3D imaging is a relatively new technology that is being used more frequently in dentistry. It allows the dentist to examine the internal structures of the tooth, jawbone, face, and skull. This information allows for more accurate diagnosis of problems and more accurate treatment of various issues.
To produce highly detailed three-dimensional images, your dentist uses special equipment such as a cone beam CT unit or advanced digital imaging technology. These devices use X-rays to create the images, which are then digitized so they can be examined in detail. Digitized images can also be passed along to the patient or to other dental professionals during the course of treatment, and can be easily compared to previous imaging to look for any changes.
Like traditional X-rays, 3D imaging involves use of low levels of radiation. In some cases, the increased sensitivity of this advanced equipment means lower levels of radiation are necessary than for traditional X-rays. However, you should consult with your dentist if you are pregnant—in which case X-rays should be avoided—or if you have any other concerns.
Dentists use 3D imaging for a wide variety of applications. Some common uses include:
Placement of dental implants. Detailed imaging allows the implant dentist to determine where the bone is strongest and will provide the best foundation for your implants.
Mapping the sinuses and other internal structures. This is also important for dental implant placement but can also be used in other treatments. The placement and size of the sinuses determines whether a sinus lift might be necessary for implants in the upper jaw. Infection in the root canal can also sometimes affect the sinuses.
Root canal treatment. The root canal is found in the crown of the tooth, but also extends into the roots and can be very small and difficult to treat effectively. 3D imaging provides a detailed “map” of the tooth’s interior, increasing the effectiveness of root canal treatment.
Overall, 3D imaging allows your dentist, implant dentist, endodontist, or oral surgeon to provide the best possible diagnosis and care. At Newton Dental Group, we can offer you the best care with our 3D imaging technology, so call us today to schedule your appointment!