What is 3D CT Scanning?
A periapical or Bitewing xray (the kind of xrays we normally take of people's teeth) are 2 dimensional pictures of 3 dimensional objects.
They are excellent to diagnose decay. But a 3D CT scan allows us to see what is going on below the surface, which can help in providing you with the treatment and care that you need. It is a type of dental x-ray image that enables us to see bone, soft tissue and even nerve pathways in one detailed, 3 dimensional view. Most often, these images are needed prior to surgery or when creating a treatment plan for implant patients. However, in our office, we also use the CBCT to assess your airway, as well as determine if there are hidden infections that are not visible on the periapical xrays. We also assess other structures in your skull, such as your sinuses and your TMJ. It takes just 14 seconds to take the scan and many of our patients find them to be the easiest part of their visit.
Why would 3D CT Scanning be needed?
A 3D CT scan is needed to assess structures that may not have ever been evaluated elsewhere. At Holistic Dental Associates, we use the 3D CT scan on anyone who has had a root canal, an extraction, an implant or has a history of grinding, clenching, gritting, snoring or sleep apnea. The scan allows us to identify issues that could get in the way of surgery or to create a personalized treatment plan for you. We are even able to see nerve pathways using this scan, which is essential when it comes to avoiding hitting and altering these areas. The scan uses a minimal amount of radiation to create a detailed image, so it is safe for patients.
Who is a candidate for 3D CT Scanning?
Most of our patients who need to have one of these scans done can and should consider it. The scan helps us to create personalized treatments specific to your needs. It enables us to find dental and facial conditions that would otherwise go unnoticed without this special x-ray. We will review all health and medical history to ensure that you're healthy enough to undergo x-ray technology. We can take these scans on both adult as well as pediatric patients.
What happens during 3D CT Scanning?
The CT scan takes just 14 seconds in our office. One of our professionally trained staff members will place a lead apron over your body. This is designed to protect you against radiation while it is in use. You will then sit in the middle of a circular machine. The machine will then circle your head completely while it takes the image. The image is available to us for immediate review so that we can begin the treatment planning specific to your needs.
The Journal of the American Dental Association published an article on August 1, 2023 eliminating the requirement to shield patients who are having dental related radiation. They concluded that, due to the extremely low dose of radiation received by the patient, the shielding failed to prevent exposure to the areas shielded. Their conclusion was that the dose was so low as to be equivalent to the dose that simple ambient air has (normal background radiation in regular air). Here is the link to the study: https://jada.ada.org/articl...
Our decision because of this conclusion has been to continue to shield, not because we don't believe the research, but because shielding causes no harm, and brings our patients peace of mind.
If you would like to learn more about 3D CT scanning and how it can work for you, call us today and one of our friendly staff members can answer all of your questions.