3-D Digital CT Scan

3-D Digital CT Scan

When it comes to preventive care, X-rays are one of the first techniques used in most dentist appointments. Dentists depend on X-rays so much that the radiation systems have continued to improve. Now, instead of relying on traditional two-dimensional imaging, dentists can incorporate a three-dimensional digital CT scan as a more reliable technique.

Dr. Kami Kohani uses 3-D imaging to obtain the most precise diagnosis and to plan the most effective treatment. The 3-D digital CT scanner at La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry & Orthodontics provides Dr. Kohani with valuable information that can improve the health of your smile.

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
  • Abscesses

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.

Patient Involvement: What’s In It for You?

3-D digital CT scans may sound more intimidating to patients than their two-dimensional counterparts. But the 3-D digital scan is actually more comfortable for patients to receive and does not take any longer to complete than 2-D X-rays.

To be effective, traditional X-rays often involve film holders and bite wings that a dentist uncomfortably places into your mouth. Positioning these film holders in a way that creates the best image is troubling and time-consuming for dentists and patients alike. With the 3-D digital CT scan, nothing is placed into your mouth. Instead, you sit comfortably with your head gently supported by holders on the machine.

The scanner rotates freely without any work or discomfort from you. The 3-D digital CT scan also includes settings that help Dr. Kohani limit the radiation exposure for each patient. He is able to choose the appropriate X-rays for children, adults, and seniors so that their bodies are completely protected.

The ability to view the entire maxillofacial structure is one of the most innovative solutions in dentistry. 3-D digital scanning gives dentists the ability to address possible conditions sooner and provide preventive care. Additionally, dental procedures are more precise, treatment plans are more effective and, most importantly, patients are thoroughly satisfied.

To learn more about how a 3-D digital CT scan can significantly improve your oral health, contact La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry & Orthodontics at 858-295-0603 and schedule a consultation with Dr. Kohani.

Frequently Asked Questions About 3-D Digital CT Scan

Besides offering a better clinical experience, 3-D dental imaging produces enhanced images of the teeth, gums, soft tissues, nerve pathways, and bone that can be evaluated from multiple viewing angles. This significantly aids accurate diagnosis and treatment planning.

To prepare for your examination, ensure you wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. You may be asked to wear a gown during the procedure. All jewelry, glasses, or dentures should be removed as they could affect the images.

During your scan, you will be asked to sit or lie down on the exam table, depending on the CT scanner being used. You will then place your head on a chin rest, and your dentist will position you so that the area of focus is centered in the beam.

The machine rotates around your head briefly, taking pictures of your dental structures. You won’t need to bite on a mold or plastic, which can make the traditional process uncomfortable for patients with sensitive gums or teeth.

Yes, the examination procedure is considered safe. The amount of radiation you receive is significantly less than in traditional dental x-rays.

Your 3-D imaging experience should be quick, taking about 10 to 50 seconds.

Patients need to maintain stillness during the 10 to 40 seconds of image collection to prevent any distortions or image defects.

As indicated earlier, 3-D imaging captures issues that would go unnoticed with 2-D scans. Seeing the mouth in three dimensions can help detect problems at the earliest stages of development, meaning patients can get appropriate help much sooner.

Yes. The radiation is mostly targeted at your mouth, so your baby will not be directly exposed to the x-ray beam at all. But make sure you notify your dentist if you are pregnant so that they can take extra precautions to minimize exposure.