Imaging in a way you that haven’t seen before!
Digital technology is becoming more and more widespread in every walk of life. It’s no different in the case of dental diagnostics either. Instead of standard X-ray films, images are captured on an electronic sensor, and the data is transferred and stored on a computer. An accurate diagnosis can then be made easily with the integrated image editing software. Thanks to digital radiography, patients are exposed to a smaller amount of radiation, images taken at different times can be compared and, if necessary, recordings can easily be taken to other doctors.
What are the most widespread diagnostic tools?
A panoramic X-ray (full name orthopantomography, abbreviated as OP or OPT) shows a broad view of the jaws, all the teeth of both the upper and lower jaws, sinuses, nasal area and the temporomandibular (jaw) joint on a single X-ray. It is made by rotating the radiation source and detector around the patient’s head. As the machine moves in a set path, patients have to be well positioned: their head and jaw have to be held in place. This technique shows problems such as impacted teeth, bone abnormalities, cysts, infections and fractures.
If a radiograph is needed of only a single tooth or small group of teeth, an intraoral X-ray is recommended. This means that the sensor is inside the mouth. Compared to a panoramic X-ray, this “mini X-ray” gives a more detailed and informative image of a single tooth or a small area. In the image, the whole tooth is delineated. Cavities can be discovered, the pulp chamber and routes of the root canals are also clearly visible. Tissues around the apex of the root canal can be assessed. Fillings in the teeth and their condition can also be seen. Its major role is in preparation for root canal treatments.
Dental CT / 3D Cone Beam CT
Computed tomography is a special X-ray technology. During a CT scan, the examined object is irradiated with a thin, rotating X-ray beam, thus many images are obtained from different angles. Data is then combined to produce a 3D image, and that is what we see.
The cone beam CT was designed for dental and oral surgery purposes. For example, a dental CT is indicated prior to sinus lifting (facial cavity augmentation) connected to a dental implantation. Images help identify problems with the bones, reveal nerves, sinuses and alterations under the gum line. Information can be acquired on the density, width and depth of the bone tissue. Using the image editing software, even a virtual tooth implant can be carried out, which can help choose the ideally sized implant and position it in advance.
The exam lasts about 30 seconds and the radiation exposure is much lower than during a conventional CT scan.
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