Dental CT Scans - The Forum Dental Studio

Dental CT Scans

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Dental CT Scans

At The Forum we are now the proud owners of a brand new state-of-the-art CS8100 3D CBCT Scanner.

What are dental CT scans?

When a dentist undertakes complex treatments, they will often want to know what lies beneath the surface of your gums and teeth. This is where a CT scan plays a vital role.

CT stands for computerised tomography, the CBCT (Cone Beam Computerised Tomography) scanner is a specially designed machine that uses x-rays in a cone beam, typically used for medical imaging.

A CT scan creates a series of x-ray images with superior image quality, these images are then pieced together using advanced computerised technology to form a series of slices. Your dentist can then view the internal structures of your head, face and neck in 3 dimensions and with a high degree of accuracy.

A CBCT scanner, such as the ones used in dentistry typically emit a lower level of radiation than the larger scale CT scans found in your hospital outpatient department.

What can be seen on a CT scan?

Your dentist will be able to accurately plot the location of the bony structures around your face, nasal cavity and sinuses. This allows them to evaluate any ongoing disease and also to plan for surgical treatments.

Why would I require a dental CT scan?

  • To plan accurate placement of dental implants prior to surgery
  • Evaluation of bone quantity prior to dental implant placement, particularly with regards to sinus location and determination of possible grafting/sinus lift treatments
  • Evaluation and location of vital nerve canals prior to dental implant placement
  • Planning of surgical extraction of impacted wisdom teeth
  • Detection and monitoring of jaw tumours
  • locating and identifying pathological origins of chronic pain

How is a CT scan used for dental implants?

A CT scan is used in the diagnostic phases of dental implants, many of the scanner software installations communicate directly with dental implant planning software applications and platforms. This allows your dentist to virtually place a dental implant prior to the surgical phase, all done on the computer..

Dental implants come in a variety of lengths and widths and using the CT scan 3-D images your dentist can plan the precise length and width of each implant with absolute clarity and precision.

In some instances the resultant CT scanning can then be exported to software which can then provide a dentist with a physical implant guide. This implant guide will fit over your existing teeth and have a hole through which the dental implant will be placed, this hole will be at the precise angle that the dentist needs to drill in order to place the dental implant.

This makes planning and treatment of dental implants highly accurate.

How do you prepare for a CT scan?

You will be pleased to hear that there is very little preparation required for a dental CT scan.

Your dentist will need to have a clear view of your head, face and neck during the scan, any item which could interfere with the image needs to be removed, this includes:

  • Earrings
  • Tongue piercings
  • Nose piercings
  • Facial piercings
  • Necklaces
  • Spectacles
  • Hearing aids
  • Hair grips or pins
  • Removable dental appliances (see notes below)

NOTE: We recommend that you don’t come to the dentist wearing any of the above items APART FROM removable dental appliances, please wear these to your appointment as the scan may be required with the appliance in.

What will happen during a CT scan?

Unlike outpatient CT scans at a hospital where you lie down, a dental scan is usually done with you standing.

You simply stand in a marked area in front of the scanner, you hold onto the bars in front of you and then guides will be put in place to hold your head stationary.

The scanner then rotates around your head taking a whole series of images which the software then rearranges into a 3-D x-ray.

The whole process takes only a few minutes and is completely non-invasive.

Can I have a CT scan carried out if I am not a regular patient of the practice?

Yes absolutely! We would just require your dentist who has requested the CT scan to complete the referral form (available on our ‘referrals’ page on this website) and send this to us via post or email. The pricing for the scans can be found on our ‘dental fees’ page on this website.

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