3D X-Rays in Orthodontics Are a Game Changer. Technology is improving every day. In orthodontics, modern technology has led to the incorporation of 3D X-ray imaging in designing braces. This technology is still new but has been picked up by many practitioners and establishments. It offers lots of advantages to the orthodontists and patients. Traditional 2D X-rays are highly inconvenient. In fact, many people even choose to skip the entire tooth-alignment procedures because of the X-rays.
A key advantage of 3D X-ray imaging is the fact that it provides greater detail than 2D images. This is because the mouth is 3 dimensional. Structures in the mouth, jaw, and surrounding bones can be observed better with a clear and realistic image. That way, possible dental conditions can be detected, prevented, and treated before they pose serious dental problems. Orthodontists have frequently observed issues with the dental structures, thanks to 3D X-ray.
Also, with 3D X-ray, you don’t need to have multiple images of your teeth. That makes it easier to come up with a design for the braces. Since the images are clearer and more precise, a doctor will have an easier time creating the designs.
3D images are a lot more convenient, both for the patient and doctor. The image is taken in a short time. With 2D X-rays, you have to wait for the doctor to take images of specific teeth. That usually takes a long time. Your child will be even more willing to visit the orthodontist since it now involves less discomfort and little time is spent taking the X-ray images.
Since 3D images are a lot more accurate, it is unlikely that you will need to take the X-rays again. 3D images give an impression of how the teeth are positioned in relation to each other. The X-ray images are usually displayed on a screen so that the doctor can study it while explaining the observations to you.
Besides these, X-ray imaging also offers these benefits:
- Lower cost- 3D images are cheaper than 2 dimensional X-rays. This can help you save some money with your dental treatment.
- The images are processed instantly since there are no films included. Everything is done digitally and, therefore, faster.
- Image processing and analysis is easier with 3D X-rays
- The entire process is pain-free, and this can encourage children to go through the procedures. With smaller mouths, children find traditional 2D X-rays very uncomfortable. 3D images are taken in an instant and are painless.
- Only one image is produced. Traditional X-rays had to come in a bundle since each tooth is taken individually. Even if the images were stored digitally, you would still have trouble collecting the images when visiting a different doctor. 3D images come in a single file and are stored digitally for easier location and transfer. If a different doctor needs your tooth X-rays, you can simply request your orthodontist’s staff to send the images.
- 3D X-ray images are fascinating to kids and adults. The images are taken using a device that rotates around your head while capturing details on the structures around the teeth. This fascination can help encourage your children to go for orthodontic treatment.
How does 3D Scanning Work?
The technology works by combining a number of flat images of the teeth. These are then stacked and rotated on a screen to give an impression of the actual state of the teeth and jaws. The different 2D images are taken at a specific distance from each other. A program is used to combine these images into a single unit so that the doctor can use it as a cohesive source of information.
To get these images, the doctor will take an X-ray of the lower half of your face. This is done using a series of radiation beams and a digital image is produced as a result. These 2D images will then be compiled and turned into 3D images using the software.
The technology can be used to create images of the skull and teeth and, therefore help the orthodontist understand the structures surrounding your jaws. Most of these structures cannot be observed with traditional 2D X-rays. In addition, you can narrow down on a single region of the mouth and observe it more closely.
Are these X-Rays Safe?
For 3D images to be produced, many flat ones have to be taken. This means more radiation is used to create the final image. However, the doctor will use low-level radiations to take these X-rays. Eventually, the radiation you will be exposed to will only be slightly more than what you would get through 2D images. Also, the overall risk you are exposed to is almost negligible since similar rays go through your body on a daily basis. In fact, whenever you take a flight, you are exposed to much greater levels of radiation.
Orthodontists and other medical professionals always have a policy of keeping the radiation levels as low as possible. They will use just enough rays to get the image they need without unnecessarily risking your health.
That said, it is not advisable to take your young child for 3D screening. Also, pregnant women are better off avoiding the procedure entirely. Alternatively, you can cover or protect your lower body parts when taking 3D X-ray images of your mouth and jaws. You can talk to the doctor about your condition for assistance.
Modern technology has resulted in 3D X-rays for orthodontics. This technology will soon be standard in all practices. It offers lots of advantages to parents, children, and orthodontists. You will find it a lot more comfortable compared to traditional 2D images. The images are taken fast and are processed into 3D images instantly. 3D images show greater detail of the teeth and the surrounding structures and are ideal in the designing of braces.
Also, they can help the orthodontist identify other issues in your jaws, and you will be able to take steps to handle the problem. If your teeth are misaligned, you can contact us. We are also ready to offer you more information on 3D images for orthodontic treatment.
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3D X-Rays in Orthodontics [Epic Facts]
Dr. Joel Gluck has practiced orthodontics since 1983 when he opened his own office in Nashville. He earned his undergraduate degree at Washington University in St. Louis, and his dental degree at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Gluck then completed an orthodontic specialty residency at the University of Michigan, one of the top five orthodontic training residencies in the country. He also wrote an original thesis and received a Master of Science degree.