As 3D dental imaging technology continues to improve, making it possible to get accurate diagnosis-improving images at ever lower doses, Adam Cartwright describes how Dentsply Sirona provides a more accurate diagnosis across the dental treatment spectrum.
The benefits that accurate and detailed X-rays bring to areas of dentistry, such as implantology, are well-known; the ability to see the position of nerves, and roots as well as the location and density of bone is essential for the effective planning of implant placement and any bone augmentation.
More recently, the benefits of 3D X-rays are being recognised in other areas, such as endodontics and orthodontics. Many practices believe that lower-dosage 2D X-rays have furnished their teams with enough detail to ensure that diagnosis and treatment can be carried out effectively whilst ensuring patient safety.
However, as the latest 3D CBCT scanners have arrived on the market, things have started to change.
Three dimensional imaging = more accurate diagnosis = increased success rates
In essence, a detailed 3D cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scan removes the element of surprise by showing a detailed 360-degree view of the oral cavity. For endodontists this can reveal any ‘hidden’ canals, which may not be visible on a 2D scan, enabling them to diagnose the case more accurately and so create a comprehensive endodontic treatment plan. This reduces the risk of treatment failure and increases success rates of post-endodontic restorations.
Many orthodontists are now also becoming aware of the added benefits of using 3D X-rays as opposed to the traditional 2D X-ray for diagnosing and planning teeth movement. The clearer, more accurate 360-degree view makes correctly understanding the oral situation and identifying possible complications easier. Taking a 3D image is also generally faster and more comfortable than taking conventional 2D X-rays.
New systems can switch radiation doses
Radiation regulations mean practitioners must expose the patient only to a radiation dose ‘as low as reasonably achievable’ – the ALARA principle. Helpfully, recent hybrid 2D/3D imaging systems offer high dose and low dose options, which give the dental practitioner the choice and flexibility required.
The imaging power of the latest machines has increased dramatically and they are capable of extremely precise, high definition images with unprecedented detail, which is increasingly good even at their lowest dose settings.
The latest CBCT units, such as the Orthophos SL and the Orthophos S, are designed to make 3D X-rays as safe, clear and easy to capture as possible. The only way for dental practitioners to adhere to the ALARA principle is to make sure the X-ray unit they choose has clearly stated radiation dosage levels for each setting. It’s also important that the dosage data is supported by independent references and can therefore be verified.
Three dimension imaging is opening the doors of possibility
Some manufacturers have invested time in developing in-built aids to help the operator, make it easier to capture the sharpest image possible, reduce the risk of retakes and optimise the chances of adhering to the ALARA principle.
The Orthophos S and SL are hybrid 2D and 3D X-ray units, which offer the perfect stepping stone from 2D to 3D. With no further need to send your patients elsewhere for their 3D X-rays, and set up and training all part of the package, there really is no reason not to invest in one and thus open the doors to a world of 3D-enabled opportunity!
Book an appointment today and speak to a Dentsply Sirona imaging specialist by clicking here: www.dentsplysirona.com/nostoday.
You can visit the online Dentsply Sirona Academy for a wide range of education resources, video tutorials, courses and CPD webinars at dentsplysirona.com/ukeducation.