2-D and 3-D Digital X-Ray Imaging
2-D digital x-rays
At Dr. Nick’s practice, long gone are the days when chemical processors and relatively high dosage X-ray arms are used to image the tissues of the oral cavity. Instead, low radiation, handheld digital Nomad’s® are used as the operator stays in the room with the patient as the x-ray images are exposed against a small digital sensor.
Resultant of this, a much quicker and convenient workflow for radiographic imaging is involved. These 2-D digital x-rays are used for normal tooth and bony tissue imaging typically needed for diagnostic reasons, including assisting in the identification of cavities between the teeth, abscessed tooth roots, faulty dental work, and bone levels as they relate to periodontal/gum disease.
2-D panoramic x-ray imaging
A quick low radiation screening of both jaws, the tooth roots, the TMJ’s, the sinuses and other hard tissue components of the head and neck. Often used to help with orthodontic diagnosis, simpler wisdom tooth issues, and a generalized screening of any missing or extra teeth in the pediatric dental patient, this type of film is typically indicated in younger patients.
3-D CBCT hard tissue imaging
This amazing in-office technology allows Dr. Nick to visualize, in 3 dimensions, any hard tissue within the digital CBCT sensors range, including bone, teeth, roots, sinuses, etc. Used as needed to image difficult cases related to: impacted wisdom teeth, the TMJ’s and their associated structures, root canal issues that evade visualization per normal 2-D imaging modalities, future dental implant treatment planning, and any confirmation of aberrant pathology that is detected per history, exam, or preliminary 2-D imaging. Modern CBCT is a greatly reduced version (in regards to radiation exposure) of medical CT, in that the physics and technology used to generate the image is much simpler than the medical CT imaging counterparts. For instance, Dr. Nick uses this modality routinely to study the temporomandibular joints in his “TMJ” patients. Within the 3-D image, Dr. Nick can have an undistorted view of any hard tissue, with the added ability of being able to virtually measure and manipulate the placement of potential implant placement. Imagine a non-surgical confirmation that there is enough room in the bone for an implant screw, which clears potentially dangerous and problematic anatomical structures such as the sinuses, arteries and nerves of relevance.
3-D MRI soft tissue imaging
There are times when diagnosis of a “TMJ” patient requires imaging of the soft tissue cartilage within the temporamandibular joints to definitively diagnose a given TMJ patient’s problem(s). These cases are referred out to an imaging center and involve a radiologist’s interpretation before Dr. Nick can combine the MRI soft tissue results with the CBCT hard tissue results. Dr. Nick has been personally trained by one of the world’s experts in maxillofacial radiology and TMJ surgery, Dr. Mark Piper in regards to 3-D imaging interpretation of the TMJ’s.