Radiopacity matters!

By December 21, 2015Dr. Gettleman's Blog

b5658fb1-37d6-4f3a-8763-713178ffda28Dr. Lawrence Gettleman is a professor of prosthodontics and biomaterials at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry. He invented Novus and was on the team that obtained its final patent. > Click here for more about Dr. Gettleman


Everything we use in bio-medicine should be X-ray opaque in one way or another so that it can be identified it if gets into the wrong place. Say a denture shatters in an auto accident and a piece of it gets up into the nose or throat, or even a lung. That doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it can be life-threatening. Those pieces need to be found, removed, and then you need to go back and take more radiographs to make sure they have been removed.

So that’s another great thing about Novus.  Acrylic by itself is the same density as carbon-based soft tissues and is essentially invisible to X-rays, but Novus includes barium sulfate as a filler, which imparts X-ray opacity.  Also, if a denture breaks or shatters, Novus tends to hold the pieces of the acrylic denture base together, which means small pieces of material may not break off and cause trouble.