CT scan technology combined with new computer programs allows periodontists to plan dental cases in advance, get better results, and shorten treatment time.
We have been using CT scan technology in our practice now for about a decade. It is perhaps the single most important tool that we have in our office. It literally lets us see through the bone, very much the way I would take an apple, cut that apple in half and be able to open it up and look inside. With the CT scan, I have that same ability to take an image of your jaw, cut it in half and look at the inside of your jaw. In doing so, we have so many advantages. Diagnostically, we can find certain types of lesions that are related to root canals or failing root canals that we may not ordinarily see on regular dental X-rays. We can certainly see the anatomy much better. We can find where the sinuses are with great accuracy. We can find where certain nerves are located, so we can avoid them during surgery.
We also have planning software that works with these images that allows us to use our computer to plan out an entire case in advance, whether it is for a single implant or for many implants and make sure that we place the implant in the most ideal position. That planning lets us do a much better job, more accurately, more efficiently when it comes to doing the actual surgery.
Beyond that, in many instances, we then mill guides that allow us to take our plan that we made on the computer and with tremendous accuracy replicate t through a CAD cam, meaning a computer-assisted design, computer-assisted milling process. We mill a guide and replicate our plan that we made without the patient there and then deliver on the day of treatment the same exact plan that we designed in advance.
This process allows us to do certain procedures that may require going around a nerve or a sinus much more accurately and safer than we would ordinarily. It also allows us the opportunity to maximize what little bone some patients may have remaining. It also lets us place implants in the most ideal position. Finally, with high-tech x-rays and software, we work much more efficiently and we can do less invasive procedures. By taking advantage of CT scan technology, we minimize chair time for the patient.
In sum, we are able to take CT scan information, combine it with computer planning ahead of time, and then ultimately deliver a superior outcome for our patients.
Dr. Frederic J. Norkin
South Florida Center for Periodontics & Implant Dentistry