Technological developments, such as digital imaging systems, have considerably improved the level of detailed information available to dentists. Dental X-rays are important in the diagnostic assessment of patients. Radiographic images help in the diagnosis, treatment planning and follow up of patients with conditions affecting the head, face, teeth and jaw. While some dentists have long relied on 2-D imaging for diagnosis and treatment planning, this technology typically requires multiple exposures, and with them, multiple doses of radiation.
Computed tomography (CT) imaging, also referred to as a computed axial tomography (CAT) scan, involves the use of rotating x-ray equipment, combined with a digital computer, to obtain images of Jaws/teeth. Using CT imaging, cross sectional images of body organs and tissues can be produced. Though there are many other imaging techniques, CT imaging has the unique ability to offer clear images of different types of tissue. CT imaging can provide views of soft tissue, bone, muscle, and blood vessels, without sacrificing clarity.
Today, with a properly prescribed 3-D scan, your dentist can gain the ability to collect much more data – often with a single scan and potentially with a lower effective patient dose. This highly accurate 3-D image of the patient’s anatomy from a single scan allows the practitioner to better diagnose and understand the true extent of dental disease, and they can provide for more appropriate treatment for patients.