Until the early 2000s, oral surgeons had only two-dimensional tools for evaluating three-dimensional teeth, gums, mouth and jaw. Recent advances in dental and facial imaging allow for three-dimensional evaluations of the facial and dental structures. Wilmington Oral Surgery is equipped with state-of-the-art digital 3-D Cone Beam Computer Tomography (CT) capabilities.
The cone beam digital technology significantly minimizes radiation exposure compared to medical CT scanners, because the machines are much smaller. But the cone beam CT produces similar images to the scanners you would see at a hospital or outpatient clinic.
How it Works
During a scan, a focused X-ray beam in the shape of a cone is moved 360 degrees around your head to make up to 600 images, also called views.
The cone beam CT allows Dr. Puckett to diagnose and treatment plan your case with precision and accuracy. The system uses scatter radiation to provide clearer images than X-rays. Views and angles can be manipulated for an accurate evaluation.
For Dental Implants
Current cone beam CT technology allows for superior digital implant planning. The three-dimensional images enable superior pre-surgical treatment planning and help eliminate complications, which can occur with traditional X-rays.
Using the cone beam CT with current software, we can plan challenging implant cases, which previously were not possible. We can accurately assess landmarks such as the lower jawbone canal, the sinuses beside the nose and adjacent teeth, as well as the volume, height, width, and angle of bone.
The technology allows us to conduct minimally invasive implant placement, which is less painful and improves soft tissue outcomes.
For Impacted Teeth
Additionally, the cone beam CT is an important tool to diagnose and assist with treatment of impacted teeth.
Cone beam CT shows us where the impacted teeth are in relation to the roots of adjacent teeth, nerves and sinuses. These 3-D views allow us to avoid damaging essential anatomical structures during the surgical approach.
For Jaw Lesions
Three-dimensional scans help us determine the extent of disease in jaw lesions, and decide the best course of treatment. They do not always provide a specific diagnosis, but help us narrow the options and guide us in next steps.
Getting a Cone Beam Scan
The scan is quick (it takes approximately ten seconds), noninvasive and painless, and there are no immediate side effects. No radiation remains in your body.
After your scan, we are able to easily share your images with your dentist, which aids collaboration on your care to provide the best outcome.