If you are planning to go to the orthodontist soon, you may be wondering what is going to happen when you get there. Getting dental x-rays done is quite common and the Orthodontists of WNY have two types of dental x-rays that they use for treatment.
Dental X-rays: CBCT X-ray
One major change in orthodontics, and dentistry in general, over the past 15 years has been brought about by the advent of three-dimensional x-ray units. CBCT stands for Cone Beam Computer Tomography, which has really grown in orthodontics and dentistry within the past several years. It gives us a three-dimensional look at how the bones are growing and where the teeth are positioned. We’ve heard about it mainly through implant dentistry. If a patient needs an implant, the general dentist or specialist very often takes a CBCT. Now, we’re using it in orthodontics to get a really good idea of three-dimensional growth and development.
We also use it to look at airways. One reason we’re interested in looking at airways is that the way a patient breathes has a lot to do with the growth and development of their jaws, head, neck, and face regions. When we look at airways, we can see enlarged tonsils, enlarged adenoids, and any nasal structures that might be preventing patients from breathing adequately through the nose. It improves our ability to fully diagnose a case, ensuring that we take care of all underlying problems and treat a patient efficiently.
Dental X-rays: Cone Beam Scanner
A cone beam scanner – also called a CBCT unit – is an x-ray unit. There are different manufacturers, and we have one from a manufacturer that has been around for a really long time. One important thing to know about ours is that we have the ability to take a quick scan – a lower radiation scan that allows us to gain all the information we need for orthodontics in a five-second scan, which is roughly the same radiation dosage as you would get in normal flat x-rays. It provides more of the needed information, including three-dimensional looks at patient airways, enabling us to make sure we don’t have enlarged tonsils or adenoids, or any other issues to be concerned with.
Another thing that we’re able to see is poorly positioned teeth that haven’t yet grown into the mouth. Very often, we see teeth that find their way into bad positions. We want to know exactly where those teeth are in three dimensions because a two-dimensional x-ray doesn’t allow us to clearly see where that tooth is and we can’t plan as efficiently as we can with a 3-D x-ray.
If you have any further questions about dental x-rays, contact our Buffalo office today. Call OrthoWNY to schedule a free screening with one of our highly experienced orthodontists at one of our five offices.