Like medical doctors, dentists are now enjoying greater access to useful advances in medical technology that may serve different patient needs with greater precision and accuracy. Add to this that the advent and expansion of social media has connected dental experts from many specialty fields to allow for near real-time collaboration on complex cases, and dental medicine has clearly come a long way in a short time! New diagnostic radiology and dental imaging techniques eliminates much of the exploratory nature of dental surgery, improving precision, reducing recovery time and in many cases significantly reducing or even eliminating post-operative pain and swelling. Here learn about one exciting advance in dental medicine diagnostic radiology combined with imaging and surgical guide planning.
What Is Diagnostic Radiology
Diagnostic radiology itself is not new the more common term is one you are already familiar with X-rays. What you may not understand is exactly how X-ray technology works. Basically, controlled directional radiation picks up topographical differences deep under the skin, mapping those interior structures on the X-ray picture. This map assists surgeons to know where cavities and bone structures exist, the location of sensitive nerves and tissues, what may be causing a patients surface pain and also where the best areas are to perform procedures like placing implants.
Combining Radiology And Imaging
One of the most exciting recent advances in diagnostic imaging for dental medicine incorporates the use of 3-D technology. While you may only be familiar with 3-D technology from the latest movie youve seen, in dental medicine 3-D technology combined with imaging software can literally create a realistic image of the patients mouth, including complete dental topography. This means that the dental surgeon has the chance to thoroughly study the areas of dense bone, sensitive nerves and tissues, problem areas and more before ever making the first cut. As well, dentists can collaborate and confer on tough cases using a realistic model of the patients mouth.
Radiology, Imaging And Surgical Guides
Combining diagnostic radiology and 3-D imaging together results in the most exciting new development of all the ability to plan surgical guides in advance. These guides give the operating surgeon a step-by-step procedural outline of the surgery. The 3-D software allows the dentist to practice the surgery in a virtual environment before the day arrives, perfecting each movement to minimize discomfort to the patient and error. The surgical guide allows the dentist to plan the timing of the surgery, including administration of pain medicines and anesthetic, to minimize pain and swelling and speed post-procedural recovery times.
Impact On Dental Implants
One area where 3-D imaging and surgical guides are especially relevant and useful is in the field of dental implants. In the past, implants were planted under exploratory conditions necessitating frequent post-operative adjustments. Today, with 3-D imaging and surgical guides, implants can be precisely placed with little margin for error.
These exciting advances are providing dental surgeons with the precise data they need to ensure their patients enjoy the highest level of care.
Max Cardish is a dental surgeon. He frequently consults on cases using CBCT dental scan technology to precisely identify the issue and prescribe the most appropriate surgical approach.