Physicians have relied on computerized axial tomography scans (CAT), for many years. CAT scans are an X-ray procedure that uses many different X-ray images with the help of computers to generate cross-sectional or even 3D views of internal organs and structures within the body.
More recently however, dentists have begun to rely on 3D imaging techniques and i-CAT scans to provide them with a detailed view of the mouth and skull. The advantage that 3D imaging holds over regular dental x-rays is that the bone structure, bone density, tissues and nerves can be viewed clearly.
i-CAT scans can be completed in less than half a minute. This means that far less radiation enters the body than if a regular set of bitewing x-rays were taken. The main use for i-CAT scans is as an aid to plan oral surgery, dental implant treatment in particular. But also in our clinic we use it for sophisticated check-up and further dental treatment planning. This application has already showed very high treatment results.
How are i-CAT scans used?
i-CAT scans are advantageous because they allow the dentist to magnify specific areas of the face. In addition, the dentist can easily view cross-sectional “slices” of the jaw, which makes planning treatment easier and faster.
Here are some of the main ways in which i-CAT scans are used in dentistry:
• Assess the quality of the jawbone where the implant will be placed.
• Determine where nerves are located.
• Measure the density of the jawbone where the implant will be placed.
• Pinpoint the most effective placement for implants, including the angle of best fit.
• Precisely decide on the appropriate size and type of implants.
• View exact orientation and position of each tooth.
• Plan the complete surgical procedure in advance, from start to finish.
• Diagnose tumors and disease in the early stages.
• View impacted teeth.
How are i-CAT scans performed?
i-CAT® scans are quick and simple to perform. A Cone Beam Imaging System is at the heart of the i-CAT® scanner. During the scan, the patient sits stationary on a designated seat. The cone beams are used to take literally hundreds of pictures of the face. These pictures are used to compile an exact 3D image of the inner mechanisms of the face and jaw. The dentist is able to zoom in on specific areas and view them from alternate angles.
The i-CAT scan is an incredible tool that is minimizing the cost of dental treatment, reducing treatment time and enhancing the end results of dental surgery.
If you have questions or concerns about i-CAT scans or 3D imaging, please contact our office.