For the previous several decades, medical technology has advanced at a rapid pace, resulting in substantial improvements in patient care throughout the United States. This is especially true for dentistry. The rise of 3D dental imaging has been one of the most significant and exciting advancements in dentistry’s diagnostic technology over the last decade. Most people, however, are probably not even familiar with what 3D dental technology is — it’s that new! What exactly is three-dimensional dental imaging, and why is it better than traditional two-dimensional X-rays? How does 3D dentistry benefit you, the patient, and how does this impact your treatment?
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. Dental x-rays are still the most common method for assessing a patient’s teeth and skull. They allow them to see your teeth and skull, detect any problems, and provide more effective therapy for you.
To better understand what 3D dental imaging is and how it has revolutionized dentistry, Wicker Park Dental will take you through the incredible machine that makes it possible.
What exactly is 3D dentistry?
When it comes to visiting the dentist, we typically think of harsh lights, blue bibs, toothbrushes, picks, drills, and bubblegum toothpaste. However, CBCT imaging—which utilizes sophisticated technology—is making its way into dental offices throughout the United States. Because of their long track record as contributing to high-quality dental care, CBCT machines are becoming more popular among technologically up-to-date offices throughout the world.
At its most basic, 3D dentistry entails creating a digital, three-dimensional image of the mouth and skull. Traditional X-rays just give a two-dimensional picture of your mouth, whereas other techniques need longer periods of radiation to generate a detailed image that is both unpleasant and invasive for the patient.
The most common reason for using 3D dental images is to diagnose and plan treatment. The ability to view the mouth in three dimensions allows the dentist to develop a strategy for treating teeth issues more accurately and efficiently.
What are the benefits of three-dimensional dentistry?
3D dentistry is different from other types of dentistry in that it employs a specific technique. Because of the way 3D dentistry works, it offers several features that aren’t available with other dental technology. There are several advantages to 3D dentistry over conventional X-ray and medical CT scans from a diagnostic standpoint. The following are some of the benefits of 3D dentistry.
- Beam Limitation: The size of the primary X-ray beam in 3D CBCT scanners restricts radiation to only the region of interest, reducing the patient’s exposure as much as possible.
- 3D Dentistry Scan Time: Because all scan images are acquired in a single rotation during 3D dentistry scans, scan time is virtually identical to that of a conventional scan. This lowers the risk of image flaws caused by natural movement of the patient. It also reduces scanning time.
- 3D CBCT Imaging Resolution: 3D CBCT imaging has a huge resolution, allowing for extremely precise imaging and measuring. This implies these pictures may be used to pinpoint the exact spot for a dental operation.
- Image Detail: Dental hygienists can now look at a lot more with a single scan of an X-ray. They may see pathology, infections, nerves, muscles, and other things that were previously invisible to the naked eye. Dentists may utilize 3D CBCT scans to better understand and treat sinus issues caused by dental procedures.
- Bone Quality Assessment: 3D laser scanning can be used to assess bone quality as part of a comprehensive examination. It’s also beneficial in determining the size and position of lesions and fractures.
- User-Friendly: Dental equipment that is 3D is very simple to learn, and it’s intended for a skilled dentist or dental technician to utilize readily.
- Interactive Display: The most significant advantage for dentists is the ability to show features in 3D that traditional x-rays cannot. The image may be rearranged and magnified, and notes added.
However, are there any advantages to utilizing 3D dentistry for the patient? The advantages of this equipment for patients, as with dentists, are quite numerous. The following are some of the benefits of using 3D dentistry on patients:
- Diagnostic Accuracy: Because 3D scans can distinguish between numerous types of tissue that 2D images cannot, they provide a higher level of accuracy. Pathology, infections, and abnormal sinus structure and joint problems can all be recognized and seen with 3D CBCT imaging. This implies patients are correctly identified the first time and receive quicker treatment than ever.
- Minimal Radiation Exposure: Repeated, lengthy radiation exposure may induce eye damage, cancer development, and other health risks, which is why new medical technologies aim to reduce patient exposure. 3D CBCT scans produce considerably less radiation than traditional medical CT scans, with dosages as low as 98.5 percent lower.
- Non-Intrusive: No need to chew on a mold or a piece of plastic with this technique. The CBCT can image your entire head without you having to do anything. Patients with particularly delicate gums or teeth, as well as small children, will benefit from this feature.
- Lower Cost: Third-party imaging centers frequently charge a higher price than what you would pay if you obtained the same scan elsewhere. A medical CT scan at a third-party imaging center might be quite costly. All of the technology is brought together into one location, eliminating the middleman and saving you money.
- Short Scan Time: The quick scan time of the 3D Xray eliminates the wait for your dentist to evaluate and cure problems, allowing them to see and fix issues more quickly than ever. You don’t have to go to a third-party imaging business for a medical CT scan if you have an in-house 3D Xray at your dentist’s practice.
A third-party imaging firm will most likely schedule your scan days after you call, and it might take a few more days for them to send your results to your dentist, adding to the wait. With an in-house dental 3D CBCT machine, all of this can be avoided.
What Is 3D Dentistry and How Does It Work?
To generate an image, the 3D dental imaging procedure begins with a scan of the lower half of the face. A cone-beam computed tomography machine, often known as a CBCT machine, is the most well-known and technologically sophisticated technique for completing this scan. The mouth is scanned with a set of tiny X-rays, each of which generates a digital photograph. This sequence of images is created, collected, and compiled, at which point they may be converted into a three-dimensional model for use in a variety of dental applications and procedures.
Dental specialists can utilize 3D scanning technology to examine your teeth for more complex tasks, such as detecting abnormalities in the teeth or comparing two sets of them. A mold-making process is used to create a 3D model of the skull and teeth from this 3D CBCT scan. This can be vital for diagnosing degenerative diseases or locating problem areas in the future.
3D dental imaging is also being utilized to help assess a patient’s oral health. A dentist may now integrate digital impressions of teeth with 3D dental imaging scans, which was not previously possible. CEREC technology allows dentists to take accurate digital impressions of their patients’ teeth.
Digital impressions from the scan can then be connected to the 3D CBCT image. This allows for a more efficient planning of complex treatment like dental implants, custom sleep supports, and adaptive devices. In terms of integration using CEREC and CBCT, this level of connectivity is unrivaled in the dental sector.
What Is a CBCT Scanner?
The cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) machine, often known as the new pinnacle of 3D imaging technology, is widely recognized as the coming revolution in medical imaging. This machine takes X-ray images of the skull and teeth, processes them with powerful digital software, and then reconstructs a three-dimensional image using the data. This picture is highly accurate if the conditions are correct and the patient does not move throughout the photo-collecting process.
Cone-beam CT is now used in a variety of clinical applications, including dentistry, radiotherapy, and mammography. It’s also being utilized as a safer and more efficient replacement for medical CT scans. The number of dental businesses, both traditional and non-traditional, utilizing CBCT equipment is on the rise in North America and Europe, as more consumers discover how beneficial it is. The cost of putting the system in place is preventing this growth from growing any further.
The use of CBCT technology is growing worldwide, with practitioners from all corners of the globe working to develop new standards and applications for this innovation. Dental organizations throughout the world are currently developing safe practice guidelines for utilizing CBCT units, while others are considering innovative future applications for the technology in science and medical research.
How Does a CBCT Machine Work?
The CBCT machine is a digital X-ray scanner with a rotating arm that holds the patient’s head still. A rotating X-ray source, which emits a cone-shaped beam of radiation through the head or alternative area of interest onto an X-ray detector on the opposite side, is used. The X-ray source and detector spin around a fulcrum located directly over the patient’s head, which is positioned so that the head is at the system’s center. Over the course of a few seconds, the system produces between 150 and 600 projection images, capturing them in either a full or partial arc depending on focus.
A more thorough explanation of the procedure is as follows:
- Placing the Patient: The subject may be positioned in a supine, standing, or sitting posture with the head or region of interest at the center of the CBCT system, depending on the type of cone beam imaging device used. The most frequent posture is sitting, as it is the most comfortable and sustainable for the patient as well as being more flexible for disabled patients. The patient’s head will be kept stable during the scanning process utilizing a restraint mechanism, such as a chin rest, to minimize movement.
- Getting a Scan: The X-ray source spins around the head, while a reciprocating area detector moves opposite, both rotating around a fixed fulcrum that is positioned directly over the patient’s head. The frame rate, rotation speed, field of view, and completeness of the trajectory arc are all changed to produce the desired picture for the dental professional. During the scan, the machine produces radiation in brief bursts, so the patient’s exposure time is only a fraction of the entire examination duration. This scan takes around ten seconds on average.
- Finding the Image: The X-ray detector captures the radiation emitted from the X-ray and stores it as digital information. The data is then sent to and received by a computer specifically dedicated to this task.
- Reassembling the Image: Once the predicted images have been obtained and gathered, they are utilized to build a model of the skull. This is achieved using computer software that employs reconstruction algorithms to develop a three-dimensional representation of the skull, teeth, or other focus area. It might take several minutes to finish, depending on the program’s and computer hardware’s quality.
- Showing the Image: The dentist has access to a complete digital model at the conclusion of the procedure. The program also offers dental clinicians plenty of display options, including 2D, 3D, and panoramic views of the mouth and head as well as other viewing choices to assist them focus on specific regions.
This new method produces a highly useful digital model, which may be used for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. It also distinguishes it from previous procedures as a more sophisticated choice.
Why Should You Go To Urban Smiles Dental?
Urban Smiles Dental takes pride in being ahead of the curve when it comes to dental technology. Our top-of-the-line fully functional 3D imaging systems are here to assist you with your dental requirements.
We are delighted to be leading the charge in 3D dentistry with the Orthophos SL-AI. This comprehensive CBCT X-ray system is a non-invasive 3D imaging technology at its peak. Its sharp image quality and advanced imaging software allow for easy 2D and 3 D captures.
Outside of our technological concentration, Urban Smiles Dental has given the Wicker Park, Chicago region the finest family, cosmetic and dental implant treatments available. We have a long and unbroken track record of providing excellent service at a reasonable price, and we work every day to preserve it. We will be there for you and your family, giving the finest care and service possible throughout your child’s first cleaning to your next root canal.
Do you need a dentist that can provide cutting-edge technology, such as 3D dental imaging? Do you want to discover more about 3D dental imaging? Contact Urban Smiles Dental now to find out what services we have to offer you and your family.