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3D Digital Imaging FAQ

There might be a lot of questions about new technologies that we’re using to enhance your experience at the dentist. Below you will find the most common questions associated with 3d digital imaging.

What is 3d digital imaging?

3d digital imaging is used for radiographic examinations (also known as x-rays) to provide realistic, 3-dimensional images of not only your teeth, but the entire jaw, all the way up to the muscles and soft tissues that connect to the skull.

Why do I need an x-ray?

An x-ray can be used to show dental structures that may otherwise be hidden, like wisdom teeth, for example. If you or your dentist believe that you may have an issue with your teeth, sometimes the issue cannot be detected by just a simple visual examination. An x-ray can provide your dentist with a deep view of the conditions of your teeth, including the roots, other facial bones, and placement of the jaw. It can help determine the degree of gum disease and the exact location abscesses and cavities. X-rays are helpful in monitoring the health of your mouth–both seen and unseen–and it can help  stop problems before they get out of hand.

What is the difference between traditional x-rays and 3d digital imaging?

The difference between 3d digital imaging and traditional radiographic examinations is that traditional only provides a series of 2-dimensional panoramic images, while the digital imaging provides a comprehensive 3-dimensional view of the mouth and surrounding areas.

Why is 3d digital imaging better than traditional x-rays?

  • While traditional x-rays have been a mainstay in dental procedures for years, new technology has quickly made them outdated. For example, a traditional x-ray may not be able to provide sufficient data for the complex applications we use currently. 3D digital imaging yields a wealth of info that can greatly assist in diagnosis and treatment of problems. Additional benefits of 3d digital over traditional imaging include:
    • Seeing your anatomy in three dimensions, the dentist can now enlarge the image, rotate it, or divide it in half in order to find potential problems easier.
    • Better overall understanding of the problem, which helps the treatment planning phase
    • Efficient pinpointing of specific problem areas, thus more localized and better treatment.
    • Reduces exposure to radiation that is commonly associated with traditional x-rays by 80%
    • Shorter waiting time for images to process.

What is the process for 3d digital imaging like?

3d digital imaging quite a simple process! You will be asked to sit or stand in the unit while the dentist adjusts the machine to your position. You place your chin on a chin rest before the scan begins. The machine will rotate around your head while 3-dimensionally scanning the areas. This part is painless and only lasts about 9 to 20 seconds and before you know it, your images can be displayed on the computer screen, ready for the dentist’s analysis. Being able to visually see the 3d images will help the dentist and you better understand the problem and the treatment options available.

What is the PlanMeca® ProMax® 3D Mid?

The PlanMeca® ProMax® 3D Mid is the state-of-the-art digital radiography machine we use here at Little Rock Family Dental Care! It’s an all-in-one CBCT (Cone Beam Computed Tomography) unit that includes digital 2D panoramics, cephalometry, 3D photo and 3D digital images. It is the preferred choice for our patients because it reduces your radiation exposure, avoids the hassle of inserting anything into your mouth, and increases your comfort level while not sacrificing anything that would hinder us from making the most informed decisions for your dental health.

Is digital imaging safe?

We understand that many people have concerns about radiation exposure, which is why we have chosen a unit with the lowest amount of radiation output. Their protocol, the Planmeca Ultra Low Dose™, gives patients a lower dose of radiation exposure, while not sacrificing image quality compared to traditional x-rays.

Are there any side effects to digital imaging?

During traditional and 3d digital x-rays, you have to be exposed to a very small amount of radiation. The 3d digital unit exposes you to less radiation than traditional x-ray, and as with any exposure to radiation, side effects from dental x-rays are exceedingly rare. It is believed that detecting a problem early far outweighs any risk of the very small dose of radiation. Talk with your dentist if you have any concerns.

To schedule your appointment today to use this newer, better technology during your dental checkup, contact us today.

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