Probably the greatest advancement in dentistry this decade has been Cat Scans for dentists.
These scans give us a 3D view as well as a virtual image to work with, thereby taking all the guess work out of treatment planning.
Up till now, CT scanners were too expensive for individual practices, but with the advent of this new technology, it became a reality. Our practice was the first practice in Cape Town to have its own CT scanner, thereby making it convenient for us to take scans for diagnosis and treatment planning and at the same time great for patients who did not need to be sent elsewhere for the scans.
The benefits of the CT scan are immense as not only can we pick up 70% more pathology but we are able to see detail that we only dreamed of with our normal 2D x-rays. Furthermore, these state of the art machines reduce the radiation dosage by up to 90%. So these scans are therefore not only excellent at helping us diagnose and treatment plan but they do so with minimal radiation making this the standard of care today.
We often see a patient who presents with aches and pains but we cannot make a diagnosis as the 2D x-ray is not specific enough. The CT scan picks up the problem in seconds and the relevant treatment can then be provided. Our practice will gladly take the necessary scans for your dentist. The information is recorded on a CD which your dentist can view on his own computer.
A CT scan showing impacted canine teeth.
This allows the dentist to clearly visualise where the teeth are. The lower right corner shows a 3D model of the teeth in their position allowing exact surgical planning for removal of the teeth.
Implant planning software
This picture shows a 3D CT scan which has mapped a critical nerve that runs in the lower jaw (orange line). This allows us to accurately determine where to place the implant in the jaw so that we do not hit the nerve and it also shows whether there is enough bone for the placement of the implant. This reduces the risk of complications.