If you're like me, you or your team has trouble getting the contacts on bitewings open at times. I would like to share a simple tip to help you get those difficult contacts open on your bitewings. While you might be expecting something high-tech it's actually about as low-tech as you can get – it's a cotton tip applicator.
Next time you are presented with a contact that's not open on your bitewing try this:
- Take a cotton tip applicator and place it in the occlusal embrasure of the contact you want to open. I find it easiest to place the applicator in a maxillary embrasure.
- Holding the applicator in place, line the tube head up so it's parallel with the stick you are holding in the embrasure. It is not necessary to have the sensor or film in place at this point, in fact, doing so would just make things way more complicated and less predictable. It's also not necessary to have the tube head in its final position, just in the ballpark and parallel.
- Next, without the patient turning their head or swiveling the tube, place your film or sensor and move the tube head into it's final position remembering you can move the head however you need as long as you don't swivel it left or right and lose your parallelism to the contact you are trying to open
- Expose your image; you should now have the contact you are aiming to open. Next time you need to open a contact on one of your radiographs I hope you will find this tip helpful.
John R. Carson, DDS, PC, Spear Visiting Faculty. [ www.johnrcarsondds.com ]