Think about the first time you saw a 3D movie. It kind of blew your mind, didn’t it? The way that people and places popped off the screen made for an immersive and engaging experience. Now consider what it would be like to integrate 3D technology into your dental office.
No, your patients’ incisors won’t pop off your computer screen.
However, 3D imaging will give you a much more comprehensive view of bone structure, root position, and how the teeth align with one another. If you’ve always relied on 2D x-rays, charts, and diagrams to examine your patients, this new way of diagnosing and treating could be a game changer for your practice.
What is 3D imaging?
3D imaging, also known as “cone beam imaging,” gives dental professionals a 360-degree view of a patient’s dental anatomy. With 3D imaging, a dental scanner captures a complete 3D rendition of the face and transmits high-quality footage to a computer screen within minutes. This technology offers dentists incredible insight to a patient’s dental structures and soft tissue, revealing issues undetectable by 2D x-rays. Such detailed imagery can help guide implant placement, endodontic procedures, and even orthodontic planning.
Digital scanning and 3D printing
More dentists are embracing CAD/CAM dentistry (computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing) to create crowns and bridges for their patients. Here’s how it works: a digital scan is taken of a patient’s mouth, which produces a 3D image. The restoration is then sent to a 3D printer that uses the data to produce a customized, precise crown carved from ceramic. The new crown can be placed the same day, eliminating the need for a return appointment.
Sounds pretty sci-fi, right? The future of dentistry might seem crazy, but the cost of 3D imaging and printing is becoming more reasonable and user-friendly. Beyond providing dentists and their patients with a new solution for cosmetic and restorative procedures, 3D scanning can also help diagnose other problems like sleep apnea, TMJ, bone cancer, tumors, cysts, tooth decay, and fractured teeth – all issues that can’t be detected with traditional x-rays.
Benefits of integrating 3D imaging into your dental practice
3D imaging produces immediate and long-term benefits for dentists and patients alike, including:
- Reduced patient exposure to radiation
- Quicker scan time (under a minute for most systems)
- Highly accurate imaging and measuring
- Ability to show patients their conditions in 3D and in color
- Reduced surgery time and shorter treatment lowers operational costs
- A fast, comfortable, and safe experience for increased patient comfort
- Early detection of degenerative conditions aids in preventative
- More effective and efficient data collection
- A 3D scan has a lower patient cost than a medical CT scan
- In-office technology helps patients avoid multiple visits and appointments
Will you embrace the future of dentistry?
As a dentist, you’re constantly trying to think of ways you can sharpen your technique and provide a better patient experience. Along with paperless charting, 3D imaging is the future of dentistry. Upgrading to this new technology will increase your patients’ comfort, improve the accuracy of your diagnoses, make treatment more predictable, and refine your surgical approach. Not to mention, it’s cost-effective for practitioners and patients.
If you’re transitioning your dental practice from traditional x-ray imaging to 3D technology and don’t have a dedicated IT team to help, give us a call. At High Tech Innovations, we can help you install your new hardware and software to get you up and running. And, because we’re brand agnostic, we won’t try to steer you towards a solution that’s not right for you. With over 20 years of installation experience, you can relax knowing you only need to make one phone call to upgrade the technology in your dental practice.
Ready to get started? Give us a call to chat with one of our dental tech experts at 877-222-1508.