i-CAT Scans and CBCT Dental Imaging Machines
Dental and orthodontic treatment have come a long way during the last few decades, and not just in treatment options. Before your dentist or orthodontist fills cavities, performs root canals or oral surgery, or even fits you for certain types of oral appliances, they first take x-rays and other imaging of your teeth. This helps your dental professional ensure that they choose the right treatments.
What Is an i-CAT Scan?
An i-CAT® Scan is used by orthodontists to create a 3D view of your teeth and the craniofacial structure. It takes less than five seconds. i-CAT Scan is revolutionary not just because of its 3D results and quick use. It also helps protect you from being overexposed to radiation. The technology can be specifically targeted and provides a lower dose of radiation than older options.
i-CAT Scan helps ensure that your dental or orthodontic treatment is perfect for you. It gives your dental professional more accuracy and clearer images. If you need a temporary anchorage device, iCAT® Scan makes the placement options perfectly clear to your orthodontist. For younger people, i-CAT Scan can still be used. This technology can help dental professionals assess teeth that have yet to surface as well as showing root placement and impactions.
i-CAT Scan has different options for use depending on whether you need implants or orthodontic care.
Is an i-Cat Scan Safe for Pregnant Women?
There are times when pregnant women need dental implants or orthodontic care that may not be able to wait until after the birth of their baby. Although i-CAT Scans have a low radiation exposure, your dental professional may advise you to hold off as long as possible. There are often temporary measures that can be implemented by your dental professional in order for you to get some amount of treatment now if necessary and wait until after the baby is born for an i-CAT Scan.
What Is a CBCT Dental Imaging Machine?
A CBCT Dental Imaging Machine, also known as cone beam computed tomography is another recent advancement in dental technology. It provides another quick way for dental professionals to examine the positioning of your teeth, their roots, and the bones in your face. It takes only 20 seconds and, much like an i-CAT Scan, it has a much lower dose of radiation than older types of CT scans. This type of scan is used to help plan your dental treatment.
Common uses for CBCT Dental Imaging Machines include planning for dental implants, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontic treatment, and the assessment and treatment of TMJ.
Is CBCT Dental Imaging Safe for Pregnant Women?
Because a CBCT dental imaging procedure is a CT scan, we do not recommend it for pregnant women. There is no known “safe” level of exposure for unborn babies. This is why it is safest to wait for this type of dental scan until after the end of your pregnancy.
What Do Patients Need to Know About These Dental Imaging Procedures?
Because the i-CAT® Scan and CBCT imaging are both a form of CT scan, there are somethings that you need to know. As mentioned earlier, both have a lower amount of radiation exposure than their predecessors. Regardless of which of these scans you will undergo, the things you need to know are the same.
The processes are painless. You sit upright in a chair. In most CBCT dental imaging, a device moves around your head. It takes a lot of pictures in a very short amount of time. Because both the i-CAT Scan and CBCT Dental Imaging Machines take the pictures so quickly, it is ideal for both younger patients and older patients. In order for your dental professional to get the best images possible out of the i-CAT Scan or a CBCT Dental Imaging Machine, you must sit still. This keeps the images from being fuzzy.
Wear comfortable clothing. You should not wear jewelry including earrings, necklaces, or piercings. Ideally, you should not wear hairpins or glasses. You may be asked to remove any dental appliances that are in your mouth. This may include your dentures. However, do not just leave your dentures or dental appliances at home. Your orthodontist may find them useful after the scans in order to help plan your treatment.
You should reach out to your dental insurance company, or call our office before your scan. It’s important that you know if any portion of the i-CAT Scan or CBCT dental imaging is covered. If so, what portion of the payment you will be responsible in covering.
To learn more about i-CAT® Scan or about the use of the CBCT Dental Imaging Machines, contact Orthodontists Associates of Western New York for a free screening.
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