Digital dental implants utilize advances in technology to dramatically streamline the dental implant procedure, making it more comfortable, more convenient, and more precise. Advanced imaging systems are crucial technologies for the success of digital dental implants. Understanding them can give you good insight into how the digital dental implant procedure works.
This page is intended as some basic background information for those considering dental implants in Sydney. For specific information about the technologies that we use in our office and how they’ll be used in your procedure, please call (02) 9686 7375 today for an appointment with an implant dentist at My Hills Dentist in Baulkham Hills, NSW.
An x-ray is just like a photograph. Only instead of taking a picture of what light bounces off of like a photograph does, an x-ray is a picture of what the x-rays pass through. The more x-rays that pass through an area, the darker it is on the x-ray. X-rays pass easily through empty space, so empty areas are completely black. Soft tissue and damaged bone are pretty easy to pass through, so these areas are just a little brighter. Bones and natural teeth are hard to pass through, so they’ll be pretty bright. Some restorations, like dental implants, dental crowns, and metal amalgam fillings, stop x-rays altogether, so they’re bright white.
Taking a panoramic x-ray is like putting your phone’s camera in panorama mode. The camera moves while taking a constant shot. This creates a single, flat image of the entirety of your jaws, as well as some supplemental features like the jaw joints and sinuses.
3D tooth scanners are an amazing dental technology. They’ve been around for several years, but many people don’t have experience with them–and they keep getting better.
A 3D scanner is basically a digital camera on the end of a special wand. The digital camera is constantly taking pictures of your teeth, and as we move the wand over your teeth, the computer senses the position of the wand. It uses the position of the wand to determine who the individual pictures fit together. It assembles these pictures into a 3D image of your teeth.
This image is so accurate that it can serve as the basis for designing your dental restorations that will top your dental implants. It can also serve as the basis for simulating your occlusion so we make sure your restoration will fit in with your other teeth.
A CT (computed tomography) scanner is another type of x-ray. But while panoramic x-rays take one long picture, CT scanners take many individual pictures like tiny cross-sections of your body that are then assembled by a computer into a 3D model of all the structures that can be detected by the x-ray.
In our office, we use what is known as a cone beam CT (CBCT). It’s different from your usual medical CT scan. For that type of CT scanner, you often have to go into a tube, which allows the scanner to move along your entire body, taking individual x-rays. In this way, the CT scanner can create an image of your entire body.
But with CBCT, the x-ray doesn’t move up and down or side to side to capture its multiple pictures. Instead, it just tilts a little bit. With slightly different instructions, it is just as easy for the computer to put together these tilted images into a 3D structure, and it comes with several benefits for you. CBCT scanners generally use less radiation than medical CT scanners. And because the scanner just has to tilt a little to image the adjacent areas, it’s set up as a completely open platform–you don’t have to go into a claustrophobic tube.
The CBCT can take highly detailed pictures of the area it’s working on, so we end up with a highly detailed 3D model of your teeth and jawbones, detailed enough that we can reliably plan your digital dental implant procedure from it.
The First Step in Your Digital Dental Implant Procedure
Are you ready to begin your digital dental implant procedure? Imaging is part of the first step. Please call (02) 9686 7375 today to schedule your consultation with a Sydney implant dentist at My Hills Dentist in Baulkham Hills, NSW.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.