Digital radiography utilizes computer technology and digital sensors for the acquisition, viewing, storage, and sharing of radiographic images. It offers several advantages over the older traditional film-based methods of taking x-rays. The most significant of theses advantages is that digital radiography reduces a patient’s exposure to radiation. Other benefits are that images can be viewed instantly after being taken, can be seen simultaneously as needed by multiple practitioners, and can be easily shared with other offices. Digital x-rays are also safer for the environment as they do not require any chemicals or paper to develop.
An electronic pad, known as a sensor is used instead of film to acquire a digital image. After the image is taken, it goes directly into the patient’s file on the computer. Once it is stored on the computer, it can be easily viewed on a screen, shared, or printed out.
For our dental implants, we use a dental cone beam scanner. In a single scan, this special type of x-ray equipment produces 3D image of your teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways and bone.
This type of scan provides us with a wealth of information that helps us do a better job of offering top-notch dental implants. Primarily, it tells us a great deal about the state of your bone at the site of the implant, including:
- Precise bone dimension measurements.
- Insight into the quality of the bone.
- The existence of any abnormalities which might impact the dental implant procedure.
- The placement of blood vessels and nerves.
- The exact shape of the site where the implant will be placed.
This vital information takes the guesswork out of placing dental implants, which means the osseointegration process is far more likely to be successful. This scan also tells us if the patient needs other dental procedures before we proceed, such as bone grafts or healing caps that must be used when the bone is either too soft or too degraded to take the implant with ease.