Making The Invisible, VisibleWhen dental x-ray technology first became available early in the last century, it proved an invaluable diagnostic tool to medicine and dentistry. It soon became routine for dentists to use x-rays to help plan the best course of treatment for their patients. Exciting developments in the past decade have brought this process so much further.
Dental imaging took a major leap forward at the beginning of the new millennium with a three-dimensional technology known as cone beam computed tomography (“tomo” – cut or slice; “graph” – picture).
The Many Advantages Of 3-D ImagesTraditional dental X-rays can capture two-dimensional (2-D or flat) views of hard tissues (bone and teeth, for example), while CBCT can image these anatomical structures with less distortion, more clarity, and unlimited perspectives of areas of interest. These details allow a doctor to make an accurate diagnosis and choice of treatment
A 3D scan can help gain a better view of bone structures, such as adjacent root positions, in order to locate canals and root fractures, as well as provide the ability to more accurately measure anatomical structures. These scans also support a wide range of diagnosis and treatment planning, making them extremely flexible. Further, they increase the possibility of treatment success, granting practitioners greater predictability and confidence in preparing for extractions, performing root evaluations, and placing implants.
Because details show up so clearly, patients can be more confident in a dentist’s decision. In addition, the use of dental imaging technology often creates a more comfortable and engaging dental visit for the patient.
If you have any questions about which imaging method would be best for you, be sure to ask your dentist.