Imaging is useful in diagnosing the causes of many dental, oral and maxillofacial conditions, from a toothache to an abscess. In the past, dentists had to rely on grainy two-dimensional pictures produced on film by x-rays, but now better tools are available to enhance treatment planning.
Three-dimensional pictures, like those produced by cone beam CT scanners, have revolutionized the process of preparing for oral surgery procedures like wisdom teeth extraction.
The iCAT 3D cone beam CT scanner is one such tool that provides a lifelike depiction of the patient’s mouth. These scans are particularly valuable because they give the oral and maxillofacial surgeon a realistic view of what the surgical landscape will be before any incisions are made.
Even panoramic x-rays, which once represented the highest quality image available to an oral surgeon, pale in comparison to three-dimensional cone beam CT scans. Panoramic x-rays may not fully prepare the oral surgeon for the surgical landscape, and this can lead to longer surgeries when the surgeon encounters an unexpected feature. Panorex x-rays are good dental screening tools to identify issues, but are limited by being two dimensional and possessing distortion and magnification artifacts, but medical cone beam CT scans are the standard of care now in advanced oral and maxillofacial surgery practices.
These scans are particularly valuable because they give the oral and maxillofacial surgeon a realistic view of what the surgical landscape will be before any incisions are made.
Other important facial structures, like nerves, can be identified precisely and made visible in a cone beam CT scan but not in a traditional x-ray. It is also easier for the oral surgeon to identify abnormalities and pathology with a cone beam CT scan.
Cone beam CT scanners use highly targeted rays to capture data on specific areas. This reduces the patient’s exposure to radiation in comparison to traditional medical CT scans, which compile information from a number of slices to build the image.
Furthermore, cone beam CT scanners are more comfortable for patients than traditional radiography equipment. With cone beam CT, patients don’t need to bite down on anything while the scan is being taken. The scan is also completed in a matter of seconds, much more quickly than standard x-rays.
Additionally, the cone beam CT scans are digital, so they can be downloaded to a computer and viewed instantly. Your oral surgeon won’t have to wait for the film to develop to begin working on your case.
The iCAT 3D cone beam CT scanner offers patients a number of benefits. Ask our team at ORA® Oral Surgery & Implant Studio if this tool would be useful in planning your surgical procedure. Call 312-328-9000 to schedule your consultation today.