Radiographs and 3-D Imaging

Dr. Jill Colson and Dr. Chad Colson utilize digital imaging technology throughout the office.  Dental digital radiographs are invaluable aids in diagnosing, treating, and maintaining dental health. Exposure time for digital dental radiographs is extremely minimal– it is about 50 percent less when compared to traditional radiographs.  

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.

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Planmeca ProMax 3D

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 Planmeca Promax 3D also performs 2D radiographs with a wider field of view, allowing us to see the entire tooth– not just the top half as in traditional bitewing radiographs.  See the images below to demonstrate this concept.

 Dental xray
 More detailed dental xray

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 teeth? Or just 1/3- 1/2 of your tooth?  

The image on the left was taken in 2014 and the one on the right was taken in 2015 on the same patient.  Because the larger image shows a greater field of view,  we were able to diagnose an abscess (see the 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.