The Importance of 3D CT-Scan for Dental Implant Surgery

3D CT-Scan Dental Imaging in Thantakit Dental Center was one of the pioneers in Southeast Asia and even Asia. It’s one of the first in the region to have its own cone beam CT scanner for use in dental implant surgery. This technology has a wide range of applications, but it’s mostly and particularly used in assisting the dental implant procedure in tandem with 3D Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM).

At any rate, Thantakit dentists ensure patients that the implant they’re getting is precisely placed in a safe manner. There are fewer adjustments needed in terms of crown height or issues in gum pain due to ill-fitting, loose, or crooked implants.

What Is a Dental Implant and Its Link to The 3D CT Scan?

A dental implant is a dental device made of foreign, alloplastic material that’s embedded unto the jawbone beneath the mucosal layer or beyond the gums. This is done in order to better support a removable or fixed dental prosthesis, giving it a more natural feel like a real healthy tooth implanted unto the tooth socket. Here are other things to know:

  • Rising Popularity: Dental implants are becoming immensely popular nowadays because of their ability to replace permanent teeth you’ve lost.
  • Permanent Restorations: Dental implants provide more permanent restorations that don’t interfere with the function of your mouth or speech as well as compromise your self-esteem.
  • Imaging Techniques: Pre-surgical imaging techniques like digital scans, 3D scans, and surgical templates all help the dentist in placing the implants precisely without endangering you or the healthiness of your mouth.
  • Standard to Complex: The imaging modalities at the disposal of the dentist vary from standard projections found in a typical dental clinic to complex radiographic technique you can only get in dental labs or radiology centers.

What Is Implant Imaging and How Important Is It to Dental Implant Surgery?

Implant imaging is a type of treatment planning that ensures the quickness, precision, and success of the implant procedure, even to the point of making it a same-day procedure you can undergo in one sitting. Dental implant imaging using 3D CT-scans and treatment planning are called for before replacing your lost teeth with an implant because it plays an important role in making sure the results are satisfactory.

  • A Safer and Much More Successful Procedure: Dental implant procedures practically require 3D imaging for their treatment planning to work nowadays since it makes things much safer and quicker.
  • Accurate Diagnostic Info: Dentists depend on implant imaging because it offers dependable and accurate diagnostic info of the patient’s oral anatomy, particularly on the proposed implant site where the procedure is supposed to take place.
  • Standard Projection Examples: Standard projections for dental implant imaging purposes include intra-oral (i.e., occlusal or periapical) and extra-oral (lateral cephalometric or panoramic) radiographs. You can also avail of dosimetry and magnetic resonance imaging.
  • Complex Imaging Techniques: The more complex imaging techniques include cone beam tomography (CBCT), computed tomography (CT), and conventional dental x-rays. The info taken from these scans can then help in the 3D recreation of the whole mouth and jaws for CAM/CAD therapy.
  • Which Technique Should Be Used? There are multiple factors that influence the selection of radiography imaging modalities for a particular patient, including the anatomy of the patient in question, radiation exposure, availability, and cost.  The dentist has to balance out these factors to give the patient the best option for him with the fewest issues.
  • What Makes The 3D CBCT Scanner Special: The 3D CT or CBCT scanner of clinics like Thantakit provides its dentists with three-dimensional images of the patient’s teeth and overall jaw structure, thus enabling virtual surgery and pre-surgical treatment planning. 

What Are 3D CT Scans and CBCT Scanners?

A 3D computer topography or CT scan is a scan that precisely recreates in 3D digital format the insides of the mouth including what’s present underneath the gums in order to get a closer look of the overall teeth structure of the patient. The small-sized machine scanners used for the process are called Cone Beam CBCT, and they’re the miniaturized versions of your typical CT or CAT scanners that are usually available at hospitals and other major diagnostic scanning labs. Here are more information about CT Scanners:

  • When Were CT Scanners Invented? CAD/CAM dentistry came about back in 1985, so it’s only natural that digital scanners came along with the tech. However, the CBCT scanner was invented by Sir Godfrey N. Hounsefield in 1967, developed for angiography in 1982, and used for dental scanning soon after in the late 1980s to early 1990s. The technology has been around since the 1960s but the tech eventually gained dental applications in the 1980s to the present, leading to its development for dentistry in particular in tandem with the rise of CAD/CAM dentistry’s popularity.
  • Who Makes Use of CT Scanners? Dentists who are worth their salt (such as the internationally trained dentists of the Thantakit Clinic) will utilize state-of-the-art CBCT scanners for the sake of safe and quick dental implant surgery. They also use it for endodontic treatment, orthodontics, TMJ treatment, sleep apnea studies, cancer screening, angiograms and scanning wisdom teeth prior to extracting them. As you can see, the miniaturized CBCT scanner has loads of applications in and out of the dental industry.
  • How Do CT Scanners Work? The dentist can position the CBCT scanner in a multitude of ways in order to get the best 3D CT-scans possible whether the patient is standing or sitting down, leading to better scanning flexibility. As the scan begins, the arm or the part that contains the x-rays slowly rotates around the head like in a big CT scan machine, but this time miniaturized for dentist use. The arm then moves around to capture images used to reconstruct in 3D your whole head from the inside out.
  • Where Can You Avail of CT Scanners? You’ll usually see these CBCT scanners for 3D CT scans available at health facilities such as the hospital, dental clinics, and dental labs or in the possession of most dentists in the 21st Century for the sake of scanning the tooth socket and jaw structure for precision dental implantation that’s aided by CAD/CAM dentistry. At present, the most advanced dental clinics and labs should have CBCT scanners as an option although some clinics still use old-fashioned dental x-rays and whatnot.
  • What Are The Precautions Needed Before Taking the 3D CT Scan? Before the 3D CT-scan begins, you will be asked to remove accessories such as eyeglasses, piercings, necklaces, earrings, and other jewelry for safety’s sake. The readings will become inaccurate if you were to leave such items on your person. Your dentures will also have to be taken off prior to scanning. The scan will also be made as accurate as possible thanks to a special pre-fabricated guide.
  • Why Do You Need 3D Dental CT Scans? Simply put, 3D CT scans makes things simpler for the dentist and dental surgeon when putting in your new implant. It translates immediately to CAD files on your computer, which also makes designing new dentures or manufacturing the right size of implants for accurate mouth and teeth socket placement even more straightforward. Furthermore, the scanner captures multiple scans. It also tells the dentist whether you need a bone graft as well as whether you’re a good candidate for an implant in the first place.

The goals of 3D dental implant scanning include the following:

  • Assess bone quality
  • Establish jaw boundaries
  • Detect any underlying pathology
  • Determine the long axis of alveolar bone
  • Measure bone height and width (bone dimensions)
  • Identify and localize internal anatomy and conditions
  • Decide the width and length of the implant to be placed
  • Decide if implant treatment is appropriate for the patient
  • Ascertain angulation of alveolar process and buccolingual width
  • Learn the location of vital anatomical structures like the maxillary sinus and inferior alveolar nerve

CT Scanners Are Much Faster to Use and Have Lower Radiation

A dental x-ray captures the insides of your mouth like a normal x-ray but miniaturized to specifically target the areas that the dentist will work on. Meanwhile, a 3D dental CT-scan doubles as an x-ray but uses CT tech in order to accurately showcase what’s in your mouth with a rotating arm that captures multiple images of your head from different angles. The images are used to reconstruct in 3D of your internal anatomy with amazing accuracy.

Essentially, CT scans with the CBCT scanner are safer, faster, and uses lower radiation when compared to dental x-rays. In essence, it features the following advantages.

  • Works Faster: The scanning duration of the CBCT scanner is a quick 14 seconds. It’s much quicker than its much larger standard CT scan machine counterpart that takes a few minutes to do, but in fairness that usually involves a whole body scan or scanning larger parts of the body aside from the head anyway. An x-ray is about as fast too but requires a lot of prep time.
  • Lower Radiation: There’s significantly less x-ray radiation involved when using the CBCT scanner compared to the dental x-ray or even a normal-sized CT scanner that’s huge enough for an average-sized person to go through. You won’t have to worry about getting too irradiated with this procedure.  This is why relatively speaking a CBCT scanner is safer than a CT scanner. It’s less than what you’d get from a full-mouth dental x-ray.
  • More Information Made Available: The dentist will know in advance whether there’s a need for bone grafting and gum grafting in light of the extra information provided by the 3D scan that also assists in creating the perfect implant paraphernalia like the implant stud itself, crown, and abutment to be placed on the correct location in your mouth.
  • Starting Phase: The importance of the CBCT scanner when it comes to making 3D CT-scans of the head and mouth of the patient is of the utmost importance in the starting phases of the dental implant process because of various factors that include the following items.
    • The CBCT scanner helps the dentist decide whether or not a bone-grafting procedure is called for.
  • The CBCT scanner is there to visualize the anatomic structures that can’t be detected visually or externally.
  • The CBCT scanner simulates the implant surgery on the computer before the actual procedure can take place using the 3D scans.
  • The CBCT scanner helps avoid implants from touching critical oral structures such as the nose, the sinus, previous implants, teeth roots, and nerves.
  • The scanned data from the CBCT scanner can be sent electronically to the laboratory or in-clinic computer where fabrication of the surgical guide can take place.

In Summary

The 3D CT-scan or CT scan is a type of technology that dramatically shortens surgery time, which in turn reduces post-operative pain and swelling. Everything is now done in a streamlined manner because the dentist isn’t left pawing at the dark in regards to where to properly place the implant or what lies underneath the gums and empty tooth socket where there used to be a tooth.

There are even cases wherein the teeth might be placed on the implants on the same day as the surgery date because of the help of the digital 3D scans that translate immediately to CAD/CAM dentistry. More to the point, the 3D scan is easily read by the digital dentist lab, so making a new crown that perfectly fits is a snap and is microscopically accurate based on the laser-precise data provided by the 3D CT-scan, thus resulting in effective pre-operative computer planning. That’s the power of 3D CT dental imaging in a nutshell.

Thantakit International Dental Center is Thailand’s longest established dental center. Situated in Bangkok, our clinic is renowned across the world as a destination for world-class dentistry, with most of our patients flying to us from Australia.

Please contact us today and get a FREE dental consultation.

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