Understandably, the first question that dentists typically ask when considering the purchase of big-ticket items, like cone-beam imaging systems, is, ?What can I use it for in everyday practice?? Well, as awareness is growing about the value of 3D imaging across all dental disciplines, that question is changing. Cone-beam imaging is becoming the expected minimum standard of care in several areas of dentistry, including implantology and endodontics, and it?s being recognized as dramatically enhancing the quality of diagnostics and treatment in other areas like basic restorative and operative dentistry.
So with the help of PreXion, a major player in the dental cone-beam market and supplier of the PreXion3D Eclipse and the PreXion3D Elite , I?ll be sharing specifics--in blog posts over the next few weeks--about the role of 3D imaging in a few key areas of general and specialty practice.
Implant case planning is a timely first topic, given the exponential growth in the number of general dentists involved in both restoring and placing implants. The literature is full of research confirming the critical role 3D imaging plays in implant treatment. This was concisely summed up in the conclusion of a University of Washington School of Dentistry study published in JADA in 2010:
Virtual implant planning using CBCT data allows the clinicians to create and visualize the end result before initiating treatment?CBCT provides the anatomical data that can generate a collaborative treatment plan and achieve optimal outcomes for the restorative dentist, radiologist, surgeon and patient. Virtual planning allows clinicians to investigate multiple treatment scenarios until the optimum treatment plan is attained...The evolution in CBCT hardware and software has been responsible, in part, for the increase in the precise planning and placement of implants while minimizing the associated risks.
? Measurements on CBCT scans are exact 1:1 ratio, with no superimposed structures or magnification (above)
? The dentist can assess detailed bone quality and quantity and quickly determine if grafting is required
? Contingency treatment plans and surprises during implant surgery are eliminated.
? Less surgical trauma or exploratory surgery for patient
? CBCT scans are effective patient education tools, resulting in increased case acceptance
? CBCT scan data can be used to create optimal surgical guide fit (below)
? CBCT scans take the guesswork out of implant site selection, leading to more predictable prosthetic outcomes
? CBCT scans are the best tools for evaluating the status of existing implants
To learn more, visit PreXion's web site and check back here for further installments from me.