At our clinic, a digital 3D x-ray system is used to obtain precise and dynamic patient diagnosis, while ensuring patient safety and comfort. For more information regarding 3D x-ray imaging, please read the article below.
The Future of Dentistry: Benefits of 3D Dentistry and CBCT Machines
Medical technology has been improving at an incredible rate for the past several decades, leading to leaps and bounds in the quality of care for people around the United States. This is especially true for the dental industry.
One of the most important and exciting developments in dental diagnostic technology in the past decade has been the advent of 3D dental imaging. However, most people likely aren’t even aware of what 3D dental technology is — that’s how new it is!
What is 3D dental imaging? Why is 3D dentistry better, and how does this affect you, the patient?
The short answer is this: 3D dental imaging is well on its way to becoming the new standard of dental care. This incredible technological advancement allows dentists to see your mouth in a way never previously possible with X-ray or medical CT scan technology. 3D dental imaging allows them to see your teeth and skull, diagnose any problems and provide more effective treatment for you.
To better understand what 3D dental imaging is, what it has done for the dental industry and what it can do for you and your dental care, we’ll walk you through the incredible machine that makes it possible.
What Is 3D Dentistry?
When we think about visiting the dentist’s office, we often think of bright lights, blue bibs, toothbrushes, picks, drills and bubblegum toothpaste. However, advanced imaging utilizing CBCT technology is slowly but surely making its way into dental offices across the United States. Because of their wide recognition as contributors to quality dental care, CBCT machines are now becoming more commonplace among technologically up-to-date offices across the world.
3D dentistry, at its most basic, involves developing a digital, 3D image of the mouth and skull. Traditional X-rays only develop a 2D picture of your mouth, while other methods took longer bouts of radiation to create a detailed picture, and were more unpleasant and intrusive to the patient.
3D dental images are most often used for diagnosis and treatment planning. Being able to see the mouth in three dimensions allows the dentist to better and more effectively formulate an approach to treat dental conditions.
What Are the Advantages of 3D Dentistry?
The unique way 3D dentistry works means it offers numerous features found nowhere else in dental technology. This technology has a huge number of advantages over technologies like traditional X-ray and medical CT scans. The following are some of the benefits of 3D dentistry from a diagnostic standpoint:
Beam Limitation: The size of the primary X-ray beam in 3D CBCT scanners limits the radiation to only the area of interest, reducing the patient’s exposure to radiation as much as possible.
Short Scan Time: Because the CBCT scans involved in 3D dentistry can acquire all scan images in a single rotation, scan time isn’t much different from a normal scan. This reduces the chance of image defects due to the natural movement of the patient. It also minimizes time spent on the scan.
Image Accuracy: 3D CBCT imaging has an incredible resolution, allowing for highly accurate imaging and measuring. This means these images can be used to pinpoint the exact location for a dental procedure.
Image Detail: With a single scan of a CBCT machine, dentists can see much more than a regular X-ray. They can see pathology, infections, nerves, musculature and so much more. This helps dentists see and properly treat dental-caused sinus issues and plan for root canals, implants and extractions. The possibilities are endless with 3D CBCT scans.
Bone Quality Assessment: 3D CBCT scans can also be used to assess bone quality, which is an important part of evaluating the presence of sufficient bone for implant placement. It is also helpful in determining the size and location of lesions and breaks.
User-Friendly: 3D dental equipment is very easy to learn, and it’s designed for a trained dentist or dental technician to learn and work with easily.
Interactive Display: The most important benefit for dental practitioners is the unique ability to demonstrate features in 3D that traditional imaging cannot. The practitioner can reorganize data and magnify and annotate the image.
But what are the advantages of using 3D dentistry for the patient? As it turns out, the benefits of this machinery are just as extensive for patients as they are for dentists. Some of the benefits of 3D dentistry for patients include the following:
Diagnostic Accuracy: Three-dimensional scans can catch problems 2D scans simply can’t by differentiating between many types of tissue. Pathology, infections, and abnormal sinus anatomy and joint dysfunctions can all be properly visualized and identified with 3D CBCT imaging. This means patients are properly diagnosed the first time and can get appropriate help much sooner than they would with previous methods.
Minimal Radiation Exposure: Repeated prolonged exposure to radiation can cause eye damage, the development of malignancies and other health risks, which is why new medical technologies seek to reduce patient exposure. When compared to traditional medical CT scans, 3D CBCT scans emit substantially less radiation, reducing the dosage up to 98.5%.
Non-Intrusive: No need to bite down on a mold or piece of plastic. The CBCT can scan your entire head without you needing to do anything. This is especially helpful for patients with particularly sensitive gums or teeth, as well as pediatric patients.
Lower Cost: Going to a third-party imaging center for a medical CT scan can be extremely expensive. Bringing in a 3D CBCT dental imaging device provides all the technology into one place, eliminating the middle-man and saving you money.
Short Scan Time: A typical 3D CBCT scan takes around ten seconds to complete, meaning your dentist can see and solve problems more quickly than ever. An in-house 3D CBCT scanner at your dentists’ office also means you don’t need to go to a third-party imaging company for a medical CT scan.
A third-party imaging company will likely make you wait days before scheduling your scan, and it could take another few days for them to send your results to your dentist, unnecessarily prolonging the process. All of this can be avoided with an in-house dental 3D CBCT machine.
Why Should You Get a Dental CBCT Scan?
The benefits of using a CBCT machine are all indicative of a welcome advancement to dental technology. However, the real question you may ask yourself is how 3D dentistry can improve your dental health.
3D dentistry can provide you with top-of-the-line care previously unheard of for the general population, with imaging that makes dental examination, diagnosis and care much faster and effective, both for you and your dentist. This improvement in care means an extension of the life of your teeth and an improvement in the quality of your implants and crowns.