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William N. Sullivan, DDS
Christopher Stanosheck, DDS
PH: (239) 597-4944

CT Scans Improve Dental Implant Surgery

Dental Oral CT Scan

Advancements in dental technologies have allowed dentists to improve the delivery of Dental Implants to their patients.  The use of dental CT scans have allowed more accurate, and safe placement of dental implants, while minimizing the surgical time.

For decades, the CT scan has been used in medicine to evaluate the condition of bony structures throughout the body.  Much like an MRI, it captures a 3-Dimensional view of the desired area.  The major difference is that the CT scan is an x-ray exam.  It is meant to diagnose the health, quality, and presence of calcified tissues such as the bones of the body.  MRI scans are used most frequently to diagnose disorders of the soft tissues of the body.

In the past, Dental CT scans have been used, but it required the patient to visit their local hospital or imaging center.  Nowadays, most implant dentists have a CT scanner in their office.  These machines are specifically designed to capture images of the upper and lower jaw.  They are helpful for the screening and diagnosis of dental lesions, tumors, defects, and of course, used to qualify patients for dental implants.  Today, a panorex x-ray  is the standard of care prior to dental implant surgery.  Although very helpful, this film is 2-Dimensional, and be up to 25% distorted in size.  It causes the surgeon to make assumptions, and differs from patient to patient.  The CT Scan is up to .1 mm accurate.  There is no distortion, and because it creates a 3-Dimensional image, both the height and width of the jaw bone can be accurately measured for certain.  This allows the implant dentist to place the appropriate sized implant, avoiding any anatomical structures such as nerves and sinuses.  Most dental CT scans require less than 15 seconds to complete, and are not closed in like a typical MRI machine.

As a Naples implant dentist, I require my patients to receive a CT scan prior to any implant procedure.  I personally review the scan with my patient so they have a better understanding of the planning process.  Most patients are impressed with the great image quality, considering it took less than 10 seconds, and that it was done right here in the office.  The investment we made in the CT scan technology not only allows me to provide a better implant service, but allows the patients a higher level of comfort and safety. 

When a loved one is contemplating a dental implant, I highly recommend a CT scan be performed, preferably in the  office on a dental CT scanner, prior to any implant surgery.

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