We recently purchased new technology in our office. We have a new x-ray machine that is capable of taking traditional dental x-rays as well as a 3-D image. A 3-D image can be taken of both upper and lower jaws or a single tooth.
A three-dimensional x-ray (also known as a cone beam x-ray) captures a true 3-D image of your mouth and is like a CT scan. Traditional dental x-rays only capture a two-dimensional view of a three-dimensional object. A 3-D x-ray can capture details that a traditional x-ray cannot and allow your dentist to view anatomy and bone structures from different angles. There are instances when a patient experiences a toothache, but a traditional film does not show a problem. However, a 3-D view might reveal an abscess, infection, or a crack in the root of a tooth. A quicker diagnosis would mean a quicker resolution. We also place mini dental implants in our office and a 3-D image allows us to see the thickness of the bone and aide with implant placement.
A 3-D x-ray uses minimal radiation to capture multiple images. It is a quick, convenient and easy process. Many people want to know if it is uncomfortable to have a 3-D image taken. The process is very similar to having a basic routine panoramic x-ray taken. There will be a small bite stick placed between your front teeth, and the camera will rotate around your head while you are in the standing position. It is a quick and easy process.