Radiographs and 3-D Imaging

Dr. Jill Colson and Dr. Chad Colson utilize digital imaging technology within the office.  Dental digital radiographs are invaluable aids in diagnosing, treating, and maintaining dental health. Exposure time for dental radiographs is extremely minimal.  With digital imaging, exposure time is about 50 percent less when compared to traditional radiographs which results in up to 1/10th of the radiation exposure to you.  Digital imaging can also help us retrieve valuable diagnostic information. Because we view the images on a computer monitor, technology allows us to enlarge and focus on a specific area.

Digital imaging also allows us to store patient images, which enables us to quickly and easily transfer them to specialists or insurance companies.

One of the tools in our arsenal of digital imaging is the Planmeca ProMax 3D–a cone beam CT (CBCT) imaging device utilizing the unique Planmeca Ultra Low Dose™ imaging protocol, enabling CBCT imaging with an even lower effective patient dose than standard 2D panoramic imaging. This pioneering imaging protocol is based on intelligent 3D algorithms developed by Planmeca and offers a vast amount of detailed anatomical information at a very low patient dose.  The images eliminate the “guesswork” from two-dimensional radiographs, allowing Dr. Jill Colson and Dr. Chad Colson to easily diagnose issues with problem teeth as well as plan procedures like dental implants.

     promax dental xray machines


The above images are both considered bitewing radiographs that a patient would receive at a routine dental hygiene visit.  Do they  look the same to you?  Which would you prefer?  The radiograph that shows all of your tooth? Or just 1/3- 1/2 of your tooth?  What if I told you the larger image that shows more of your tooth has significantly less radiation exposure than the smaller image?  

The larger image is from our Planmeca Promax imaging machine.  Here is why it is better…

*Less radiation exposure.  The image on the right has 5 times less radiation than the image on the left.

*Better patient acceptance.  No sensor goes in the mouth so there are no issues with gagging or discomfort.

*Faster.  The image on the right takes less than a minute, while the image on the left take 5-10 mintues.

*More diagnostic.  There is a greater field of view.  You can’t diagnose any issues if you don’t see them.

The image on the left was taken in 2015 and the image on the right was taken in 2014 on the same patient.  Because the larger image shows a greater field of view,  we were able to diagnose an abscess (see arrow pointing to dark areas) that would have been missed if an image such as the one on the bottom was made.  The patient was completely asymptomatic and unaware of any infection.  The infection was able to be treated and resolved before the patient experienced the painful effects of a potentially life threatening infection.