Meet the Expert
A professional interview with key opinion leaders in dentistry
Dr. Vincenzo Impieri
Graduated in Medicine and Surgery from “La Sapienza” University of Rome
Radiodiagnostics and Imaging Sciences, “La Sapienza” University – Rome
What drives you in your profession?
Passion, passion and yet unconditional passion for my profession. I love this profession and this passion pushes me to work even 12 hours a day in order to meet the needs of my patients. Passion that I have also instilled in my children, both graduates in medicine, one of whom is following my footsteps, being enrolled in the second year of the specialization course in Radiology.
Can you share with us a clinical case that you consider fascinating or unusual?
A fascinating case that caught my attention was that of a wealthy, elderly lady who needed implants in the right upper jaw. Having the financial possibility, she contacted a well-known clinic. She went through several operations and they fixed her a beautiful smile. A few months later, she came back to my clinic, suffering from constant pain in her face and right cheek, which she intermittently regressed after NSAID therapy.
I performed an OPT exam and to the patient’s great surprise, not so much mine, I found an implant COMPLETELY dislocated in the ipsilateral maxillary sinus and with abundant endo-sinusal inflammatory material. This is to say that the choice of going to a renowned, expensive center is not always an indication of certainty and reassurance in the success of the procedure, if these “characteristics” are not accompanied by professionalism, and followed by high-quality diagnostic exams.
Can you recommend a scientific article that dental professionals should read?
- National guidelines for dental diagnostic imaging in the developmental age
- By Maria Cristina Firetto, Antonella Abbinante, Laura Strohmenger
- Medical radiology vol. 124, pages 887–916 (2019)
In my opinion, it should always be kept at hand for all those who use (“abuse”) radiological techniques in their private clinics…
What advice would you give to dentists?
The advice I would like to give is that of having a tight collaboration with the radiologist. Of course, the collaboration must be mutual, and there must be competence and professionalism on both sides. Complete openness on the part of radiologists towards this ultra-specialized branch so often neglected. No more OPTs left without a radiological report and to the free interpretation of the dentist colleague.
What channels do you use to keep up to date?
As a reference point, I have our society magazine (La Radiologia Medica). If I need to deepen certain topics, I also look up at other international journals. Naturally, I participate in the National and International congresses of Radiology.
How do you see the future of your field of expertise?
The future of my profession is fascinating but it has its unknowns. For example, there is a continuous tendency to invade the specialty field of others, appropriating our discipline, both with the expedient of courses for technical personnel, through the interconnection of other Medical-Specialist categories that discovered the possible career opportunities in the radiology field that were unthinkable until now.
Of course, nevertheless, it will be up to us radiologists to not be caught unprepared. Radiology, despite being an emerging discipline (it’s been just over 100 years since the discovery of X-rays) is evolving in an extraordinary way and the scenarios that are opening before us are remarkable. Just think of Radiomics, Artificial Intelligence, and Spectroscopy to list only a few.
Which technologies or developments, in your opinion, will shape the future of dental imaging?
The aforementioned Radiomics, AI and Spectroscopy already are, and will only increase as tools that are used on a daily basis. Treated with caution, and in the right way, they will allow us to make more and more precise diagnoses. All this, however, under the careful supervision of a specialist doctor, trained and able to know how to read the instrument correctly for the sole purpose of the patient’s health.
What are your thoughts about the future of dental radiology?
Dental Radiology is a fascinating field of Medical Radiology, and if done with passion and dedication, with specific preparation, and continuous collaboration with the dentist, it can give significant professional opportunities.
As I said, it has been a bit neglected in past years, but is now being rediscovered and industries are also helping us in this regard. With the advent of the Dentalscan first and of the Cone Beam later, results that only a few years ago were unthinkable are now obtained in the field of implantology, managing to simulate the surgery already during the preliminary interview with the patient, making him aware of the surgical procedure to which he will need to undergo.