Two Dimensions vs. Three Dimensions
During any dental appointment, the staff at La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry & Orthodontics will examine the X-rays taken and identify any underlying concerns to provide the best treatment. Two-dimensional panoramic X-rays can provide Dr. Kohani with detailed imagery to some extent, but not to the same degree as a 3-D digital CT scan.
The 3-D digital CT scanner rotates 360 degrees, completely around your face. Instead of processing the images onto film, the machine stores the radiographs on an internal database, making them easily accessible and environmentally friendly. The cone beam technology that the scanner uses also allows the machine to project the X-rays in a more precise and controlled manner.
Once he takes these comprehensive X-rays, Dr. Kohani can examine the images from different perspectives to provide an accurate diagnosis. For instance, if you are experiencing jaw pain, Dr. Kohani can zoom in on the digital scan and isolate the specific area in question. The images are viewable from every possible angle and at varying magnifications.
Dr. Kohani is not only able to examine the teeth (which is typical of traditional X-rays), but also able to view the relationship that each tooth has with the jaw bone and with the nerves, sinuses, airways, and soft tissues. The ability to get a closer view of a particular region enables more conservative treatment and more specific treatment planning.
3-D digital CT scans can help locate and diagnose:
- Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ)
- Sinus problems and sleep apnea
- Atrophied bones from periodontal disease
- Wisdom teeth positioning
- Dental implant placement
- Tumors or cysts
Traditional X-rays only give dentists one exposure, making it almost impossible to magnify a specific region. Additionally, 2-D X-rays only focus on the teeth and cannot focus on the surrounding structures, which can prevent dentists from identifying underlying conditions that are otherwise unseen. With the unlimited 3-D exposure that a digital CT scan provides, X-rays are now completely customizable for the patient and allow dentists to examine exactly what they need in order to create a precise diagnosis.