In years’ past, basic dental X-rays were all that your Port Melbourne family dentist had to diagnose issues like bone loss, abscesses, and tooth decay. That meant using two-dimensional images to plan treatments like fillings and dental implants. Simply put, it was only a piece of the diagnostic puzzle.
Today, we’re fortunate to have access to 3D imaging where we can virtually capture a multi-dimensional image of your teeth, jaws, and surrounding oral anatomy.
It’s all possible with a ten second scan called a CBCT.
If you’ve ever had a pano (full-mouth X-ray) taken, the process of getting a CBCT is quite similar. You simply set your jaw on a small rest and bite onto a thin positioning stick. From there, the imaging tube head encircles your face over the course of several seconds.
Once the image is completely processed by the computer, you’ll see a virtual representation of your soft tissues (like your lips and cheeks) and hard structures (including bones). Even the colour is close to natural anatomy, making it look as realistic as possible.
Why do we use CBCT scans? One example is for dental implant planning and surgical placement. When we need to see multiple angles inside of your bone — such as to tell what angle the implant can be placed in — we need a 3D image instead of one that’s 2D.
CBCT scans can also be used to assess your upper airway, to help screen for complications linked to obstructive sleep apnoea and snoring.
Even procedures like wisdom tooth removal, sinus lifts, and other oral surgeries can be performed more efficiently with a 3D image.
At PMD Dental Care, we use CBCT scans to gain a comprehensive evaluation on our patients with specific oral health needs. Contact our Port Melbourne dentists today to learn more!