Dental CT Scan

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CT scans, CAT scans and Computer Tomography are all different names for the creation of an accurate portrayal of the head through X-ray.  Images are pieced together to create a digital replica of your jaws and teeth.  This is very advantageous for dentist as it can prevent some forms of investigatory surgery and can enable a model to be made of your mouth to help with positioning of implants or other similar problems.  

Unlike X-rays, CT scans can be used to create a 3-D image of your mouth and jaw, so making the model more detailed than a normal X-ray.  The main advantage of this in dental terms is that the thickness of bones can be seen, allowing dentists to determine whether a site is suitable for dental implantation or whether more work will need to be done to prepare it.  Normally this is determined by invasive surgery. 

Dental CT Scan Procedure

You will have to remove your jewelry before having a scan.

You will be laid on your back on a scanner bed with your head on a cradle which supports it and prevents it from moving.  A Velcro strap is also applied to keep your head in place.  This is due to the bad effects any movement can have on the image. 

You may be given something to bite on, in order to separate the two rows of teeth and help you to keep your jaw still throughout the scan. 

The bed will slowly pass through the scanner machine and the images will be taken. 

This procedure will not cause you any pain or discomfort and is finished within 15 minutes or so. 

The use of CT scanning is relatively low as it is still developing as a technology for dental purposes.  Few dental professionals are trained in CT scanning and as a result it is quite rare and expensive.