Dental X-Rays for Orthodontic Treatment
If you are planning to go to the orthodontist, you may have questions about what occurs during your initial consultation. During an initial consultation, it is important to identify any potential underlying issues with your bone structure and development. Dental x-rays are extremely helpful in allowing our orthodontists to provide accurate treatment plans and evaluate our patients growth and development.
At Orthodontists Associates of Western New York, we have two types of dental x-rays that we use for treatment which we will discuss below. If you or a loved one is in need of dental x-rays or would like to schedule a free orthodontic consultation, please contact us today.
CBCT Dental X-Rays (Cone Beam CT)
One major change in orthodontics, and dentistry in general, over the past 15 years has been brought about by the advent of three-dimensional dental x-rays.
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 a dental implant, the general dentist or specialist very often takes a CBCT dental x-ray. 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 patients 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.
Cone Beam Scanner
A cone beam scanner – also called a CBCT unit – is a dental 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 our dental x-rays 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 dental x-ray.
If you have any further questions about dental x-rays, contact one of our five convenient offices throughout Western New York to schedule a free screening with one of our highly experienced Buffalo orthodontists.