Bite magazine Tools of the trade review by Dr Andrew Thorpe, Paul Lange Dental, Mackay, QLD
The ISQ is used for checking titanium implants. I use it in conjunction with X-rays and other tools to reduce unknown factors to a minimum. It also gives a very good medico-legal reading.
What’s good about the Osstell ISQ?
The ISQ uses radio resonance frequency to test the stability of an implant. A small magnetic peg is attached to the top of the implant and a hand-held probe stimulates the peg. A number between 0 and 100 is then displayed on a screen. That higher the number, the more stable the implant.
Just recently I had an implant that looked very good on the X-ray but the ISQ reading was 44. That’s a very bad number. I gave the patient anaesthetic, cut the gum in front of the implant, and there was a great big hole in the bone. If I hadn’t done the ISQ reading, I would have fitted a tooth that would have been lucky to last 12 months. Using the ISQ informed me that the implant needed fixing before spending a couple of thousand dollars making a tooth.
The machine is fast, giving a reading in a couple of seconds. It can also measure the bone stability on each of the four sides of an implant.
What’s not so good about the Osstell ISQ?
The pegs are single use. The magnets degrade with heat so sterilising is out of the question. A specific peg is required for each different type of implant. The machine is also quite expensive but if it saves you from redoing just two implant crowns, it’s paid for itself.