I have had a great two weeks off. I am really excited about what is coming next semester. This is the point where things get interesting. I get to finally start taking CT scans as well as start reading and interpreting. I’m more excited about the reading and interpreting part. One of my weakest points in dentistry was recognizing pathology. It is easy in private practice to simply go, oh this looks weird I have no idea what it is, but let me go ahead and send you to an oral surgeon and let them deal with it. Basically, it is a great avoidance strategy. Instead of investigating things myself, I just didn’t want to deal with the liability because I was never truly properly trained to handle these situations. Unfortunately, I found out very quickly that referring to an oral surgeon is not always a great idea for patients. A lot of them charge quite a bit of money for a consultation. Not only that, but I have also learned that as a dentist I was so concentrated on dentistry that I barely noticed pathology. This is where the role of a radiologist really is.
Rarely does a successful dentist have the time, and likely the knowledge, to go through conebeam CT scans and look for pathology. It really takes about 15 to 20 minutes each. In my last practice there is no way that would happen. I was too busy making a living. So just as in medicine, to reduce the liability and not waste time looking for pathology, dentists are beginning to see that there is a need for radiology consultations. I also believe this will improve quality of care as things that I probably missed while I was practicing, well… hopefully they will be caught by a trained trained radiologist.
Happy New Year! I am very excited.