Don’t worry, your dentist and oral hygienist know that x-rays aren’t the most enjoyable experience, so they’re hurrying to get it over with as quick as possible. But there’s not a whole lot that can be done about that scratch in the back of your throat that started at exactly the moment you bit down on the device holding the film. Now, dentists have another tool to see what’s going on inside your mouth, though, and it’s more convenient than x-rays: 3-D dental imaging.

Okay, you’ll still need to get x-rays taken sometimes because x-rays are still super helpful. But 3-D dental imaging is the coolest dental diagnostic technology out there. Oh, and it helps dentists diagnose problems and identify the best treatment possible! Because, while x-rays capture two-dimensional images of the oral cavity, 3-D dental imagining captures – you guessed it – three-dimensional images of the oral cavity.

It makes sense to work with 3-D images of 3-D structures, right?

How Does 3-D Dental Imaging Work?

Without getting too complicated, 3-D dental imaging captures panoramic images of the oral cavity with radiation similar to traditional x-rays. Except, the resulting image is three-dimensional instead of two-dimensional – and the process only lasts a little more than ten seconds! In a single scan, 3-D dental imaging renders the structures of the teeth, gums, jawbone and nerves from multiple angles.

As you can probably guess, all of that additional information is invaluable as your dentist identifies the best course of treatment for you!

Advantages of 3-D Dental Imaging

3-D dental imaging is more detailed, more precise and more efficient than any other dental diagnostic technology. Unlike traditional x-rays, dentists can see the entire mouth in a single scan. That means you don’t have to keep biting down on that thing over and over while the x-ray only captures a small section of the mouth. The panoramic images are so detailed that dentists can even look at the root of a single tooth.

For patients, not only is 3-D dental imaging more accurate, but it’s also quicker. The whole process takes less than 30 seconds to complete.

What 3-D Dental Imaging is Used For

The uses for 3-D dental imaging are just about endless. It can be used for cosmetic dental procedures like crowns, veneers and implants. For implants in particular, it can drastically reduce the total treatment time by providing a one-time fitting and placement session. 3-D dental imaging is also used for orthodontic treatment, among many other things.

 

If you’re looking for a family dentist with the latest dental technology and experience, including 3-D dental imaging, come talk to Dr. Blaine McLaughlin and the team at Dental Touch Associates in Cedar Rapids.