IRMER versus insight

Colin Campbell explains why it’s so important to learn how to scan patients properly and effectively in your practice.

For those of you who aren’t dental, IRMER is an acronym in dentistry related to the laws of radiation protection and exposing patients to dangerous radiation. All dentists have to be IRMER trained and we have a statutory responsibility to keep our IRMER training up to date.

When I got my first CBCT in 2009 it was basically installed and we had 30 minutes with an engineer and we were off and running. It wasn’t much different in 2014 with the second one.

Nowadays in the dental market, it’s become a bit more unacceptable to just ‘fly free’ when you buy a CBCT scanner because some of the radiation doses in these machines are quite significant and you should really know what you’re doing when you use it, and even more so when you look at the scans.

So, here comes the IRMER versus insight.

Insight is gained from purposeful practice, from looking at CBCT scans in a particular way and analysing them, then applying that to the procedure you’re going to do together with retrospectively viewing things afterwards to continue learning.

You don’t learn that on an IRMER course, you learn about the basics of radiation production and the damage of radiation but you don’t get insight into assessing CBCT scans over multiple platforms and how to use them in your practice to the patient’s best benefit.

A master class

As CBCTs have become commoditised, so has the learning in CBCT. Lots of people want to provide education and information for the cheapest possible amount for the greatest possible number. This doesn’t give you any sort of competency framework from which to work on when you return back to your practice.

There is another way to do this. You could choose a pathway that teaches you insight, purposeful practice and learning.

My background is in oral surgery and implant dentistry and I had to teach myself over time to functionally report CBCT scans because there was very little available to show me how to do that.

I met Michael Bornstein on my travels and he was able to show me how to medically report a CBCT scan.

Following on from that we built a course together but understood clearly that to make this a master class and to give people the insight into reporting the scans properly and effectively in their own practice for the benefit of their patients, it has to be a competency-based framework. People have to be tested on their ability to report scans accurately based on the information they’re given during the training.

This is different to an IRMER course, entirely different. It’s also valuable to your patients and they realise that when you take the time to explain it to them.

For more information visit, call 0115 9823 919 or email [email protected].

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