During the past three decades, dentistry has witnessed great advances in all its branches. Consequently, the need for more precise diagnostic tools, specifically imaging methods, has become mandatory. From the simple intra-oral periapical X-rays to advanced imaging techniques like magnetic resonance imaging, cone beam computed tomography, computed tomography, and ultrasound have also found their place in modern dentistry. Moving from analog to digital radiography has not only made the process simpler and faster, but has also made image storage, manipulation, and retrieval easier. Three-dimensional imaging has made the complex craniofacial structures more accessible for examination and for the early and accurate diagnosis of conditions that range from mild to severe. Some of these innovative technologies will be discussed in this article.
Cone Beam 3D Dental Imaging
Dental cone beam computed tomography (CT) is a special type of x-ray equipment used when regular dental or facial x-rays are not sufficient. Your doctor may use this technology to produce three dimensional images of your teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways and bone in a single scan. With cone beam CT, an x-ray beam in the shape of a cone is moved around the patient to produce a large number of images. This makes it much easier to analyze the issue and make an accurate diagnosis, allowing for successful treatment planning and completion.Read more about Cone Beam 3D Dental Imaging
Offering superior resolution with less radiation exposure, digital radiography at your Ft. Myers dentist is an excellent way to help diagnose oral problems. Digital X-rays not only use 90% less radiation than traditional film X-rays but are also much less time-consuming.
Using a small radiographic camera that is only slightly larger than a pen, we capture images of each tooth. This technology eliminates the need for developing or chemical processing of the images. Instead, they appear instantly on a computer screen as each scan is complete. By shifting the angle of the imaging wand only slightly, the dentist can capture every surface of every tooth.Read more about Digital X-ray
Another common dental x-ray, the intraoral camera is used when our dentist needs to evaluate the interior of your mouth as clearly as possible. There are a few different types of intraoral x-rays that are used based on the area of the mouth that is being x-rayed. These variations include:
- Periapical X-ray: This x-ray reveals the entire tooth, from where it starts at the jaw to the enamel. Such focus is necessary to identify any unusual growths, abnormalities or changes that may be occurring at the root, near the gum or even other bone structures.
- Bitewing X-ray: Focusing on the enamel of the teeth, bitewing x-rays are essential for identifying cavities and tooth decay that occur even between the teeth. Tooth decay caused by gum diseases are also easy to identify with this tool. For the replacement or renewing of fillings, the bitewing x-ray can be used to determine the level of deterioration that has taken place.
- Occlusal X-ray: This x-ray provides a broader view of the placement and arch of all the teeth. It's largely used to identify alignment problems and to fix them with the help of braces or other dental procedures.
Each of these common types of intraoral x-rays is taken with the help of an intraoral camera. Our dentist may utilize one or more methods to achieve the desired viewpoints.
Digital dental imaging makes it easier for our dentist to diagnose oral diseases and abnormalities. Images are usually taken after our dentist has conducted an initial examination and the technology to be used will be determined according to your age and dental history, among other factors.
Our dentist in Ft. Myers, Florida is experienced in the use of advanced tools and technology for the treatment and diagnosis of dental diseases. Call us at 239-267-1900 for an appointment or come by the office today to discuss any concerns you may have with our dentist.