St. Johns Endodontics has a Kodak 9000 Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) machine. This is a medical imaging technique that produces 3D color images of your teeth, jaw bone, and structures within the jaw with incredible detail. It helps diagnose endodontic lesions and can also identify tumors. The scan is noninvasive and in many cases can eliminate the need for exploratory surgery.
CBCT has become increasingly important in dentistry. It assists in diagnosis, assessment, and specialized treatment planning. During a CBCT scan, the scanner rotates around the patient’s head, obtaining voxels that are reconstructed into a three-dimensional image. This image is important to:
- Visualize internal anatomy that cannot be diagnosed externally
- Plan treatment and or surgery
- Analyze the position and orientation of critical structures, like nerves, vessels, teeth roots, previous implants, the sinus and nose.
- Visualize endodontic anomalies
A CBCT is a compact, faster and safer version of the regular CT. Through the use of a cone shaped X-Ray beam, the size of the scanner, radiation dosage and time needed for scanning are all dramatically reduced. The time needed for a full scan is typically under one minute and the radiation dosage is up to a hundred times less than that of a regular CT scanner. The Kodak 9000 offers the highest resolution and the lowest radiation dose.
St. Johns Endodontics uses Zeiss Microscopes during root canal treatment and micro-surgical endodontics. Microscopes are important to examine all visible root canal anatomy. In addition to having five levels of magnification ranging from 4x to 20x available at one’s fingertips, illumination is a critical component in increasing visualization. Most microscopes are equipped with an integrated in line light source that allows for unobstructed, shadow-free illumination of the operating field. With illumination, the path of light is directed parallel to the microscope’s optical axis, which allows for significantly improved visualization of even the most difficult to access areas of the oral cavity.
Treatments also can be performed with a greater level of precision, thereby reducing the occurrence of failures and the need for retreatment. Enhanced visualization can also allow for treatment to be provided more comfortably to the patient because of lighter, more refined hand movements which occur naturally when one is accustomed to operating in a well-illuminated magnified field. Increased visualization and magnification can ultimately result in greater level treatment.
Digital radiography is a form of X-ray imaging, where digital X-ray sensors are used instead of traditional photographic film. X-ray sensors are expensive, but have their advantages including: no film processing steps allowing the image to appear within seconds, ability to expand images for patient education on a computer monitor or TV, transferability between referring doctors, and less radiation can be used to produce an image of similar contrast to conventional radiography. In addition to the direct clinical and diagnostic benefits, the techniques also have distinct environmental advantages including less use of resources and reduced radiation dosages.