When you have damage or decay to a tooth that requires a root canal procedure, the dental CT scan is ideally suited for preparation. Root canal therapy opens the space inside your tooth to get to the pulp, the soft tissue that contributes to the growth and development of the tooth. It’s essential that all organic material is removed from the root canal and that the canal is shaped in preparation for filling with an inert substance before the tooth is finally filled and shaped.
Conventional X-rays are two-dimensional, yet the root canal is a three-dimensional space. Dental CT images show the tooth including the root, the soft tissue of the pulp and the gums, and the bone of your jaw. Since all this detail can be viewed at any angle, you get a more realistic image of your tooth, which is important in identifying damage and decay that must be addressed.
This extra information means less chance of needing a follow-up procedure. Because it’s easier for the Couture Smiles dentists to visualize the work to be done, they get better, more predictable outcomes from their procedures.
Dental implants provide the best alternative for replacing lost teeth. Implants are quickly becoming the go-to method for tooth restorations. The implant is just that, a titanium device inserted into the bone of your jaw, a substitute for the root of the lost tooth.
Once you lose a tooth, bone begins to recede from that part of your jaw. If you’re seeking an implant years after the tooth is lost, you may not have enough bone left to accept a screw-type implant. The dental CT is the most reliable way to assess the amount of bone present and its suitability for the implant procedure.
If there are weak areas, you might be a candidate for bone augmentation, which can put you back into the implant game. Once again, the dental CT scan provides the necessary information to show if bone augmentation is likely to succeed.
Wisdom tooth surgery
Because dental scans have such a high level of detail in seeing the tissue within your mouth in three dimensions and from every angle, including views that are otherwise impossible, they are a powerful tool when planning the removal of impacted wisdom teeth. Sometimes these teeth can be embedded horizontally in your jawbone. Conventional surgery risks breaking the jaw, adding much time to recovery. The dental CT scan removes the guesswork involved in planning surgery.
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder
Your lower jaw hinges on two pivot points, one on each side of your face. While it’s rare that anything goes amiss with these joints, some people do experience inflammation and pain, a condition called temporomandibular joint disorder. There are many causes, including poor bite alignment or arthritis. Dental cone beam CT scanning makes such a diagnosis much easier.
Non-dental facial imaging
Because of the detail and amount of information a dental CT scan provides about your lower face, these scans are also useful for medical diagnostics, such as detection and treatment of jaw tumors, evaluating problems of the nasal and sinus cavities, and planning facial reconstruction surgery.
The dental cone beam CT scanner is a pain-free, noninvasive, and extremely precise tool that helps you receive better care, whether for dental or general health reasons. You can learn more about this exciting technology on the Couture Smiles Dental Group website.