Benefits of 3D Dental Imaging

Maybe you’re preparing for dental implant surgery, or maybe you're ready to explore TMJ treatment options. In these cases, 3D dental imaging can play an important role in shaping your treatment path.

Our team Northern Virginia Oral, Maxillofacial & Impact Surgery uses iCAT™ imaging for both oral and maxillofacial surgery. If you’ve never had 3D dental imaging, you might wonder how it works or why it’s useful. That’s why we created this guide to shed light on the many benefits of 3D dental imaging and why you might need it.

What is 3D dental imaging and who needs it?

Traditional dental x-rays provide flat, 2D images of your bone structures. They can be digital (shown on a screen) or taken on radiographic film. 3D imaging, however, can create accurate three-dimensional images that depict more detail than 2D images. To create a 3D image, the iCAT scanner takes a series of x-ray “slices,” which the computer program stitches together to create a virtual and highly detailed image. 

You might benefit from 3D dental imaging if:

In other words, 3D dental imaging is used for diagnostic purposes, treatment planning, and monitoring. 

5 benefits of 3D dental imaging

The future of dental imaging is 3D, and there are many benefits to using this innovative technology. 

3D imaging provides better vantage points

Because 3D images display on a monitor, our oral surgeons here at Northern Virginia Oral, Maxillofacial & Implant Surgery can study even the smallest details. The program allows us to zoom, scroll, and study the image in ways that just aren’t possible with a traditional 2D x-ray film.

3D images are incredibly accurate and detailed

Your scans aren’t just displayed on any monitor. Rather, you can view your images on a high-resolution monitor. The iCAT delivers crisp and accurate images, and the more accurate the image, the more successful your treatment plan.

3D images capture more than just pictures of your teeth

3D images play an important role in oral surgery because they provide a panoramic look at your oral cavity as well as your entire craniofacial region. Because iCAT provides panoramic images, it can be used for diagnosing and treating other conditions, such as sinus issues, TMJ dysfunction, and sleep apnea.

3D images can monitor your progress 

While 3D dental imaging is used for diagnostic purposes and treatment planning, we can also use 3D images to monitor your progress after a surgical procedure. For example, after you receive a dental implant, it can take months for your bone to heal and fuse to your new implant. Our treatment team can use 3D images to monitor your healing progress.

iCAT scans don’t hurt

The process for getting these scans done is simple and pain free. You’ll remove any metal items, including jewelry, metal hair pins, etc. Relax comfortably in a chair while the sensors rotate around your head and neck area. That’s it!

Note: 3D dental imaging may not be right for you if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant. 

Ready to learn more? If you’d like to learn more about iCAT dental imaging or other technology we use, call the location of your choice: Burke, Reston, or Alexandria, Virginia. You may also schedule an appointment online. 

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