The increasing sensitivity of equipment and the ever-increasing computing power of computers (which translates into very precise imaging of the tissues being examined) create the opportunity for incomparably more accurate analysis of anatomical conditions than is the case with an X-ray image. Currently, spiral tomography devices and cone beam devices, which have a lower radiation dose than general medical tomographs, are used in dentistry. Digital techniques are an exceptionally dynamically developing branch of dental diagnostics today. A point or panoramic X-ray image is a two-dimensional image – 2D, while tomographic examination is a three-dimensional examination – 3D – and the resulting image allows for precise tissue diagnosis layer by layer in any cross-section. What does this mean for a dentist, surgeon, or laryngologist? Upon receiving the examination, the physician can metrically assess all bone structures, check the condition of the maxillary sinuses, examine individual teeth, trace the course, and assess the number of root canals of a given tooth.
What is Cone Beam CT (CBCT)? CBCT is a type of radiological examination that provides a three-dimensional image of teeth, jaw, and chin. This examination is also called “Digital Volumetric Tomography” (DVT) or colloquially 3D Tomography in dentistry. In traditional computed tomography, a slotted beam of radiation is used to slice the object being examined, repeatedly circling the patient’s head to visualize its entirety. In contrast, in tomographs used in dentistry and laryngology, a cone-shaped beam of radiation is used, which irradiates the patient during a single (not multiple!) rotation around their head. This significantly shortens the examination time and reduces the radiation dose, while obtaining the highest quality images. The tomographic image is displayed on a computer screen using specialized software. It allows for the conversion of tomographic examination into a three-dimensional model of the patient’s hard tissues: teeth, jawbones, and sinuses, temporomandibular joints, or sinuses. Thanks to advanced computer systems, the dentist displays the image on the monitor in different cross-sections (axial, sagittal, frontal), and can also rotate, sharpen, zoom in, or zoom out the analyzed image. This allows them to see the smallest details of anatomical structures, which play a particularly important role in dental treatment. For the patient, this means that they can undergo a panoramic examination – a survey of all teeth, jaws, chins, sinuses, and temporomandibular joints in one image. Such an examination has a low radiation dose – it is recommended once every two years, similar to a lung X-ray. The examination can detect dental diseases, maxillary sinus diseases, and early stages of tumors.
Patients undergoing orthodontic treatment require a panoramic and cephalometric X-ray for accurate diagnosis. For implant treatment planning, a tomographic examination – i.e., 3D – is now considered necessary in most cases. This examination allows for determining the quantity and quality of bone, as well as the distance from important anatomical structures. It provides safety for the patient and the doctor. Thanks to this, the size and location of future dental implants can be precisely determined, without the risk of damaging blood vessels, sinuses, or nerves. A computer tomography scan performed with a modern device can minimize the absorbed radiation dose and visualize all important details. Proper resolution of the device is crucial in this respect. One such device is the Kodak Carestream CS 9300 system – the most advanced and versatile radiographic imaging system currently available on the market. Regardless of the advanced possibilities of tomographic examinations, it allows for the acquisition of digital panoramic images using the technology of adapting the imaging layer to the patient’s anatomical structure. The device has also been expanded with a cephalometric module with the unique ONE SHOT technology. The imaging field of the device ranges from 5 cm x 5 cm to 17 cm x 13.5 cm. This means that a small area, such as in the treatment of a single tooth, or a field covering virtually the entire maxillofacial area, can be diagnosed. The image below shows the range of the examination.
SMART DOSE CONTROL SYSTEM The CS 9300 system provides users with optimal control over selecting the safest radiation dose for the patient. Volumetric tomography technology used to create diagnostic images in the CS 9300 system provides much lower radiation dose compared to traditional spiral tomography used in medicine (CT). The device allows for further reduction of the dose by selecting the range of tomography only to the area that requires imaging. The device can also operate in a shortened examination time mode, which further reduces the dose and decreases the risk of creating an unclear radiograph. The CS 9300 is also equipped with a test exposure system, which allows for checking the patient’s position before performing the examination. The combination of speed, excellent image quality, and precise positioning greatly reduces the risk of repeating the examination, ensuring safety for both the examined person and the doctor. The optional cephalometric module working in single exposure technology (one-shot) performs the entire examination in less than 1 second. In this way, the device minimizes the dose absorbed by the patient during the examination and the risk of creating an unreadable image. In summary, there is no modern dentistry without the most advanced digital diagnostics, which is currently within reach for patients, but also for any doctor who can refer the patient for a tomographic examination and then plan the treatment calmly, using the benefits of modern technology.