General Dentistry

Improving Diagnostic Imaging: How 3D Tomosynthesis Benefits General Dentists

General dentistry has come a long way in embracing advanced technologies to improve patient care and treatment planning. But why are we still so slow to change?  Yes, what we have used for radiology for 50 years has served us well (mostly), but we now have better technology.  Better diagnosis and better care that ultimately is better for the bottom line.  One such advancement that has proven to be a diagnostic win for general dentists is intraoral 3D tomosynthesis imaging. Let’s explore why this technology is the future of dentistry, how it can be effectively used by general dentists, and the process behind it.

Key Benefits of 3D Tomosynthesis for General Dentists

Caries, cracks, and many other defects require accurate diagnosis for effective treatment. Here’s why intraoral 3D tomosynthesis shines in these areas:

1. Caries Detection:

One of the primary advantages of intraoral 3D tomosynthesis is its ability to identify caries (cavities) more precisely than traditional 2D X-rays. It can help to spot caries between contact points that are often missed in conventional images.  And, of course, a CBCT cannot do this. 

2. Crack and Defect Identification:

Intraoral 3D tomosynthesis helps dentists to identify vertical fractures and cracks by providing a detailed view of the patient’s dental anatomy. It helps determine where bone loss begins, aiding in early detection and intervention. Something that is not found on a CBCT due to the increased voxel size. 

3. Ease of Use:

General dentists can easily incorporate intraoral 3D tomosynthesis into their practice. The technology closely follows the workflow of 2D X-rays, mounts on the wall just like a 2D system, and is able to take both 2D AND tomosynthesis images.  This ease of use and consistency with 2D systems, makes it a seamless transition for dental professionals.  And as we know, the key to implementation is team buy-in. 

4. Minimal Training Required:

Unlike more complex imaging technologies like Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT), intraoral 3D tomosynthesis requires minimal training for both software and hardware use. This means that general dentists can start using it effectively the same day it is installed, without extensive learning curves.

5. Enhanced Diagnostic Capability:

With intraoral 3D tomosynthesis, dentists can see more anatomy and pathologies compared to traditional 2D X-rays. This enhanced diagnostic capability leads to better treatment planning and patient outcomes.

How Can General Dentists Use Intraoral 3D Tomosynthesis?

Intraoral 3D tomosynthesis offers several practical applications for general dentists:

1. Chairside Imaging:

General dentists can integrate intraoral 3D tomosynthesis units chairside, allowing for quick and convenient image capture, just like traditional 2D X-ray units.

2. Precise Perio Lesion Localization:

Identifying the location of perio (periodontal) lesions is crucial for effective treatment. Intraoral 3D tomosynthesis helps dentists pinpoint whether these lesions are buccal, lingual, or mesial distal within the dental anatomy, eliminating the need for guesswork.

3. Crack and Bone Loss Detection:

Dental professionals can use intraoral 3D tomosynthesis to get more information regarding the location where vertical fractures and cracks exist and where bone loss begins. This level of precision improves the accuracy of treatment planning.

4. Caries Detection:

Intraoral 3D tomosynthesis helps with detecting caries between contact points, a challenging task with 2D X-rays. 

5. Endodontic morphology:

How many times has a dentist scheduled a patient, got them numb, and searched for the canals for an hour only to temporize and refer?  It’s hard on the schedule, the clinician, and the patient.  You can get much more information on root and canal structures before you start with this technology. 

Why Portray 3D Dental Imaging?

The workflow for intraoral 3D tomosynthesis imaging closely mirrors that of traditional 2D X-rays:

1. Image Selection:

Dentists select the image slice that shows the pathology and anatomy requiring treatment. This step allows for focused and efficient diagnosis.

2. Chairside Patient Presentation:

One of the significant advantages of intraoral 3D tomosynthesis is the ability to present the images chairside to patients. This visual aid enhances patient understanding and increases treatment plan acceptance.

3. Simplified Insurance Documentation:

Image slices can be easily sent to insurance providers for documentation purposes, which can be especially useful for claims related to 6 new intraoral tomosynthesis CDT codes. This simplifies the insurance process and ensures accurate billing.  They created these codes for a reason.  

Experience the Portray Difference

In conclusion, intraoral 3D tomosynthesis imaging is a diagnostic breakthrough that empowers general dentists to provide more accurate diagnoses, treatment plans, and patient care. With its ease of use, minimal training requirements, and enhanced diagnostic capabilities, it has become an indispensable tool in modern dentistry. By integrating this technology into their practice, general dentists can elevate the quality of care they offer their patients while maintaining their workflow for better efficiency.

The world’s first intraoral 3D Tomosynthesis is here.

The world’s first intraoral 3D Tomosynthesis is here.

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