For many years, x-rays were the gold standard of dental imaging techniques. A 2D x-ray image is still commonly used to determine the position of your teeth, the condition of your gums and the structure of your jawbone.
While x-rays can provide an in-depth view of your mouth and jaw, they do have limitations. For example, zooming in on a single tooth in high quality can be challenging for most x-rays. The opposite is also true, where most x-rays focus on a certain area of the mouth. Getting an overall view of the entire mouth and jaw structure can be challenging.
To solve these challenges, tomography machines have become essential tools for cosmetic dentists.
X-rays vs. Tomography Machines
With cosmetic dentistry becoming more popular, many patients are looking to improve their overall smile. This means that dentists often need to take detailed images of the entire mouth, jaw and specific teeth/tissues. To achieve this level of detail, 3D imaging techniques are the most reliable to use.
Tomography machines (cone beam tomography machines) are capable of generating 3-dimensional models of a patient's mouth. What are they? Tomography machines can be defined as 3D imaging machines that use a combination of laser beams, imaging techniques and location coordinates to generate a high-quality image of your mouth, jaw and gums. Examples include CT scanners, CAT scanners and micro X-ray scanners. Cosmetic dentists will use these advanced images to design highly customised and effective treatment plans.
What are some of the benefits of using tomography machines in cosmetic dentistry?
1. Efficiency of treatment methods
Tomography machines have resulted in more efficient cosmetic treatment plans. More patients are able to enjoy better and faster results when undergoing dental implants, tooth realignment, crown insertions and bone grafting.
This is because the machines are able to generate 3D images of your entire mouth structure. They allow dentists to map out specific adjustments for your teeth over time. Take the example of Invisalign clear aligners. These aligners are designed to map out the exact movement of all your teeth as they're restored to their original position.
2. Precise results when determining treatment plans
Tomography machines also allow dentists to operate on a specific area of your mouth with precision. For example, they can use detailed 3D images to determine how a dental implant will be placed in your jawbone.
Because this imaging technique allows dentists to see the effect of an implant on neighbouring teeth, you're less likely to experience complications after the implant is inserted.
3. Images can be carried out on soft tissue
3D imaging is also capable of passing through soft-tissue areas in the mouth. This means that dentists can obtain a detailed image of your gums and determine of they're healthy enough to hold an implant or a crown in place.Share
26 September 2018
I have worked as a school nurse for decades. Children come to me with all sorts of scrapes and bumps and bruises. Black eyes from playing football, sprained wrists from falling off the monkey bars and stomachaches from too many sweets are common complaints. However, the issue that seems to cause the greatest angst is tooth problems. Sometimes a child will have a second tooth knocked out when playing sport and parents arrive in tears. At other times, children come to my office crying because their friends are teasing them about teeth that are discoloured or stick out. I take an active interest in the latest dental news so that I can give parents and children comfort and advice. I have included some of my collected wisdom on these pages. Perhaps this information can help you understand some options when faced with a dental problem. Thank you for reading.