Physicians have relied on computerized axial tomography scans (CAT) for many years. CAT scans are an X-ray procedure that uses many different X-ray images with the help of computers to generate cross-sectional or even 3D views of internal organs and structures within the body. A knee replacement surgery, for example, would never be performed without first examining 3D imaging.
More recently, however, implant dentists have begun to rely on 3D imaging techniques to provide them with a detailed view of the mouth and skull. The advantage that 3D imaging holds over regular dental X-rays is that bone structure, bone density, tissues, and nerves can be viewed clearly.
3D images can be completed in less than half a minute. This means that far less radiation enters the body than if a regular set of bitewing X-rays were taken. The main use for 3D imaging is as an aid to plan dental implant treatment and other oral surgery.
Dental implants are the most sophisticated replacement for missing teeth, but have historically proven to be time-consuming to place. 3D imaging vastly reduces the time it takes to place implants. It is thought that in the near future implants will be placed in a single visit because of this unique type of imaging.
How is 3D Imaging Used?
3D imaging is advantageous because it allows the implant dentist to magnify specific areas of the face. In addition, the implant dentist can easily view cross-sectional “slices” of the jaw, which makes planning treatment easier and faster.
Here are some of the main ways 3D imaging is used in dentistry:
• Assess the quality of the jawbone where the implant will be placed.
• Determine where nerves are located.
• Diagnose tumors and disease in the early stages.
• Measure the density of the jawbone where the implant will be placed.
• Pinpoint the most effective placement for implants, including the angle of best fit.
• Plan the complete surgical procedure in advance, from start to finish.
• Precisely decide on the appropriate size and type of implants.
• View exact orientation and position of each tooth.
• View impacted teeth.
How is 3D imaging performed?
3D images are quick and simple to perform. A Cone Beam Imaging System is at the heart of the 3D imaging scanner. The cone beams are used to take literally hundreds of pictures of the face. These pictures are used to compile an exact 3D image of the inner mechanisms of the face and jaw. The implant dentist is able to zoom in on specific areas and view them from alternate angles.
Previous patients report 3D imaging is comfortable. Additionally, the scanner provides an open environment, meaning that claustrophobic feelings are eliminated. 3D imaging is an incredible tool that is minimizing the cost of dental treatment, reducing treatment time and enhancing the end results of dental surgery.
“Smiling Reviews” from a Few of Our Patients
Truly pleasurable experience. Staff was attentive and the workmanship was efficient yet very, very thorough. Highly recommended. I have worked in healthcare for 20 years and i must say…absolutely Professional and courteous…Patient care was utmost in all the staff, dentists and hygienist’s minds. Highly recommended!!! – Anthony C.
A pleasant staff and a friendly atmosphere. Very helpful staff scheduled my wife for her bothering her tooth. We got it quick and no problems the very next day. Thank you!
– Valentine K.
Love this dental office! They are highly advanced in there procedures and have a super pleasant staff that took such great care of me making sure I felt comfortable and relaxed during my wisdom tooth extraction. I never felt so at ease at a dental clinic before until she took care of me at Ocala Dental Care. Will be seeing her again and will be going back again – Julie V.