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Published: January 17, 2018

3-D Dental Imaging

3-D Dental Imaging

We are excited to share that we have made cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) a part of our practice to help better serve your dental needs. Our CBCT is not the same as conventional CT scan that is used in a hospital setting, but it is able to produce images that are like conventional CT. Lets look at the benefits of 3-D imaging in relation to dental treatment.

How Does 3-D Imaging Work?

3-D dental imaging allows us to capture more detail than a traditional 2-D image like a panoramic or periapical x-ray. CBCT creates an x-ray beam in the shape of cone that moves 360 degrees around the head to produce many 2-D images that are reconstructed to form a 3D data set. This type of image affords many advantages like: no superimposed images, 1:1 measurements, no geometric distortions, and a 3-D display. The CBCT used in our dental office utilizes a much lower amount of radiation than a traditional CT scan used in a hospital scan, but still provides detailed hard tissue information that we need for accurate diagnosis.

Benefits of 3-D Imaging

3-D imaging is useful to many of the procedures that we perform in the office. Here are a few examples:

  • Tooth Extractions: 3-D imaging allows us to assess how close teeth are in relation to important structures like nerves or sinuses. Teeth will no longer be super imposed over other important structures and we will be able to see exactly where they are positioned and result in a more predictable outcome.
  • Root Canals: 3-D imaging reveals the anatomy of teeth and any hidden canals, greatly reducing the risk for the chance of a missed canal. It will also allow us to visualize horizontal and vertical root fractures.
  • Dental Implants: 3-D imaging allows us to evaluate the shape, height, and width of the area an implant is planned for. Our CBCT can be used with other software to help plan guided surgeries, further streamlining the implant placement procedure.
  • Sleep apnea: 3-D imaging provides a view of the airway to help aid in assessment and diagnosis of sleep apnea.

The CBCT will also be useful in treatment planning for Invisalign and braces, the assessment of TMJ problems, helping assess the extent of bone loss associated with gum disease, and other applications. Not all patients need a 3-D scan, but in certain cases it certainly provides an advantage that allows us to deliver care to the best of our abilities using the resources we have available to us.

What to Expect

The CBCT process isn’t much different than the process used to obtain a panoramic radiograph. The biggest difference being that you will have to stand in the unit longer for a CBCT than a panoramic radiograph. Just remember to remove all jewelry, hearing aids, hairpins, glasses, or any other metal objects. We’ll be sure to remind you as well! If you have any questions or want to learn more about our CBCT please give us a call at 317-535-7141. Thanks for reading.

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We specialize in dental care for the entire family.
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