A Guide to Dental Imaging

During the past three decades, dentistry has witnessed great advances in all its branches. Consequently, the need for more precise diagnostic tools, specifically imaging methods, has become mandatory. From the simple intra-oral periapical X-rays to advanced imaging techniques like magnetic resonance imaging, cone beam computed tomography, computed tomography and ultrasound have also found their place in modern dentistry. Moving from analog to digital radiography has not only made the process simpler and faster, but has also made image storage, manipulation, and retrieval easier. Three-dimensional imaging has made the complex craniofacial structures more accessible for examination and for the early and accurate diagnosis of conditions that range from mild to severe. Some of these innovative technologies will be discussed in this article.

Cone Beam 3D Dental Imaging

Dental cone beam computed tomography (CT) is a special type of x-ray equipment used when regular dental or facial x-rays are not sufficient. Your doctor may use this technology to produce three-dimensional images of your teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways and bone in a single scan. With cone beam CT, an x-ray beam in the shape of a cone is moved around the patient to produce a large number of images. This makes it much easier to analyze the issue and make an accurate diagnosis, allowing for successful treatment planning and completion. 

Read more about Cone Beam 3D Dental Imaging

Digital X-Rays

Digital X-rays are one of the most important advancements in dentistry. This technology replaces conventional X-rays, reducing the use of film, harsh chemicals and waste materials used to capture the images. Unlike traditional X-rays, digital X-rays use less radiation. They also make it easier for our dentist to accurately and efficiently reach a diagnosis as their processing time is faster, providing immediate results.

Intraoral Camera

An intraoral camera is a small video camera that takes an image of the outside of the gum or tooth. The intraoral camera resembles an oversized pen. While simultaneously viewing a monitor, the dentist inserts the camera into a patient's mouth and gently shifts it about so that images can be taken from a variety of angles. 

The intraoral camera is extremely helpful in diagnosing dental conditions such as tooth decay and cracked teeth and in educating the patient. Since the intraoral camera is used in tandem with a computer screen or television monitor, your dentist can easily show you, in real-time, if you have a fractured tooth or need gum disease treatment. A picture is worth a thousand words!

Time-savings that come with the intraoral camera are especially noticeable when your dentist needs to take several images at one time. Intraoral camera images are easy to re-take, print and duplicate. Printouts can be sent to dental insurance companies to strengthen claims. In fact, these images are so useful that some insurance companies now accept images via e-mail; the reduced paper trail cuts down on claim-processing time and is an environmentally friendly option as well.

For more information on the intraoral camera at Family Dentistry of Largo, call us at 727-536-5787 today!

Digital dental imaging makes it easier for our dentist to diagnose oral diseases and abnormalities. Images are usually taken after our dentist has conducted an initial examination and the technology to be used will be determined according to your age and dental history, among other factors.

Our dentist in Largo, Florida is experienced in the use of advanced tools and technology for the treatment and diagnosis of dental diseases. Call us at 727-536-5787 for an appointment or come by the office today to discuss any concerns you may have with our dentist.