CT Scanning: 3D Oral Imaging 

In years’ past, the best way for a dentist to look inside of your teeth and at the oral anatomy around them was by taking an X-ray. Over time, X-rays evolved into high resolution images that used less radiation and provided more efficient services. 

Unfortunately, conventional X-rays only offer a two-dimensional aspect of your teeth, bone, and other oral anatomy. But today, we have conebeam (CT) scanners. By incorporating three-dimensional imaging technology with CT equipment, we can:

  • Better plan oral surgery procedures
  • Evaluate oral anatomy (including bone and sinus structures) not visible during an exam
  • Access a 360-degree view of your teeth and jaws
  • Expand oral health services to non-conventional patients

CT Scanning in Dentistry

A full mouth CT scan captures 3D X-ray images of your oral anatomy, including the roots of teeth, jaws, sinus cavities, nerve and blood supply, and the airway. 

Having a CT scan is simple and quite similar to a traditional panoramic X-ray, only it takes a minute or two longer. As the open-air imaging equipment encircles your face, it measures and captures data to digitally chart the density and anatomical structures of your mouth and face. 

Instead of having 2D images to use for diagnosis and treatment planning, we’re able to have 3D data that provides us with an inside look at what’s going on in your mouth. 

Advantages for Implant Treatments

An oral CT scan is especially beneficial for our dental implant patients, because it allows us to see the area in which the implant will be set before the surgery takes place.

Computer guided implant therapy minimizes surgical time, improves the accuracy of placement, and makes implants possible for people who might not otherwise qualify for the treatment. 

Because a CT scan allows us to digitally recreate your teeth and the bone around them, we can map out exactly where the implant is to be set and create a surgical guide in advance of the actual procedure. At the time of treatment, this guide provides us with precision placement rather than evaluating the bone at the time of the surgery. 

For people who have experienced bone loss and been turned away by other implant providers, 3D CT imaging allows us to identify other areas in the jaw that provide an alternative location for the implant placement. As such, we can incorporate quality bone support in areas close to the missing tooth, providing implant treatments to more people than ever before. 

Other Uses for CT Scans

Besides implant therapy, modern dentists utilize conebeam scanning for treatments and diagnosis of conditions involving:

Sleep Apnea — A restricted airway can contribute to obstructive sleep apnea, snoring, and other sleeping disorders. During your scan we may be able to pinpoint risk factors that contribute to a risk of sleep disordered breathing. 

Orthodontics — Straightening teeth involves more than getting braces put on. By evaluating the 2/3 of the tooth that’s hidden below the gums and bone — and how they relate to the anatomical structures around them — you can receive more precise and efficient orthodontic care. 

Sinus Lifts — Full mouth reconstruction can be impacted by dropping sinus linings after the removal of upper teeth. With a CT scan we can determine exactly how the sinuses relate to the upper jaw.

Wisdom Tooth Extraction and Oral Surgery — Removing wisdom teeth requires attention to detail, especially when it comes to nearby nerves and teeth. A 3D image of the 3rd molar roots allow for a safer and more efficient surgery. 

Contact our practice today to learn more about computerized implant placement, 3D imaging, high resolution imaging, and more! 

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