Dental implant imaging: The use of diagnostic imaging in implant dentistry has changed dramatically over the years. Comprehensive and accurate radiographic evaluation is a critical aspect of dental implant treatment planning. Various imaging techniques have been used to evaluate the quality, quantity, and anatomical structures of bone at proposed implant sites. Traditionally, they rely on conventional two-dimensional radiographic methods to obtain images of dental implants. However, with the advent of computed tomography (CT), a new era has become available in all phases of radiographic imaging of implant patients. These technological advances have increased the level of accurate information available to implant physicians in the diagnostic, treatment planning, surgical, and prosthetic phases of dental implant treatment. In this article, we will examine various radiography technologies and their diagnostic aids in implant dentistry to determine what kind of dental implant photos a candidate for dental implants needs in this treatment path:
Successful dental implant treatment depends on careful planning and preparation. If you are considering getting dental implants, it may be helpful to first have a consultation with your doctor. Many implant dentists offer a free initial 15-minute consultation for prospective patients. This action can help you consider all the options available to treat your dental problems so that you can make an informed decision. To give you the best advice, you will be asked for details about your medical history and lifestyle and anything else that may affect treatment.
If you decide you want to go to the next step and if your dentist thinks you are a possible candidate for dental implants, the next step is a full clinical consultation.
This is a more detailed examination that most dentists charge a fee for. However, some clinics will reimburse this fee when you undergo dental implant treatment. A complete clinical evaluation usually includes the following:
The dentist will perform a thorough evaluation of your mouth. He will check the health of your remaining teeth and make sure that the surrounding teeth do not interfere with the placement of your new implant. To ensure the best possible results, it is very important that your oral hygiene is good and your gums are healthy. Any pre-existing oral health problems, such as periodontal (gum) disease, should be treated before dental implants are placed. Dental plaque must also be treated and controlled. You will also be examined for any jaw joint problems (temporomandibular joint disorders).
A complete examination of your dental problems, eating habits, and medical history is done by the implant dentist. If you smoke, you are strongly advised to quit before starting the implant treatment. Many dentists will not perform implant treatment unless smoking is stopped or significantly reduced. Additionally, smoking can damage the salivary glands, resulting in a drier mouth that can spread bacteria that can worsen periodontitis (gum disease). Nicotine can also decrease blood flow, thereby affecting healing and the immune response. Any of these factors can cause your implant to fail.
Medical conditions such as cancer, radiation to the jaws, alcoholism, or diabetes can also affect your body’s ability to heal the implant. If you are undergoing chemotherapy, your dentist will want to wait until your treatment is complete before placing the implant. In addition to your medical history, the implant dentist must be aware of any medical conditions and medications you are currently taking to avoid possible complications.
One of the key requirements for dental implants is having enough bone in the jaw. Your dentist will check that your bone has sufficient height and density. A solid and reliable base is required for placing the implant. If your bone mass needs to be increased, it can be increased. Grafting techniques involve adding bone to the jaw. A successful bone graft allows your jaw to be strong enough to support your dental implants. At this stage, the bone structure can be checked using dental implant photos, X-rays, and CT scans.
Your dentist will recommend a dental implant photo, which includes an X-ray image, and will take an impression of your mouth to produce plaster casts to help determine the length, diameter, and position of the implant(s). Sometimes a mock-up or wax-up model is created from the proposed final result. Impressions are also taken to ensure that a new tooth restoration such as a crown, bridge, or implant matches your current bite. If necessary, a series of dental implant photos will be taken.
When planning for dental implants, imaging technology such as dental X-rays, computed tomography (CT), or cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scans may be used to provide detailed information so your implant dentist can make an accurate diagnosis. Many dentists have X-ray machines and some use CBCT scanners. Sometimes, if the office does not have in-house equipment, you may be referred to a local dentist or another local imaging center for dental implant imaging for your scan.
The decision to image the patient is based on clinical needs. To obtain a radiological assessment of a specific area of interest, an imaging modality is selected that provides the necessary diagnostic information regarding the patient’s surgical and prosthetic needs. Maximizing the benefit-risk ratio for obtaining information from imaging examinations is a fundamental principle of radiology.
Many imaging modalities are useful for dental implant imaging, including devices that have recently been developed specifically for dental implant imaging. In the past, radiographic imaging was limited to analog two-dimensional imaging. Analog imaging methods are two-dimensional systems that use radiographic film or intensifier plates as image receivers. However, the image quality of these systems faces many disadvantages, such as resolution quality, limited field of view (FOV), time-consuming, excessive radiation exposure, and strong dependence on operator characteristics.
The purpose of radiographic imaging in implant dentistry is to obtain the most useful and comprehensive information that can be used for different stages of implant treatment. The doctor must evaluate the patient’s oral health to determine which imaging method and dental implant photo should be used
Phase 1 is called preoperative dental implant imaging and includes all past radiological examinations and new radiological examinations selected to assist the implant team in determining the patient’s final comprehensive treatment plan. The goals of this stage of imaging include all surgical and prosthetic information necessary to determine bone quantity and quality, identify vital structures, prosthetic needs, proposed implant locations, and the presence or absence of disease.
Phase 2 is called the surgical and intraoperative dental implant imaging phase and focuses on helping the patient’s surgical and prosthetic intervention. The purpose of this stage of imaging is to evaluate the surgical sites during and immediately after surgery, to assist in the ideal position and orientation of the dental implants, to assess the healing stage and integrity of the implant surgery, and to ensure that the position of the abutment and final prosthesis construction is correct.
Phase 3 is called dental implant imaging and photo after prosthesis. This stage begins right after the prosthesis is placed and continues indefinitely. The goals of this phase of imaging are to access the long-term maintenance, integrity, and function of the implants, which includes the evaluation of the implant complex and surrounding crestal bone surfaces.
Dental X-rays are the standard method for obtaining an initial image of the mouth. This type of dental implant photo shows a lot of detail, but only in two dimensions. Through X-rays, the height of the bone available for implant placement and the location and size of anatomical structures such as the maxillary sinus and alveolar nerve can be observed and checked. This type of dental implant photo provides the dentist with the exact position of the remaining teeth.
X-rays can show cavities that may not be visible. They can also show if you have an infection at the root of your tooth and if there is an abscess and how severe it is. There are different types of X-rays, including periapical, panoramic, and sinus radiographs.
X-rays can help indicate the need for additional procedures, such as bone grafting, and help determine the size and placement of implants. Sometimes more advanced imaging techniques are needed to determine bone width.
A CT scan provides a three-dimensional image. X-rays are used to create cross-sectional images of the body. A CT scan records data with a fan-shaped X-ray beam on image detectors, creating a slice in each scan. Each slice has a slight overlap to properly reconstruct the images.
A CT scan for dental implant treatment creates three-dimensional images of the teeth, mouth, jaw, and neck. The scans allow the dentist to determine the quantity and quality of bone. This technology can be used to map the ideal location of dental implants, before any surgical intervention, to help plan the treatment. The use of CT scans in complex cases helps the implant dentist to identify and avoid vital structures.
If you are a good candidate for implants, a CBCT scan of the tooth may be taken. CBCT is a variant of traditional computed tomography and provides the most detail. It uses advanced X-ray techniques and creates a 3D image of the jawbone, providing information such as bone height, width, density, and shape. It also shows the proximity of vital structures such as nerves and blood vessels.
Unlike traditional CT scans, CBCT uses an X-ray tube and detector panel that rotates around the patient. Instead of the “slices” provided by a CT scan, the data is formed by a cone-shaped X-ray beam. The cone-shaped X-ray beam reduces the size of the scanner, the radiation, and the time required for scanning. CBCT scan data is converted into a virtual 3D model and with CAD/CAM programming software, ensures optimal and accurate placement of implants. Many dentists use CBCT scans and specialized software to prepare a digital, 3D treatment plan.
Once all the exams and scans are complete, your dentist in Kingston will create a treatment plan that will be shared with you. This plan usually includes time frames, costs, and consent forms. At this point, take the time to ask any questions you may have about dental implants. You may then meet with the implant treatment coordinator or other members of the implant team to discuss pricing plans and payment options before booking further appointments to begin treatment.