Planning Dental Implant Treatment with CT Scan and 3-D Imaging
Computerized axial tomography scans, otherwise known as CT scans, have been used in the medical field for several years. This specialized x-ray procedure captures thousands of individual images and puts them together, generating a cross-sectional view of structures.
CT scans are now becoming commonplace in the dental office as well, especially when using dental implants to replace missing teeth. At our Victoria, TX practice, Dr. Robert Zboril explains how planning dental implant treatment with CT scans and 3-D imaging technology provides accurate overall results for our patients.
What Is a 3-D Cone Beam Scan?
Cone beam computerized tomography (CBCT) is a slight variation on conventional CT scans. Unlike traditional CT imaging, CBCT uses a low-power x-ray tube, which reduces radiation exposure exponentially.
When planning treatment cases in dentistry, traditional dental x-rays often suffice. However, when considering dental implants, a dental CT scan provides unparalleled accuracy and precision.
How Are Dental CT Scans Performed?
Dental CT scans can be completed in under two minutes. For the patient, the process is simple and straightforward. You will be asked to sit or stand in front of the unit and close your teeth together on a designated bite stick.
Once you are in position, the technician will start the scan. An x-ray tube will move around your head, capturing thousands of images of the teeth, jaws, and other orofacial structures.
Most dental CT units are in an open environment. As a result, feelings of claustrophobia are reduced. In addition, there are no uncomfortable sensors placed in the mouth. Therefore, patients are comfortable the entire time.
How Is 3-D Imaging Used for Dental Implant Treatment Planning?
Once our computer software program has stitched the x-ray images together, we will have a detailed, anatomically accurate view of your teeth, jawbone, jaw joints, and orofacial landmarks. The doctor can then manipulate the image as needed, zooming in on certain areas or highlighting certain structures.
Dental CT scans allow the doctor to measure the height, width, and density of the jawbone. This is especially useful when placing dental implants, as the posts must be surrounded by strong, healthy bone tissue.
Impressively, Dr. Zboril can even place virtual implants onto your 3-D image. This essentially allows him to identify the exact locations of your new implants before the first incision is ever made.
3-D Imaging Technology and Surgical Guides
One significant advantage of dental CT scans is that this technology can be used to create a custom surgical guide when combined with digital impressions.
A surgical guide resembles a mouth guard and fits comfortably over the bone ridge during your oral surgery procedure. This appliance has holes that highlight the proper locations for your implants, taking the guesswork out of precise placement.
Contact Zboril Dental Center Today
If you are considering replacing missing teeth with dental implants, be sure to see a dentist who utilizes advanced technology. To learn more about this process, or to schedule an appointment at our practice, call us or contact us online anytime.