It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but medical professionals, especially dentists, around the world use a 3D extraoral x-ray to see what can’t be seen by the naked eye. Dental radiographs are not new but by adding powerful 3D technology into this imaging options, dentists are getting a clearer view of hidden decay, masses and bone loss. Extraoral x-rays with powerful 3D imaging mean patients get more comprehensive dental treatments, too, but what exactly are they?
What is a 3D Extraoral X-ray?
Extraoral indicates something that occurs outside the mouth and three-dimensional or 3D refers to a very special form of imaging — one that creates a realistic view based on geometric data. When you put these two words together with x-ray, you have a unique form of dental imaging.
Most people have had a dental x-ray at some point in their lives. Dental radiography uses a burst of x-ray radiation to create visual images of the various structures that make up the dental architecture such as teeth and bone.
The images appear on film or a sensor based on their capacity to absorb radiation, so teeth are white because they have a low capacity. Dark areas absorb large amounts of the radiation and pinpoint areas of infection, decay and change in bone density.
3D extraoral imaging uses this same basic theory but provides more dynamic images while using less radiation. This gives the dentist a view of the teeth, bones and gum tissues that pops off the screen to allow for better diagnostics and on point treatment strategies.
Who Might Need This Form of Dental X-Ray?
Any patient will benefit from a 3D x-ray because it offers the dental professional a fuller view of the mouth. Three-dimensional technology provides clear visualization of the dentition, providing the dentist with a panoramic view when making a diagnosis. With more complex imaging, dentists can detect serious problems like potentially life-threatening lesions that might not show up in regular dental radiographs.
For patients, the benefit goes beyond just better dentistry. The 3D imaging means less radiation exposure, too. Dental x-rays are not dangerous, but the less radiation a person is exposed throughout their life, the better.
Enhancements in imaging technology are offering dental professionals more information and that means better dental care. The 3D extraoral system is a must-have for any dental practice that does complex diagnostics and endodontic procedures because it offers the highest resolutions and unprecedented x-ray views.