If you regularly visit the dentist, then you have more than likely received a dental x-ray. Dental x-rays help dentists see diseases that could be lurking around the teeth and soft tissues of the mouth. They also are beneficial because they can help diagnose other dental problems early before they get worse. Here at Mountain Aire Dentistry, we like to use 3D cone beam CT imaging to get accurate and detailed scans so we can develop the best treatment plan for you. Keep reading to learn about the history of these scans and how they help us accurately diagnose and treat our patients!
The need of images of the mouth have been around since the beginning of dentistry. In 1895, x-rays were discovered by Wilhelm Roentgen, and they began using them in dentistry not long after. By 1903, the first dental x-ray lab was opened in the United States. However, it wasn’t until 1948 that panoramic radiography was used in the dentist office.
In 1990, dental tomography scanners were introduced, and it was in 2001 when cone beam CT scanners became available. The cone beam scanners became popular quickly because they rendered a 3D image of teeth, soft tissues and bone in a single scan, making dental issues easily noticeable.
Cone beam 3D imaging allows dentists to see clear, detailed, three dimensional images of your teeth, as well as the bones and soft tissues that surround them. It earned its name because the x-ray beam is literally in the shape of a cone, where traditional CT scans use fan shaped x-ray beams. This cone-shaped beam captures nearly 600 of “slices” of information about your mouth, and then advanced software assembles all of this information into three-dimensional views.
This type of dental x-ray has been revolutionary in dentistry. They are essential when looking for broken teeth, tooth decay and other various dental injuries,. These scans also aid in forming a treatment plan for the patients that need restorative dental care. According to radiologyinfo.com, a few things that this type of x-ray can look for and help a dentist see are:
Cone beam 3D imaging offers a focused beam that has better image quality. In addition, a single scan can show a wide range of angles that can be manipulated for a more well-rounded dental evaluation. They’re well liked for their ability to see the teeth and soft tissue all at once — and fast. Images from these scans immediately appear on a computer and can be moved around by the dentist (they can zoom in or out on an area of your mouth) so they can better see what is going on in the patient’s mouth.
In addition, this scan emit 90% less radiation than traditional x-rays, which makes it a much safer option for all patients. That, along with their quickness and accuracy, make these scans the best option to detect dental problems early on and monitor a patient’s dental health.
The good news is that this doesn’t require any special preparation on the patient’s end. When you get to the dentist office, you might be asked to take off jewelry or other metal objects like glasses.
The radiation from dental cone beam imaging scans typically are lower than other CT exams. However dental cone beam exams can deliver for radiation than their conventional counterparts. While this isn’t as big of a risk for adults, it can be concerning for children. Concerns about radiation exposure are riskier for younger patients because they are sensitive to it and have a longer lifetime for negative side effects to develop, per the FDA. There is a slight chance of developing cancer from excessive exposure to radiation. However, the accurate diagnosing that these scans provide often outweigh negative risks.
At Mountain Aire Dentistry, Dr. Berry and our staff are committed to your oral health needs. We will use the latest digital technology to safely and identify any dental conditions you may be experiencing. From there, you will get a customized dental plan to get you back to smiling soon. Call our office today at (303) 731-7755 to schedule your next dental checkup. Come see the effectiveness of digital X-ray technology in practice!