in endodontics at the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry and has become, early in his career, respected worldwide as a lecturer, practitioner, and teacher.