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CBCT & Dental Implants- A Clear Picture

  • February 6, 2012

WILLIAMSPORT AND COLLEGEVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA – It’s a true statement that is used frequently: technology has vastly improved the way in which we administer treatment in dentistry.

Perhaps nowhere is that more evident than in X-ray technology, specifically Cone Beam Computer Tomography. Here in our practice, we have employed CBCT for 18 years to capture 3-D images of the teeth and jaws prior to performing dental implant and bone grafting procedures.

“Conventional 2-D imaging simply cannot accurately portray the anatomy the way CBCT can,” says Dr. David DiGiallorenzo, a Collegeville dental implants specialist and one of the best PA Periodontists.

An article written by Dr. W. Bruce Howerton for Osseonews explains that 2-D images “inherently exhibit magnification, distortion and overlap of anatomy.” That makes measuring or determining anatomical relationships inaccurate.

Cone Beam 3-D captures a vast amount of data and through a reconstruction process, it delivers images that have no magnification, distortion or anatomy overlap, Dr. Howerton, a bone grafting expert, wrote. That results in precise measurements and anatomical relationships.

CBCT Benefits in Implantology

CBCT paints an incredibly accurate picture of a patient’s anatomy, which gives us a crystal-clear view of the bone, teeth, tooth orientation, tooth and nerve relation, airways and sinuses. All of this is beneficial to know when we must determine the best placement of your dental implant. Having all of this information results in a significant reduction in the time it takes to surgically place the implant.

What does that mean for you, the patient? Less post-operative discomfort and swelling. The pre-surgical planning that CBCT provides also makes it possible for us to place porcelain crowns on your implants the same day they are placed.

“Our patients love this, because it means instant restoration of their smile, rather than having an implant and a space where their tooth used to be for several months before the crown can be placed,” Dr. DiGiallorenzo says who is an expert in Zirconium Dental Implants.

 

Safety & CBCT

Even though CBCT is viewed by most as superior to 2-D radiography, there is a camp of opponents who claim that 3-D technology can be harmful.

“I don’t subscribe to that belief,” says Dr. DiGiallorenzo, an expert in periodontal disease treatment. He uses CBCT in his dental spa to assist in dental implant placement when patients have lost a tooth or teeth to periodontal disease.

The truth is, any time X-ray imaging is used on a patient, there is an increased lifetime risk of cancer, according to an article written by Dr. Ed Lin in the September 2011 issue of Orthotown.

But putting this into perspective is important.

We are exposed to radiation every day. It’s in the sun that shines on us and in the air we breathe. When comparing CBCT to a traditional medical CT scan (or CAT scan), CBCT is a smaller unit that focuses the radiographic exam- a single pass around the patient- and creates less radiation exposure. CT scans make several passes over the area to generate the imagery needed to create a 3-D scan, which exposes patients to higher radiation levels. Some CBCT units have reduced the radiation exposed to a fraction of the amount of traditional CT.

“The CBCT is highly precise, it scans only the small area we need scanned, and it does so in just one pass,” Dr. DiGiallorenzo says. “There are studies that show CBCT exposure equals about 11 days of natural radiation exposure.”

Overall, we believe the vast benefits of the CBCT far outweigh any perceived risks. The picture it paints of a patient’s anatomy has resulted in hundreds of successful dental implants in our practice.

“We believe in using any and every tool at our disposal to create an ideal treatment experience for our patients that results in creating a beautiful smile that will last a lifetime,” Dr. DiGiallorenzo says.

 

©2012 Master Google and Dr. David DiGiallorenzo.