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If you are a patient facing a difficult dental situation, i.e. a root canal, replacing 1 or more lost teeth, unusual 2D radiographic findings, a 3D x-ray can be the decisive factor in achieving a successful result. When you are faced with a challenging issue, which imagery would you want in your dentist’s hands?

Dentistry has taken major technological steps forward in advancing the quality and effectiveness of patient care and the pace is gaining speed, providing great diagnostic and treatment planning improvements for patients.

Cone Beam Computerized Tomography (CBCT) Scans: 3D imagery has been used by specialists for twenty years or more, but, initially, it was not very precise and very expensive, keeping it out of most dental offices. No longer. Costs are down, and it is no longer a luxury item. Because of its great patient value, 3D imagery is becoming a practical necessity as well as the standard of care in dental radiology.               

What is the main benefit of 3D x-rays? CBCT increases a dentist’s diagnostic ability exponentially, reducing guesswork and wait-and-see problem solving. 2D x-ray technology has been used for decades. It is the equivalent of looking directly at a picture of a statue. 3D CBCT is like walking around a statue and viewing it from every angle as well as seeing individual slices inside the statue. That is phenomenal information for doctors and their patients.

How much radiation is there with GXDP700​ CBCT radiography? Given the added information it provides it gives one of the lowest exposures by any dental 3D x-ray and less than 5% of that from a medical scan of the head. This is very important for patient safety.

Edward J. Prus, DDS
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What are some of the uses of this technology on patients?

1. Implant placements: CBCT scan software is used to create surgical guides which direct perfect implant placement, allowing for ideal restorative results.

2. Root canal work: Root canal failure, even with the best techniques, can occur 5%+ of the time. 3D CBCT imagery allows the dentist to see inside the tooth to better visualize unusual structural issues and/or reasons for a failure. That allows for corrective steps to be taken in advance to save the tooth instead of pulling it.

3. Dental anomalies: 3D imagery is a quantum leap forward in assisting in differential diagnosis. Impacted wisdom teeth, unusual bone lesions or structural irregularities are some common areas that will benefit from 3D analysis

4. Facial Trauma: The extent of damage to facial structures is much more accurately assessed with 3D imagery (above).

5. Complex Cosmetic Treatment Planning (TxPln): The information in 3D imagery gives a doctor greater control when designing a high-cosmetic result in complex treatment plans. It removes guesswork, which provides better care and more realistic, aesthetic results, and that is what every patient wants.

Are CBCT x-rays covered by insurance? Not all carriers cover them yet, but that will continue to change as the technology becomes more mainstream. It will take time, but it will happen.

For more in depth information on this and other dental related articles, contact Dr. Prus at the Center for Dental Excellence, 845-227-7787 (-PRUS), visit his web page at drprusdds.com or follow his Google blog on dental technology.


Read Past Topics from Dr. Prus: 

​How to Regain 20 Years of Youthful Beauty in Your Life
Why Should Dental Patients Consider Implants?
Good News for Anxious and Fearful Patients 

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