CT Scan : The Importance and Advantages
What is a CT Scan ?
Many people might think a CT Scan is a normal x ray, others might think is an OPG ( full mouth x ray ) or some make the confusion with the MRI Scan.
In fact CT scan is different but also similar to the above options making it an extremely useful and complex way of seeing a better image in order to come up with a diagnosis.
CT scan is used in all other branches of Medicine along with the MRI Scan being more useful in seeing the hard parts such as bones or calcified structures, while the MRI Scan is more useful for the soft tissues.
When applied in dentistry the CT scan is a real game changer allowing the clinician a full image of the actual status. The modern technology offers a complete and detailed scan of the entire region of head and neck making the entire work easy for the doctors all over the world.
In regards to the Oral Surgery, the CT Scan becomes very handy especially when a differential diagnosis needs to be done. Salivary stones, fractures, cysts or bone cancer are just a few of the wide variety of diseases that can be diagnosed using the CT Scan.
Relating to Dental Implants for example, the CT Scan will not only help the doctor assess the bone density and the bone volume, but it will also be useful in planning the best dental implant position leading to a predictable result.
When bone graft is needed for either Periodontal disease or to increase the bone levels, the CT Scan will show how the healing is going and what would be the new bone volume achieved.
The more advanced softwares also help planning a case from A to Z where after a simulation of the case on the computer, a surgical guide and printed set of teeth can be made and patients can leave the surgery with a new full set of teeth in the same day.
Going deeper in the Dentistry zone, the CT Scan is also used before , after or during an Orthodontic Treatment in order to see the bone levels around teeth and how predictable the result will be.
Endodontists can also use the CT Scan in order to assess better any granuloma, cyst or to simply check if all canals of a tooth can be accessed.
In prosthetics, dentists can use the CT Scan for the surgical crown lengthening for example where a certain level of bone needs to be reduced in order to increase the length of one or more teeth.
The CT Scan will also show the septum of the nose, any dysfunction of the TMJ if condiles are affected, the sinuses and a detailed view of teeth shown through an entire row of sectioned images.
The length of a CT Scan is about 4 minutes and the radiation used can be compared to a 3 hour flight if the scan is made for the top and bottom arch.