Capital Endodontics carefully chooses which and when radiographs are taken. There are many guidelines that we follow. Radiographs allow us to see everything we cannot see with our own eyes. Radiographs enable us to detect cavities in between your teeth, determine bone level, and analyze the health of your bone. We can also examine the roots and nerves of teeth, diagnose lesions such as cysts or tumors, as well as assess damage when trauma occurs.
Dental radiographs are invaluable aids in diagnosing, treating, and maintaining dental health. Exposure time for dental radiographs is extremely minimal. Capital Endodontics utilizes Digital Imaging Technologies within the office. With digital imaging, exposure time is about 90 percent less when compared to traditional radiographs. Digital imaging can also help us retrieve valuable diagnostic information. We may be able to see cavities better.
Digital imaging allows us to store patient images, and enables us to quickly and easily transfer them to specialists or insurance companies.
Digital X-rays offer more precision since we view the image on a computer monitor, instead of holding up a 35mm film up to the light. Digital X-rays results in 1/6th the radiation exposure to you.
The introduction of the surgical microscope has revolutionized the field of Endodontic Microsurgery. We have invested in the very best quality surgical microscopes, by Carl Zeiss, that provide unparalleled magnification and illumination for our surgical procedures.
Our success depends on us being able to see the minutest of details – you cannot treat what you cannot see. In addition, we have incorporated the latest high definition video allowing us to record our procedures with unequalled clarity and detail.
CONE BEAM COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY (CBCT)
What is a 3D cone beam CT scan?
Dental x-rays and 2D panographs cannot clearly see the inside of the bone, and cannot see the tongue-side of the bone at all. Only a cone beam CT (CBCT image) can create a 3D view and cross sections of the area of interest. The information provided in a CBCT scan is extremely important when placing dental implants, performing a complex root canal or extraction, or looking for the source of pain or infection. We want to have as much information as possible about your condition and anatomy before operating or planning.
How does your dental CBCT scan differ from a CT or CAT scan in a hospital?
Dental cone beam CT emits less radiation and provides a more complete picture. Hospital CTs take a series of parallel x-ray images of the head, from top to bottom. There’s a gap between each image, and a computer uses educated guesses to fill in the gaps. This type of CT imaging is adequate (albeit with excessive radiation) for large pathology, like a skull fracture or sinus infection.
A cone beam CT circles the head, so each image or slice overlaps. There is no gap. In addition, the radiation is much weaker. Only in areas of overlap (the area of interest) is there enough radiation and data to construct a 3D model. This is why CBCT images provide a more complete image with less radiation, compared to hospital CT machines.
How much radiation is used? Should I be concerned?
An extremely small amount of radiation is emitted—but any radiation should concern you.
The majority of CT scans have a radiation effective dose equivalent to four or five hours of high-altitude air flight, or 11 to 15 days of normal background radiation in the United States. This risk from radiation exposure is much less than the risk of inaccurate diagnosis or treatment from proceeding with the knowledge provided by a CBCT scan.
Will my insurance cover this?
Some dental insurance plans will occasionally reimburse for some 3D imaging procedures, and some medical insurance carriers will reimburse you if you were referred by a medical doctor.