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LUTH commissions dental x-ray machine

By Joseph Okoghenun
16 December 2009   |   10:00 pm
IN a bid to improve healthcares services for dental patients in the country, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) has commissioned 10 dental units and an orthopantomogram (OPG) machine valued at over N2 million in its dental clinic.

OPG, also known as Panorex, is a scanning digital dental x-ray of the lower and upper jaw.

Commissioning the machines in Lagos, Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, Prof. Akin Osibogun noted that the machines would aid better healthcare delivery in the hospital.

He revealed that patients in the hospital had to cue into National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) programme to be able access the services of the newly commissioned equipment at lower costs. Osibogun urged dentists in the hospital to make judicious use of the equipment and to ensure that they work with vision of improving healthcare services of patients in the 47 years old hospital.

During an OPG X-ray, the patient bites on a plastic spatula so that all the teeth, especially the crowns can be viewed individually. The whole OPG process takes about one minute. The patient’s actual radiation exposure time usually varies between eight to 22 seconds for the machine’s excursion around the skull.

Head of Department (HOD) of Preventive Dentistry and Consultant Dentist at LUTH, Dr. Gbemisola Agbelusi revealed that OPG had lots of advantages. It was safer and cheaper for patients than the conventional dental x-ray method.

“The OPG is going to reduce cost of our patients because where they used to take several dental x-rays, due to the availability of the OPG, they will just need only one x-ray. OPG is safer for the patient than the conventional x-ray because it is a digital x-ray with lower amount of radiation,” she said.

OPGs are often used to provide information on impacted wisdom teeth, find the source of dental pain, periodontal bone loss, the placement of dental implants and for the prevention and correction of irregularities of the teeth.