What is 3-D Dental Cone Beam X-Ray and Why is it Better?
3-D Dental Imaging is fast becoming the new standard of dental care. Cone Beam Dental CT machines provide 3-D rendition of patients’ mouths, and the ability to see fine anatomical structures in 3-D has proven invaluable in diagnosing and treating conditions in many areas of dentistry. This new technology is invaluable in the following situations.
Orthodontics: Having accurate information on the position of teeth and jaws helps determine exactly how and where teeth should be moved.
Dental implants: Detailed CBCT images are used to determine the optimum location for the titanium implants while avoiding nerves, sinuses and areas of low bone density.
Orthognathic Jaw Surgery and Temporo-mandibular Joint (TMJ) Disease: Patients benefit when the specialists who treat these conditions can evaluate their anatomy with the three-dimensional perspective that cone beam CT provides.
Oral Surgery: Treatment for tumors or impacted teeth is aided by the level of fine detail shown in these scans.
Endodontics: Dentists performing intricate procedures (like complex root canals, for example) can benefit from a clearer visualization of the tooth's anatomy.
Sleep Apnea: Imaging the tissues and structures of the nose, mouth and throat can aid in diagnosis and treatment of this dangerous condition.
If someone has a cavity in the proximal contact, even a dentist won’t be able to see it. Proximal contact is the portion where teeth touch one another, and it is a spot where many people develop cavities. Since these areas are covered by adjacent teeth, the only way to detect these would be by taking x-rays. Many dental pathologies are asymptomatic and elude visual detection, therefore, x-rays are extremely important for proper diagnosis. If dentists didn’t have x-rays to rely on, many people would end up with either missing teeth or lots of root canals and crowns.
At our practice, every room is equipped with two computer monitors in each room so that our patients could see the supersized images of their dental x-rays. These large images on the monitor allow us to reveal the precise location and size of their cavities. For areas that x-rays cannot show, we utilize intraoral cameras so people can see the problem on the monitor.
No Need to Worry About Dental X-rays
Current studies show that people in the USA are exposed to about 3600 μSv of background radiation annually. Background radiation include but are not limited to sources such as air, ingestion of food and water, terrestrial radiation, cosmic radiation, consumer items, industrial and occupational sources, etc. Our existing patients are only exposed to 4 bitewing x-rays every 6-12 months when they come in for a check-up and a cleaning. 4 dental x-rays are equivalent to only 0.1% of annual background radiation.This is the same as about 8 hours of background radiation. For a complete and thorough diagnosis, all new patients take a full mouth series of x-rays. These are composed of 19 dental x-rays. Please note that full mouth series radiation exposure is equivalent to about only 0.5% of annual background radiation. This identical to radiation exposure of about 1.825 days of living in the USA. Besides cavities, dental x-rays allow our dentists to diagnose dangerous infections that may otherwise go unnoticed.